Drs. David and Jeannette Hall: Endowing a legacy, inspiring passion and purpose

LouAnn Asbury
When LouAnn Asbury passed away unexpectedly in January of 2021 from complications due to COVID-19, her son Dr. David Hall, and his wife Dr. Jeannette Hall, knew they had to do something extraordinary to honor her legacy and passion for education and helping others. Just a few months later, the two established the LouAnn Asbury Scholarship in honor of David’s late mother to help support students pursing a degree in counseling within the College of Education and Human Development.

“Our goal is to carry on and acknowledge that more professionals need to be in the Southeast Texas area,” David said. “We’re hoping that this gift will help provide the education for future clinical counselors and that it helps others follow their passion in this field ––  and we want them to come to Lamar University to do it.”

Family roots run deep at LU, and within the Beaumont community, for LouAnn. Her grandfather J.C. Sparks was among the founding members of South Park Independent School District in 1891. Her parents worked as educators in South Park ISD where her father, Ray Asbury, worked as a history teacher and assistant coach for most of his life. Ray also was instrumental in the naming of South Park Junior College in 1923, which would later go on to be named Lamar College in 1932, Lamar State College of Technology in 1951 and finally Lamar University in 1971.

“Growing up, my grandfather never considered the work that he did in education or his part in the naming of South Park Junior College, now Lamar University, as history. It was just his life,” David said. “My grandfather’s appreciation was for South Park as a whole. He was educated in South Park, he worked in South Park ISD for most of his life, he was educated at Lamar College and I think my mom also was appreciative for the education that he gained.”
Dr. David Hall

Following in her father’s footsteps, LouAnn went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Lamar University in 1973 and her Master of Divinity in 1988 from Perkins School of Theology. After working as a Methodist minister for 11 years, she decided to chase what David said is her true calling –– counseling.

LouAnn then pursued her Master of Counseling degree at Southwestern College and after graduation, she became the first counselor at the CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. LouAnn dedicated the next 20 years of her life counseling patients, their families and providing support groups for those in need until she retired at the age of 65.
“My mother had so many careers in her lifetime, but she really felt like counseling was her true calling, her true purpose in life. Jeannette and I had decided several years ago we wanted to do something to honor my parents and my grandparents ” David said, holding back tears. “I know that my mother would be very proud of us and all that we’re doing. I think most of all, she would be glad to know that we’re working to help other people.”

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