Edward L. Flemming Memorial Scholarship
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Saint Leo University?
My father, Edward Lee Flemming, Jr. was a lifelong educator. He had masters degrees from Harvard, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of South Florida and his doctorate from Columbia University. He was dean of academic affairs at Saint Leo from 1966 to 1969. While dean, Dr. Flemming was instrumental in working on the school being fully accredited as a college. That accomplished, he went back to teaching full time as the head of the psychology department until his passing on March 4, 1981. Dr. Flemming was teaching a Psychology of Adjustment class in Selby Hall when he suddenly sat down, suffered a heart attack and died right there in the classroom. Needless to say his students were very upset. I (his son, Edward Flemming III) held the class the following week and assured the students he died doing what he loved to do—teach. My mother, Francis Flemming, had the scholarship created in dad’s name so he might be remembered. My two sisters and I graduated from Saint Leo College.
What would you want the recipients to know about the person for whom this scholarship is named?
It would be nice if the recipients were informed of the efforts Dr. Flemming made in those three years as dean to bring the school up to a fully accredited college. That his years as professor at Saint Leo were his absolute most fun in life, he loved his students and they loved him. It was the 1960’s and 1970’s after all.
What is your favorite Saint Leo story, tradition, or what Saint Leo has meant to you?
My favorite story is receiving a letter my freshman year that was addressed to me, Edward Lee Flemming III, stating that I was on academic probation and would be dropped from the college if I did not improve my grade point average by the end of next semester. It was signed by Edward Lee Flemming, Jr., Dean of Academic Affairs, with a hand written post script that stated, “Get your arse in my office immediately!” Needless to say my grades improved.
Three of my best friends today, 50 years later, were roommates and hall mates while we attended summer school in August 1967. My wife of 46 years, then Patricia Skiscim, Winter Weekend Queen in 1969, was my first and only date at Saint Leo. Saint Leo was a wonderful setting for young people to grow, learn and become leaders in their fields and communities. I feel it continues on the home campus in Florida and here in Norfolk, VA.
What do you hope recipients gain through this scholarship support?
My hope for the recipients is that the small amount of assistance this scholarship represents will lessen the stress of the cost of attending Saint Leo. That perhaps they will gain some feeling of kinship with Dr. Flemming as they pursue their degree in the study of what makes people behave they way we do. Mostly, to share in the pure joy of learning and the sharing of that learning as he did.