Frank Clavelle, III was recently selected for cohort two of the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program.
Clavelle, a 2021 Hahnville High School graduate, is a sophomore at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette majoring in architectural studies and minoring in law. In the future he plans to earn his master’s degree in architecture.
The Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program is a University of Louisiana System initiative in place to enhance the educational experiences of exemplary Black male students. Two rising sophomores from each of the University of Louisiana System’s nine member institutions are chosen yearly to become Lewis Scholars. Participation is based on academic merit, financial need and leadership skills.
The Reginald F. Lewis Scholars experience is tri-fold. In addition to a full tuition scholarship, cohorts will participate in the community experience which includes a partnership with the Universities of Louisiana Management and Leadership Institute and a service learning project; the social experience which includes an annual focused retreat and academic, social and professional mentorship from business, community and university leaders; and the academic experience which includes research projects and a study abroad opportunity in their junior year.
Clavelle, as well as the rest of the second cohort of scholars, were recently introduced during a pinning ceremony at the University of Louisiana at Monroe as part of the annual Universities of Louisiana Black Male Summit.
“I was truly overwhelmed with joy,” Clavelle said about being installed as a scholar. “I had wanted to be a part of this when I first found out about it. Just being in the environment at the summit … it truly opened my eyes to how much I wanted this … it really brought me into a brotherhood.”
Clavelle was invited to apply for the program by Reuben Henderson III, associate director of admissions and recruitment, who oversees the Lewis program at UL Lafayette.
“This is an exciting and excellent opportunity that will continue to develop and enhance his overall personal and professional experiences as a Black male student,” Henderson said of Clavelle.
Reginald F. Lewis was one of the wealthiest black men in the world during the 1980s, as well as the first black man to build a billion-dollar empire and the first African American to close an overseas leveraged buyout deal. His commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly for African American youth and young black males, is the inspiration for the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars.
“I am very thankful for everyone who has helped me get to this point,” Clavelle said. “I would like to thank God, as well as my dad and mom for all the sacrifices they made. I’d like to thank Ruben for always making sure the scholars and I have everything we need, and to the UL system for opening doors for us.”
Clavelle said he hopes the program helps him to get the most out his college experience, as well as to grow his network of contacts.
“We’re meeting so many different people and growing our connections,” Clavelle said. “I’m excited about the community service aspect as well. There are so many things about the program that I think I’ll enjoy.”
At HHS Clavelle participated in wrestling, track and field, cross country, the International Thespian Society, Beta Club and the Spanish Honor Society. He is currently the treasurer for the UL Nomas Chapter and is involved in UL’s Black Male Leadership Association. This summer he is interning at a construction company in Illinois.