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First Kinesiology endowment established by Higginbotham family

Oct 16, 2023 | Alumni, Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff, General News, Giving, Research, Students

Lawrence and Alice Higginbotham have been dedicated supporters of the College of Education and Human Sciences at Louisiana Tech University for many years. Following the loss of his mother, Mary, Lawrence’s father, Fred Lee “Coach” Higginbotham, took the initiative to establish a scholarship endowment dedicated to teacher education. This act of generosity held deep significance for Lawrence, inspiring him to establish the Fred Lee Higginbotham Endowed Scholarship in memory of his father after his passing.

Fred, a three-time Louisiana Tech graduate, had a profound impact on regional education as an educator, coach, and superintendent in the Lincoln Parish School System. The Fred Lee Higginbotham Endowment was initially established to support physical education and teaching students. To adapt to program changes, Lawrence chose to relocate the endowment to the Department of Kinesiology. This move now provides the Department with its first endowed scholarship for graduate students, upholding Fred’s legacy of supporting research.

“Coaching gave my dad a passion for human performance,” said Higginbotham. “Coach believed being in shape was more than the physiology side, and the Human Performance Lab is taking this aspect to a new level, one that really didn’t exist back in the day.”

Fred believed that everything revolved around education, and in this spirit of academic excellence, the Higginbotham family chose to give back to the College of Education and Human Sciences. Their generous support of the Fred Lee Higginbotham Human Performance Endowment is a testament to their dedication to hands-on research conducted in the Human Performance Lab and their commitment to advancing education and innovation in the field of human performance.

“This scholarship will serve as a motivating factor for attracting students around the world and retaining students within our department,” said Dr. David Szymanski, Department Head of Kinesiology, expressing his excitement at Lawrence’s recognition of their department’s work and his desire to honor his father’s legacy through contributions to Human Performance research.

“I am very grateful to have received this scholarship,” said Christopher Watson, an international student from Canada in the Sports Performance program. “Not only does this provide financial assistance towards my graduate degree but it also validates my efforts in my academic work.”

Fellow graduate student Alyssa Twist, studying Sport & Exercise Psychology, added, “I am sincerely grateful to be chosen as a recipient of the Fred Lee Higginbotham Endowed Scholarship. It is a fantastic opportunity and blessing to receive additional support in my graduate education.”

The Human Performance Lab offers opportunities for graduate students to explore various fields, such as understanding how sports can benefit children with autism and studying how athletes can avoid overworking and getting injured.

“At a graduate level, hands-on experiences are key when working in research, providing students with valuable skills and insights,” added Higginbotham.

For more information about the Fred Lee Higginbotham Human Performance Endowment, please visit http://www.latechsportscience.org/.