HOUSES IN HONOR (CONTINUED)
BYARS HOUSE HONORS FRANK AND JO BYARS Frank and Jo Byars were proprietors of one of the Gulf Coast’s most delightful cultural attractions – Tiki Gardens.They traveled widely, collecting exhibits and artifacts from the South Pacific for display in the Gardens. Among the treasures they found during their travels was a remarkable collection of rare seashells from around the world, which they gave to Eckerd College in 1994. The collection is now on display in the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory. Mr. and Mrs. Byars were generous in sharing their wealth with a wide variety of institutions; according to Mr. Byars, his two favorites were Pinellas County’s Deaf Service Center, which he served as Chairman of the Board, and Eckerd College, for which he was an Honorary Trustee from 1982 until his death.The Byars were deeply committed to helping young people from around the world.They lost their only child to
MEMBERS OF THE COLLEGE’S FOUNDING CLASS, GROVER C. WRENN AND SUE PHELPS PARTICIPATE IN THE COLLEGE’S GROUND- BREAKING CEREMONY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1961
cancer at age 16 and, to honor her memory, they established the Sherry Jo Byars Endowed Scholarship Fund at Eckerd College. Mrs. Byars died August 20, 1994, and Mr. Byars died October 29 the following year. Eckerd College was the major beneficiary of their estate and received over $3.5 million, the College’s largest bequest at the time.
LUKENS HOUSE HONORS JAY PHELPS LUKENS At Eckerd College, Dr. Jay P. Lukens was an inaugural Thomas Presidential Scholar and an economics graduate of the Class of 1977. After graduating from Eckerd, he received his Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M University in 1982.The President and Founder of Lukens Energy Group in 1997, Dr. Lukens was an internationally recognized expert in natural gas markets and regulations. Noting that his education at Eckerd
JAY P. LUKENS
meant everything to him, he stated his election to the Eckerd College Board of Trustees in 2005 was “the greatest honor he had ever received.” Dr. Lukens established the Lukens Family Endowed Scholarship at Eckerd in 2005, which is awarded to top economics students who have expressed interest in energy and environmental issues. It was important to Dr. Lukens that he provide the same type of scholarship support to future students that he enjoyed while he was a student at Eckerd College. Dr. Lukens died on October 1, 2006, following a private and courageous battle with cancer.The Lukens Family Endowed Scholarship Fund has been enriched by a significant gift from Dr. Lukens’ estate. Dr. Lukens’ wife, Susan, and their family reside in Texas.