Pineville student wins prestigious Smith Scholarship

By Dr. Elizabeth Christian

Pineville, LA (LCU News) – Louisiana Christian University held its annual Smith Scholarship competition Saturday, January 30, with 15 entrants.

Pineville High School senior Leanna Lanford took the top award: a scholarship to LCU that includes tuition, books, room and board.

Lanford said, in her acceptance of the award, that she had been diagnosed with an autonomic nervous system disorder about a year and a half ago, during which time her faith has become very important to her.

“Throughout my high school career, I knew that LCU was the place I wanted to go because I wanted to grow in that faith,” she said, “and I wanted to learn more about my condition, which is why I am studying in pre-med and going to become a pediatric cardiology to help kids just like myself.”

Lanford, whose parents are also graduates of Louisiana Christian University, will continue her studies as a pre-med major. Her dream is to attend medical school to prepare for her calling as a pediatric cardiologist. She will be joined at LCU by her twin brother, Ethan. Lanford is a member of HIS Church in Pineville.

“We are very thankful for the students who honored us by entering the competition,” said Louisiana Christian University President Rick Brewer. “We are especially honored that Leanna has heard and answered God’s calling and wants to begin preparing for her call at Louisiana Christian University.”

The annual competition drew contestants from Louisiana and Mississippi. Competitors must have at least a 28 ACT score and are further evaluated based on their leadership qualities and Christian character.

Qualified contestants who enroll next fall at Louisiana Christian University will be awarded an annual academic scholarship and will join the C.S. Lewis Honors Scholars program.

“We are very excited to be enrolling our fifth cohort into the C. S. Lewis Honors Program- a program focused on interdisciplinary and experiential learning,” said Dr. Sarah Payne, Honors College coordinator. “We look forward to having Leanna Lanford and all the highly qualified Smith Scholarship competitiors joining us on campus this coming fall.”

An endowment donation from Tom and Beverly Durham to honor Mrs. Durham’s mother, Elizabeth Smith, founded the Smith Scholarship in the early 1970s.