The Fall 2008 semester marked the arrival of the third class of Mirabeau Scholars to Lamar University.

Local students receiving the 2008 Mirabeau Scholarships are Brett Bertles and Madison Davis, both of Bridge City.

The arrival at Lamar of this year’s 14 brings the total Mirabeau scholars on campus to 45.

Other Orange County students on Mirabeau Scholarships are: Drew Davidson, Orangefield; Matthew Ivy, Bridge City; Lauren James, Bridge City; Mark Placette, Bridge City; Brian Slacum, Orangefield; Gregory Watson, Bridge City; Carly Wright, Bridge City; and Brittney Zenos, Bridge City.

“The Mirabeau Scholarship is one of the most prestigious and competitive scholarships we offer,” said Stephen Doblin, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Mirabeau Scholars are held to a higher level of academic performance because these students are among our best and brightest.”

Each scholarship carries a value of $60,000 and covers all expenses. 

Any scholarships or awards the student receives from sources independent of the university are applied to their account and used
first, allowing students to use the Mirabeau funds for other expenses, such as summer school or a computer, Doblin said.

“The Mirabeau scholarship is not tied to a specific major,” Doblin said. “If a student comes in as a chemical engineering major and they change their major to music, they don’t lose their scholarship.”

With complete tuition, room and board assistance, plus a stipend for books and living expenses, the financial benefits to the students are obvious.

For some scholars, the financial benefits will extend far into the future. Freshman Madison Davis of Bridge City, a history major, said receiving the scholarship will allow her to begin saving for law school much sooner than she had anticipated.

But the scholarship’s benefits are not only financial. Living on campus gives scholars the ability to network with each other, be involved in campus activities and student organizations, and devote themselves to their studies.

The students, however, are not the only beneficiaries of the scholarship. The university benefits as well.

“The university, in my view, benefits from having good students who live on campus who are involved in university activities and who hopefully push their fellow students to excel,” Doblin said.

The scholars’ presence in the classroom enhances the academic environment because they ask questions and participate in class discussions, he said.

The scholars also attract other students to the university. “When students who can go anywhere in the country decide to come to Lamar, their friends notice, parents notice and counselors notice,” Doblin said. “When people see how much the scholarship means in relation to the tuition, people come.”

The scholars realize that they are fortunate to have received the gift of education. It is a gift they do not take lightly, and they are
quick to express their gratitude to those who have made it possible.

“I would just like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in make this scholarship possible,” said Brett Bertles of Bridge City, a
freshman majoring in chemical engineering. “So many students who would not have been able to pay their way through college have been given renewed hope for their futures along with a feeling of accomplishment; that their hard work in high school finally paid off.”

Mirabeau Scholarships are awarded to outstanding high school students who have met the rigorous requirements for the scholarship. To be considered for a scholarship, students must have achieved an SAT score of 1250 or higher or a composite ACT score of at least 28, and demonstrated excellence in prior academic work. In addition, documented excellence in a variety of leadership, service, and/or creative endeavors is expected.

To maintain the scholarship, scholars must maintain a 3.5 GPA, participate in the University Honors Program and be involved in one or more of the following: student leadership, student government, Lamar Ambassadors, peer advisors or participate in undergraduate research. The 2008 Mirabeau Scholarship recipients scored an average 1357 on the SAT exams.

To learn more about Lamar University, visit or call
(409) 880-8888 for information on admissions.