Harold “BoBo” Beasley remembers the first time he met Mary F. Lehman. Beasley’s freshman year was the first time he’d ever gone to an integrated school.
“She said, ‘BoBo, I want you to know that I know this is a different world for you, but you got a friend,'” Beasley said, “and I need to make sure you see me every week so I can make sure you’re alright.'”
Beasley stopped by Lehman’s office in the Smith Administration Building every week for all four years he was a student at PC.
“I would spend 10 or 15 minutes with her,” Beasley said. “She would give me a hug, pat me on the back, and say, ‘Keep your head up. It’s going to be all right. You’re gonna love it here.'”
This year, Beasley received the award named in honor of the woman who made PC feel like home. The Mary F. Lehman Alumni Service Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna for the outstanding meritorious service rendered to Presbyterian College and the Alumni Association.
“To actually win an award named after Mrs. Lehman is an honor,” Beasley said. “I can’t believe she’s still in my life even this long after she’s been gone.”
Beasley has served as graduation coach at Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta, Ga., for the past 26 years. From his office full of PC memorabilia, he has recruited 10 Benjamin E. Mays High School students to attend and graduate from PC.
“I explained to them that they’re going to get the opportunity to get an education and a life-changing lesson,” Beasley said. “Since they thought I was so cool they listened to me.”
Beasley has driven students to PC on admissions visits to tour the campus.
“I wanted to expose them to all different sizes of education, but especially my alma mater, which I think is the best school in the world,” Beasley said. “And I figured if I was that blessed, it was my duty to bless other students to have that opportunity to see PC.”
Beasley has also connected alumni to mentor students to provide them a home away from home. He encouraged students to attend local churches and to get involved in the community. With the approval of the College, Beasley has represented PC at college fairs in the Georgia area and also serves on three college admission boards.
Beasley serves as assistant director for the 5 Strong College Scholarship Foundation and has been the Chick-fil-A Academic Coach since 2014. Beasley always promotes, encourages, inspires and leads by example when it comes to serving his alma mater.
Beasley has served many years on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is currently serving as immediate past-president of the board and is also a member of the African-American Alumni Council.
“PC changed my life,” Beasley said. “It changed me in a way that I was able to see the other side of the world. If I was blessed enough to get that, then I would stay in touch with the institution that changed my life and made me who I am.
“I wanted to make sure that I gave back so that other students would have that opportunity.”