Women’s Society Honors Philanthropy Of Linda Lassiter

Pictured from left are Crystal Roberts, chief of communication and engagement for Johnston County Public Schools; Chris Germanowski, principal of Selma Middle; Kia Ruffin, Selma Middle teacher; Sarah Godwin, scholarship recipient; Marlene Godwin, Godwin’s mother; Sara Massey; Emma Massey; Dr. Twyla Wells, executive director of the JCC Foundation; Trent Lassiter; Donnie Lassiter; Michael Massey; and John Massey.

JCC Foundation awards the society’s inaugural scholarship to a Selma Middle eighth grader.

Johnston Community College Foundation celebrated the life and philanthropy of the late Linda Vann Lassiter Thursday at the inaugural luncheon and women’s event named in her memory.

Lassiter of Selma died unexpectedly Dec. 12. A faithful and passionate member of the JCC Foundation Board of Directors at the time of her death, she and her husband Donnie have been longtime supporters and philanthropists of JCC.

The Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society has been created to honor her philanthropic spirit. The society offers an opportunity for women in the Johnston County community to come together to participate in philanthropy through education, mentoring and various college and community-wide activities. Each year, the society will honor a woman in the community who emulates the values Lassiter held so dear – faith, family, and philanthropy.

After her passing, the Lassiter family directed a generous gift to the JCC Foundation to start the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society Endowment. The annual distribution of this fund, once fully endowed, will support scholarships for young women in Johnston County. The long-term goal of the society is to build the endowment to ensure all rising eighth grade female students in Johnston County will be able to receive the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society Scholarship to attend JCC after graduation from high school.

Sarah Godwin, an eighth grader from Selma Middle School, is the inaugural recipient of the scholarship.

Chris Germanowski, principal of Selma Middle, said Godwin is well-liked by her peers and teachers and is a most deserving student.

“When Sarah sets her mind to do something she is determined to do it well,” he said. “She does not let challenges deter her when she sets her mind to getting something accomplished. We believe she has the strength and the perseverance to follow through and to accomplish whatever career path she decides to take.”

Meredith Wilson, a JCC alum, spoke about Mrs. Lassiter’s caring and giving personality. As a student ambassador in 2018, Wilson said she witnessed her generosity firsthand.

“I remember seeing Mrs. Linda taking pictures with students at the Foundation’s Donor Appreciation event and pulling the students over to the side and talking to them and asking them how they were and it was so heartfelt,” Wilson said. “I remember thinking to myself wow she really does care.”

The generosity of the Lassiters have supported many programs and initiatives at the college over the years including performing arts, public safety, and the learning resource center.

Dr. Twyla Wells, executive director of the JCC Foundation, said offering the scholarship to eighth graders is an opportunity to expand the college’s outreach to potential students.

“As part of the JoCo Works initiative, JCC will welcome all eighth graders to our campus in November of this year. It is our goal through the Linda Vann Lassiter Women’s Society to build an endowment that will sufficiently support every eighth grader in our county such that when they are seniors in high school, there will be funding waiting for them to further their education.”