$7.575M Gift to Advance LSU’s Scholarship First Agenda will Support Scholarships, Veterans and New Pathway Initiative

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, November 16, 2022

   BATON ROUGE – LSU will achieve transformative progress in scholarship funding and support for military veterans via a $7.575 million gift to elevate the College of Engineering’s S & B Engineers and Constructors Scholarships, catalyze the new Future Scholars Pipeline Initiative and establish the William A. Brookshire Veterans Law Clinic.

            This latest gift to LSU by the William A. Brookshire Foundation continues the legacy of the late LSU alumnus William Alfred “Bill” Brookshire, Ph.D., who earned master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from LSU after becoming the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. Throughout his life, Dr. Brookshire honored his appreciation for his LSU education by giving generously to the university. His philanthropic focus at LSU – which continues through this new gift – was on providing scholarships to working students and ensuring access to holistic on-campus support for military veterans and their families while commemorating the university’s military heritage.

            The Brookshire family shared, “Our father deeply valued his LSU experience and believed in supporting those who are working to improve their lives for the benefit of their families, communities and chosen industries. He was grateful to have had the opportunity to build a successful career and always held the selfless service of our military is the highest esteem. This fueled for him a passion for being part of transforming lives through higher education and investing in the service men and women who have invested so generously in our country. We carry that legacy forward on his behalf.”

S & B Engineering and Constructors Scholarship

            The Brookshire family’s leading area of investment through this $7.575 million gift is $6 million in support of the LSU College of Engineering’s highly successful Brookshire Scholars program. Since the S & B Engineers and Constructors Scholarship was established in 2010, more than 1,900 LSU Engineering juniors and seniors have received life-changing financial relief as Brookshire Scholars. Students who maintain a combined coursework and employment workload of at least 30 hours and a grade point average of at least 2.5 are eligible to apply. To date, Brookshire Scholars have achieved a 97 percent graduation rate, exceeding the university’s overall graduation rates. Funding to close the educational access gap for students with financial need is especially important as LSU’s student body continues to outpace university records for enrollment; gifts like the Brookshire family’s ensure that as students progress in their college journeys, crucial retention dollars are available to bridge financial needs with their aspirations to graduate from college. Long-term, the return on this investment will be realized over the span of recipients’ careers through their impact as engineers who can transform ideas into reality to solve society’s problems and improve quality of life for all.

Future Scholars Pipeline Initiative

            The Brookshire family has dedicated $975,000 of this gift to catalyze a joint effort by several donors – with a goal of inspiring others to join them – to launch the LSU Future Scholars Pipeline Initiative. This new scholarship program, which expands upon similar programs with proven track records at peer universities, will create a college pathway for hundreds of children enrolled in public schools in East Baton Rouge Parish, where LSU sits. LSU will form cohorts of local middle and high school students, starting in seventh grade, to receive dedicated resources, mentorship and other support spanning their college experience and extending to a cohort of doctoral students. Such pathway programs are a cornerstone for the success of LSU’s Scholarship First Agenda and are expected to become increasingly important as LSU continues to adjust to the evolving demands and opportunities within higher education, including responsiveness to removing barriers to enrolling in college.

William A. Brookshire Veterans Law Clinic

            The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center will establish the William A. Brookshire Veterans Law Clinic through $600,000 in support from the Brookshire family’s gift. The new clinic will expand LSU Law’s slate of experiential learning-focused clinics by providing legal services and support to active members or veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guards. The Brookshire Veterans Law Clinic will meet the legal needs of veterans who are appealing their claims before the federal Board of Veterans’ Appeals at no cost to those veterans while providing invaluable experiential learning to LSU Law students under the careful guidance of seasoned faculty. The clinic will start operation in the 2023 spring semester through collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

            “The Brookshire family’s confidence in LSU to improve lives has been transformative for our College of Engineering students and Tiger veterans and has honored the sacrifices of the many LSU students and alumni who have served our country through the military,” said William F. Tate IV, LSU President. “This new investment of funding will expand what has already been a remarkable impact, further elevating the scope and impact of our scholarships and our service to veterans. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Brookshire family as we strive to achieve the bold aims of our Scholarship First Agenda.”

            Over the last nearly 20 years, in addition to this latest transformative gift, investments in LSU students made possible through the Brookshire family’s generosity have included transformative gifts to create scholarships and graduate assistantships, provide emergency support to students impacted by unforeseen crises and bring the College of Engineering’s nation-leading Patrick F. Taylor Hall facilities to life. The family also made leadership gifts to the LSU William A. Brookshire Military & Veterans Student Center, which is dedicated to helping veterans, service members, dependents and survivors succeed in higher education, and to establish the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum, recently completed as part of renovations to LSU’s Memorial Tower.

            The Brookshire family’s newest broadly impactful gift advances LSU’s visionary Scholarship First Agenda, which aims to build a more healthy, prosperous and secure future for every Louisianan and communities around the world.