Professor Jay W. Lees has been honored with a new scholarship —thanks to Converse Society member, Lowell Judson Farmer, Jr., class of ’56. The Jay W. Lees Speech and Theatre Scholarship will assist students of those disciplines who have financial need. Judson created the scholarship with a current gift and will add additional funds through a bequest. He hopes that other alumni who loved Lees will also contribute to the scholarship. “It pleases me to know the ‘old Dad’ will forever have the campus-wide recognition he deserves,” said Judson.
Judson’s story is unique. When he was turned away by a large university because he was disabled, his father brought him to Westminster College. “It was easy to live with a wheelchair at Westminster,” he said. “The football players carried me up and down the stairs of Converse Hall.” Lees met Judson on registration day and began working with him immediately. He insisted Judson enroll in singing class to lower his vocal pitch. Lees placed him in oratory and debate, and cast him as the leading man in a college play. Judson later obtained a master’s degree in Speech Pathology. During his career he was the director of the speech and hearing clinic at a large rehabilitation center and was on the faculty of no less than three universities. “I owe my success to Jay,” Judson said. “He could take students with little to offer and turn them into confident, world-challenging people.”
With the collective support of all of Lee’s alumni, the fund can someday provide dozens of Jay W. Lees Scholarships, perpetuating the memory of a beloved professor. To encourage others to give to the scholarship, Judson remembers an expression Lees used frequently in class, “Let’s move right along now.” He hopes this scholarship fund will do just that.
By Lisa Actor