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Larry and Cynthia Norwood Chemical Engineering Scholarship established

Lamar University has announced the creation of the Larry and Cynthia Norwood Chemical Engineering Scholarship in recognition of a generous gift to the Lamar University Engineering Dean Jack Hopper, Cynthia Norwood, Larry Norwood and LU President James SimmonsFoundation from the Austin couple.

The $1 million endowment will provide funds for both undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships for students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering.

Larry Norwood graduated from LU in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. His wife, Cynthia (Smesny) Norwood, graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

 “We are so pleased that Larry and Cynthia have enjoyed such success in their careers and so grateful that they have decided to give back to their alma mater,” said Lamar University President James Simmons in announcing creation of the scholarship.

Larry Norwood spent his entire career with Lubrizol Corp. He began working for the company as a student through Lamar’s cooperative education program. After graduation, he went to work for Lubrizol full time and steadily moved up through positions of increased responsibility. He retired last year as corporate vice president of operations, but continues to work as a consultant for the company, particularly in ongoing projects in China.

Cynthia Norwood has become a respected authority on the historical art of hand-hooked rugs. She has written one book on the art, is working on a second book and has established a successful business as an in-demand instructor across the country.

Jack Hopper, dean of the College of Engineering, said this major gift is special because it comes from a former student who has maintained ties to the university and because it will provide support for both undergraduate and graduate students.

“The university is moving in a direction of more scholarly activity and more research,” Hopper said. “For that to happen, you’ve got to have faculty who come in with the expectation of carrying out research, and you’ve got to have significant resources to hire Ph.D. students.”

Hopper said he appreciates the Norwoods’ support both financially and through Larry’s service on the College of Engineering Advisory Council. “Anybody at his level of management can make extremely valuable contributions to giving vision and direction to the college,” Hopper said.

Larry and Cynthia Norwood said they appreciate the great education they received at Lamar. “It enabled us to have a really good, challenging career,” he said. “We’re hoping with this gift to help some other students get a good education in engineering, get a degree and have a chance to have a successful career like we did.”

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