Louisiana State University has announced a three-year, $3.5 million grant from Shell Oil to leverage the school's scientific and academic expertise in support of environmental and business recovery efforts that have been underway since hurricanes Katrina and Rita battered the region.
Approximately $3 million of the gift will be used to establish a coastal ecosystem research project in the Breton Sound area that will be managed by the university's School of the Coast and Environment. Of that amount, $1.2 million will be used to endow a chair, which the Louisiana Board of Regents is expected to supplement with an additional $800,000.
The remaining $500,000 will be used to fund an effort at LSU's E.J. Ourso College of Business to provide business counseling and related assistance for women- and minority-owned businesses in several Louisiana parishes hardest hit by the hurricanes. Instruction will be provided by college faculty and graduate students via a mobile classroom — a converted eighteen-wheel truck retrofitted with educational technologies.
The first major corporate contribution in the Forever LSU campaign "is an important step in what has been a long and mutually productive relationship between LSU and Shell," said LSU chancellor Sean O'Keefe. "We are proud of this great partnership and dedicated to taking our collaboration to new heights with this generous gift."