On Tuesday, during the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation’s annual Distinguished Donor Reception, the group reached a milestone with the creation of a tenth endowed professorship at UL Lafayette.

Perseverance is a great way to describe a group of friends, colleagues and fellow musicians who are honoring the memory Dr. Tommy Comeaux. The Lafayette pathology doctor and musician for BeauSoleil died in 1997. That same year, a group of friends began raising money in his honor.

On Tuesday, during the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation’s annual Distinguished Donor Reception, the group reached a milestone with the creation of a tenth endowed professorship at UL Lafayette. This endowment allows for the creation of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Eminent Scholar Chair in Traditional Music at UL Lafayette.

“ I think we’ve been surprised at how many people have had the same experience with Tommy as we did,” said Todd Mouton, member of the Tommy Comeaux Fund Campaign committee. “He was an unsung hero. And, this will be a constant reminder that humility is the key.” The committee hopes the endowment will attract visiting artists who will help teach courses and offer performances to the university and Acadiana community.

It takes a total of 10 professorships or $1 million to create an endowed chair. The group created the chair by raising money through concerts and other events, one professorship at a time.

“ This group should be an inspiration to us all,” said UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie. “Their commitment to Dr. Tommy Comeaux and his memory is commendable and so is their commitment to higher education and traditional music.”

Each year, the Foundation honors its donors and its new endowments. In addition to the Comeaux professorship, nine other endowments including professorships, scholarships and athletic endowments were created.

These private donations generate funds in perpetuity. The principal from the endowment remains in a perpetual fund that continues to increase while earned income is distributed as dedicated for scholarships, professorships, faculty development or athletic funds.

Through the Board of Regents Support Fund, the state matches funds raised by the university for endowed chairs and professorships. For every $600,000 UL Lafayette receives for an endowed chair, the state matches with $400,000, bringing the total chair to $1 million. Likewise for every $60,000 the university raises for a professorship, the state matches with $40,000 to create a $100,000 endowed professorship.

“ It is our pleasure to honor and recognize these generous donors who keep the university’s tradition of top-notched faculty and excellence in education alive,” said Julie Bolton Falgout, director of UL Lafayette’s Foundation.

Those endowments recognized Tuesday include:

• Frankie Cagle Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Sociology

• Harold and Adele Comeaux Endowed Professorship in Biology

• Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Professorship in Traditional Music X (this completes the pledge of 10 endowed professorships to create the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Traditional Music

• Jay C. Gremillion Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Honors and Accounting

• Home Bank Endowed Professorships in Finance and Management

• Home Bank Athletic Endowment

• Debra H. Kite Memorial Endowed Professorship in Dietetics

• Dr. Joe Kite Endowed Professorship in Governmental Ethics

• Philip and Jean Piccione Endowed Professorship in Statistics V

• Robert E. Trahan Memorial Athletic Endowment.