LSU graduates Emmet and Toni Stephenson, founders of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute on LSU's campus, were the winning bidders for the Leonard Fournette jersey auction that generated a record $101,000 for flood victims in South Carolina.
Emmet and Toni Stephenson graduated from LSU in 1967, and in 2006 the family gifted LSU with $25 million as a direct result of witnessing the herculean effort the school undertook in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Ironically, it was Hurricane Katrina and the difficulties that then 10-year old Leonard Fournette and his family faced both during and after the storm that prompted Fournette's wish to auction the jersey he wore during the South Carolina game in Tiger Stadium on October 10.
"It's exciting," Fournette said of the money raised from his jersey auction. "It's great to know that the money raised in this auction will be going to help the victims of the flooding in South Carolina. It's a proud moment knowing that we were able to make a difference and I thank God for giving me a chance to help those in need.
"I would also like to sincerely thank Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson for their generosity. It's truly humbling to be part of this and to have so much money generated for such a great cause. I will be forever grateful for their kindness."
Emmet and Toni Stephenson were recognized on the field during tonight's LSU-Arkansas game. The Stephenson's said that Fournette's jersey will be put on display at the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, which is located in the LSU Business School.