Lawson Program

The Lawson Endowment Program

The Lawson Endowment Program is named in honor of Father Leroy Lawson (1917-2001), a long-time Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Stetson (1952-1966). Born in Los Angeles, Father Lawson earned the Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkley, CA in 1941. After graduate work at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, he served as Chaplain in the U.S. Maritime Service and was posted to St. Petersburg, FL. Following WWII, he was called to DeLand as Rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church (1947-1966), where he lived with his wife Dorothy and sons Jerry and Tommy. During his leadership, St. Barnabas grew from 200 to 1,000 members. His ministry and his appeal to young people was legendary.

The Lawson Program is designed to carry on the legacy of Father Lawson's commitment to the value of scholarship and to the importance of fostering the moral development of the human community. The Lawson Endowment was established thanks to a generous gift from a former DeLand resident, who was touched by Father Lawson's kindness and guided by his wisdom and spiritual insight.

The Lawson Scholarship Program

Three Lawson Scholarships are awarded annually to students of unusal ability, academic achievement, and commitment to principled citizenship. This prestigious award can be renewed up to four years. Preference is given to students intending to major in philosophy and/or related field within the humanities.

Lawson Scholars

Damaris Del Valle 2004-2005

Michael Riggs 2004-2008

Kevin Hanson 2005-2006

Joseph Qualls 2005-2009

Ryan Napier 2006-2010

Claire Stubblefield 2008-2011

Jennifer Schmitt 2009-2013

Abigale Ramsbottom 2014-

Porter Crapps 2015-

The Lawson Lecture Series

From 2005-2010 the Lawson Lecture Series provided a forum at Stetson University for distinguished scholars to carry on the legacy of Father Lawson's exemplary embrace of faith and reason.

2005 Roger Kimball

2006 Jewel Broven

2007 Michael Novak

2009 Richard Swinburne

2009 Leon Kass, "Science, Religion and Human Future"

2010 Ignat Solzhenitsyn, "One Life to Live: Chocie and Free Will in One Day in teh Life of Ivan Denisovich"