Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation

Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation

PC students have benefitted from the generosity of Lettie Pate Whitehead and her family for nearly 50 years.

Mrs. Whitehead became one of the first women in American history to serve on a major corporate board when she was named to Coca-Cola’s board of directors in 1934. Coca-Cola was becoming a household name at the time. The company’s success created a fortune that the Whitehead family would devote to charity.

Known for her generosity of spirit, Mrs. Whitehead supported many causes, such as education, the arts, healthcare, and religion.

Mrs. Whitehead’s younger son, Conkey, established a scholarship program through his will to honor his mother.

“He focused the scholarship program on girls and women when he wrote his will in 1937, when there were so few educational opportunities available to women,” said Carrie Davis Conway, senior program officer with the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation.

“He was certainly inspired by his mother’s remarkable example.”

The Foundation supports 200 schools across the South.

“The Foundation makes grants directly to schools, who then make individual scholarship awards to students based on our eligibility criteria,” Conway said. “In any given year, 12,000 girls and women receive support from the Foundation across all 200 educational institutions we support.”

In 2020, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation granted PC $261,000 to award to eligible recipients. Students were those with demonstrated financial need, female, Christian and from one of nine Southern states.

“Mrs. Whitehead would be delighted to know that she is helping women achieve their educational dreams,” Conway said. “She supported a number of educational institutions during her lifetime and was clearly passionate about the transforming power of education.”

If you know of other foundations that could potentially enhance the mission of Presbyterian College, please reach out to Jerre Threatt in the Office of Advancement at jthreatt@presby.edu or 864.833.8015.