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Dolores and Vincent Leone Scholarship established

The Lamar University Foundation has announced the establishment of a new endowed scholarship. The Dolores and Vincent Leone Scholarship will provide funding for undergraduate and graduate engineering majors.

“The Dolores and Vincent Leone Scholarship in engineering is extremely valuable,” said Jack Hopper, dean of the College of Engineering. “It will provide encouragement and support to outstanding engineering students at a time when the increase in education cost prohibits some students from being able to attend school.”

“This scholarship is a wonderful legacy for Vincent and Dolores, who have been loyal to their alma mater for more than 50 years,” said Camille Mouton, Lamar’s vice president of university advancement.

Dolores Cuchia Leone was born in 1931 in New Jersey. She graduated from Dominican High School in Galveston in 1947 and attended Incarnate Word College in San Antonio before coming to Lamar College. She earned a degree in secretarial science in 1950 and proved her talent for shorthand as she helped the college to win a shorthand contest.

Vincent Leone, Sr. was born in 1925 in Beaumont. After graduating from Beaumont High School in 1942, he spent 11 months at sea during World War II in the North Pacific. Five years later, he graduated from Lamar College with an Associate of Arts degree. He kept studying and went to Colorado State University to major in mechanical engineering. He was honored in 2007 as a Distinguished Alumnus Class of 1949.

Dolores and Vincent married in August 1953. At this time, Dolores started as an office manager and secretary-treasurer in the Hygeia Chemical Co. owned by her father, A.J. Cuchia, Sr. in Galveston. From Galveston, the company also served Orange and Port Arthur. The “father-and-daughter” team was working really well. Mr. Cuchia was referring to Dolores as his “right hand.”

During the same period, Vincent formed a successful oil well analysis company which he owned for more than four decades.

In 1956, Dolores' father, A.J., passed away unexpectedly. Vincent and Dolores, along with her sisters, bought the Beaumont inventory, maintained and grew the business. They changed the company's name to Hygeia Enviro-Clean, Inc. to promote the public awareness of preserving the environment.

By 1961, deliveries had increased significantly so they opened a branch office in Beaumont.  Later, the company expanded its operation to Houston as well.

Vincent is now a retired registered petroleum engineer in Texas and Louisiana. He holds several oilfield equipment patents. Throughout his career, he was an active member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers as well as the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Dolores and Vincent have four children and live in Spring, Texas.

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.