A local business demonstrated their support for the university with a $250,000 donation aimed to help multiple programs.
Smitty’s Supply Inc., a lubricant manufacturing and distributing company based in Roseland, La., made the contribution to benefit the university’s professional sales, supply chain management, accounting and business programs.
Katherine Rose, a senior director of development and advancement services, explained the company’s motivation behind their donation.
“They are a Tangipahoa Parish company and throughout the years have employed many Southeastern graduates,” said Rose. “This gift demonstrates Smitty’s commitment to Southeastern’s future leaders.”
The company has worked with the university in the past. Rose explained how this donation is another example of their commitment.
“Smitty’s Supply, Inc. has employed Southeastern graduates and provided internship opportunities for Southeastern students for many years,” noted Rose. “This significant gift demonstrates the value of a Southeastern degree and Smitty’s commitment to making brighter futures for Southeastern students.”
The donation will be used to fund multiple areas within the College of Business. Rose explained that endowments will be created within these programs to assist business students.
“Four endowments were created as a result of the donation – the Edgar R. Smith, III Endowed Professorship in Business, the Christina Smith Leto Endowed Scholarship in Supply Chain Management, Smitty’s Supply Inc. Endowed Scholarship in Accounting and the Christina Smith Leto Sales Program Endowment,” stated Rose. “Part of the donation also includes funds to build the Smitty’s Supply Inc. Executive Conference Room in Southeastern’s Professional Sales Training Center.
Rose also believes that endowed professorships are essential to the university to attract and retain the highest quality instructors. She explained how these additional funds will assist that goal.
“Once professorships are supported by the Board of Regents, the earnings from the endowment are used for salary supplements, research support and program development activities,” described Rose. “Endowed scholarships for supply chain management and accounting will supplement the cost of tuition for students in these majors. These funds, just like professorships, are invested, and the earnings are used to provide the award.”
She also noted that the programs provide real-world experiences for students, which is important for them if they wish to enter the field.
“The program endowment will provide resources for unexpected needs in the sales concentration,” said Rose.
On behalf of the university, Rose expressed her gratitude toward the company’s donation.
“University Development staff have worked with members of the Smitty’s Supply executive team and board to secure this gift,” said Rose. “The university is most appreciative of Smitty’s Supply, Inc. investment in Southeastern students.”