Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Louisiana Economic Development grant during an event Friday that celebrated Waitr’s new downtown headquarters.
Five incoming freshmen at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette received scholarships in honor of one of Lafayette’s most famous sons - Ambassador Jefferson Caffery.
Two Lafayette students along with three from New Iberia, Breaux Bridge and Baton Rouge received Jefferson Caffery Scholarships at the start of the Fall 2003 semester. The scholarship requires the candidate be a National Merit Semifinalist or Finalist, and have an ACT score of 30+ or equivalent SAT score and a 3.0 GPA.
This year’s winners include Scott Hasten of Baton Rouge, Nicholas Henderson of Lafayette, Catherine Riley of Lafayette, Jennifer Roy of New Iberia and Lindsey Thibodeaux of Breaux Bridge.
“It’s especially exciting to see such a wonderful group of students receive such a scholarship,” said Adele Bulliard, director of scholarships at UL Lafayette. “It’s a great scholarship for our students and it was created in honor of a wonderful man.”
Jefferson Caffery Scholarship students receive more than $26,000 including $1,500 per semester for four years, use of a laptop computer, participation in the UL Lafayette France program, a housing scholarship and an on-campus job. In addition, students may receive other academic scholarships.
“This scholarship is very beneficial to its recipients,” said Bulliard. “It creates many opportunities for students to excel in their studies and realize their full academic potential.”
Dr. Philip Dur, who authored a biography of Caffery, said this scholarship forever recognizes a man who represented the Acadiana area and its heritage.
“Jefferson Caffery was a man who was admired by his counterparts and appreciated by later generations,” said Dur, a former Jefferson Caffery Professor of Political Science at UL Lafayette. “He was a hero.”
Caffery, who was born in Lafayette in 1886, was a member of the first class of the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute (now UL Lafayette). He began a series of travels and adventures starting in 1911 when he entered the foreign service.
He traveled to Persia in 1916, to Paris after World War I with President Wilson’s peacemakers then to Washington to arrange details for visits by the King of Belgium and the Prince of Wales. In 1920, he was second in command at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. After time in Athens, Tokyo, Brussels, Berlin and El Salvador, Caffery served as ambassador to Cuba.
He served in the foreign service for 43 years under five presidents, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.
Ambassador Caffery died in 1974 at age 87 and is buried with is wife Gertrude behind St. John’s Cathedral in Lafayette.
For more information about UL Lafayette scholarships, contact the Scholarship Office at (337) 482-6515.
PICTURED: From left: Lindsey Thibodeaux, Jennifer Roy, Nicholas Henderson, Catherine Riley and Scott Hasten.