Student awarded first Louis Crompton Scholarship; organizers hope to endow scholarship this year

Student awarded first Louis Crompton Scholarship; organizers hope to endow scholarship this year

Student awarded first Louis Crompton Scholarship; organizers hope to endow scholarship this year

Posted: Wed, Aug 7, 2013

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Office of Student Involvement and the LGBTQA Resource Center announced that Jason Lucht of Gretna, Neb., is the first recipient of the Louis Crompton Scholarship. The scholarship fund was established in 2009 as a tribute to Louis Crompton, a longtime English professor at UNL and an early leader in gay and lesbian studies.

Lucht is majoring in psychology and women's and gender studies at the UNL College of Arts and Sciences, with minors in sociology, LGBTQ/sexuality studies and German. He has sights on a career in clinical or counseling psychology, an occupation he hopes to use to help members of the GLBT community. He is a graduate of Gretna High School in Gretna, Neb.

After learning he had received the first award of $500, Lucht said it's an honor for him and that he believes the scholarship represents a physical inspiration for the equality of all people.

"I come from a town where being part of the LGBT community was viewed as disgusting and where even the mention of someone being gay was grounds for ridicule and a possible beating," Lucht said. "Since coming to UNL, I have been able to flourish, and, particularly this semester, I have found my activist portion of myself. I have become more involved…and have gained friendships, alliances and support."

Crompton helped initiate at UNL one of the first interdisciplinary courses in the nation about the gay and lesbian community. He also developed one of the earliest courses exploring gay and lesbian literature.

Pat Tetreault, assistant director in the Office of Student Involvement, said she had the privilege of working with Crompton before his retirement from full-time service in 1990 and is glad he's being recognized for his accomplishments.

"It's momentous to have this opportunity to honor someone who has given so much of himself intellectually to this university and given so much toward making our campus and society a better place for gay, lesbian and bisexual students." Tetreault said. "We're confident we'll reach the goal to completely fund the scholarship, and we greatly appreciate those who have given."

Crompton served for 20 years as advisor to the earliest gay student organization at UNL and helped establish the homophobia awareness committee to improve the campus climate for gay students, faculty and staff. In 2003 he received the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contributions to the GLBT Community. In addition to these accomplishments, he is recognized for numerous achievements in literature curriculum, research and publishing.

Crompton died at age 84 in El Cerrito, Calif., on July 11, 2009. He is survived by his spouse of 40 years, Dr. Luis Diaz-Perdomo, also a former UNL faculty member.

Scholarship supporters hope to raise at least $25,000 for the fund, the point at which it will become endowed and annual net income will be available to the university for future awards. To date, $14,000 has been raised toward that goal.

To support the Louis Crompton Scholarship Fund, tax deductible contributions may be made online at nufoundation.org/crompton. Gifts may also be made payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation and sent to: University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall Ste 300, Lincoln, NE 68508.
For more information about contributing, contact Lori Thomas at the University of Nebraska Foundation at 402-458-1156 or at lthomas@nufoundation.org.

The scholarships are awarded by the Office of Student Involvement's LGBTQA Resource Center. Qualifying students must demonstrate financial need and be members of the Queer Student Alliance or be enrolled in the LGBTQA/sexuality studies minor.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for 74 years. In 2009, the foundation provided the university with more than $102 million in private funding for scholarships, medical research and support for faculty and academic programs. In October of 2009, the foundation announced the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, a $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.

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