NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University alumnus and Natchitoches businessman Lee Waskom and his wife Ginny established a planned gift through the NSU Foundation in which a strip of property along University Parkway will be donated to the university upon his death. The donation includes 12-1/2 lots with an appraised value at over $2.1 million, the second largest bequest in university history, officials announced Tuesday.
“My life was all about Northwestern,” Waskom said. “I bleed purple and white. It’s been a joy to work with the Foundation and to feel able to contribute. I was able to purchase and develop this property so at the end of my life and Ginny’s, it will pass to NSU. I trust the Foundation and know they will manage it well. I hope it’s 40 or 50 years from now and I hope the property continues to increase in value.”
The property is located opposite NSU’s Watson Library and currently houses several businesses.
Waskom earned a degree in accounting at Northwestern State in 1986, but his family’s association with the university goes back much further. His family moved to Natchitoches when he was 11 months old when his father, Dr. John Waskom, became a member of the faculty. The family purchased Pat’s Economy in 1985, later renamed Campus Corner, a college-oriented bookstore that sold teaching aids, classroom materials, office supplies, textbooks and clothing. The business flourished during several years that Northwestern State experienced unprecedented growth, eventually growing to seven locations in north and central Louisiana.
Waskom attended the NSU Elementary Lab and Middle Lab schools and several members of his immediate and extended family also graduated from Northwestern. He served on the NSU Foundation Board of Directors, including a term as president, during the university’s first-ever capital campaign that raised more than $17 million. He has also served as president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce and as a board member and treasurer of Natchitoches Kiwanis Club and the Historic District Business Association. Waskom has been an active personal and financial supporter of many local charitable organizations. In 2005, he was inducted into the Northwestern State School of Business Hall of Distinction.
“I think of what a perfect gentleman Lee is and what a pleasure he has been to work with,” said NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “Your gift could not be more timely. This places Northwestern in a firm position for the future and says a lot about the legacy of the Waskom family and what they mean to Northwestern State.”
“I’d like to encourage others to consider this type of option for a gift to the university,” Waskom said. “It’s a gift after I’m gone that will provide for NSU and help build a wonderful future here.
Categories: Special Feature