LSU College of Engineering Honors Legacy of William Brookshire

5/15/2017Dr. William Brookshire

William Alfred (Bill) Brookshire, Co-Founder and Chairman of S&B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd., LSU College of Engineering alumnus and Hall of Distinction inductee, and strong supporter of LSU, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of Friday, April 21 at his home on the Neches River outside his hometown of Lufkin, Texas.

Brookshire’s legacy will not only live on through his family and company, but through LSU’s College of Engineering.

“Dr. Brookshire’s support for our students over the last decade has been unmatched,” said Judy Wornat, dean of the College of Engineering.

“Less than two months ago, 316 scholarship recipients were invited to thank Dr. Brookshire in person at an annual dinner hosted by the College,” Wornat said.

The William Brookshire Scholarship in Engineering was established in 2010, and is given to full-time undergraduate students who have a combined work and course work schedule of more than 30 hours per week. The scholarship has been awarded to over 750 students to help working students get through school. A thank-you video from scholarship recipients can be viewed here.

Leona Brown, an industrial engineering senior, has been a scholarship recipient since last spring. Unfortunately, she lost her home to the 2016 Louisiana flood. “Before I received the scholarship for the fall semester, I was working three jobs just to buy back all my materials,” Brown said. “Once I received the scholarship that helped me not having to work as much and it also helped to support myself, in terms of being able to purchase things that I needed.”

The Brookshire Crisis Fund began in 2012 to financially help students who experience an unforeseen event that severely impedes their ability to continue with their education. The most recent example of this fund’s impact, was after the flood of 2016 where more than 60 students were given financial assistance. Other examples of those assisted by this fund include students suffering from medical emergencies, transportation issues, being a victim of violent crime, or loss of employment.

Brookshire most recently established a fund for faculty as well. The William A. Brookshire Award for Teaching Excellence honors full-time faculty members in the College of Engineering who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to exemplifying the highest levels of excellence inside the classroom. 

In addition, the William A. Brookshire Graduate Assistantship in Chemical Engineering provides support to doctoral students and assists the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering in attracting some of the best postgraduate students in the field.

These are just a few examples of Brookshire’s support for higher education. He has also made an impact on the University at large through gifts for the renovation of Memorial Tower, construction of a new Military and Veterans Students Center, and the renovation and expansion of Patrick F. Taylor Hall. The S&B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd. website indicates that support for college students will continue through the William A. Brookshire Foundation.

A memorial for Brookshire will held on May 19, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. at University of Houston, in the Houston Room of the Student Center-South. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for charitable gifts in memory of their father to the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston, the LSU College of Engineering, or another charity of choice.

About William A. Brookshire

Brookshire received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Houston in 1957. He then enrolled in the graduate program at LSU, where he earned his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering in 1959 and 1961, respectively. In 1967, Brookshire invested his life savings of $7,000 and borrowed an additional $3,000 to start S & B Engineers and Constructors with James Slaughter Sr. The business grew from those two employees to more than 7,500 employees globally. Brookshire was inducted into LSU’s College of Engineering Hall of Distinction in 2013 for his significant contributions to the engineering profession.

He is survived by his three children Lori and her husband John Garrison, James (Brook) and his wife Julie Brookshire, and Christina (Crissy) Brookshire, as well as his grandchildren William (Will) Brookshire, Connor Garrison, and Caroline Garrison.

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Laura J. Odenwald, assistant manager of digital marketing, LSU College of Engineering