The Smiley & Ashley Runnels Family Scholarship

1917800_536118377870_5115452_nThe Smiley and Ashley Runnels Family Scholarship was established to support junior or senior National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternity or sorority members with an overall GPA of 2.5 or greater. This endowed scholarship is a resource dedicated to supporting the educational goals of these outstanding student leaders, who serve as bridge builders between the past and the future and share the same values as the Runnels family.

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”

—Dr. Mae Jemison

Ways to Give

To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, we’ve established an endowed scholarship at Lamar University. 


  1. Visit Lamar’s secure giving page online:
  2. Complete online form. In the Designation drop-down box choose “Other (please specify below)”. In the Other Designation box reference the Smiley & Ashley Runnels Family Scholarship. 
  3. If you need assistance with your online gift, please call the Foundation office at

Lamar Give

By Check

  1. Print and complete the Runnels Gift Form
  2. Make check payable to Lamar University Foundation
  3. Mail form and check to Lamar University Foundation, P O Box 11500, Beaumont, TX 77710


1933825_534715878490_3169205_nChris “Smiley” (BBA, ’07) and Ashley (BS, ’07, Ed.D., ’13) achieved success at Lamar University, and beyond, by building upon values instilled in them throughout their childhood and college experience. Although Smiley and Ashley grew up in very different Texas communities, Paris and Austin respectively, they both learned the value of hard work, integrity, and kindness. As college students, these foundational values were enhanced when they became members of National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations, specifically Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. As members, they were profoundly impacted by the collective commitment to excellence, scholarship, and service, as well as the thoughtful mentorship of faculty and staff who often saw their greatest potential.