Cardinal Cadence Spring/Summer 2013


We express our deep gratitude to the alumni and friends of Lamar University who have recently established endowments and gifts through estate plans. These gifts encourage students to pursue a college education and help faculty create innovative learning environments. An endowment creates a legacy that becomes a permanent piece of Lamar’s history. To learn more about those who have given to Lamar or to find out how you can begin your own giving plan, we invite you to visit our website at In this issue of Cardinal Cadence, we are honored to acknowledge our Dream Makers.

The Mike and Pat Aldredge Mirabeau Scholarship was established in 2008, and the endowment was completed in 2012. This is the fourth endowment the Aldredges have generously gifted to Lamar. Mike ’65 and Pat (Peterson) ’61 both attended Lamar and are long-time supporters of the university. Mike is a Lamar Distinguished Alumnus and past president of the foundation and alumni boards. He now serves on both the Foundation Board of Trustees and the College of Engineering Advisory Council and is Co-Chair of the Investing in the Future Campaign Cabinet.

Gene ’61 and Elizabeth (Muller) ’64 Arnold established both the Gene and Elizabeth Arnold Innovation Fund in Audiology and the Gene and Elizabeth Arnold Innovation Fund in Business, providing funds for each respective department and college to use to support programs, research, and faculty and student development. Gene holds both a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and an MBA from Lamar and served as Lamar’s assistant director and director of the Small Business Development Center from 1991 to 2005. Elizabeth also attended Lamar, and both are faithful supporters of the university.

The Southeast Texas Financial Education Institute (SETFEI) endowed the Bankers’ Financial Education Scholarship in Finance. This scholarship assists students with an interest in the banking industry. The SETFEI was formed in 1998 to provide education opportunities to the employees of its member banks, providing courses and seminars that would establish the foundation for upward mobility of their employees. When the organization disbanded, they found it appropriate that the funds be used to endow this scholarship.

Karen and Phil Drayer endowed the Mary Katherine Bell Regents Scholarship in Mathematics in memory of Mary Katherine Bell and in honor of the enormous difference her influence as a teacher made in Phil’s life both in high school and at Lamar. Phil ’65 holds an electrical engineering degree from Lamar, is a Distinguished Alumnus and serves on the College of Engineering Advisory Council, the Foundation Board of Trustees and the Investing in the Future Campaign Cabinet. Mary Katherine Bell was a highly decorated member of Lamar’s faculty. She received the Regents’ Professor Award in 1974, the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award in 1978 and the Emeritus Professor Award in Mathematics in 1979.

Gerard Bonura ’77 established the Margaret Bonura Memorial and Gerard Bonura Scholarship in Nursing in memory of his mother, Margaret. Gerard earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Lamar. His mother, Margaret, lived with him the last seven years of her life, during which time Gerard provided for her personal care. His years of caring for his mother helped Gerard realize the need for future health care providers for the elderly. He honors his mother with this scholarship to provide financial assistance to those who will work in the field of nursing and provide health care into the future. He also supports the Alicia Christine Bonura Memorial Scholarship in Engineering.

The King A. Campbell Scholarship in Business will be established through the estate plan of King Campbell ’70, ’72. He earned both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and an MBA from Lamar. The scholarship will be established in memory of King’s father, Everett A. Campbell and his daughter, Kelly Ann Campbell.

Frederic Day ’60 established the Ruth E. and Frederic F. Day Scholarship in Sciences to assist students pursuing degrees in science. Ruth (Findley) Day ’75, a dedicated teacher who spent 29 years teaching at Sam Houston Elementary in Port Arthur, earned a master’s degree in education from Lamar. She died in 2007 and is remembered as a lifelong advocate of education of all kinds and levels. Frederic earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering while working full time at Texaco. His belief in the value of research in all fields of science led him to create this scholarship, so that future students may benefit, as he and his beloved wife, Ruth, did, from attending Lamar University.

The family and friends of Arthur Greenspan ’42 endowed the Arthur Greenspan Scholarship in Accounting in his memory. Greenspan began his collegiate years at Lamar with an associate of arts degree and completed his education at the University of Texas at Austin, then went on to earn his license as a CPA for the State of Texas. Recognized as a leader in his community and his profession, he was known, first and foremost, as a loving family man with a sincere interest in the lives of others.

The Iles Family Faculty Enhancement Fund, a gift from “Reggie” and Mary Ann Iles, will be used to strengthen the university’s ability to recruit and retain the most able faculty and to build excellence in its nationally recognized curriculum. The Iles’ are concerned and principled members of their community. Both Reggie and Mary Ann have had lifelong connections to Lamar—from their childhood homes near Lamar to their long, dear friendship with John and Mary Gray. Reggie’s dad, Herman, was a Lamar regent. In recognition of their generous gift, and in honor of Reggie’s father, Lamar University named the Herman Iles Building in the John Gray Center.

Dolores (Cuchia) ’50 and Vincent Leone ’47 established the Dolores and Vincent Leone Scholarship in Engineering. Both graduates of Lamar University, Dolores earned a degree in secretarial science and Vincent earned an associate degree before earning his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University. Vincent became a successful business owner, while Dolores worked for Hygeia Enviro-Clean, the company founded by her father. The couple later became the management team for Hygeia Enviro-Clean. Vincent is a retired registered petroleum engineer in Texas and Louisiana.

Larry ’73 and Cynthia (Smesny) ’72 Norwood established the Larry and Cynthia Norwood Chemical Engineering Scholarship that will provide scholarship opportunities for undergraduate, graduate or doctoral students. Larry graduated from Lamar with a chemical engineering degree and took full advantage of the co-op program as a student. After graduation, Larry went to work for the Lubrizol Corp. from which he retired as vice president for operations in 2012. He is a valued member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council, sharing his wealth of experience and knowledge to benefit future generations of students. Cynthia is a Lamar cum laude graduate in history and a successful author, instructor and business owner.

A two-time graduate of Lamar, Yvonne (Smith) Ritter ’67, ’73, endowed the Yvonne Ritter Scholarship in English and Modern Languages. Yvonne earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in English. After a career as a teacher, Yvonne went on to obtain her real estate license and became an entrepreneur. She retired in 2012 after 40 years as a leader in Southeast Texas real estate. Yvonne credits her liberal arts education at Lamar with providing the tools she needed for success.

Jimmy and Distinguished Alumnus Susan (Williams) ’68 Simmons, through provisions in their wills, have provided for a gift to the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music in the College of Fine Arts and Communication. The Simmonses have served as president and first lady of Lamar University for more than 14 years, and their roles of leadership both at Lamar and in the community are too numerous to list. They have served the university for 43 years and will continue as Jimmy Simmons returns to being a professor in the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music.

Patricia A. Snyder ’68 has made provisions through her estate to establish the Patricia A. Snyder Innovation Fund in Engineering. A lifelong native of Southeast Texas, Patricia graduated summa cum laude from Lamar with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. She taught mathematics at Monsignor Kelly High School for more than 35 years and served as department chair most of that time. Patricia has served on the vestry of St. Mark’s Church and on the All Saints’ school board. She continues to be active with St. Mark’s.

Joe ’58 and Charlotte Ware established the Joe and Charlotte Ware President’s Innovation Fund. The president of Lamar will use this restricted fund to further the mission of the university. Joe graduated from Lamar with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. In 1965, he began a career in the pharmaceutical business that spanned more than 35 years. Joe and Charlotte also established a scholarship in earth and space sciences in 2007.

Distinguished Alumnus Michele (Yennie) ’88 and Mitch Smith endowed the Patsy and Michael Yennie Scholarship in Accounting to honor Michele’s parents. Michele, a graduate of Lamar with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, serves on the Foundation Board of Trustees and is a past member of the Alumni Advisory Board. She and Mitch are both attorneys and strong community leaders in Beaumont. They were named 2013 Neches River Festival Citizens of the Year.

To begin your own endowment or to add a gift to an existing endowment, please contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.