Estate Gift Honors the Memory of Manship School Graduate Nancy Norris
A scholarship fund honoring Nancy Norris, a 1973 graduate of the Manship School of Mass Communication, has been enhanced greatly by an estate gift left by her parents, Iris and James Norris. Approximately $125,000 in scholarship support has been allotted to the fund by the will of the elder Norrises, who passed away in recent years.
Linda Villemarette, niece of Iris and James Norris, describes her aunt and uncle’s gift as a fitting memorial to their daughter, who died in September 1994 due to complications associated with asthma.
“Nancy was a really loving, moral lady who I respected and loved,” said Villemarette. “My aunt and uncle honored her with this scholarship, and to me it just sealed their love for her with an eternal kiss. Few children are ever honored this way, with such a wonderful perpetual gift from their parents.”
Sandra Cordray, a friend of Nancy, created the Nancy Norris Memorial Scholarship fund in 1994. The support allotted to the scholarship fund in the will of Iris and James Norris has a unique feature that will provide a source of continuous funding to Manship students who will benefit from the scholarship in future years.
“In addition to the lump sum that was given to Nancy’s scholarship fund, one half of my Uncle’s interest in our family property’s mineral rights has been given to the fund, too,” Villemarette explained. “This will mean that Nancy’s scholarship fund should continue to stay ‘endowed’ as long as the earth produces gas here in the Ruston, Louisiana area. “
“The Norris family trusted the LSU Foundation with their ultimate gift. Nancy Norris will be remembered forever through her scholarship,” said Gwen Fairchild, director of planned giving for the LSU Foundation.
Though Nancy’s undergraduate work was done at Northeast Louisiana University, she earned her master’s degree at LSU. Villemarette says Nancy always valued her opportunity at LSU and was a tiger her entire life. “Just going to LSU was a treat for her. Tiger fever stayed with her.”
After Nancy’s death, Villemarette says Iris and James Norris eagerly awaited news of which Manship student would continue Nancy’s legacy as her scholarship recipient. “She was their only child, so their family line was ending. They decided to set up this scholarship so that she would be remembered and her ‘line’ would continue,” Villemarette said. “My aunt and uncle cherished receiving the notification as to who received the scholarship and what the recipient’s personal story happened to be.”
“I am very appreciative of the Norris Memorial Scholarship because, without scholarships such as this one, I wouldn't have been able to continue my education at LSU,” said Leigh Phillips, the most recent recipient of this scholarship. “I believe the commitment of the Norris family to the Manship School will be carried on by the students they help to educate here.”