Contact: Lynn Stewart or Abbey Broussard, Centenary News Service

Two Centenary Students Receive Gates Millennium Scholarships

Ebonee Spencer and Chasity Jackson

Ebonee Spencer (left) and Chasity Jackson (right)

SHREVEPORT, LA-- Two Centenary College students are among the nation's first students to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) awards, the college has announced. The recipients are sophomore Chasity Jackson and freshman Ebonee Spencer, both pre-med students from Mansfield, La.

They were among 4,000 scholars chosen from some 62,000 applicants, GMS officials said.

Sponsored by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, the award is a financial gift to an elite number of minority students who are pursuing a college education in the sciences or fine arts. 
Criteria for the award, in addition to major, include the students' grade-point average and leadership qualities. Jackson's campus involvement includes serving on the Centenary Activities Board, contributing to the Pandora literary magazine, and participating in the Chemistry Club and the Church Careers program.  She has also worked in Mansfield at a pediatrics clinic for the past two summers and tutored children around the community through the state's Weed and Seed program. 

Prior to joining Centenary this fall, Spencer was involved in National Honor Society, French Club, Students Against Drunk Driving, and was captain of her high school's cheerleading squad. She was chosen DeSoto Parish Student of the Year, Miss Mansfield High and Student Council president. This past summer she also volunteered at DeSoto Regional Hospital and worked as an assistant photographer. 

The scholarship amounts have not yet been announced by GMS. "Each GMS award for the 2000-01 academic year will be based on the cost of tuition, fees, books and living expenses, taking into account any other financial aid awards the scholar has received," said William H. Gray, III, GMS president and chief executive officer.

Gray also said he anticipates that the students will be able to apply for scholarship renewal in subsequent years through an expedited and streamlined process.