The University of Louisiana embarked on its first campaign to raise $4.5 million specifically for endowed scholarships today. Best-selling novelist Rebecca Wells, the honorary campaign chair, helped launch the public phase of the campaign.

Almost $2.7 million was raised during the initial phase of the campaign.

"The university is committed to student success and we have identified several ways to help students reach their academic goals,” said UL President Joseph Savoie.

"The Campaign for Scholarships is a key component of these efforts. In today’s competitive climate, it’s imperative for the university to provide scholarship aid to students who show academic promise, especially those who may need financial assistance.”

Wells, a native of Louisiana, is the author of four books including Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a New York Times bestseller that was made into a motion picture in 2002.

"Louisiana has bright students who are ready for the academic challenges of higher education. But they also face significant financial challenges. By helping to provide scholarships, we can make higher education a more attainable goal,” she said.

Wells, an LSU alumna, has family ties to UL where two of her nieces are alumnae. Emily Wells Moody earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations in 2007 and Claire Moody received a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management in 2008.

Scholarship endowments are permanent investments in UL students. When a donor creates an endowed scholarship, the principal is never spent. Rather, it is permanently invested and part of the earnings is used to provide scholarship support to students.

The university has several endowed scholarship levels, including $10,000, $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 endowed scholarships. Corporate matching gifts are also available. Businesses can match contributions to UL made by their employees.

Another opportunity for giving is the First Generation Endowed Scholarship at UL. This scholarship would be available to qualified students who are the first in their families to earn a college degree.

"In some cases, a scholarship offer can influence a bright student’s decision to attend UL,” said Savoie. “For some students, a scholarship offer determines whether they will pursue a college degree at all. We are inviting the community to make a difference in a student’s life with a gift to this campaign.”

For more information about the Campaign for Scholarships or other donor opportunities, please contact the Office of Development at (337) 482-0922 or click here.

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