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Former Gov. Kathleen and Raymond Blanco

LAFAYETTE — A French education scholarship is being established in the name of late Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco by the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana in partnership with La Fondation Louisiane.

The announcement will be made at the Franco-Fête luncheon, set from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at the City Club at River Ranch. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

The newly established scholarship, to be named the “Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Coach Raymond Blanco Scholarship,” will be sponsored by La Fondation Louisiane and administered by CODOFIL. Through an agreement with the University of Namur in Belgium, the Blanco scholarship will support study abroad for a Louisiana university student interested in pursuing a career in public service.

As a former teacher, Gov. Blanco’s career started in education at Breaux Bridge High School. In January 2004, she became Louisiana’s first female governor, taking the oath of office in both English and French. During her term as governor from 2004-2008, Blanco became the first governor in nearly 50 years to fully fund Louisiana’s colleges and universities. Additionally, she expanded the prekindergarten program to include underprivileged children, increased test scores and started a program providing laptops to sixth-grade classrooms. Under Blanco, teachers salaries were increased to the regional average, the last increase in teacher pay until this year.

Raymond Blanco, known as “Coach,” served as an administrator for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette from 1982 until his retirement in 2009. He served as vice president of student affairs, linking the student body to the university administration.