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October 23, 2012

New Blinn endowed scholarship pays tribute to Lonnie Henry Stern

$30,000 gift will assist ag majors

Floriene SternThe Blinn College Foundation recently accepted a $30,000 gift from Floriene P. Stern to establish an endowed scholarship in memory of her husband, Lonnie Henry Stern.

The scholarship will be awarded to agriculture majors at Blinn.

“We are honored to award an annual scholarship in Lonnie Henry Stern’s name in recognition of his leadership in the community and in the field of agriculture,” said Blinn College President Harold Nolte.
“It was an absolute pleasure working with Mrs. Stern to establish this scholarship,” said Joe Al Picone, director of the Blinn College Foundation. “She has a wonderful family and I’m very proud of my friendship with them.”

Education was important to Lonnie Henry Stern, who graduated from Brenham High School and Blinn College before earning his degree in agriculture engineering from Texas A&M in 1939. From there, he went to work at Sears and Roebuck in Waco, where he met Floriene Pochyla. They married Dec. 22, 1940, and moved to Lubbock, Texas, where Stern worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Stern enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1943 and graduated from officer training in Quantico, Va. He was later sent to Boston to attend Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied to become a radar specialist.

Stern served in the Marines for 3 ½ years before returning to civilian life, where he worked for the USDA, Anderson-Clayton Cotton Company and Frank Eiring Cotton Company. In 1964, he organized the Producers Marketing Association in Levelland, Texas, and received the agribusiness personality of the year award.

Stern passed away on June 8, 2008. He and his wife had two sons, Lonnie Jr. (wife Kay) and Ernie (wife Natasha); three granddaughters, Amber Stern Hendricks, Anna Serikova and Nadin Serikova; and one great-granddaughter, Winsome Hendricks.

Established in 2000, the Blinn College Foundation, Inc. supports programs and activities that enhance the quality of education for Blinn College students and expand the educational opportunities for the entire community. While raising funds is an important function, Blinn College Foundation also seeks to heighten community awareness of the mission and accomplishments of the college and to promote excellence in education.