First recipient rewarded the Carley McCord Scholarship


NSU News Bureau

When asked about Carley McCord, Caroline Bland, junior sports journalism major and first Carley McCord scholarship recipient said, “Whenever I went into sports journalism I looked up females in sports journalism and Carley was one that stood out to me.”

Carley McCord Ensminger was a Northwestern State University of Louisiana alumna who was highly involved on campus. Ensminger was a member of Tri Sigma, worked for the NSU’s recruiting office as a student ambassador and was crowned Miss Northwestern Lady of the Bracelet in 2010.

She was a digital media reporter for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, in Natchitoches.

McCord was known for her time in sports journalism. McCord died tragically Dec. 28, 2018 in a plane crash.

Her family wanted to honor her memory through a scholarship for someone who could keep McCords’ legacy alive.

People who were close to McCord contributed over $108,000 to NSU to create a scholarship in her name.

“I’ve never seen such an outpour of generosity that I saw when Carley passed,” said Jill Bankston, director of the Development Office of University of Advancement.

Today, people are able to contribute to the foundation to raise money for the scholarship. It can be found on the Carley McCord scholarship page.

“It was an honor to work with the family of Carley McCord,” Bankston said.

On Sep. 18, 2021, NSU awarded their first recipient of the Carley McCord scholarship to Caroline Bland, junior sports journalism major.

Brand’s involvement on campus includes Alpha Omicron Pi, Baptist Collegiate Ministries and NSU TV.

Her interest in sports journalism grew through her father who died in 2010.

“My love for sports grew because I felt like I was doing something for the both of us, for him too and I know he will always be by my side,” Bland said.

When asked about McCord, Bland said, “Whenever I went into sports journalism I looked up females in sports journalism and Carley was one that stood out to me.”

“She is one that I have always dreamed to be like,” said Bland.

Bland expressed that it is a dream come true to be awarded this scholarship.

Kelly Krouse, NSU coordinator for the Scholarship Foundation, said, “Caroline was the best fit for what the family was looking for.”

When looking at applicants, Bland is the one that stood out to Krouse most in regards to what the family was looking for to honor McCord.

When asked what her future holds Bland said, “My goal is ESPN, I would love to be on the sidelines during an NFL football game or up in the booth, anything to be around sports.”

“I am so thankful for this and I hope that I can carry Carley in everything I do,” Bland said.