Brought To You By NSU; Written by Leah Jackson
An anonymous donor contributed $100,000 to the Northwestern State University Foundation to create a scholarship honoring a former business professor and his wife.
The H.N. and Inez C. Towry Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a female undergraduate in the amount of $5,000 per year for four years through graduation. The student must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and seek a degree in business or education.
Towry was a much-loved professor in NSU’s School of Business. A native of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corp right after Pearl Harbor and served in the Pacific Theatre. Soon after returning from the war, he moved his young family to Louisiana, where they remained for 50 years as he served on NSU’s faculty. The Towrys were very active in the First Presbyterian Church in Natchitoches. Mr. Towry spent the last years of his life in Atlanta, Georgia, and passed away on Nov. 24, 2022, days before a 100th birthday celebration was planned in his honor. He was predeceased by his wife Inez and nine siblings.
Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation, said he was contacted by the anonymous donor who wished to honor the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Towry and asked him to develop the scholarship for an undergraduate in business or education, with preference for a female student. The donor requested that the family to be involved in developing criteria for the scholarship,
“I can’t tell you how much this means to Northwestern State University, having a scholarship of this size, especially in business and education, two areas that we are very proud of,” Owens said.
Several members of the Towry family visited NSU for the scholarship announcement March 16.
“We have a lot of really special memories of growing up in Natchitoches,” said daughter Debra Towry, a 1972 NSU graduate. “All of us have memories of being together at home with Mom and Dad.”
Debra said her mother, who was also an educator, was a character and a powerful personality.
“We have a very strong connection to Northwestern,” she said. “We graduated from Natchitoches Elementary on the Northwestern campus, with our daddy teaching here. There are a lot of strong positive memories.”
Daughter Kristy Towry Lee, a 1981 NSU graduate, said NSU feels like home.
“We all went to Warren Easton. Daddy’s office was in Caldwell Hall, which burned down. This was our playground. We would go at Christmastime to the Student Union where they would paint all the windows. I lived in Varnado when it was coed in the 80s. Our daddy is so connected to this place,” Lee said. “This scholarship couldn’t be more meaningful to us as a way for us to reconnect to our childhood, our family and Northwestern as our home.”
“It’s nice to know that Mama and Daddy will be remembered forever,” said daughter Carolyn Towry Mayeaux, a 1972 graduate of NSU.
“Listening to these stories drives home the impact that Northwestern has had on so many lives,” said NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones. “We are grateful to the donor who generously provided this scholarship and that the Towry family was able to share their memories of Northwestern.”