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Released: September 2, 1999

Board of Regents Presents ULM with Eminent Scholars Money

Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, Commissioner of Higher Education for the Louisiana State Board of Regents, presented University of Louisiana at Monroe officials with matching funds Thursday for ULM's latest Endowed Chair for Eminent Scholar and Endowed Professorships.

The presentation came at a press conference in the Media Briefing Room of the University Library.

With the funds, ULM now boasts nine $1 million Endowed Chairs, eight provided by the Regents Support Fund, and 35 Endowed Professorships. The Board of Regents presented ULM with $400,000 for the latest Endowed Chair and $80,000 for two new Endowed Professorships.

The newest Endowed Chair will be the Mary E. and Darrell L. Calhoun Chair in Pharmacology. The professorships will be the Bank One Professorship in Teaching Education, with an emphasis on Teaching Excellence and the Vernon W. "Bodie" McCrory First Amendment Professorship in Mass Communication.

Funded by the Calhoun Foundation, the Calhoun Chair is a memorial to Mary and Darrell Calhoun. The Calhouns' association with the University spans four decades, with the late Mary Calhoun and the Calhouns' three children all having earned degrees from ULM. Mrs. Calhoun, a retired Ouachita Parish school teacher, died in 1983 and her husband, Darell, an employee of Olin Paper Mill for 42 years, passed away in 1987. Their son, Dr. Milburn Calhoun, spoke on behalf of the Calhoun Foundation and the University at Thursday's press conference.

The Bank One Endowed Professorship in Teaching Excellence is the second professorship at ULM devoted specifically to outstanding instruction. These two professorships are unique in that they are based on academic credentials, rather than outstanding scholarship or research. The Bank One Endowed Professorship represents a significant investment in the future of the State because of the lifelong positive influence the outstanding teaching faculty who hold the Professorship will have on their students.

The Vernon W. "Bodie" McCrory Professorship in Mass Communications is named in honor of the former publisher of the Monroe News Star. He was a major force in helping the University's journalism program grow during the early 1980s.

Private funding for the McCrory Professorship was raised through the Miller Lite First Amendment Open golf tournament and contributions made by the Gannett Foundation/News Star, Helen McCrory, Northeast Louisiana Ad Club, Monroe Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana, and Tim Brando.

This chair and these professorships are among the 44 top professors and four academic chairs which are being added at seven schools in the University of Louisiana System this year, thanks in large part to millions of dollars in endowments contributed by alumni, businesses and other private sources. Endowed Professorships have grown from 26 to 222 since 1991 and Endowed Chairs from seven to 31 over the same time.

"The endowment trends are very encouraging for our System," University of Louisiana System President Bobby Jindal said recently. "In six years, we more than tripled the number of endowed professorships, and in five years, we more than doubled the number of endowed chairs."

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