The fall 2015 semester will mark the arrival of the 10th class of Mirabeau Presidential Scholars to Lamar University.

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

Local students joining Lamar as Mirabeau Presidential Scholars will be: Madison Chilton, Vidor High School, political science; Victoria Granger, Orangefield High School, business education and Jessica Healy, Vidor High School, biology.

These new Mirabeau Presidential Scholars will join current Mirabeau Presidential Scholars in participation in the university’s Honors College that offers enriched classes in the entire university core curriculum, upper-level interdisciplinary classes and seminars, enhanced classes in many majors, and opportunities for independent study, honors contracts and the honors thesis. Honors students are encouraged and supported in the conduct of research, participation in study abroad, and the publication of their work with faculty mentors regionally and nationally, Doblin said.

Each scholarship carries a value of more than $80,000 over eight semesters of support 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 academic-related expenses such as research, study abroad, or extended learning with the approval of their department chair, college dean and the provost, Doblin said.

“The Mirabeau Presidential Scholarship is not tied to a specific major,” Doblin said. “If a scholar decides during the course of the degree to change major, he or she doesn’t lose the scholarship.”

With complete tuition, fees, room and board coverage, plus a stipend for books and supplies, the financial benefit to the students is obvious. The university benefits as well, Doblin said, “from having exceptional students who live on campus, who are involved in university activities, and who hopefully push their fellow students to excel.” The scholars’ presence in the classroom enhances the academic environment because they ask insightful questions and participate actively in class discussions, he said.

Mirabeau Presidential Scholarships are awarded to outstanding high school students who have met the rigorous requirements for the scholarship. Just to be considered for the scholarship, students must achieve an SAT score of 1250 (excluding the writing score) 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.  The average SAT of this 2015 class is nearly 1400 (mathematics + critical reading), Doblin said.

To maintain the scholarship, scholars must maintain a cumulative, annual GPA of at least 3.5, participate in the University Honors College and be involved actively in one or more of the following student activities: leadership, student government, Lamar Ambassadors, Peer Advisors and undergraduate research.

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