LeTourneau University (LETU) has awarded its prestigious Henry O. Gossett, Jr. Community Partner Award to Longview couple Anna Lee and Sidney Allen. The presentation was recently made at the university’s scholarship banquet. LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford presented the award, and commented on how the Allens have positively impacted the lives and futures of LETU students and alumni. The Allens have supplied scholarships and backing for international travel, senior engineering projects and other programs. Moreover, they helped support the construction of the Belcher Center, and have furthered Longview’s culture through sponsoring shows put on by the LETU annual Performance Series. In addition to the Gossett Award, they have been recognized by having a lobby in the Belcher Center named in their honor.
Furthermore, the university student center slated for opening this spring will be named after them. Although not natives, the Allens have become profitable paladins of Longview society. Moving here in 1969, they were partners in a family-owned John Deere tractor dealership. More than twenty years ago, they went into business for themselves by opening the Longview Scrap and Metal Company. Their civic service goes further than business, however. Since 2007, Sidney Allen has served three terms on the Longview City Council, including his present one slated to expire in 2016. He has sat on the construction advisory and appeals board, the financial task force, and the zoning board of adjustment. He has also served as Mayor Pro Tem.
The award is named in honor of the late Longview native Henry O. Gossett in recognition of his work as a LETU supporter and as founding father of the university’s President’s Advisory Council. Following his career in the oil and gas industry he continued to work with the university until his death in 2007. Since 1998, the Gossett Award has been presented to community standouts who display lasting devotion to LeTourneau University, using the school as a means of making Longview a better place for all its residents. Among past winners are Joe Bob Joyce, Rogers Pope Sr., Ruben Martin, Hazel Hickey and Margaret Estes Davis.
As a Christ-centered institution of higher learning LeTourneau offers students both on its Longview main campus and at satellite campuses such varied majors as aviation, business, communications, computer science, criminal justice, education, engineering, health care administration, health science/nursing, human services, kinesiology, liberal arts, psychology, the sciences and technology.