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September 28, 2006

ULM alum leaves legacy of Caldwell Parish high school teacher

Charles Freeman Stamper, a 1968 ULM graduate, wants to continue the legacy of his beloved high school English teacher Frances Morris. Today, Stamper presented President James Cofer with a $40,000 check to add to his endowed scholarship, the Frances Morris Memorial Scholarship, and a $10,000 check to benefit the Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center.

Stamper, who grew up in rural Columbia, was not planning to attend college, but Frances Morris wouldn't hear of it. She encouraged him not only to attend college, but to also live on campus. Stamper has never forgotten that encouragement — encouragement that led him to where he is today, an extremely successful executive consultant in California.

Eventually, Stamper's entire estate, valued at over a million dollars, will benefit the memorial scholarship.

Stamper said, "She made connections for me, and the ability to move out on my own and live on campus and be exposed to a world never experienced before, changed my life ... The most important thing I'd like for each of you to take with you today is the importance of a simple little action that may mean nothing to you, but it could change someone else's life. That what this is for because that's what Frances Morris did for me."

Cofer expressed his appreciation for the generous donation. "This is a wonderful memorial scholarship fund that will benefit generations of our future students. Equally important is Freeman’s investment in our students’ success by naming a Counselor’s Room in our new Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center. We are very appreciative.”

Barry Delcambre, vice chancellor of academic and student affairs at La Delta Community College, is a longtime friend of Stamper's. Stamper's character is one to be admired, Delcambre said.

"The measure of a person is not in his net worth—what he accumulates in wealth and riches—the measure of a person is in his self worth ... What we honor today is Freeman's self worth—his willingness to give back a precious gift that money can't even buy: to help other students with similar struggles. His daunting spirit of giving back to a place, an institution, and to faculty and staff who have passed through these walls, who never doubted the potential of a young student to succeed, will always be remembered."

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