View a recording of today’s meeting here.


More Scholars Reached Thanks to Partnership with Verizon and Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Verizon are partnering with the University of Louisiana System Foundation to support the first cohort of the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars.  

“In only six months our first cohort has shown great promise as they have advanced academically and socially,” UL System Vice President of Advancement Claire Norris said. “This program would not be possible without community partnerships, and we are so appreciative of Verizon and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana for their investment in our scholars.”   

Verizon is supporting the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars with human capital in the form of 70 V-Teamers to serve as mentors and financially in the amount of $25,000.  

“On behalf of Verizon, we are proud to partner with the University of Louisiana System Foundation to help cultivate diversity and enhance the collegiate experience for Black males”, said Tandra LeMay, State Government Affairs, Verizon. “The Scholars program aligns with Verizon’s commitment to educational equity and to enrich the learning experience for students”.         

Blue Cross and Blue Shield was the first statewide organization to partner monetarily. They have also committed to providing mentorship and internships for the Scholars. 

“Blue Cross is committed to improving the health and lives of people throughout Louisiana. Partnering with the UL System through the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars program allows us to support promising young people from diverse backgrounds as they pursue their academic and professional careers throughout our state and, in doing so, make Louisiana an even better place to live in the years to come” said Michael Tipton, head of community relations for BCBSLA and president of the BCBSLA Foundation. 

These partnerships bring the UL System closer to reaching its goal of $1.5 million to support the first three cohorts of Reginald F. Lewis Scholars, a hallmark program to enhance the collegiate experience of Black males attending UL System member institutions. 

Click here to learn more about the program.  



This year’s Universities of Louisiana For Our Future Conference will be held March 10 – 11 in Natchitoches. Faculty and staff are encouraged to register early as space is limited.  

Conference programming details will soon be announced. Sessions will highlight three tracks: Core Community: Engaging the student holistically, Core Mission: Fulfilling our purpose through teaching and research, and Core Performance: Operating through a lens of stewardship and strategic growth. The System also introduced two priority themes—diversity and inclusion and modernization and technology—which will be highlighted throughout the event. 

All conference information including registration can be found at ulsystem.edu/conference. 


The University of Louisiana System’s Reginald F. Lewis Scholars are presenting a statewide tour of the exhibit “Carrying on a Dream” which features regional civil rights artifacts and a rare display of the hearse that carried civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s body at the time of his death more than 50 years ago. 

Todd Graves, founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s, led the preservation of the hearse and, through its exhibit, wants to remind Louisianians what Martin Luther King, Jr. contributed to society. “It’s important that the next generation really understands how the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the world,” said Graves. “Many of us did not get a chance to hear MLK during his lifetime, so I am hoping they will be able to appreciate him and his work through this tribute to honor his life.”   

The Reginald F. Lewis Scholars are working to ensure the tour’s success through various roles. “This exhibit provides our Scholars the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than themselves,” UL System President Jim Henderson said. “Honoring the legacy of Dr. King will inspire them to dream even bigger as individuals and for others.”  

The Reginald F. Lewis Scholars program enhances the educational experience for exemplary Black male students. Two students from each of the System’s nine member institutions are participating in the inaugural cohort of the three-year program focusing on key areas—academics, social advancement and community service.   

Tour stop information is available below. Additional stops will be added. For the latest information visit ulsystem.edu/rflewis-scholars/mlk-traveling-exhibit. 

Jan. 16 – Jan. 18
Ruston, LA
Location: Louisiana Tech Student Center, 100 Wisteria Street
Times: Sunday noon – 8 p.m., Monday – Tuesday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 
Partners: Louisiana Tech, Grambling State University, ULM 

Jan. 20 – Feb. 5
Natchitoches, LA
Location: Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, 800 Front St. 
Times: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
Partners: Northwestern State University, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum 

Feb. 7 – Feb. 10
Lake Charles, LA
Location: Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Dr. 
Times: 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.  
Partners: McNeese State University, City of Lake Charles, Ward 3 Marshal Nathan Keller 

Feb. 14 – Feb. 19
Lafayette, LA
Location: Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston St.
Times: TBD
Partners: University of Louisiana at Lafayette 


Nicholls State University: approval to negotiate and purchase a commercial building located at 203 West Second Street, Thibodaux, Louisiana, formerly occupied by Capital One Bank.