La. Tech women’s philanthropy group awards 20 grants for projects

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:56 AM CDT
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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - For the past 12 years, one group at Louisiana Tech University has been awarding grants to help students and staff at the university achieve their dreams.

The Lagniappe Ladies is an all-volunteer group of women. Founding members wanted to find a way to help the university so they started fundraising on their own and awarding grants to the most deserving projects. Now, they’re in their 12th year and they’re giving away 20 grants totaling $77,000.

“We aren’t able to do a lot of the nuts and bolts things that go on in areas of campus but knowing that we’ve contributed to help those that are doing the work, that’s a huge deal,” Lagniappe Ladies member Cathi Cox-Bonoil said. “Student success, faculty empowerment and equipping them to do the things they need to do. You just can’t get a better feeling than knowing you’ve had a small part in that success.”

This year, some of the money will go to the sports medicine department, college of education and a complete renovation to the John D. Griffin Horticulture Garden.

Associate Professor of Plant Science Paul Jackson says the grant will allow them to screen in the greenhouse.

“Of course, it’s accessible to the public, and people come in and enjoy it. We also are trying to make it into more of a sitting area for students to enjoy and use for studying and for faculty, staff, students to have lunch and just relax. It’s got a long history of displaying unique plants that are used in the many classes that we teach out here,” Jackson said.

The area got new roofs thanks to the Lagniappe Ladies too - breathing some new life into an area that brings happiness to many. The structure was previously home to the original tech farm sales room where plants would be sold.

“I like to call this a gateway area of campus because a lot of community comes out here and enjoys. It’s beautiful, but it’s also very historic. I love that we’re putting energy and funds into restoring some of this and making it an area that makes south campus even more attractive,” Cox-Bonoil said.

Since their first year of operation, they’ve given over 140 grants totaling over $560,000. For information about the Louisiana Tech Lagniappe Ladies, click here.

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