Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) has received a $10,000 grant from the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention to help retain first-time freshmen admitted to the University in 2011 and 2012. By providing this financial assistance to these students, the grant is expected to have a positive impact on the SUNO’s graduation rate.
Many students have families to support and other life situations that prevent them from having access to needed dollars to finish their college education within a six-year period, which is the benchmark used for determining universities’ graduation rates. The Lott Carey grant will provide needed resources to 65 students.
Several people played an important role in the University being selected to receive the grant. The Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr., a member of the Southern University Board of Supervisors, worked with Dr. Brandon K. Dumas, vice chancellor for Student Affairs at Southern University and A&M College, and Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley, executive secretary-treasurer of Lott Carey, to determine which Southern University System campus would best benefit from the $10,000 grant.
“Because of Dr. Dumas’ experience with home and foreign missions through this church, we were able to receive his valuable guidance and input,” Tolbert said. “Through collective wisdom and effort, SUNO was selected as the recipient of the funds.”
In addition to helping the 2011 and 2012 students, the grant will help College of Education students defray 50 percent of the registration fees for PRAXIS 1, the licensure exam they are required to pass before graduation.
This grant comes at a critical time for the University. “Our retention efforts have been enhanced to assist students in meeting their targeted graduation dates to increase our graduation rate,” SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo said. “Gifts, such as the $10,000 from the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, are very important to our students. Even a small amount of assistance can determine whether a student stays in college or withdraws without receiving a degree.”