CAROL STREAM – Long time Carol Stream resident, Lawrence DuBose, 92, could be described as mild mannered, well-educated, persistent, humble and the list goes on.
However, the Carol Stream Public Library staff and board have reason to add “bighearted” to this list because of the $25,000 donation he presented to the library in February.
“We were bowled over,” said Library Director Susan Westgate of his donation.
When DuBose walked into the library with check book in hand his intent was to afford the library an opportunity to enhance patrons’ experience through whatever services or materials were needed.
“If I want to give something I’m not putting strings to it,” said DuBose, a retired civil engineer, noting that he did not dictate how the donation was to be used.
Although the money has not been earmarked for any one purchase or service, according to Westgate, the money will be used for something that will benefit patrons for years.
DuBose previously made equal donations to the Wheaton and Crystal Lake public libraries as a show of appreciation to friends, who are affiliated with these libraries. So, he thought it was only fitting that as resident and former owner of Testing Service Corporation, which continues to operate in Carol Stream, he would do the same for his hometown library.
His love of books began as a young child growing up in Texas where his father was an educator serving as principal and superintendent at different times.
“Each summer he would take me to the school library,” said DuBose, who fondly recalls his father’s love of books.
DuBose would read a novel almost every he traveled the world to solve engineering problems for companies and government agencies.
“I did lots of consulting work in 10 overseas countries and two dozen states,” DuBose said. His books were great companions.
DuBose is a proud father to three boys and two girls. He has nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two more on the way. He is author of 17 books, a veteran recipient of the Purple Heart, alumnus of Texas A&M University and supporter of the Beekeeping Project at Klein Creek Farm, West Chicago, for more than 30 years. DuBose recently was recognized for 1600 hours of volunteer service last year.
He estimates the honey harvested has raised about $150,000 for the farm. It is sold at Wanda’s Honey House on the farm’s grounds and named for his late wife of 60 years.
DuBose’s generosity has been life changing for others, as well. In 2008, he started a scholarship fund at Glenbard East High School for students who want to pursue a career in civil engineering. Awards are based on their essays that explain, “Why I want to be a civil engineer.”
When asked why he chose this high school, DuBose answered, “Glenbard East did a good job educating my children, and my five children have seven college degrees.”
Additionally, his former engineering firm did testing at the school while it was being built.
The first $5,000 scholarship was split between two candidates, and last year, a $5,000 scholarship was awarded to each of the two candidates.
“I was so pleased to learn that one young lady’s mother told me her daughter would not have been able to afford college without that assistance,” DuBose said. He was especially pleased when the student brought him cupcakes before Christmas and showed off her straight A’s report card.
On April 17, DuBose was recognized by the Board of Library Trustees with a resolution thanking and honoring him for his generosity.
“I don’t care about recognition,” DuBose said. “I want to do something for people to make an impact in their life.”