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Lastinger adds experience, ‘vigor and vision’ to Board of Trustees

Feb 18, 2008
by Liz Daube, '05

As the latest addition to Flagler College’s Board of Trustees, Delores Lastinger is bringing a passion for education and a unique background in philanthropy to her new role.

Lastinger chairs development for Flagler now, but she spent her first years out of college teaching high school in Jacksonville. With the arrival of her children, she moved on to high-profile volunteer work, serving on a variety of boards throughout Northeast Florida and leading philanthropic projects with her husband, Allen.

The Lastinger Center for Learning at the University of Florida is among their biggest contributions. The couple created an endowment to found the facility for their alma mater, and the center has been developing skilled teachers and improving student progress throughout Florida ever since.

Now the couple has relocated from Jacksonville to St. Augustine – and Delores is helping Flagler gather the donations it needs to keep improving in the future. In addition, she and her husband have personally given the college $500,000 to help preserve Flagler’s historic buildings.

“Allen and I always thought the Ponce de Leon Hotel was such a treasure and so beautiful,” Lastinger said. “And now the years have gone by, and here we are helping to raise money for it … It’s such an important facility for St. Augustine, isn’t it? You drive by and see those spires rising up.”

Lastinger said she got involved with Flagler because of her friend and former Chairman of the Board Fred M. Cone Jr., who recently passed away.

“I miss him so much,” she said. “That is a big void. Because of him, it makes me want to work even harder – to carry out the faith he had in me.”

In addition to preserving the historic campus buildings, Lastinger’s development goals include improvements to the college’s student living and teaching facilities, capital projects and scholarships.

“It’s very important, especially for Flagler College, where so many of the students receive some sort of financial aid,” Lastinger said.

College President William T. Abare Jr. called Lastinger a “wonderful addition” to the board.

“She has a passion for education and a keen interest in higher education, especially in programs dealing with the preparation of teachers,” he said. “She is a thoughtful, forward-thinking person.”

John Stewart, Flagler’s vice president of institutional advancement, said Lastinger brings “vigor and vision” to her role. “The advancement office has already been energized by her ideas and leadership,” he added.

Lastinger said she’s excited about her work for Flagler. She sees evidence of the college’s progress everywhere.

“It is extremely gratifying to see,” she said. “I go in the [new Ringhaver] Student Center and I wonder, ‘How in the world did we ever operate here without that?”

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