Birthday Surprise: Morgan Scholarship will benefit education students

Mrs. Alma Dell Thomas Morgan blew out the candles on her birthday cake surrounded by family and friends during an announcement that her son established a Northwestern State University scholarship in her name. From left are Robert Morgan, NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Mrs. Morgan, Thomas Guin, Sawyer Morgan, Dennison Morgan and Ashley Morgan.

NATCHITOCHES – In honor of his mother’s birthday, Robert Morgan wanted to surprise her with something she didn’t have, a gift that would keep on giving.  He did so by establishing a scholarship in her honor at Northwestern State University.  The Alma Dell Thomas Morgan Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a degree in education with preference given to students from Union or Natchitoches parishes.  The recipient must be employed and must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average.

Mrs. Morgan was a teacher at NSU Elementary Lab School for 30 years.  Robert Morgan said the scholarship is a testament to his mother’s character, work ethic, love, honor and grace.

“God game me the best Mama any person could ever have,” he said when the scholarship was revealed to her on her birthday Aug. 4. “I consider my mother to be the perfect southern belle.  This is how special my Mama is:  she came to this university while operating a ranch by herself because my father worked away from home.  In 4-1/2 years, she earned her undergraduate degree and master’s degree, taking 26-30 hours per semester, while working on a farm and raising two boys.”


Members of the Morgan family gathered to honor Mrs. Alma Dell Thomas Morgan’s birthday and announce a Northwestern State University Scholarship established in her honor. On the front row from left are Mrs. Morgan and Sawyer Morgan. On the back row are Dennison Morgan, Robert Morgan, Joey Longlois, Thomas Guin and Ashley Morgan. Mrs. Morgan taught at the NSU Elementary Lab School for 30 years. Her scholarship will benefit a student pursuing a degree in education with preference to a student from Union or Natchitoches parishes.

Originally from Union Parish, Mrs. Morgan enrolled at Northwestern State after her sons started school, graduating in 1963.  After earning her degrees, she taught second grade for one year and third grade the rest of her career, estimating that she taught between 750 and 850 students, including her grandson Joey Longlois, who was required to call her “Mrs. Morgan” in the classroom. Mrs. Morgan acknowledged that she was a strict teacher, tough but fair.

“The stories we’ve heard of her as a teacher have been phenomenal,” said Dr. Chris Maggio.  “Congratulations have come in from the deans and departments heads indicating how many lives she has touched.  How fitting that this scholarship in Mrs. Dell’s name will be her legacy that will last last forever and how many lives she has touched and will continue to touch through the future teachers who receive this scholarship.”

For information on establishing a Northwestern State University scholarship, visit or call NSU Development Officer Jill Bankston, CFRE, at (318) 357-4414.