SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Daytona resident and retired educator Harold V. Lucas Jr. signed a charitable trust with Bethune-Cookman University on Tuesday. Lucas initiated the trust with a $100,000 gift to the institution.
Lucas has a 75-year history with Bethune-Cookman, beginning as a child whose father worked closely with institution founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
“Daddy set up the first accounting system for the school and worked as Mrs. Bethune’s corresponding secretary,” said Lucas, whose mother died when he was nine years old. “So, I would go up to her house and sleep while they worked late into the night.”
Tribute to father
A former track and football coach at B-CU, as well as an alumnus, Lucas fought back tears as he reminisced about his father’s role at the college. Harold V. Lucas Sr. raised his son alone after his wife died, and he left a lasting example of philanthropy.
“My father always talked about service to school, church and community,” Lucas said, “and that helped me develop pride in being able to help others. Bethune-Cookman was his life and I knew that I was expected to be just as generous with such a fine institution.”
Lucas graduated from Bethune-Cookman in 1953 and later earned a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2005, he received the prestigious HBCU Philanthropist Award from the Kresge Foundation and the Coca-Cola Company and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the National Association of Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
He has contributed his time, talent and resources to numerous organizations, including the United Way, Serenity House, Children’s Advocacy Center and Daytona Beach Human Relations Council, among many others.
Bethune-Cookman President Edison O. Jackson lauded Lucas for his legacy of service to the university and to the community. “Men like Mr. Lucas and his father sustain us, even today,” Jackson said. “We have to respect and honor those who came before us and who set an example of true philanthropy.”