Dyslexia Scholarship Gifted by Descendent of Nicholls’ Namesake

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University students with dyslexia are eligible for a new scholarship thanks to a gift from the great-great granddaughter of the university’s namesake, Gov. Francis Tillou Nicholls.

Nicholls, a native of Donaldsonville, was a Civil War brigadier general, a two-term governor of Louisiana and served as chief justice of the state’s supreme court.

Baton Rouge resident Jane Matt, Nicholls’ descendant, said she created the scholarship to honor her parents for supporting her education and in loving memory of her father, James Henry Ware Jr., who died in 2012. The Blue Moon Scholarship for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders will be available in 2015 for full-time students enrolled in Nicholls who have been diagnosed with dyslexia or a related learning disorder and maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher. The student will receive $250 per semester for up to eight semesters and receive support services from the Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders, which is housed on the Nicholls campus.

Matt said she was inspired to create the scholarship after her own struggles with dyslexia. Matt earned her bachelor’s in business administration but said she doubts she could have done so without the generous financial support of her parents. She hoped to honor them by offering support to future students facing similar challenges.

“I have experienced the frustrations of dealing with dyslexia and wanted to reach out to students with a learning disorder to offer encouragement and financial support,” she said. “I hope that this effort will bring about a general awareness of the difficulties that many students with learning disorders face.”

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