Scholarship established in memory of Gary Zumwalt

October 27, 2016

Morgan Bernard

Staff Reporter | mrb056@latech.edu


The Gary Zumwalt Scholarship in Environmental Science and Evolution is a new scholarship at Louisiana Tech that was established in honor of the late Gary Zumwalt, a passionate geology professor at Tech.


Family and former colleagues of Zumwalt created this scholarship to honor him and to help students who are interested in environmental sciences.


Zumwalt was a professor at Tech for more than 30 years and is remembered by many friends, colleagues and students. Colleagues of Zumwalt  said what they remember most about him as a professor was his interest in his students.


Will Campbell, director of the School of Biological Sciences, said the idea behind the scholarship came from several members of the biology department as well as family and friends of Zumwalt.


“I was pleased to see this idea come from the faculty because I think it’s a reflection of the regard that his colleagues have for him,” Campbell said. “We contacted his wife and other former geology professors who were his close colleagues, and together they formed the main idea of the scholarship.”


Campbell said the scholarship was formed with topics that Zumwalt enjoyed most in his teaching career.


“The scholarship is for students who have an interest in things like environmental science and evolution,” he said. “These were areas that Gary was really interested in and loved to share with his students.”


Jamie Newman, an assistant professor of biological sciences, was Zumwalt’s colleague and office neighbor. She said Zumwalt was well-respected and popular among his students.


“Every day there would be students lined up outside of his office,” Newman said. “Students really enjoyed him and his classes. There seemed to be a real appreciation for him and what he did.”


She said Zumwalt did a lot to benefit his students inside and outside of the classroom.


“He led several field trips that were always popular with the students,” Newman said. “He also created this ‘EZ Study Method’ pamphlet that helped students gain better study habits. He was really invested in the students, and they were really important to him.”


Maureen Hillard, a former geology professor at Tech, was involved in contributing to the scholarship letter. She taught beside Zumwalt for 25 years and said she knew him very well, both professionally and personally.


“Dr. Zumwalt was a brilliant geologist,” Hillard said. “As a person, he was an incredibly kind and generous individual who loved the outdoors and was devoted to his family.”


She said Zumwalt left an impact on everyone around him from his students to his colleagues, including herself.


“It was a privilege to have Dr. Zumwalt as my mentor and colleague at Louisiana Tech, but most importantly as my dear friend,” Hillard said. “I think of him often and feel deeply grateful that he was part of my life for so many years.”


Donations for the Gary Zumwalt Scholarship in Environmental Science and Evolution can be sent to the Louisiana Tech Foundation, P.O. Box 3183, Ruston, LA 71272.


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