The LSU Alexandria Foundation announced today the receipt of its largest individual gift for the establishment of an endowed scholarship. The announcement was made at the Foundation’s quarterly board meeting.
Arnold Aubert Vernon, a resident of Oceanside, Calif., made a gift of more than $300,000 to LSUA with the intent of establishing the Arnold Aubert Vernon Endowed Scholarship Fund. The gift will be used to apply for matching funds with the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund for Endowed Scholarships with the ultimate goal of creating a $500,000 endowed scholarship.
In transmitting the gift, Vernon commented, “I am mindful that my dream of a university education, which I believed might lead me to a more fulfilling life, was realized because of the generosity of others. Now, it is my turn to assist our young dreamers in realizing their aspirations.”
“As state support for our colleges and universities dwindles, the importance of private giving cannot be overstated” said Charlie Weems, chair of the LSUA Foundation board of directors. “This very generous and significant gift from Arnold Aubert Vernon will provide much needed and permanently endowed scholarships for qualified students for generations. The entire LSUA family applauds and honors Mr. Vernon for his commitment to higher education and to our very special university.”
Vernon, a former Alexandria resident, graduated from Bolton High School and LSU A&M. After serving in Korea while in the U.S. Army, and later as a geophysical computer supervisor in Turkey, he returned to earn a graduate degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz.
Recruited by a major New York-based bank, Vernon spent three decades engaged in commercial banking with assignments in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Beirut, Lebanon, and Hong Kong.
In 2003, Vernon donated his 60-piece collection of contemporary Inuit stone sculpture to the LSU Museum of Art (Shaw Center, Baton Rouge). In 2007, he gifted a unique piece of contemporary Sh (Zimbabwe) stone sculpture to the Alexandria Museum of Art. To honor their deceased brothers, Arnold Aubert Vernon and John Law Child established an endowed professorship in Business Administration at LSUA. Recently, Vernon donated his extensive collection of antique and contemporary art and sculpture to the LSUA Foundation, and that collection is exhibited at LSU Alexandria.
“Former Chancellor David Manuel was instrumental in securing this and other significant donations for student scholarships,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, interim chancellor for LSU Alexandria. “We are very appreciative of Dr. Manuel’s tireless efforts. The generous LSU Alexandria scholarship endowment established by Mr. Vernon is a wonderful achievement that represents Dr. Manuel’s outstanding commitment to philanthropic development in support of LSUA.”
Commenting on the gift, Manuel said, “Arnold Vernon is one of those consummate donors who understand the impact of giving to others and has demonstrated this with the wide variety of his gifts ~ culture and art, faculty development and student success. His impact on LSU Alexandria will carry forward for many generations.”