Donor Spotlight

BREMCO Scholarships

A scholarship fund worth up to $600,000 will be established at Bossier Parish Community College as a legacy of Bossier Rural Electric Membership Corporation and its 55 years of service to Northwest Louisiana families and businesses.

Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell has worked with BPCC and BREMCO successor AEP/SWEPCO to dedicate $300,000 in remaining BREMCO capital credits to the “BREMCO/SWEPCO Legacy Scholarship Fund” at BPCC.

BREMCO checkBPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman Jr. said BPCC will leverage the BREMCO money to compete for endowment matching funds through the Board of Regents to make the scholarship worth up to $600,000.

“Bossier Rural Electric was critical to the development of Bossier Parish and surrounding areas from the era of the New Deal through the latter part of the 20th Century,” Campbell said.

“Investing these remaining BREMCO funds to create scholarships for young people attending BPCC is a fitting way to carry on that tradition.”

Bateman called the scholarship a “vote of confidence” in BPCC.

“We are beyond grateful for this generous gift that will help support students pursuing educational training to meet workforce needs in our regional economy,” Bateman said.

SWEPCO President Venita McCellon-Allen said the utility company assumed the obligation of returning $1.6 million in capital credits to BREMCO members when it purchased the co-op in 1993.

Capital credits are revenues collected by electric cooperatives in profitable years and returned to members based on the amount of electricity they use during those years.

“We exhausted all efforts to locate the rightful owners,” McCellon-Allen said.

In 2007, at Campbell’s suggestion, SWEPCO took the remaining funds and set up a general scholarship program for the former co-op members and their heirs. The program awarded 262 scholarships with a total value of $645,000.

“That program has now run its course, and so we are happy to work with Commissioner Campbell and BPCC on this new effort,” said McCellon-Allen.

Campbell’s history with BREMCO goes back to his days as a co-op member. As a state senator in the 1980s, he encouraged the merger of BREMCO and SWEPCO after the co-op saw sharply increased rates during the decade.

BREMCO was founded during the New Deal era of President Franklin Roosevelt. It operated as a co-op until its sale to SWEPCO in 1993. Its territory included approximately 9,400 customers in four parishes: Bossier, Bienville, Red River and Webster.


  • 3-year $300,000 donation to Learning Commons development
  • Current 640-student capacity to accommodate an 83% growth in enrollment
  • Studies show direct correlation between technology access and student success rates

Bossier Parish Community College has announced a three-year investment totaling $300,000 from BHP Billiton for the reconfiguration and development of a more functional and technology-friendly Library/Learning Commons. This significant investment launches the immediate objectives to increase student access to an enhanced technology-based learning environment, to reduce flow of increased traffic through the library’s “quite zone” study area, to increase the number of computers available to our students, and to ultimately increase student retention and the college’s graduation rates.

BHP Billiton Partnership Check Presentation“We could not be more appreciative of BHP Billiton's investment in the success of our students,” says BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson. “The welcoming, technologically advanced BPCC Learning Commons will dramatically enhance the student learning experience on our campus. As we continue to create and grow programs aligned with the needs of employers in this regional economy, investments from world-class companies like BHP Billiton will ensure we produce world-class graduates.”

According to BPCC’s Division of Learning Resources, a strong correlation exists between students’ current use of the library’s learning center -- a computer-based tutorial lab serving approximately 640 BPCC students per day -- and participating students’ academic success. Transforming this current arrangement into a Learning Commons will not only offer students a dramatic increase in access to a technology-based learning environment, but will ultimately expand opportunities for students to be successful.

““Educational attainment is at the core of a community’s future, and is one of the BHP Billiton’s core community objectives,” noted Geraldine Slattery, General Manager of BHP Billiton’s Production Units in the Haynesville and Fayetteville Shale. “Funding the BPCC Learning Commons project aligns with our community vision and allows us to work in tandem with the state’s education system for an immediate and direct impact for this generation of students and the next.”

The Library/Learning Commons calls for a redesigned first and second floor space to better accommodate 21st century students’ needs. Within the venue, technology becomes the focal point of the first floor with access to updated computers and wireless networking. A new, state-of-the-art scan and print station will provide for all printing, copying, scanning and faxing services. Comfortable, flexible seating arrangements and booths will promote collaborative student study environments.

The second floor will be reserved for a quiet, private study space for students. Computers and kiosks positioned among the shelving will allow for more intensive research. The second floor design also extends and expands the existing Learning Center where an increased number of study rooms and tutorial areas will accommodate a variety of learners’ needs. Dual-person computer stations will allow tutors to work privately with students on assignments.

BPCC Foundation Board President John Hubbard expresses the Foundation’s appreciation of the generous gift. “The new BHP Billiton Learning Commons will allow the College to increase student participation, expand access to computers and tutoring, and provide increased efficiency of services to students,” says Hubbard. “This gift will directly affect students and will provide a means for them to succeed in their education.”

The BHP Billiton investment in Bossier Parish Community College addresses the identified need for enhancement of educational opportunity. The BHP Billiton $300,000 donation will create an enduring positive legacy, while allowing BPCC to be the leader of a revolutionary approach to achieving student success.

BHP Billiton is the world’s leading diversified resources company. Its purpose is to create long-term shareholder value through the discovery, acquisition, development and marketing of natural resources. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with operations in 130 locations in 21 countries, BHP Billiton is among the largest producers of iron ore, oil and gas, coal and copper.


The American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation will partner with Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) to provide $1.4 million over five years to launch the Credits CountSM program, benefiting middle and high school students in north Louisiana. BPCC is the second college to receive funding from the Foundation for this program.

AEP Check PresentationCredits CountSM, a signature program of AEP Foundation, is a five-year project targeting dual enrollment students with a focus on studies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The hands-on, year-round activities and services of the Credits CountSM program are centered on four major components which include:

  • STEM Experiences - expanding awareness, at an early age, of possible STEM careers through middle and high school exploration experiences;
  • College Course Readiness Assessments - identifying gaps in writing, reading and math that may require tutoring;
  • Summer Bridge Programs - providing remediation in English and math and improving skills prior to students enrolling in dual enrollment programs;
  • Dual Enrollment in High Schools and at BPCC - allowing students to graduate high school with at least 12 college credits toward an associate degree or job ready certificate.

“We could not be more excited about AEP Foundation's investment in the future of our community,” says BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson. “STEM fields will drive our economic growth in the 21st Century. Our potential in Northwest Louisiana is limited only by our ability to nurture talent. BPCC has been a leader in the development of engineering and cyber technology programs, and we look forward to partnering with Bossier and Caddo schools to expand our offerings of these and other STEM programs to a new generation of learners.”

BPCC will work with Bossier and Caddo Schools and collaborating partners to introduce middle school students to STEM experiences and engage high school learners for college credit coursework prior to graduation. Credits CountSM focuses on introducing students to careers they otherwise may never have considered as career options and providing a pathway to attain college credits while completing high school.

“The AEP Foundation is excited to join with the BPCC Foundation to introduce middle school and high school students to the possibilities of a STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career,” says Venita McCellon-Allen, AEP-SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “Through the AEP Foundation’s Credits CountSM program, we are changing lives for our young people in both Caddo and Bossier parishes, so they can be a part of a well-educated workforce of the future.”

BPCC will facilitate dual credit enrollment in cooperation with Bossier and Caddo Parish Schools with a goal of providing participating students, the opportunity to graduate high school with at least 12 college credits toward an associate degree or one year certificate. The program seeks to serve approximately 400 students once it is fully-launched in fall 2015.

BPCC Foundation Board President John Hubbard expresses the Foundation’s appreciation of the generous gift. “The AEP Foundation shares the confidence in the faculty and leadership at BPCC,” says Hubbard. “The students can be even more confident that a high quality education is a commitment.”

Storer Equipment Services donate to bpcc

Three generations of the Storer family — Aaron Storer, Bud Storer (Storer Services founder and chairman) and Craig Storer (president) — presented bpcc Foundation President Hedy Hebert and bpcc Chancellor Jim Henderson with a $150,000 pledge toward bpcc’s proposed Center for Integrated Engineering Technologies (CIET) building.

The Center will house the Oil and Gas Technology, Engineering, Construction, and Advanced Manufacturing/Industrial Technology programs.

“Demonstrating technologies ranging from advanced energy solutions to building control monitors and advanced safety practices, this facility will be a model for providing integrated learning – a critical component of job-preparation for careers in these high-demand fields,” according to bpcc’s Director of Energy Programs Linda Sonnier, in describing the Center’s paradigm.

Chancellor Jim Henderson acknowledged the support and generous donation given by Storer Services. “Storer’s investment in the bpcc Center for Integrated Engineering Technologies will help make bpcc's Technology and Engineering programs truly world class,” said Henderson.

bossier parish community college is proud to be community partners with Storer Services.

Storer Equipment Services check presentation

(l to r) Aaron Storer, Bud Storer, Craig Storer, bpcc Foundation President Hedy Hebert, Chancellor Jim Henderson, Dean of Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Laura Goadrich and bpcc Foundation Capital Campaign Chairman John Hubbard.

BPCC and EnCana Corporation Partner For Oil And Gas Technology Program: $100,000 gift is the largest in the college’s history

Bossier Parish Community College and EnCana Corporation have partnered to create a new degree and certificate program in oil and gas technology at BPCC. College officials welcomed EnCana personnel to the campus for the presentation of a $100,000 donation to jumpstart the degree program. The Associate of Applied Science in Oil and Gas Technology and Certificate of Technical Studies in Oil and Gas Technology have both been approved by the Louisiana Community and Technology College System Board of Supervisors and are currently seeking approval from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Chancellor Jim Henderson accepted the donation and commented, “We could not be more grateful to EnCana for this gift to BPCC. We take great pride in ensuring our programs are aligned with the needs of the industries we serve. EnCana’s generous donation is a validation of BPCC’s responsiveness and an investment in the energy sector’s future workforce. The EnCana-BPCC partnership will help ensure the continued growth of our regional economy and provide our citizens with access to education leading to quality careers.”

“As a large portion of the energy workforce nears retirement, it is incumbent upon industry, schools and communities to collaborate and work together to create ways to bolster our workforce and provide a career path for young adults in a growing and exciting industry,” said Deborah West, EnCana’s Team Lead for Community Relations. “Part of being a corporate citizen is contributing to the institutions and programs that are important and vital to the community’s well-being. Bossier Parish Community College has a strong reputation of providing exceptional educational opportunities to the students of northwest Louisiana. We’re proud to work with them in developing a new program in Oil and Gas Technology that can provide a career path from high school through community college, and can also benefit those currently in the field with the education needed for advancement.”

EnCana Corporation, one of North America’s leading independent natural gas companies, has U.S. headquarters in Denver, Colorado. EnCana employs over 500 people in its Texas and Louisiana operations. EnCana seeks to build partnerships with local groups through the Community Investment program and has focused much of its attention on educational efforts and workforce development. EnCana has been responsible for developing Oil and Gas Technology programs in several states including two in Texas: Navarro College in Corsicana and North Texas College in Bowie. EnCana knows how important its workforce is and contributes to educational programs that foster tomorrow’s workforce.

The Oil and Gas Technology programs will help prepare students for careers in the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas boom has resulted in increased demand for workers in this and other related positions. The new programs are, in large part, a response to the tremendous increase in job opportunities created by the exploration and increasing significance of the Haynesville Shale natural reserve in northwest Louisiana.

Bossier Parish Community College’s degree program will do the following:

  • Provide graduates with the diverse skills necessary to fill the highly-specialized growth positions in the oil and gas industry;
  • Provide opportunities for interaction with the local oil and gas community so that real-world experience becomes part of the learning process;
  • Use existing course offerings from General Education and Political Science to assemble the needed degree requirements;
  • Create new courses in Oil and Gas Technology and OSHA Regulations;
  • Provide for natural transition to employment using both community service opportunities and internship requirements; and,
  • Provide a method for current oil and gas workers to improve both their knowledge and skills in oil and gas technology, so that they can be ready by experience, skill and knowledge to meet the demands of the industry.

BPCC anticipates enrolling students in the programs for the Fall semester 2010. For more information about the programs, contact Dean Frank Viviano, Division of Mathematics and Technical Education, 318-678-6363 or

EnCana Corporation check presentation

EnCana Corporation representatives present BPCC with $100,000. Pictured left to right are Keith Gamble, LCTCS Board of Supervisors; Helen Black, BPCC Foundation Board of Directors; Shawn Helm, Community Relations, EnCana; Tommy Clark, LCTCS Board of Supervisors; Susan Thompson, Community Relations, EnCana; Jim Henderson, BPCC Chancellor.

Citizens National Bank funds Bossier Parish Community College Scholarship

Woody Schick, President and CEO of Citizens National Bank, N.A., made a special presentation to Bossier Parish Community College and Chancellor Jim Henderson on December 3, 2009.

Citizens National Bank renewed its commitment to BPCC to support a scholarship fund through the BPCC Foundation that will provide tuition assistance for students in need and “Special Programs” in the Athletic Department. The scholarship fund will be in the name of Citizens National Bank N.A./John R. McConathy. Mr. McConathy is the Chairman of the Board at Citizens and has supported Bossier Parish Community College since its inception serving on Campus Facilities, Inc., and Board of Directors.

Citizens National Bank, N.A., has been a long-time partner of Bossier Parish Community College and has donated $81,105 since 1998. The new commitment will be for $16,000 this year with an additional $10,000 in the last quarter of 2010.

Chancellor Henderson stated, “We are grateful to Citizens National Bank for the partnership we have enjoyed for many years. Bossier Parish Community College is the access point to higher education and workforce training for thousands. This generous donation will enable us to expand that access even further.”

Mr. Schick agreed, “The partnership with Citizens National Bank, N.A., goes back over a decade, and we are proud to have been a part of the success of Bossier Parish Community College.”

Woody Schick of Citizens National Bank, and Jim Henderson, BPCC

Pictured l to r are Woody Schick, President and CEO of Citizens National Bank,
and Jim Henderson, Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College.