LU News Archive

Mirabeau Presidential Scholars Class of 2014 announced

The fall 2014 semester will mark the arrival of the latest class of Mirabeau Presidential Scholars to Lamar University, officials said.

“The Mirabeau Presidential Scholarship is one of the most prestigious and competitive scholarships we offer,” said Stephen Doblin, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Mirabeau Presidential Scholars are held to a higher level of academic and extra-classroom performance because these students are among our best and brightest.”

Joining Lamar as Mirabeau Presidential Scholars will be: Jacob Burnthorn, Cypress Ridge High School, Houston, economics; Kirby Clayton, Orangefield High School, mechanical engineering; Alexander Defrancis, Sabine Pass High School, accounting; Leela Dimperio, Clear Creek High School, League City, American Sign Language; Alexandra Elias, Ozen High School, Beaumont, chemical engineering; Amina Gibic, Western Hills High School, Fort Worth, general business; Rebekah Gonzales, home schooled, Beaumont, theatre and dance; Tara Hoch, West Brook High School, Beaumont, political science; Cade Johnson, Lumberton High School, exercise science/fitness management; Ricky Keyes, Port Neches-Groves High School, electrical engineering; Rachel Millwater, Cinco Ranch High School, Katy, mechanical engineering; Luke Placette, Bridge City High School, mechanical engineering; Courtney Pray, Friendswood High School, mechanical engineering; Hannah Ross, Nederland High School, physics; Amber Shaner, Pearland High School, chemical engineering; Kaylie Smith, Nederland High School, speech and hearing sciences; and Alexandria Toledo, Memorial High School, Houston, nursing.

The 17 new Mirabeau Presidential Scholars will join current Mirabeau Scholars in participation in the university’s Honors College which offers enriched classes in most of the university’s core curriculum, upper-level interdisciplinary classes and seminars, enhanced classes in many majors, and opportunities for independent study, honors contracts and the honors thesis. Honors students are encouraged and supported in the conduct of research and the publication of their work regionally and nationally, Doblin said.

Each scholarship carries a value of more than $80,000 over eight semesters of support and covers all expenses. Any scholarships or awards the student receives from sources independent of the university are applied to their account and used first, allowing students to use the Mirabeau funds for academic-related expenses such as research, study abroad, or extended learning with the approval of their department chair, college dean and the provost, Doblin said.

“The Mirabeau Presidential Scholarship is not tied to a specific major,” Doblin said. “If a scholar decides during the course of the degree to change major, he or she doesn’t lose the scholarship.”

With complete tuition, fees, room and board assistance, plus a stipend for books and supplies, the financial benefit to the students is obvious. The university benefits as well, Doblin said, “from having exceptional students who live on campus, who are involved in university activities, and who hopefully push their fellow students to excel.” The scholars’ presence in the classroom enhances the academic environment because they ask questions and participate actively in class discussions, he said.

Mirabeau Presidential Scholarships are awarded to outstanding high school students who have met the rigorous requirements for the scholarship. Just to be considered for the scholarship, students must achieve an SAT score of 1250 (excluding the writing score) or higher or a composite ACT score of at least 28, and demonstrated excellence in prior academic work. In addition, documented excellence in a variety of leadership, service, and/or creative endeavors is expected.

To maintain the scholarship, scholars must maintain a cumulative, annual GPA of at least 3.5, participate in the University Honors College and be involved actively in one or more of the following student activities: leadership, government, Lamar Ambassadors, Peer Advisors or undergraduate research.

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