Deidre Cruse Memorial Scholarship awarded

Staff report
Friends of Iberville Public Libraries vice-president Lofty Bezet is pictured with the 2012 recipient of the Deidre Cruse Memorial Scholarship Olivia McClure. 

LSU journalism student Olivia McClure is the first recipient of the Deidre Cruse Memorial Scholarship.

The Friends of the Iberville Public Libraries, of which Cruse was a long-standing member, administered the fund.

"Deidre was a very important member of our organization, she wore many hats and we feel her loss deeply," Friends President Bethany Cardinal said.

Cruse, an award-winning journalist with the Plaquemine Post South for 25 years, passed away earlier this year. The Friends decided to set up a scholarship in her name.

Group member, Dr. Charlene Bishop, acted as liaison and shortly the Friends received notice, with thanks, from Jerry Ceppos, Dean of LSU's School of Mass Communication, that the scholarship was official.

The recipient, selected by the Dean of Manship School, to which $500 will be granted yearly will be a female student in her second year of journalism study.

McClure sent a "thank you" letter to the Friends and attended a recent meeting during which members shared memories of Cruse.

The Friends of the Iberville Public Libraries is a non-profit organization dedicated to help support, promote and enhance the Iberville Parish library system, which is composed of the main library in Plaquemine and seven additional branches located throughout the parish.

Their Annual Book Sale is a popular fundraiser. They help sponsor various programs and events at the library throughout the year and provide supplemental monies, which enable the library system to purchase Summer Reading Program books and supplies. The Friends also donate some of the prize monies awarded at the library's annual Acadian Art Show.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund is encouraged to contact Elizabeth Haynes at Iberville Parish Library Headquarters.

"Deidre was a great journalist and a very special person, this scholarship keeps her memory alive and it also helps someone in need," noted Friend member Les Ann Kirkland. "She would like that."

Haynes can be reached at 225-687-2520 or