Published June 11, 2021
The University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation will announce the $100,000 Mary Ellen Soignier Stapleton Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business and Social Sciences at a reception at 10am on Saturday, June 26, 2021. The event will take place at Laird Weems Center, 4400 Bon Aire Rit .
Ellen Soignier was the ninth of 11 children born to Mr. and Mrs. John Chester Soignier. After graduating from St. Frederick High School, she chose the demanding accounting program at ULM. Ellen was a dedicated student and worked part-time to pay for her studies.
It was at ULM that she met her future husband, Jimmie Stapleton.
Ellen graduated in 1990 and started her career in accounting. She and Jimmie married and had three children. Together, the Stapletons were strong advocates of the power of education to change lives.
Even breast cancer didn’t stop her from volunteering in schools and helping teachers and administrators. Ellen died in 2010 at the age of 41.
The Stapleton family talked about her life when they founded the exchange. “Celebrating the life and legacy of Mary Ellen Soignier Stapleton” says in part:
“Education was extremely important to Ellen and her family. … During her training at the ULM, Ellen worked part-time to pay for tuition and books.
“Accounting classes were one of Ellen’s favorite classes, especially since she met her husband Jimmie Stapleton in class. Both were full-time Accounting students and had multiple part-time jobs. Ellen and Jimmie believed that education and hard work would open up new opportunities.
“Despite the extraordinary challenges with breast cancer, Ellen continued to have unwavering courage and confidence. She enjoyed helping with different groups and encouraging others at school, church, work, or home.
“With this scholarship fund, we celebrate Ellen’s life and legacy. She had always looked to the future and helped nurture and educate others.”
Blake Salsbury, senior in Risk Management and Insurance, is the first recipient of the grant. His gratitude goes beyond the financial aspect; the stock market gives him time.
“This scholarship means a lot to me because I’m married with three kids, and my current job means I spend most of the year working away from my family,” Salsbury said. “This scholarship will ease some of the financial burden, allowing me to focus more on my studies. That way I can finish this study and start my new career where I am at home with my family.”
Scholarships of at least $2,000 per semester will be awarded to a student or students who meet these requirements: a sophomore or higher in the College of Business and Social Sciences, be a Louisiana resident, work at least 20 hours per week, and have a minimum have cumulative 3.0 GPA.
More information is available on the ULM Foundation’s website, ulm.edu/foundation. Visit Foundation Scholarships and search for Mary Ellen Soignier Stapleton Endowed Scholarship.
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