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SOWELA Foundation to Salute College’s 2021 Major Donors


Annual “What’s up SOWELA?” Soiree Will Celebrate SOWELA’s Recent Generous Gifts at Sycamore Student Center on Thursday, November 18 at 5:30 PM.

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – November 2, 2021)

The SOWELA Foundation will honor the generosity of several recent donors who have generously supported the Southwest Louisiana educational institution on Thursday, November 18 at 5:30 PM at the annual “What’s Up SOWELA?” event. The twilight affair has become one of the most sought-after tickets in the Lake Charles area and will welcome the college’s 2021 donors, volunteers and award recipients.

“What’s Up SOWELA?” will honor the loyalty of a half dozen individuals and businesses in the local community who have played a key role in SOWELA’s recent growth and fundraising goals as well as vital volunteers that generously assist SOWELA in numerous, much-needed ways. The 2021 award recipients to be spotlighted at the special “What’s up SOWELA?” ceremony are:

  • Outstanding Leadership in Corporate Philanthropy – Cameron LNG, which recently donated $20,000 to the SOWELA Foundation for its Cameron LNG Endowed Scholarship and has been a long-time financial supporter of the Foundation. SOWELA students enrolled in SOWELA’s Process Technology, Industrial Instrumentation Technology and Industrial Electrical Technology programs are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
  • Outstanding Philanthropist – Rick and Donna Richard, who generously donated $60,000 which supports scholarships for students enrolled in the popular Culinary Arts program soon to be headquartered in the new Culinary, Gaming and Hospitality Building. The state-of-the-art building’s left lobby will be named after Brent Lumpkin as per the request of the Richards.
  • Outstanding Volunteer – Tommy Little, who has been a major supporter of SOWELA’s annual Flying Tigers Car show which is becoming a favorite Lake Charles yearly event since it started in 2016. Little was recently recognized as Volunteer Louisiana Southwest Champion of Service Award by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.
  • Outstanding Community Partner – Cheniere Energy, which in 2020, donated $100,000 in the wake of devastating Hurricane Laura to assist SOWELA in repairing and rebuilding 13 buildings damaged or destroyed on the Lake Charles campus including repairing the damaged shelter housing one of the college’s Hands-On Operations Training (HOT) units.

“The strength of SOWELA and our ability to fulfill our mission as a major workforce developer in SW Louisiana can be tied directly to the outstanding partnerships we have established with our business, industry, and community partners,” said SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall. “The SOWELA Foundation is a key partner of the college and a major player in developing our strategic partnerships. SOWELA and the SOWELA Foundation are proud to recognize the leaders, philanthropists, volunteers, and community partners who provide support and enable the College to provide the educational programs and services that help our students improve their lives and the lives of their families through great employment opportunities.”

The SOWELA Foundation’s purpose is to raise vital funds to support the awarding of student scholarships. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the foundation has raised more than $560,000 which has provided 436 scholarships to students attending SOWELA.

Individual tickets for “What’s Up SOWELA?” are available for $125 and include exclusive entry to the event, special cocktails, gourmet food and scrumptious desserts. A limited number of sponsorships are also available. For more information about tickets and sponsorships, contact Kelly Pepper at (337) 421-6903 or kelly.pepper@sowela.edu.

SOWELA offers more than 30 technical and academic programs including Practical Nursing, Machine Tool Technology, Culinary Arts, Criminal Justice, Surgical Technology, Accounting Technology and Forest Technology.

For more information about any of SOWELA’s programs or to apply online, visit this page. Anyone needing additional assistance can contact onestop@sowela.edu for more information.

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years.