In the Fall of 1993, the L.M. Horne Scholarship was awarded to its first student. The scholarship, established through a bequest in the will of Mr. L.M. Horne, is awarded to students enrolled in one of the nursing programs at Sampson Community College. Since then, countless nursing students at SCC have received the L.M. Horne Scholarship. This week, Dwight Horne, Lyman Horne, and Ronnie Horne each gave gifts to the L.M. Horne Scholarship Fund in honor of their mother, Mary Helen Horne, who celebrates her 91st birthday on Thursday, August 12.

The Horne Family has a long history with SCC, including two scholarship endowments and Lyman Horne’s longtime service on the SCC Foundation Board, including service as President. The family has established a precedent for what it means to be good stewards of the college.

Since the fund was established in her husband’s honor, Mary Helen Horne has continued to be a faithful donor, and has been especially interested and engaged with the scholars who received the L.M. Horne Scholarship. As her 91st birthday approached, her three sons say there was one gift they felt would honor both her and their father best.

“As a local businessman, my father recognized the importance of SCC and the importance of giving back by establishing the endowment in his name through the Sampson Community College Foundation. We couldn’t think of a better and more appropriate way to honor our mother on her birthday and honor the memory of our father than to give to an institution that means so much to our entire family,” Ronnie Horne shared.

Ronnie Horne says growing up, his family always appreciated the value of its local community college, largely thanks to the education it provided to local students. His older brother, Lyman, witnessed the impact of the college and SCC Foundation when he served on the Foundation Board for over 15 years.

Mary Helen photographed years ago with her sons. (Courtesy Photo)
Left to right: Lyman, Dwight, Mary Helen (Bottom), Ronnie

Lyman Horne knows that his mother will be “tickled” by the gift he and his brothers have decided to give for her birthday. As much as his family has been supporters of Sampson County and the community college, Lyman Horne says his mother always supported his father.

“She always supported daddy, so it works out well that this gift allows us to honor our mom on her birthday, but also honor our father’s memory,” Lyman Horne remarked.

President of SCC, Dr. Bill Starling, says the Horne family has been a delight to get to know and work with during his years at SCC.

“We join with the Horne family in celebrating Mary Helen’s birthday and want to recognize her for her faithful and ongoing support of the SCC Foundation. In addition, we thank her for raising three sons who have continued and expanded her family’s support for SCC and many of our Sampson County organizations,” Starling commented. “Many of us have had our day made a little better by a member of her family.”

Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement & Executive Director of the Foundation, says Mary Helen Horne’s impact on the college is evident – through her husband’s endowment, her sons’ community engagement, and in her dedication to scholar-donor relations.

“In recent years, Mary Helen has been especially engaged with the students who receive the family scholarships. Lyman’s leadership on the Foundation board set the bar high for all Presidents who followed him. We thank Ronnie, Dwight, and Lyman for this thoughtful gift honoring their dear Mother and wish Mary Helen a very happy birthday,” Turlington commented.

Sampson Community College and the Sampson Community College Foundation wish Mrs. Mary Helen Horne a happy 91st birthday!

For more information about making a donation to the SCC Foundation or for information about establishing an endowment, visit or email Lisa Turlington at

About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.