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Southern University, Sasol announce $1 million endowment and scholarship program

Southern University and A&M College and Sasol, an international chemicals and energy company with operations in Southwest Louisiana, announced today a long-term partnership to establish an interdisciplinary academic initiative to provide research, career development and training support to Southern students in Louisiana.


This partnership will provide Southern students with the resources needed to enter the workforce in high-demand, high-growth fields. Louisiana’s business climate continues to rank at the top of the national list, and this partnership works to maintain that competitive advantage.


“I applaud Southern University and Sasol on being committed to workforce development and creating new opportunities for all Louisianans to be successful,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.


The fund, developed in honor of South African Ambassador to the United States MJ Mahlangu, will create the Sasol Endowed Chair in Global Science Policy in the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences. A doctoral fellowship will also be awarded to a Southern doctoral student conducting research on a global issue in environmental science policy, global science policy, science education, increasing minority participation in global commerce, or corporate diplomacy. 


“This partnership speaks volumes about the value of our students and programs at Southern,” said Ray L. Belton, president of the Southern University System and chancellor of Southern University Baton Rouge. “Sasol’s investment in our STEM programs are in alignment with our campus strategic plan, including significant enrollment increases and advanced academic offerings that reflect an ever-changing workforce.”


In addition to the endowment fund, Sasol is joining the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI), the chemicals industry’s collaborative equity, diversity and inclusion initiative aimed at creating pathways for more underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in STEM.

Sasol’s investment will provide $40,000 each to three Southern students majoring in STEM fields over the course of their college career.


The endowment fund will also award up to 100 scholarships through 2030 for students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, public administration, or public policy fields of study.


“Sasol has long supported Louisiana higher education institutions because these workforce development pipelines are critical to our industry’s sustainability in Louisiana,” said Eric Stouder, Sasol senior vice president. “We are thrilled about our partnership with Southern and the meaningful educational results to come.”


Under terms of the endowment fund agreement, Sasol will provide $600,000 over four years. Following receipt of the last Sasol installment in 2023, the university will apply for a $400,000 match from the Louisiana Board of Regents, resulting in a total of $1 million to fund the program.