LU News Archive

facebook twitter Linkedin Email

Couple establish scholarships, support faculty and fund innovation

A generous contribution from Diane and Don Shaver will establish eight new scholarships, create an innovation fund, and fund six faculty fellowships, Lamar University officials announced.

“Diane and Don are extremely generous to Lamar University,” said Juan Zabala, vice president for university advancement. “Together their giving will touch the lives of countless students in diverse academic disciplines through scholarships, and, through their generosity in support of innovation and faculty fellowships, that impact expands exponentially.”

The gift has enabled the university to establish the Diane and Don Shaver Master of Science Accounting Scholarship to provide four students $5,000 each year. The newly established Diane and Don Shaver Speech and Hearing Sciences Scholarship will also provide four students $5,000 each year, two students in the Bachelor’s in Speech and Hearing Sciences, and two students earning Master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology.  LU’s president will use funds from the Diane and Don Shaver Presidential Innovation Fund to further the mission of the university through support for critical strategic initiatives. 

The gift also creates six distinguished faculty fellowships to recognize faculty performance and leadership in research, creative activity, and teaching and will be awarded to faculty members for a three-year period. Two Faculty Fellows will hold named fellowships: The Diane and Don Shaver Distinguished Faculty Fellowship and the Dr. James M. Simmons Distinguished Faculty Fellowship.

“Faculty fellowships play a vital role in the academic excellence of an institution and the development of exceptional faculty,” said James Marquart, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Support from generous donors like the Shavers enables us to provide fellowships that further strengthen specific academic programs by supporting faculty members research, scholarship and creative activity and also help us recruit and retain outstanding faculty and exceptional students. We are grateful for their support.”

“Diane and Don have a long and distinguished affiliation with Lamar University,” Zabala said. A cum laude graduate of Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech in 1976, Diane (Howell) was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and the Cap and Gown Society.  Like his wife, Don participated in Greek life while a student at Lamar University. A member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, he graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration in accounting in 1976.  He was also a member of the Blue Key Honor Society and a two-year letterman in golf.  After graduation, Don was selected to serve as an honorary member of Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Honorary Society.

The Shavers have been active supporters of LU since graduation, including support of the Friends of the Arts, and with more than 20 years of financial contributions to the university they have been named to the Mirabeau Society. Their many contributions have supported Alumni Affairs, the Cardinal Club, the College of Business, the Dishman Art Museum, Men’s and Women’s Golf and the University Theatre.

Don has served the university in several capacities, included as an accounting instructor in the College of Business, as a host of a Dinner & Twelve Strangers, service on the Accounting Department Advisory Board and the Alumni Advisory Board, and as a Trustee of the Lamar University Foundation.

A Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of CPAs, Don has worked in the accounting field for decades with positions at Price Waterhouse, and Cook Shaver Parker and Williams P.C.  In 2007, he became a partner and CFO of LD Services L.L.C., provider of administrative services to National Pump & Compressor, Ltd., Gulfco Industrial Equipment, L.P., and GulfStar Rental Solutions, L.P., all companies in which he was also a partner.