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Smith-Hutson Scholarship program opens doors to business degrees

The Smith-Hutson Scholarship program will become one of the most generous and prolific scholarship programs at LU, with six students beginning on the scholarship this fall in a program that will grow in numbers each year in the College of Business.

Smith-Hutson scholars are funded at up to $14,000 per year for a maximum of four years.

“The Smith-Hutson program is unique in that both financial need and potential for academic success are considered,” said Henry Venta, dean of the college.

The program has been established at Lamar University for incoming freshmen pursuing business degrees. It is funded through an individual donor, who wishes to maintain anonymity to the public, the school and to the students. All funding is provided through a private family foundation that makes no solicitations for contributions.

“We are grateful to the foundation for their support and their desire to grow the program in substantial ways in the years to come,” Venta said. “I feel that the program will have a strong impact in serving an important segment of our students.”

The program was started at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville in 1996. Today, about 70 students are on the scholarship.

“We are excited about expanding the Smith-Hutson program to the College of Business at Lamar University and appreciate the warm welcome and assistance provided to us by Dean Venta and his staff,” said Robert E. Hutson, a Houston banker who manages the program. Hutson, a l965 graduate of the Sam Houston College of Business, when on to say, “We have graduated 151 students from the program during the past 16 years at Sam Houston. This program has changed the lives of so many people and we look forward to the same long term success at Lamar University.”

“Smith-Hutson has been a major source of financial aid to needy high school students in East Texas for some time,” said Lynn Godkin, professor of management and marketing at Lamar. “Now, Smith-Hutson has become a major player in providing financial aid to students of limited financial means in Southeast Texas and greater Houston.”

The scholarship program focuses on graduating high school seniors who plan to enroll as freshmen in the upcoming fall semester who have academic potential and are unable to attend college without financial assistance.

“Students unable to even consider college, will now be able to earn a BBA degree from Lamar and graduate virtually debt free,” Godkin said.

“Smith-Hutson provides on-going counseling, tutoring where needed, and motivational support to each recipient,” Godkin added.

The progress of all Smith-Hutson scholars is closely monitored, and outside assistance is provided for any subject for which a student may need tutoring. Graduate students and upperclassmen provide the tutoring and are paid for their service by the scholarship program.

Godkin noted that the application and interview process is rigorous ensuring that students chosen are serious and goal directed.

“The Smith-Hutson scholarship is a significant addition to scholarship portfolios on the campus and a major boost to the scholarships offerings in College of Business,” Godkin said.

To learn more about the scholarships at Lamar, contact the College of Business at 880-8604.