Pictured from left are Evangeline Parish Assistant Superintendent of Schools Michael Lombas, Dr. Gwen Fontenot, Kerry Higginbotham, Billie Nezat, Emily Reed, Veronica Bellon, and Johnny Deshotel. (Gazette photo by Nancy Duplechain)
Scholarship established for Evangeline Parish public school graduates
Evangeline Parish Schools Superintendent Darwan Lazard announces the donation of an endowed University of Louisiana at Lafayette academic scholarship for Evangeline Parish public school graduates. The Ivy and Edley (Kye) Fontenot Memorial Scholarship was created by their daughter, Dr. Gwen Fontenot, Vidrine resident and alumna of the former Vidrine High School, and Associate Professor of Marketing at UL Lafayette.
The purpose of the Fund is to provide academic scholarships to students who meet the following eligibility requirements:
Must have an ACT composite of 23 or greater or SAT composite of 1130 or greater
Must be admitted to the University as a full-time student
Must be an Evangeline Parish, LA resident
Must be a graduate of an Evangeline Parish Public School System high school (Ville Platte High, Pine Prairie High, Mamou High, or Basile High) with preference given to an incoming freshman
Must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA to be eligible
May be majoring in any undergraduate degree program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The amount of the scholarship is dependent on the annual earnings of the endowed principal.
The award has recently ranged between $1,000 and $1,300 per year. Students are eligible to apply to renew the scholarship as long as they maintain the specific criteria.
“I have provided this scholarship in memory of my parents who instilled in me a desire to learn and provided me with every opportunity to do so,” commented Fontenot. A graduate of Vidrine High School, Dr. Fontenot completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education-Business, Master of Business degree at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana University) and doctorate degree in Philosophy with a major in Marketing from the University of North Texas. She has spent the past 30+ years in both industry and academia with the past 20+ years at UL Lafayette as a marketing faculty member, department head of marketing and hospitality management, and interim dean of the B. I. Moody III College of Business.
Fontenot explained her passion for education and giving back through this scholarship. “Having achieved minimum levels of education, my parents were lifelong learners gaining knowledge from their experiences, jobs, and any available resources and people. They both had successful business careers in Evangeline Parish and taught me the importance of education and helping others. The support of my parents, teachers, and the local community made it possible for me to complete undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral degrees. Having been reared and educated through the public-school system in Evangeline Parish (Vidrine) and having been taught to give back, it is my desire to help others with similar backgrounds to achieve their educational and career goals. It is my wish that my parents’ values and drive will live on through this scholarship and that it will make a difference in the lives of the recipients so they, too, will be successful and give back to their communities.”
The scholarship will be managed by the Scholarship Office at UL-Lafayette. Applications are accepted annually with deadline dates announced by the Scholarship Office. Applications will be sent to high school counselors in September for incoming freshmen the following year. If no freshman qualifies for the scholarship, it will be awarded to a non-freshman student who meets the same criteria. For these students, applications can be obtained from the UL Scholarship Office simply by referencing the name of the scholarship (Ivy and Edley (Kye) Fontenot Memorial Scholarship). All UL prospective and current undergraduate students are encouraged to apply annually.