Generous donors recognized at LSMSA Society Celebration

From left are Angela Robinson, LSMSA Foundation executive director; Michael Robertson; Bill New, LSMSA Foundation president; Gueydon Thurber; and Dr. Steve Horton, LSMSA executive director.

More than 50 donors, volunteers and representatives from the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) attended the LSMSA Foundation’s eighth annual 1983 Society Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 20. The evening also included the presentation of the fifth Wingspan Awards for Dedication, created to celebrate those who demonstrate meaningful and extraordinary support for LSMSA, a state residential high school in Natchitoches. This year’s recipients were Michael Robertson of New York City and Gueydon Thurber of Horseshoe Bay, Texas.

Robertson joined the LSMSA Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2006 when the organization had no professional staff, a bare-bones budget, and no structure. Drawing on his background in nonprofit organizations and board management, Robertson helped craft the policies that are the bedrock of Foundation operations. Michael’s award was presented by Pat Widhalm, former executive director of LSMSA and a past Wingspan Award recipient. The grandparent of four LSMSA alumni, Thurber helped establish the Foundation’s only endowment, the Student Enrichment Fund, which helps fulfill the pledge that no qualified student should be denied an opportunity at LSMSA because of financial need.

Thurber’s award was presented by three of her grandchildren, all graduates of LSMSA, Rex New (‘05), Jackie New Fletcher (‘08), and Nellie New (‘12). Previous recipients of the Wingspan Award include Tesia Campbell (’97), Dewey Scandurro (’86), Christie Weeks; Ryan Farr (’90), Mary Green, Nolan Huguet (’91); Pat and Betsy Widhalm, Art and Sharon Williams; and Barbara Bourgoyne (‘88). “It’s inspiring to see the unfailing support of our alumni, parents, and other donors,” said Foundation Executive Director Angela Robinson. “Michael and Gueydon have both been instrumental in the Foundation’s growth. They helped us envision what the Foundation could be and have never wavered in their efforts to help us strive to reach that potential. It was truly an honor to celebrate the two of them and all of our generous supporters at this year’s event.”

The 1983 Society celebrates and recognizes the school’s most loyal and committed supporters. Annual contributions of $1,983 or more qualify an individual or organization for membership. The LSMSA Foundation raises money to support the school’s mission of providing a world-class education for the state’s high achieving, highly motivated students.