LSUA recently received matching funds to create an Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship.
Louisiana State University of Alexandria and Cleco Corporation are proud to announce the Scott O. Brame/Cleco Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship to be housed in the LSUA Department of Business Administration.
Today, LSUA was awarded $400,000 in matching funds from the Louisiana Board of Regents in order to make the endowed chair position a reality. These funds will be combined with an additional $600,000 previously contributed to the university by Cleco to create the $1 million endowment.
The primary goal of this position is the enhancement of the central Louisiana region by establishing a stronger educational program in entrepreneurship and business that will lead to the expansion of both regional and state economies.
The chair will also be heavily involved with the business community in order to promote entrepreneurial resources available to start-up businesses, develop appropriate research and publication initiatives and mentor colleagues as well as students on opportunities for business education.
“We are very excited about this position and what it will mean not only to LSUA, but to the central Louisiana business community at large including programs such as the CLEDA, GAEDA and the City of Alexandria Business Incubator. LSUA and Cleco have been working toward the goal for some time and we are pleased that years of hard work have come to fruition,” said LSUA Chancellor Dr. Dan Howard.
On campus, this position benefits the LSUA Department of Business Administration by helping the department obtain AACSB accreditation which will enhance the recruiting of highly skilled faculty and talented students.
The name of the position is the result of the generosity of Cleco toward LSUA and the dedication of Scott O. Brame.
“Cleco is pleased to honor one of its past leaders by supporting the spirit of entrepreneurship through the endowed chair at LSUA,” said Bruce Williamson, president and CEO of Cleco Corporation. “Scott’s passion for education, community growth and business excellence is embodied through this endowed chair. We could think of no better way to pay tribute to this great community leader than to support the ideals that he advanced as CEO of Cleco.”
Brame began his career at Cleco in 1949 as an “unclassified trainee” and eventually retired from the company in 1993 as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, he is a former chairman of the board of directors at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana and the LSUA Foundation. Brame also served as a longstanding member of the Louisiana Board of Regents.
“As a past member of the Board of Regents, I know the extreme rigor of the approval process and LSUA deserves credit for achieving this success,” said Brame. “But the kingpin of all of this is Cleco Corporation which provided the $600,000 necessary the secure the State’s matching $400,000 of funds. And as a Cleco retiree, I know this is just one of the many good things Cleco does in the central Louisiana community.”
The $600,000 gift from Cleco is one of the largest gifts in the history of the university. Cleco is based in Pineville, Louisiana and began operation in 1935. Now serving over 280,000 customers, the company employees approximately 2,000 people making it one of the largest employers in the state.
“It is a great honor for me and my family to have the chair registered in my name and I express sincere thanks to Cleco people for that,” Brame said.
Cleco’s economic development team works with local, regional and state economic development organizations to promote economic growth for Louisiana. They are committed to retaining existing customers and bringing new businesses and jobs to Cenla. The gift to fund the Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship is an extension of Cleco’s strong support of economic growth in Cenla and sizeable investment in LSUA.
A nationwide search for the right candidate will begin as soon as possible with the goal of having the position filled by the 2014-1015 school year.