Immigrant With No Savings Account Donates $1 Million to University

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Lois Peters grew up poor in Jamaica. A successful businesswoman today, she is concerned about the education of young people and gives back to help them

“My mother never had enough to pay for her children’s education. We were among those who always had to stand in long lines—often to be insulted because we needed assistance,” says Lois. “ It was always my dream to give something back.”

When Washington Adventist University (WAU), formerly Columbia Union College, officially opens the first new building on its campus in 40 years, April 14 at 8 p.m., the name Leroy and Lois Peters will be emblazoned on its exterior wall.

Lois Peters, a Jamaican immigrant, and her husband Leroy are the biggest private donors to the project with a contribution of $1 million dollar. Lois, the force behind their home healthcare agency, Peters Pediatric Nursing Team, says she still does not have a savings account.

“My mother never had enough to pay for her children’s education. We were among those who always had to stand in long lines—often to be insulted because we needed assistance,” says Lois. “ It was always my dream to give something back.”

The opening of the new music is symbolic of significant growth at the Takoma Park, Md. institution. With growth rate of more than 16 percent for the 2010-2011 academic year, WAU had the highest among the 16 member Maryland Independent Colleges Association.

The State of Maryland contributed a $2.2 million grant to the project with the understanding that WAU would match that amount and complete the building within a year. The University board voted the $2.2 million, one million of which was donated by Leroy and Lois Peters of Howard County, MD.

Construction on the state-of-the-art facility was completed in December 2011.

About Washington Adventist University
Washington Adventist University is a private liberal arts institution located in Takoma Park, Md. It is the only four-year residential college in Montgomery County, a popular suburb of Washington, DC. Founded in 1904, offers a Christian education to nearly 1,500 students of all faiths, through eight graduate, and 32 undergraduate programs. The 2011 edition of U.S. News &World Report ranked the University among the best regional colleges in the northern region and as one of the most diverse institutions of higher learning in the US.
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CONTACT: Kevin Manuel
Kmanuel(at)wau(dot)edu

301.891.4134

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Grace Virtue
Gvirtue@wau.edu
(301) 891-4134
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