Neither Randy nor Gail Bashore attended LSU, but through their late son, Luke, and LSU’s welcoming spirit, they are Tigers. “It wasn’t until he was there a couple of years that we went down and experienced tailgating,” Gail said. “It sucks you in.”

Luke passed away the summer before his senior year in the Manship School of Mass Communication. The Bashores have honored their son’s memory through an oak endowment, a mass communication scholarship and, most recently, the Luke S. Bashore Traveling Scholar Award.

The Bashores feel that a semester away is a life-altering experience that should not be missed. “We feel so bound to help others experience the things our kids were able to do,” Gail said.

One of the first recipients, Allison Sage, spent spring 2013 studying at the University of Hull in England. She said of the trip, “Studying abroad and getting to experience firsthand how communication can spread literally to all corners of the world is really important to me. I knew that coming to a new place full of different people from different cultures would be an incredible experience, but it has exceeded all of my expectations.”

The award benefits one mass communication student per semester to study abroad, in Washington, D.C., or at the News 21 program at Arizona State University.

In lieu of birthday and Christmas gifts last year, Gail said Bashore family and friends happily made donations to the scholarship to honor Luke.
“We’re doing it to help other students,” Gail said. “We still feel like we’re Tigers.”

That help has been meaningful to Sage, who shared, “I come from a long line of LSU graduates, and although I am from out of state, my family has made sacrifices for me to stay at LSU.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2013.