Profiles in Giving

Dr. Harlow HeadHarlow Head

“To ensure that geography continues to be a part of a liberal arts education at Barton College, I decided to endow a professorship through my estate. The New Century Professorship in Geography Fund will provide a salary supplement and support professional activities for a professor whose primary teaching and research specialty is geography.”

Dr. Harlow Head taught geography at Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College, for 33 years. He continues to teach and embrace his passion for geography through his annual trips from Wilson, North Carolina to Medford, Oregon. During his journeys, which are rarely traveled the same route twice, he photographs historic and geographically significant sites and shares these images and their details with friends, former students, and colleagues.


Howard and Dena TangHoward and Dena Tang

Howard Tang and his wife, Dena, know the positive difference a scholarship can make for a college student. As scholarship recipients themselves, they understand how much a donor’s gift can mean to a student trying to complete his/her education. Working part-time jobs while enrolled in courses full time, they valued the scholarships they received at their respective campuses.

Now retired from the banking industry, Mr. Tang, class of 1972, looks back on his college days at Atlantic Christian College with the fondest of memories, which include favorite professors Ashton Wiggs and Walter Anderson who provided a great deal of encouragement and support. Transferring with friends from Louisburg College to A.C.C., he found the Wilson campus to be a good fit. Mrs. Tang also chose North Carolina private colleges to complete her education, beginning at Brevard College and completing her degree at Wake Forest University. Because of their experiences on private college campuses, they have chosen to give back to these institutions that were so supportive of their educational pursuits.

At Barton, the Tangs have designated the College as beneficiary of a life insurance policy earmarked for the establishment of the H.W. Tang International Student Endowed Scholarship Fund. This scholarship fund will be used to support Barton College students from Southeast Asia with financial need. “We recognize this is one simple, small way to help international students complete their college degree and fulfill their own educational goals,” shared Mr. Tang.

The Tangs’ son, Anthony, a recent graduate of Wake Forest University and now a WFU undergraduate admissions counselor responsible for diversity recruitment, encouraged his parents to consider establishing scholarships for students and programs that are sometimes overlooked, which inspired their establishment of a band student scholarship at WFU.

Another area often overlooked on campuses are scholarships for non-traditional students, and that is why the Tangs are also in discussion with Barton about establishing a second scholarship in the future for non-traditional students, in particular, a scholarship to assist single parents who are juggling the demands of supporting their families while trying to complete their college degrees.

“My wife and I hope to inspire my fellow alumni to consider establishing their own Barton College scholarships, ” Mr. Tang continued. “We have found life insurance to be an easy and manageable avenue for giving back to our respective alma maters and have used this opportunity for establishing scholarships at both of my alma maters, Louisburg and Barton, as well as at Brevard and Wake Forest University for Dena. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ for the scholarships we received as students.”


John and Lynn LeeJohn and Lynn Lee

As parents, Lynn and John Lee understand the importance of investing in the future. They also believe that education is one of the most valuable investments one can make. That’s why they have chosen to include their alma mater in their estate plans.

“The year 1980 was a memorable one for us,” share John Lee. “Lynn and I were married, my father passed away and we, subsequently, transferred our studies to Barton College so that I could assume management of Lee Motor Company during a time of severe recession. I managed to attend Barton classes full time, in addition to summer school, and graduated on time in 1982. Graduating from Barton has made a tremendous difference in our lives, and Barton has a special place in our hearts. We believe it’s important to give back to this institution that has provided such a great education for us and countless others.

“Barton is a vital educational partner, not only in the Wilson community but also across the region,” John added. “The College can be proud of its nationally recognized academic programs, and it continues to gain regional and national distinction for its student focus on writing and critical thinking. It’s exciting to see these amazing strides that the College continues to make as a leader in higher education, and we want to be a partner in sustaining Barton’s future for generations to come. It’s the right thing to do.”

The Lees are ardent supporters of education in their community. John has served on the Barton College Board of Trustees since 1986, providing keen insight and leadership in a variety of roles. Lynn currently serves on the Greenfield School Board of Trustees. They also recently sponsored a Planned Giving “Ladies Lunch and Learn” program at Barton.

They make their home on a farm in Nash County, with their young daughter, Luisa. John is the President/Owner of a number of automobile dealerships in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, representing Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia. The Lees are members of the First Baptist Church of Wilson, where John serves on the Board of Deacons.

Lynn and John Lee, generous supporters of their alma mater for many years, are recognized as members of the College’s Barton Society, Torchbearer’s Society, and, now, the College’s Heritage Society.