Dr. Edward Vest and Lucia Johnson-Vest (decd.)
Nominated by James Newhard, The College of Charleston
Edward and Lucia have been life-long advocates for the study of classics. As a secondary school administrator, Dr. Vest has been a staunch advocate for the pursuance of the liberal arts, and within that construct a strong adherence to the humanities. Prior to her passing in 2015, Lucia was quoted for a College of Charleston publication saying that “Latin and other classical languages are critical in building an educational foundation for life.” Through their gifts of time, talent and treasure, Edward and Lucia have demonstrated not only a commitment to the study of classics, but also to the role the classics play in a liberal arts education. Their philanthropy has supported students pursuing classics academically, and in particular the support of students interested in teaching classics or Latin at the K-12 level.
At both George Washington University and the College of Charleston, Edward and Lucia have established scholarship funds in honor of Lucia’s parents who instilled a love of Latin and Greek languages in their children. These scholarships are awarded to students majoring in the Classics who have demonstrated financial need and position those students to be able to deepen their study of Greek and Latin through study abroad, experiential learning, and other culturally immersive opportunities. As Allison Davis, a recent CofC graduate, put it, “The Johnson-Vest Scholarship made me adamant about and tenacious toward my academic work, and helped me fall in love with learning.” Students who have received the Vest’s scholarships now number over 200, and they have gone on to become educators in K-12 and higher education, business executives, lawyers, and public servants.