This spring, the College was able to award an unprecedented 180 recipients with the S&B Engineers Brookshire Scholarship in Engineering, more than double the amount awarded last spring semester.
This feat was commemorated by the annual Brookshire Scholarship banquet, held March 29 at The Club at Union Square on LSU’s main campus. There, over 150 scholarship recipients were able to dine with and express their gratitude personally to the person who funded these scholarships, William A. Brookshire, co-founder and chairman of the board of S&B Engineers and Constructors.
Full-time undergraduate students who have a combined work and course load of 30 or more hours per week are eligible to apply for the Brookshire scholarship. Brookshire said that he started the scholarship in 2010 to, “help kids who are trying to help themselves.”
Computer science sophomore and scholarship recipient Bryan Kilpatrick said that he is able to carry on his family’s legacy of being an LSU Tiger by receiving this scholarship.
“My parents have worked really hard, and always have worked hard, to make sure I was able to go to this university,” Kilpatrick said. “My parents went here, my grandparents went here—my whole family—practically. It feels nice to be able to continue the legacy, and this scholarship is helping me do just that.”
The banquet opened with remarks from Interim Dean Judy Wornat, who highlighted Brookshire’s life by describing how he worked his way through school after his father funded the first semester. Brookshire went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1957 from the University of Houston and both a master’s in science and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from LSU by 1961.
He worked as a process engineering supervisor for Exxon Corporation in Houston for six years, after which he invested his life savings into creating S&B Engineers and Constructors with business partner James Slaughter, Sr. That company now employs over 7,500 people globally.
Kristofer Oubre, software engineering junior and two-time scholarship recipient, was able to share his story and the impact that Brookshire made on his life during the program.
“I’m currently 500 miles away from home, and the health status of my mother has been kind of rocky for the past couple years. Which is why at times I feel selfish for attending school when I could be right by her side,” Oubre said. “But that’s when I have to remind myself why I’m doing this. I need to remember that my family is depending on me to make it and I have to try my best not to let them down. I want to show them that anything is possible.”
Oubre, who was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA for the past three semesters while working as a parking lot attendant, ended his message with a heartfelt thank you and presented Brookshire with a keepsake scrapbook of fellow recipients’ handwritten thank you letters and photos featuring them at their respective jobs.
Oubre also introduced a short video featuring unknowing recipients being told that they were awarded with the scholarship for the semester. The video illustrated, in real time, the immediate impact that Brookshire made on the featured students’ lives and families.
Provost Rick Koubek ended the banquet with the recollection of a recent meeting with Brookshire, saying, “I had the opportunity to sit with one of the greatest people I know.”
“He says he just wants to help impact students, like all of you sitting in this room.”
Article written by M.B. Humphrey, communications assistant. Video produced by Laura J. Odenwald, assistant manager of digital marketing.