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LU creates scholarships, opportunities for South Park students

Lamar University will offer two full scholarships, including four years of tuition, fees, room, board and a book stipend to two deserving graduating high school seniors who reside in the South Park neighborhood of Beaumont, officials announced recently.

“We’ll add two additional students each year, so eventually we’ll have eight South Park students on this scholarship at LU,” said Ken Evans, president of the university.

The scholarship will be awarded to two students entering their freshman year at Lamar University in Fall 2017. These students will have the opportunity to retain the scholarship for four years (eight long semesters). Recipients must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and satisfactorily complete 12 credit hours per semester.

It is also expected for them to commit to the South Park community through ongoing civic engagement and involvement. Recipients will be required to establish a mentor in the South Park community and keep a record of contact.

“Even though they will have homes nearby, we will require these students to live in the residence halls because we want to give them the full campus experience,” Evans said. “That’s something you don’t have if you live off campus no matter how close that may be.”

This collaboration between LU and South Park neighborhood is aimed at increasing higher education opportunities for the neighborhood’s youth. The scholarship will be awarded to students who display clear commitment to their education, promising academic success and embody the spirit of the South Park neighborhood.

“The Office of Academic Affairs is excited to collaborate with the community on improving academic achievement,” said James Marquart, provost and vice president for academic affairs, of the initiative that is fueled by the university’s commitment to increasing educational opportunities in the South Park neighborhood.

In addition to the new scholarships, LU will create opportunities for the youth of the South Park neighborhood to visit the campus to provide up-close, personal introduction to college life to make higher education a tangible, desired expectation rather than just a dream, Marquart said.

The idea of creating the scholarships grew naturally from the university’s role in the neighborhood where LU faculty and volunteers are providing math tutoring and other activities in schools in the area.

“Nancy and I were giving away some t-shirts recently in the neighborhood schools as a way to encourage students to begin thinking about college,” Evans said. “We want them to think about Lamar University, of course, but even more importantly we want them to start thinking about what they need to do to prepare for college.”

“We wanted to complete the loop by making a tangible commitment to support students from the neighborhood,” Evans said of the idea to create the new scholarship program.

For more information on the South Park Neighborhood Scholarship, contact the LU Scholarship office at, or call (409) 880-1714.