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June 25, 2010

Marx family celebrated following announcement of Professorship

In a recent presentation, ULM Foundation Executive Director Dr. Don Skelton noted that another page had been added in the “continuing story of the long-standing relationship between a very special family and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.”

On Monday, June 21, ULM commemorated the generosity of this “special family” during a media event announcing the Lillian L. and Fred A. Marx Endowed Professorship in Biology.

Fred and Lillian Marx have always taken an interest in the intellectual vitality of northeast Louisiana. A decade ago they established the endowment with a goal to eventually convert the fund, matched by state monies, to an endowed professorship.

Endowed Professorships, which are managed by the ULM Foundation, are part of the Louisiana Board of Regents Endowed Professorship program. The program seeks to broaden opportunities for faculty recruitment and retention, enhance the quality of higher education in Louisiana and promote economic development in Louisiana, according to Skelton.

Each professorship provides $60,000 in non-state monies, matched by $40,000 in supplemental state dollars, to ULM.

The funding provides a boost to the importance of ULM’s research efforts, and studies of the environmental impact of the recent Gulf Coast oil spill provide one such example, according to Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Jeffrey Cass.

“It’s amazing to see generosity such as that exhibited by the Marx family,” said Cass. “We are very thankful.”

The Marx’s relationship with ULM began as the first buds of what would become Northeast Louisiana University, and eventually ULM, were being carefully tended. Through name changes and a new mascot, the Marx family always maintained support. Three of the Marx’s four children are even ULM alum as are two of their grandchildren.

“There are so many lives you have touched over the years and probably several more in the future,” said ULM President James E. Cofer Sr. “You’ve been a part of this university almost since its beginning.”

“It is an honor,” said Fred Marx, just ahead of the announcement. Marx reflected a moment before adding, “No, it is an obligation we feel we owe this university. ULM educated my whole family!”

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