Howard Perkins Memorial Scholarship established
The Lamar University Foundation has announced the establishment of a new endowed scholarship benefitting the “University Press”, Lamar’s student newspaper. The Howard Perkins Memorial Scholarship will provide educational funding for the newspaper editor.
Born in Silsbee, Perkins earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Lamar University in 1960 and 1970. He began his career teaching at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, and then returned to Southeast Texas and taught at Lamar for nearly four decades, where he took over the “University Press” as director of student publications in 1976.
“Basically, Howard built the ‘University Press’,” said Andy Coughlan, director of student publications at Lamar. “He built it into the newspaper that it is now, which is a newspaper with a strong reputation. We’re well respected around the state and have a reputation for quality journalism. I think his vision was to create a fine newspaper.”
Perkins impacted many students’ educational journeys during his years with the “University Press”. His love for education, conversation and his friends and students are what people remember most about him, said Coughlan.
“One of the things that Howard and I always believed in was the students,” said Coughlan. “If you expect the students to do good professional work, they will do it. We have a very good student staff that represents the entire university. It’s the students who make this paper great. We just advise and create the environment and the expectations the students need to be successful.”
Not only did Perkins play a prominent role in the lives of his students, he was also avid in his service to the community. He donated his time as a docent at the McFaddin-Ward House for many years and also played the organ for several churches in Southeast Texas.
“Howard was a genius,” said Coughlan. “He fostered the idea that you should know a little something about everything. He had his own individual ways about him, but his delightful eccentricities made him a lot of fun to know and to be around. If you ask former students, it’s not just that he taught them the curriculum. He taught them how to be interesting people, and about the joy of learning and knowing things, and the joy of becoming an interesting person to know. If there is one thing that I hope that I could take away from knowing Howard, it would be to continue that love of learning and that love of just being interested in the world.”
After his retirement, and shortly before his death in Oct. 2010, Lamar University officials honored Perkins by naming the “University Press” office the “Howard Perkins Newsroom.”
For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.