Lawson Helps Students Make History

Alum Mark Lawson recognizes students set on achieving their goals
Mark Lawson

Each time Mark Lawson ’79 attended UNC Asheville, he found a dose of purpose, starting with a history degree and time spent on the courts and field as a basketball, tennis and soccer player. 

“They gave me a chance when no one else would,” Lawson said. “UNC Asheville took me on no less than four different occasions—transferring from Chapel Hill, after my military service, following my nursing degree, and finally for graduation.”

The nurse anesthetist and father of two daughters credits that time at UNC Asheville, as well as his nursing studies at Sampson Community College, with giving him the knowledge necessary for the nomadic profession. Self-employed since 1988, he’s worked at more than 40 hospitals filling in during acute-need shortages. And he’s recognized acute needs in other areas as well, having served as a commissioned officer in the Air Force Reserve. He plans to take care of both of his alma maters through his will and has established the Mark Lawson Fund for the Study of History, an endowed scholarship at UNC Asheville. 

“Anesthesia is about helping. My family has always been about helping. So I told myself, if I ever make it, I’ll try to make it easier for someone else, particularly those who are determined to realize their goals.”

Making a difference for students at UNC Asheville can start at any time, from establishing a scholarship to naming the UNC Asheville Foundation as a beneficiary in your will or living trust. 

For more information, contact Julie Heinitsh, director of planned giving and major gifts, at 828.232.2430 or