GRAMBLING, La. (Press Release) - The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Foundation awarded Grambling State University’s Prentiss C. Smiley with the top scholarship during the 32nd Annual Jazz Scholarship Brunch.
Smiley was one of more than 20 students from GSU and Southern University to compete for the $1,000 grand prize.
“I am honored to have been chosen as the top scholarship recipient. It is evident that the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus understands the necessity for students to have the appropriate educational resources, financial support, and moral support, as they pursue college degrees,” said Smiley. “The caucus could have easily raised funds for some other cause, but they put education first. This is symbolic of their investment in Louisiana and America’s future.”
Smiley is a double major in computer information systems and history 4 + 1 and has a 3.91 cumulative grade point average. When he graduates, he will earn two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in history. Smiley has been involved in a number of community service projects, including Habitat for Humanity, the Fuller Center and working with people 50 years old and older to help them learn more about technology.
Students were judged for their academic excellence, community involvement and writing skills. The scholarship was awarded during the annual Bayou Classic weekend in New Orleans in November. The purpose of the brunch is to celebrate legends, legacies and leaders, and raise funds to help educate young people.
“We are grateful to the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus for establishing and awarding this scholarship. It serves as an extension of their commitment to educating our students,” said Ellen Smiley, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are proud that Prentiss is the recipient of this distinguished scholarship.”
Prentiss Smiley, president of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College, is from Homer, Louisiana. He is a Baptist minister and serves as associate minister at Starlight Baptist Church in Swartz, Louisiana, where his father is the pastor. He is the son of Rory Bedford and Ellen Smiley.