LeCompte Scholarship Pays Tribute to Professor, Provides Aid to Adult Students

July 30, 2008 | RSS

Article written by Bluefield College student Rachel Reed     

Bluefield College colleagues, friends and family of the late Dr. Gare LeCompte wanted to pay tribute to this longtime instructor in the school's adult degree-completion program.   

They did so -- all the while providing vital financial aid for the students Dr. LeCompte mentored and loved -- through the establishment of the Gare LeCompte Memorial Scholarship for Adult Students.   

Dr. LeCompte, a member of the Bluefield College faculty since 1998, taught management and behavioral science courses in the school's adult degree-completion program (ADCP) in Roanoke, the New River Valley, and Lynchburg, Virginia, before succumbing to cancer on June 25, 2008.   

While "saddened by the loss" of this onetime ADCP Professor of the Year, family, friends and colleagues were determined to preserve his legacy and influence through the creation of the LeCompte Scholarship.   

"Dr. LeCompte's presence in the classroom will be greatly missed," said BC president, Dr. David Olive. "That's why we have established this scholarship, to honor his tremendous service to Bluefield College, the degree-completion program, and his students."   

In keeping with the Bluefield College mission to be an encouraging and supportive campus community and established to provide financial aid to returning adult students at BC, the LeCompte Scholarship is designed to be an endowed scholarship awarded annually for an indefinite period of time.   

"Dr. LeCompte was one our most dedicated and beloved degree-completion instructors," said Dr. Don Caudill, a former professor of business and chair of the management and leadership portion the adult degree-completion program."He positively impacted the lives of hundreds of our adult students. He was probably the most successful of all our instructors in retaining students."   

Recipients, nominated by faculty members in the adult degree-completion program, must provide an essay as part of the application process describing how BC's ADCP has changed their life.   

"Every time I think of Bluefield College and my time with the school, I think of Dr. LeCompte," said former student Heidi McClintic. "He made an impact on my life forever. He did not teach just to teach. He cared about each of his students as individuals. He took time to get to know each student. His kindness, patience, understanding and determination are all qualities that made him unique."   

Before Bluefield College, Dr. LeCompte served in professorships and research appointments in the behavioral and social sciences at several other colleges. He served as dean of a business school and dean and chief academic officer of a medical school. He also was a peer review consultant to the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.    "

I looked upon Dr. LeCompte as a mentor, just as many of the adult students did," said Dr. Fred Gillispie, a degree-completion faculty colleague. "His students quickly developed a relationship with him that extended beyond the classroom and even beyond their completion of the program."   

Since 1986, Dr. LeCompte served on the Advisory Boards of the International Trade Council and the U.S. International Trade Center. He was an honorary and visiting professor at three of China's major universities and served as a contributing editor on the Chinese Medical Journal of the Chinese Medical Association. His experience also included service as a senior research scientist for the state of Connecticut and a principal investigator of a federal mental health services management analysis project on the integration of health services.   

Just prior to his death, Dr. LeCompte earned Bluefield College's 2008 Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Award as the outstanding faculty member from the management and leadership portion of BC's degree-completion program. The award cited his "professionalism," "outstanding service to the degree-completion program," and "dedication to students" as reasons for his selection.   

"Dr. LeCompte is the reason I obtained my degree from Bluefield College," added McClintic, who experienced the death of a family member and a pregnancy in the midst of her studies at BC. "He would hear nothing of me dropping out of the program. His encouragement, understanding and guidance gave me the support and confidence I needed."   

For information about contributing to the memory of Dr. LeCompte through the Scholarship for Adult Students, please contact the Bluefield College Office of Institutional Advancement at 276-326-4209 or at