Reginald F. Lewis Scholars honored at Universities of Louisiana System Black Male Summit

Ian Robinson Monroe News Star

The University of Louisiana Monroe hosted a luncheon and pinning ceremony Thursday where they honored 18 African American men from the University of Louisiana System’s nine-member universities.

The second group of Reginald F. Lewis Scholars were pinned by the UL System board chair Liz Pierre, former board chair James Carter and UL System president and CEO Jim Henderson.

The ceremony was the culmination of a two-day Black Male Summit at ULM, which sought to identify solutions for systematic barriers and new opportunities for Black male faculty, staff and students in the UL System.

“In just a minute, you’re going to follow the footsteps of those who came before you and then you’re going to get a pin put in your lapel,” Henderson said during the ceremony. “A pin that says the word ‘scholar’ underneath the logo you’re used to seeing. You’re joining a brotherhood whose history is just now being written. But 20 years from now, when one of you is standing on this stage as UL System president, you’ll be able to shake hands with the 20th cohort of the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars.”
The 18 recipients were chosen for the program based on academic merit, financial need and demonstrated leadership skills.

The 2022 Reginald F. Lewis Scholars are:

Grambling State University: Korde’ Cortez and Kamerius Palmer
Louisiana Tech University: Brandon Terrance and Joseph Johnson
McNeese University: Cadenley Francois and Chima Owunna
Nichols State University: Deon Charles and Charleston Rainey
Northwestern State University: Jairus Killings and Caiden Matthews
Southeastern Louisiana University: Nicholas Gibson and Joshua Randall
University of Louisiana at Lafayette: Frank Clavelle and Isaiah Crawford
University of Louisiana at Monroe: Braxton Jackson and Eric Lair, Jr.
University of New Orleans: Brandon Everett and Brandon “Blue” Irvin

In addition to a full-tuition scholarship, recipients will participate in the community experience which includes a partnership with the Universities of Louisiana Management & Leadership Institute and a service learning project; the social experience which includes an annual focused retreat and academic, social and professional mentorship from business, community and university leaders; and the academic experience which includes research projects and a study-abroad opportunity in their junior year.

Congressman Troy Carter (D-New Orleans) and Loida Lewis, the widow of Reginald F. Lewis, made appearances at the luncheon and pinning ceremony via pre-recorded videos.

In addition to the new scholars, outstanding faculty members from the Universities of Louisiana, including a scholar from the cohort, were recognized during the summit.

James Cailler Servant Leader Award: Ruben Henderson at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Sam Speed at Louisiana Tech University

James Cailler Innovation and Inclusion Award: Krisshunn Youngblood at McNeese State University and Devonia Love-Vaughn at Louisiana Tech University

James Carter Exemplary Leadership Award: Ebenezer Aggrey, Reginald F. Lewis Scholar at Northwestern State University

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