Giving Back

You Are Responsible for Record-Setting Kindness

Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation’s motto is “Building a Legacy of Student Success.” This is more than an expression; it’s a way of life. Each year the University’s Division of University Advancement and the Foundation facilitate events, engage with donors and supporters, conduct fundraising efforts, grow relationships with regional businesses, and work to aid the University in its focus on student success.

These efforts build the opportunity for access to a university education and successful outcomes for students upon graduation. From scholarships and hands-on learning opportunities to program and facility enhancements, students benefit every day and at each step of their academic journey. Recent successes in fundraising showcase the benefits students receive throughout their academic careers, each stage of which has its own unique characteristics and needs.

Often we think of philanthropic support as something that only the wealthy among us engage in with large sums of money, but that is only part of the story. Countless students
have benefited from innumerable donations that start at the same level as a large cup of coffee. The funds provided by the generosity of supporters make an immediate and ongoing impact on Southeastern students, creating opportunities for them to succeed in their daily lives and future careers.


Southeastern’s most recent Giving Day was a roaring success and helped scores upon scores of students directly—with donations as small as $5.

Across campus, academic programs, student organizations, and campus initiatives were all engaged in seeking supplemental funding for specific purposes. Over 40 “micro-campaigns” were initiated to support things as various as athletic equipment to honors student travel to classroom technology and academic simulation programs. Because of the direct nature of this type of support, 767 people donated, surpassing previous years by over 240 percent.

A key aid to the student experience is that the faculty are able to do their jobs with excellence. Recently, this kind of faculty support was enhanced through a donation of $25,000 from Contractors’ Educational Trust Fund to establish a Faculty Enhancement Fund in the Industrial and Engineering Technology Department. The funds will help department faculty attend workshops, training, industry meetings, and conferences to keep them ahead of the technology and new trends in their fields of study. The contribution will also help support faculty research.

The Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at Southeastern completed a partnership with the Young Sanders Center to advance scholarly research on Louisiana and surrounding regions of the South.

The merger includes the creation of two scholarly awards—the J.Y. Sanders Research Scholar Award, designed to advance the research of an established scholar by providing a $10,000 stipend, and the Young Sanders Center Graduate Assistantship, which supports student research through a $13,000 stipend and full tuition waiver. Both awards are based in the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies.

Supported by a bequeath from Mary Elizabeth Sanders, the partnership and the accompanying awards program began this spring.

Southeastern received a newly endowed scholarship from the Hammond-Ponchatoula Sunrisers Rotary Club. A $30,000 commitment, the endowed scholarship provides a
minimum $1,000 annual award to a deserving Southeastern student who is a resident of Hammond or Ponchatoula and is involved in community service.

“This is an exciting day for the Hammond-Ponchatoula Sunrisers Rotary Club. Over six years ago our club made a commitment to Southeastern to underwrite an endowed scholarship that will benefit a deserving student from our community each year,” said Rotary President Deek DeBlieux. “That commitment has been fully-funded, and we are excited to be a partner with Southeastern.”

By providing for a scholarship, this regional Rotary Club helps to ensure today’s students become future community advocates and volunteers.

After the floods in the region in 2016, the Southeastern support community jumped into
action to help students in need. The same can be said for the current COVID-19 pandemic, with students finding themselves in a quickly changed environment with
much uncertainty.

Each year, Southeastern appeals to donors for various causes and needs on campus. This spring, the annual appeal requested help for the Student Emergency Fund or areas of greatest need. Donors and supporters, like you, offered assistance like never before. Such funds can help students who find themselves in a short-term problematic situation needing immediate monetary resources. There are students who are one flat tire away from having to leave school. The Student Emergency Fund works to prevent unseen
challenges from stopping student success.

Philanthropy comes in many shapes and sizes, from many, many supporters. These
examples show that financial support does make an impact, regardless of amount,
across campus and across the student careers of so many.

By Mike Rivault

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