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Sam Houston State University Offers Unique Business Scholarship to LSC-Montgomery Students

In the business world, money is the bottom line, and several
recent Lone Star College-Montgomery graduates

Luara Ruple
Molly Payne
Thanks to a joint scholarship partnership between Sam Houston State University and Lone Star College-Montgomery, LSC-Montgomery students Laura Ruple (top) and Molly Payne are on their way to earning their bachelors degrees’ from SHSU
know this first hand.

This year, nine former LSC-Montgomery students pursuing their bachelor’s degree through the College of Business Administration at Sam Houston State University were awarded the university’s Smith-Huston Scholarship, which is a full ride scholarship provided each spring to deserving incoming SHSU freshman who otherwise may not have a chance to earn a bachelor’s degree.

The Smith-Hutson Scholarship is one of many unique partnerships between LSC-Montgomery and SHSU. Secured years ago with the help of James Zipperer, professor of economics at LSC-Montgomery, and Dr. Jim Bexley, the endowed chair of banking at SHSU, the scholarship has allowed over 40 LSC-Montgomery graduates to attend SHSU and pursue their career ambitions.

"This scholarship is representative of the close partnership we have with Sam Houston State University," said Dr. Rebecca Riley, president of LSC-Montgomery. "More of our students transfer to Sam Houston than any other university, and this provides a seamless pathway for our students to pursue careers in the growing banking/finance sector."

“This is a need-based scholarship,” said Zipperer. “This scholarship was put in place by its donors to assure that students like those at LSC-Montgomery have the chance to attain their educational goal at a leading university. It’s a great opportunity and more students need to take advantage of it.”

Laura Ruple, a part-time flight attendant and recent LSC-Montgomery graduate seeking her human resources management degree, appreciates the financial relief this scholarship provides to her growing family of seven.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Ruple said. “I have been an inspiration to my twin 15-year-old daughters, whose grades have improved and are wanting to do the early college program. So, I can’t quit. I have to keep going and show them I can do it. My goal is to graduate in 2017, before they graduate in 2018.”

Ruple, unsure she would even qualify because of her low GPA in the past, decided to proceed with the application process regardless of that hurdle. After scrutiny during the interview process over the drop in her grades, Ruple was able to redeem herself with explanations of her past hardships and was tentatively awarded the scholarship, contingent upon her final semester grades.

“The worst you can do is try,” Ruple said. “You never know who is going to see your potential and be forgiving of your past if you aren’t a perfect student.”

Accounting student Molly Payne had every intention of receiving her associate’s degree and going straight into the workforce. Realizing how much more money she could make if she just spent two more years in school, she is on her way to SHSU with only her junior and senior year left to complete.

“I am very, very grateful for this opportunity,” Payne said. “The anonymous donor of this scholarship is a living person who is doling out millions of dollars for people to get an education, and I think that is phenomenal!”

With the guidance of Zipperer, LSC-Montgomery counselor Matthew Samford, and several others, the application process for Payne was simplified and she can’t thank everyone enough for their involvement in her success.

“I have already sent them thank you cards,” Payne said. “And if ‘anonymous’ reads this, I personally thank you as well!”

For more information about the Smith-Hutson Scholarship available through LSC-Montgomery, contact James Zipperer at (936) 271-7348, or email: james.f.zipperer@LoneStar.edu.

LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.


Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion.  Today, with almost 83,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 95,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation.  Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.