Several Northwestern State University students were named recipients of scholarships funded by NSU alumni David and Sherry Morgan that totaled nearly $25,000 in awards for high-achieving students and first-generation students.
Scholarships were announced during the Morgan Scholarship Banquet with special guests that included Mark Springs, alumnus of NSU’s Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi and CEO of Avatar Nutrition; Sigma Sigma Sigma National President Natalie Averitt of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Pi Kappa Phi Foundation Director Chris Conner of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Members of Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority hosted the third annual event.
Long-time NSU supporters, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan created the scholarships to recognize members of Pi Kappa Phi and Sigma Sigma Sigma who are committed to going the “Extra Mile” to achieve success. Recipients of First Generation Scholarships are the first in their immediate families to attend college. Members participate in an application process that is reviewed by chapter alumni before selections are made.
Special guests included Natalie Averitt, national president of Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Chris Conner, foundation director of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, who presented Morgan with a citation of distinguished service from the national fraternity.
NSU and Pi Kappa Phi alumnus Mark Spring, chief executive officer of Avatar Nutrition, was keynote speaker and encouraged students to make going the extra mile a habit, view failures as opportunities and surround themselves with people who encourage them.
Recipients of the David D. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarship presented to members of Pi Kappa Phi are Blake Blanchard of St. Martinville, Colton Campbell of Coushatta, Jonathan Castillo of Bossier City, John Harrington of Center, Texas; Daniel Larin of Little Elm, Texas; Christian Rhodes of Gray and Char’Tarian Wilson of Shreveport.
Recipients of the Sherry F. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarships are Emily Benoit of Jennings, Elizabeth Coleman of Napoleonville, Hannah Gaspard of Buckeye, Mallory McConathy of Stonewall, Meredith Phelps of Natchitoches, Brette Reaux of Youngsville, Abigail Reynolds of Minden, Haley Sylvester of Baton Rouge and Madysen Watts of Saline.
Recipients of Morgan First Generation Scholarships are Mia Adams of Bourg, Emily Benoit of Jennings, Blake Blanchard of St. Martinville, Jonathan Castillo of Bossier City, Katie Cole of Natchitoches, Elizabeth Coleman of Napoleonville, Kaylie Couch of Haughton, Hannah Gaspard of Buckeye, Kelsi Horn of Many, McKenzie Kuhlow of Anacoco, Emily Miller of Grand Cane, Jacob Norris of Monterey, Baylie Quick of Saline, Brette Reaux of Youngsville, Josue Urbina of Logansport, Madysen Watts of Saline, Char’Tarian Wilson of Shreveport and Alanna Woodel of Natchitoches.
David Morgan, a 1973 NSU graduate and alumnus of NSU’s Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, established the Extra Mile Scholarship in 2008 to recognize members of Pi Kappa Phi who distinguish themselves through academic success, chapter leadership, campus involvement and part-time employment. The scholarship has since grown and is awarded at the national level as well as in the local chapter.
The Sherry Fargerson Morgan “Extra Mile” Scholarship for Sigma Sigma Sigma was announced in 2017 and mirrors the criteria for Pi Kappa Phi by honoring students who are outstanding and high achieving members of the chapter.
Numerous campus and community representatives joined in making the evening a special occasion. In attendance were Dr. Chris Maggio, President of Northwestern State University; Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey; Dr. Jim Henderson, President & CEO of the University of Louisiana System and wife Tonia; Natalie Averitt, Sigma Sigma Sigma National President; Chris Conner, Pi Kappa Phi Foundation Director; NSU Vice Presidents Mr. Jerry Pierce, Mrs. Frances Conine, Dr. Darlene Williams; NSU Academic Deans Dr. Greg Handel, Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, and Dr. Kimberly McAlister. Other members of the NSU faculty and staff included Dr. Drake Owens, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs; Greg Burke, Director of Athletics; Dr. Haley Blount Taitano, Associate Athletic Director, Shayne Creppel, Director of Fraternal Leadership and Civic Engagement; Jill Bankston, Associate Director of Development; Mae Jaworski Associate Director of Alumni Affairs; Leah Jackson, NSU Director of Public Information and Media Relations and Chris Reich, Supervisor of Photography.
[Media release from Northwestern State University News Bureau/ Leah Jackson]