BAA creates scholarship for minority students


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Black Alumni Alliance has created an endowed scholarship for minority students in need.


“The purpose of the scholarship is to financially support students who are in desperate need of additional funding for tuition, books and items related to their education,” said Nicole Gray, who was instrumental in organizing the BAA and recently opened a NSU Foundation Account to help fund initiatives and projects that the BAA hosts, such as reunions, special events and partnered events with the campus. Criteria for the need-based scholarship is a 2.5 grade point average for a minority student.


The BAA launched in 2008 with goals of promoting recruitment and retention of minority students, faculty and staff; facilitating financial assistance for currently-enrolled minority students and providing support for the culturally diverse student organizations.  The group also seeks to establish linkage with the Natchitoches community and alumni at large and organize networking opportunities to forge relationships that support the educational and financial goals of NSU students.  That year, BAA recognized Gail Jones of Natchitoches for her work with NSU and Gray credited help from Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation, alumnus Dr. William Broussard and NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio for supporting the initiative.


“Cultural diversity is very important to the NSU family.  The BAA’s focus on supporting minority students through financial support, mentoring opportunities and advocacy demonstrates the organization’s commitment to excellence and speaks volumes about the future of our institution,” Owens said.


“Since 2008, we have co-developed events and programs with NSU student and alumni Greek organizations, obtained sponsorship support from local businesses, hosted graduate receptions, and provided resume development and job search assistance to a number of students and recent graduates,” said Gray, who also serves on the NSU Foundation Board of Directors.  The group would like the endowment to reach the $10,000 so that scholarships can be awarded from its earned interest.


Anyone interested in contributing to the BAA Foundation Account and /or the scholarship can do so online at  or by contacting the NSU Foundation Office at (318) 357-4435. Those interested can get dual membership in both the NSU Alumni Association and the Black Alumni Association for one price. Any individual who gives directly to both the NSU Foundation Acct and/or the Scholarship will receive tax credit from the NSU Foundation.

Northwestern State University’s Black Alumni Alliance has created and endowed scholarship to benefit minority students. From left are Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation; Alumna Nicole Gray, who was instrumental in establishing the BAA and the scholarship, and NSU Development Officer Kimberly Gallow.