Indiana State University Newsroom

President’s Scholar, donors make lasting connection

December 9, 2016

For Larry and Elizabeth "Buffy" Boulet, endowing a scholarship at Indiana State University seemed like a no-brainer.

They had attended several campus events that helped to spark their interest in giving. Following the Presidential Scholars dinner and meeting a student, the couple settled on the creation of a President's Scholarship as their means of giving.

"I'll never forget that young lady," said Buffy Boulet. "She got up and talked about her experience at ISU and how it took her from this kid from somewhere and it really helped her mature as a person."

When they made the decision to create the scholarship, they were unsure of how long it would take before their idea would become a reality. Before they knew it, there was an opportunity to do a matching contribution with Eli Lilly, and just like that, they were off.

In 2014, Tanner Smith, a supply chain management major, became the third recipient of the Boulet Scholarship and has had developed a lasting relationship with the Boulets.

"As a business student, I was able to connect with them about their careers. Our conversation ranged from travelling the world to artificial intelligence in marketing," Smith said. "To be honest, it was awesome. The people whose incredible generosity made my college experience possible also happened to be genuinely interesting and caring people."

Larry Boulet, '74, recalls they hit it off with Smith, whose maturity and his breadth of knowledge the couple admired.

Their relationship with Smith is symbiotic. They have assisted Smith with networking and finding an internship. In turn, the Boulets have gleaned a plethora of knowledge about social media and blogging. The Boulets continue to stay in contact with Smith, meeting occasionally to catch up the happenings in each other's lives and talk about societal and ethical issues.

The relationship with Smith and others who the Boulets have met and worked with at Indiana State have awakened them to a strong sense of community at Indiana State. Larry

Boulet has chaired the ISU Foundation Board of Directors and continues to serve as a director. As chairman, he led the restructuring of the foundation's governance and the initiation of the March On! Capital Campaign. He and his wife co-chaired the campaign's national committee.

They say they take great pride in their scholars love to watch them grow and flourish throughout their careers at Indiana State.

For Smith, the Presidential Scholarship is much more than a way to finance his education.

"Being a President's Scholar has opened more doors than I can count, including many I may not even be aware of," he said. "Financially, it has allowed me to focus completely on my college experience, instead of on how I was going to pay next semester's tuition."

Smith has been able to work in Student Government Association as well as write various legislative measures for the group. He has served a term as president of his fraternity, studied abroad, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

"I have been very appreciative of the benefits of my education from ISU," Larry Boulet said. "It literally changed my life, and enabled me to achieve dreams that I didn't even know I had."


Writer: Briana Lofton, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or