group photo of Jane Karas and Broussard family posing in front of Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Sciences
May 23, 2018

Broussard Family Honored with FVCC Eagle Award at President’s Dinner

Donna Lawson Receives Montana Mentor Award

The Broussard family of Kalispell was honored with Flathead Valley Community College’s prestigious Eagle Award during the 23rd annual President’s Dinner on May 21. The Eagle Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the college.

Passionate about health care and education, the Broussard family has contributed $7.5 million to FVCC over the past 18 years. The Broussards initially became involved with FVCC when they established the Jerome and Rebecca Broussard Endowed Scholarship Fund. To date, more than 1,200 scholarships have been awarded to FVCC students from this $1 million endowed fund. In 2012, the family gifted $4 million to the college for the construction of the Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Science. Since then, hundreds of individuals have graduated from FVCC with health care degrees and certificates and entered the local workforce. Earlier this year, the family stepped forward yet again with a lead gift of $2.5 million for the construction of a new Library & Learning Commons on campus, which will open in the spring of 2019. The new facility will provide a contemporary environment with leading-edge technologies where learning, innovation and creativity will come together to improve educational outcomes for users of every age.

“The Broussard family’s leadership and philanthropy have greatly encouraged others to get involved in college and community projects,” FVCC President Jane Karas said. “The Broussards are unique in their selflessness and support, changing our lives and making the college and the Flathead Valley a better place now and forever.”

Also at the President’s Dinner, Donna Lawson of Bigfork was honored with the 2018 Montana Mentor Award.

“Donna is an individual whose leadership, energy, selflessness and belief in the college and her community have made this a better place for all,” Karas said.

Lawson has served on the FVCC Foundation board of directors for several years and has chaired the Festival of Flavors annual fundraising event for 11 years. Under her leadership, Festival of Flavors has grown from netting $3,000 its first year to netting $300,000 in 2017 with proceeds benefitting student scholarships and innovative projects.

Although she is best known as the longtime owner of the Jug Tree in Bigfork, Lawson began her career as an elementary teacher. She remains passionate about education and recently helped start the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Scholarship Fund for FVCC students.