Two students selected for UL System's Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program


Johnnie Hardy III and Jalen Jackson have been chosen to represent the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as Reginald F. Lewis Scholars.

The University of Louisiana System’s three-year program is designed to enhance the educational experiences of exemplary Black male students. The Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program focuses on academics, social advancement and community service. It was launched in 2021.

Every year, two sophomores from each of the UL System’s nine member institutions are selected to become Lewis Scholars based on academic merit, financial need and leadership skills.

Hardy, a nursing major from Lake Charles, La., and Jackson, an electrical engineering major from Hammond La., are members of the program’s third cohort.

Dr. Jim Henderson, president and CEO of the UL System, said that, as a whole, Reginald F. Lewis Scholars “are poised to become the next leaders of our great state and beyond.”

“We are so proud of our scholars and so appreciate those who are sowing into their success – campus facilitators, corporate partners, state lawmakers, nonprofit organizations and individual donors,” Henderson said.

The Lewis Scholars Program is at no cost to student participants. Scholars receive a full tuition scholarship. In addition, cohorts engage in three key areas:

  • the community experience, which includes a partnership with the Universities of Louisiana Management & Leadership Institute and service learning projects;
  • the social experience, which includes an annual retreat, and academic and professional mentorship from business, community and university leaders; and
  • the academic experience, which includes research projects and a study abroad opportunity in their junior year.

The 2023 cohort was officially introduced during the UL System’s recent Black Male Summit in New Orleans.

During the summit, UL Lafayette’s Frank Clavelle III, a junior architectural studies major from Luling, La., received the James Carter Exemplary Leadership Award. Clavelle joined the Lewis Scholars Program last year as a member of its second cohort.

Reginald F. Lewis was a prominent financier, entrepreneur, lawyer and philanthropist from Baltimore, Maryland. Lewis, who built the first Black-owned business to generate a billion dollars in annual sales, died in 1993.

Learn more about the University of Louisiana System’s Black Male Summit. Learn more about the Lewis Scholars Program, and how you can support it.

Photo caption: UL Lafayette students and Jalen Jackson and Johnnie Hardy III have been chosen to join the University of Louisiana System’s Reginald F. Lewis Scholars program. Photo credit: University of Louisiana System