Leadership. Friendship. Trust. Brotherhood. These four words can each be used to describe Eric White and William (Billy) Lessard as they are remembered by so many of us who attended Keene State College in the 1980’s. Their loss, Eric from a heart attack in 2001 and Billy from AIDS in 1995, have left a tremendous void in our lives. We the members of the Lambda Sigma TKE Alumni Association are proud of their accomplishments while members of our Fraternity, and as students at our alma mater, Keene State, and are honoring their memory through a scholarship program launching in 2012. The alumni of Lambda Sigma TKE offer this award to an undergraduate member of the chapter who accepts the challenge of leadership and brotherhood displayed by both these great Lambda Sigma TKE members.
Eric White was the student body President of Keene State in 1988, as well as the President of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity in 1987. To this day, many brothers from that era recall the inspirational talks he’d give to those struggling with their studies, personal matters, or Fraternity-related issues. Eric was looked up to by so many because he exemplified leadership, friendship, trust and brotherhood, displaying a zest for life that will never be forgotten and is often celebrated by those who knew him well.
William (Billy) Lessard was a transformational figure at Keene State from 1986-1990. He followed Eric’s footsteps in becoming both student body and TKE President, showcasing a leadership style built on fairness and compassion. He ascended to the highest position in student government as the student representative to the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees. Whether leading a protest against the firing of a high-level college employee, representing the college at leadership conferences or rushing the quarterback for the TKE intramural flag football team, Billy was a trustworthy and omnipresent force on the Keene State campus, respected and loved by all who knew him.
The passing of time will never diminish the memories we have of Eric and Billy. They were leaders. They were brothers. They were trustworthy to a fault. Most of all, they were friends who we lost way to early. This scholarship will help us celebrate their lives in a way that they would be most proud of.
White/Lessard Award Recipients
2013: Doug Piroso #665, 2014: Jake Sharkey #662, 2015 Derek Blunt #666, Masaki Carty #719