NFL Hall of Fame Inductee/Philanthropist Funds Scholarship for Ohio Students

Jackson, MS – Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is pleased to announce the establishment of the Dorothy C. Lanier Scholarship for members attending community colleges in Ohio. The $10,000 endowment will allow a $1,000 scholarship to be presented each year to an Ohio member of Phi Theta Kappa.

This scholarship is established in honor of Dr. Dorothy C. Lanier, aunt of Willie Lanier of Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Lanier is a 1986 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and former linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. This scholarship was created by Mr. Lanier to honor the inspiration, dedication, and love provided by Dr. Lanier not only to him but to students pursuing their educational and personal dreams.

“I think that as with any scholarship it’s a great opportunity for members to continue furthering their education. This particular scholarship is especially important because of how it came about,” said Brian Dabe of Xenia, Ohio, who attends Sinclair Community College and is serving as president of the Ohio Region. “When Willie Lanier came to our Regional Convention as our guest speaker, he was so moved by what we do in Phi Theta Kappa and the members he had the opportunity to meet that he decided to create this scholarship for us.”

“We are so pleased to hear of Mr. Lanier’s decision to establish a scholarship for the Ohio Region after speaking with students at their Regional Convention. He immediately saw what Phi Theta Kappa was about after knowing very little about our organization,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley. “He saw that Phi Theta Kappa values education, and our members are making a difference in their communities through scholarship, leadership and service.”

A native of Arkansas, the late Dr. Dorothy C. Lanier received her education at Shorter College in North Little Rock, Arkansas. She studied at Wilberforce University (Xenia, Ohio) and received her B.S.E. degree from Henderson State Teachers University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and her M. S. degree and Ed.D. in English from East Texas State University. In the summer of 1971, she studied at Columbia University on a visiting faculty grant. Twenty-eight years of her professional life were spent at Jarvis Christian College, where she advanced from secretary in various departments to professor of English and chair of the Division of Humanities and Social Science, a position she held until her retirement in 1987.

Willie Lanier, born in Clover, Virginia, played 11 years in the National Football League. His career includes a Super Bowl win, but despite his athletic success his first priority was his education. While playing professional football he also studied for an M.B.A. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He had earned his real estate broker’s license and was licensed to sell securities by the time he was 25. As an employee of Phillip Morris Company, he was the first African American to attend the Executive Program at the Darden School at the University of Virginia. He is former chairman and CEO of Syncreon US, a diversified automotive logistics company. Mr. Lanier has provided more than $525,000 in scholarships to students in Richmond Public Schools, which he attended.

“I wasn’t familiar with community colleges or Phi Theta Kappa when I came to speak at the Ohio Regional Convention, but I saw people looking for the benefit of education who were so appreciative of what Phi Theta Kappa can do,” Mr. Lanier said. “I think Phi Theta Kappa is telling students that there is continuing opportunity based on how they continue their education — that they are competing with people around the world — based on the quality of their education.”

“This scholarship will give Ohio Region students more of an opportunity to complete their education and make a difference, not only in their personal lives, but also in the lives they touch,” said Cindy Carbone, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Central Ohio Technical College, and Phi Theta Kappa’s Coordinator for the Ohio Region. “As Mr. Lanier and his aunt have touched the lives of those around them through their support of education, this scholarship will help Ohio continue to nurture servant leaders and believe in the power of education. We are thrilled Mr. Lanier has chosen the Ohio Region of Phi Theta Kappa for this wonderful gift, and we are humbled and honored by his generosity.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,270 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 125,000 students inducted annually.

Contact: Melissa Mayer 601.984.3684

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