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Layfield, TSUS Foundation honored with $2 million gift for scholarships

Beaumont attorney DeWayne Layfield and the Texas State University System Foundation were honored today with a scholarship thanks to the combined generosity of The Beaumont Foundation of America and The Texas State University System Foundation.

DeWayne LayfieldEach contributed $1 million to create the L. DeWayne Layfield – Texas State University System Foundation Scholarship.  The $2 million endowment will provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in engineering.  It is the largest single scholarship gift in the university's history.

"We are grateful to the Beaumont Foundation and the TSUS Foundation for their support in establishing the DeWayne Layfield-TSUS Foundation Scholarship," said James Simmons, president of the university. “It’s wonderful that these two foundations have joined in supporting Lamar University.”

"Mr. Layfield has distinguished himself in the practice of law and we are proud to count him among the outstanding alumni of Lamar University,” Simmons said. “It is fitting that his name will forever be associated with opportunity for countless students as they too realize their own personal dreams through higher education."

"Scholarships like the one we announced today are vital," said Jack Hopper, dean of the College of Engineering at Lamar. "Thanks to the Layfield-TSUS Foundation Scholarship, countless young men and women will excel in engineering at Lamar University, graduate and become the leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs of tomorrow."

“Throughout my 40-plus years at Lamar we have had a large number of exceptionally talented engineering students,” Hopper said. “However, without a doubt, DeWayne Layfield is one of the most scholarly and talented individuals to ever graduate from Lamar. It is very appropriate to have a scholarship endowed in his honor.”

Larry DeWayne Layfield graduated summa cum laude from Lamar University in 1987 with a degree in chemical engineering. The top male graduate in his class, he went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law where he was a member of its most prestigious honor society.

An expert in the areas of civil litigation and class action/mass torts, he was instrumental in the historic class action settlement against Toshiba Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Corp. In 2004, Layfield was named to the “Texas Super Lawyers” list representing the top five percent of attorneys in the state.

Beaumont Foundation of America President Frank Newton
“I’m excited for Lamar University and for Southeast Texas because this is a scholarship that will endure in perpetuity,” Layfield said.  “This scholarship will literally touch the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students over the course of its future.”

The Texas State University System Foundation was organized in 1977 as a Texas non-profit corporation for charitable and educational purposes, and has focused largely on supporting special services and programs of the component institutions of the TSUS system and for the faculty, staff and students of those institutions. As the oldest multi-campus system in Texas, TSUS plays a critical role in the educational and economic development of the state.

TSUS Regent Kevin Lilly

Its eight members are Lamar University, Texas State University-San Marcos, Sam Houston State University, Sul Ross State University, Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange and Lamar State College-Port Arthur.

The Beaumont Foundation was organized in 2000 as a Texas non-profit corporation for charitable purposes.  The Beaumont Foundation has focused its charitable and social activities on gifts and grants that foster the development of knowledge, advance human welfare, nurture individual creativity, strengthen institutions and contribute to the well-being of the less fortunate in society.

The Texas State University System was represented with remarks by Regent and TSUS Foundation board member Kevin Lilly.   Frank Newton, president of the Beaumont Foundation of America, spoke on behalf of the foundation.

The announcement of the Layfield-TSUS Foundation Scholarship increases the university’s Investing in the Future comprehensive campaign total to more than $100 million toward the $125 million goal. The campaign concludes in 2013.