Every scholarship has a story.

That story may be who inspired its creation, how it was funded, or the donor’s deep love for LSU. Whatever the story, the purpose is always to help a student receive a quality collegiate education. Fannie Guy’s story has been supporting students for more than 50 years.

In 1959, LSU alumnus Charles Guy made a pledge to create an endowed scholarship in memory of his mother, who played the organ for 40 years at First Baptist Church in Mansfield, LA. Guy fulfilled his pledge to the fledgling LSU Foundation by the end of 1961, marking the Fannie Guy Memorial Scholarship as one of the Foundation’s oldest awards.

The scholarship has grown from one $150 award each semester to supporting five students from DeSoto Parish this past spring. “I feel very honored to get a scholarship that was created so long ago,” shared biochemistry sophomore Jessica Wellborn. “It makes me feel that I met the expectations that others have met for the last 50 years, and that I can still keep the bar set high.”

As president of the parish’s LSU Alumni Association chapter, Dr. Gil Rew now serves as the scholarship’s steward, and so receives thank you letters, the list of recipients and the annual endowment report. “It is amazing to see how a gift of initially around $10,000 has been wisely invested to yield a scholarship total of over $55,000 today, while it has benefited the residential housing needs of DeSoto Parish female scholars,” Rew said of the gift’s impact.

He continued, “A gift today can yield blessings and benefits for generations, as has this one, in aiding students to receive the support they need to obtain a highly acclaimed LSU degree.”

Wellborn shared that the scholarship was a welcome reward for her hard work in high school. “I pushed myself my junior and senior year by taking all of the dual enrollment and AP classes that were offered to prepare for college,” she said. “Then, to get a little extra money for college expenses was such a relief.” Wellborn graduated from her high school as valedictorian and student of the year.

“LSU provides an excellent faculty, environment and facility for a world-class education,” Rew said. “Yet, philanthropic gifts provide that environment, and make provisions for the support system a student needs to do their best in availing themselves to the blessing of LSU.”

Published in Cornerstone Winter and Spring 2015.

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