Even in death, Rose Long continues to impact Northwestern State University students’ lives through a scholarship in her honor. Louisiana Sen. Gerald Long established the Rose Landry Long Scholarship for first generation college students.
After Mrs. Long died from brain cancer on April 30, Sen. Long asked himself, “How are you going to take pain and grief and suffering and turn it into something positive?”
Mrs. Long and Sen. Long met in 1965 at NSU. She was the first member of her family in more than three generations to attend college.
Mrs. Rose and Sen. Long were married 11 months after they started dating. They had been married for over 50 years when Mrs. Rose passed.
“She was not only my wife; she was my best friend. She was my joy, she was the best example I ever saw…that reflected Godliness,” Sen. Long said.
Sen. Long was the Fellowship of Christian Athletes director at NSU. Long spoke of how the FCA attendance grew significantly after Mrs. Long started coming with him.
“She just possessed that quality that [athletes] felt immediately that they were loved and were cared for,” he said.
Mrs. Phyllis Collins, assistant director at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on NSU’s campus, is a friend to the Longs.
“They are really warm and genuine and caring… They love Northwestern with a passion,” she said.
Mrs. Rose taught Bible studies, spoke at conferences and had one-on-one sessions with people in her 69 years of life. She was a devout Christian woman who “poured herself into people,” her husband said.
Her passion for others and for NSU carried into the scholarship’s establishment.
Rowdy Burleson, a criminal justice major and Elizabeth Schoubroek, criminal justice and business majors, respectively, are the first recipients of the scholarship.
Schoubroek, a freshman from Zwolle, Louisiana, is thankful for the award and said the scholarship will have a big impact on her life.