BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A couple from Texas has gifted $5 million to the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute.

According to LSU, alumna Diane Goyette and her husband Henry made the donation. The university said the institute serves as a “hub” for early childhood education research.

“Developmentally sound practices in early childhood education require an ongoing cycle of rigorous research, synthesis of evidence, and novel strategies to implement findings in a variety of learning settings,” said LSU President Dr. William F. Tate IV. “Our community benefits as the Goyette family’s gift provides resources to support this cycle as it prioritizes evidence-based health and education practices with children in the state of Louisiana and beyond. I am grateful for their support.”

LSU said the donation from the Goyettes will create the Diane Toups Goyette Research & Engagement Fund in Early Childhood Education, the Diane Toups Goyette Professorship in Early Childhood Development and the Diane Toups Goyette Graduate Student Scholarship.

The fund will be used to “increase understanding and dissemination of evidence-based strategies that enhance early childhood social-emotional development.” Other uses for the money will be for research programs, community outreach and engagement.

“The Goyettes’ pace-setting generosity is exactly the type of collaborative partnership we envisioned in launching the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute last year,” said Roland Mitchell, dean of the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education. “As an alumna and an expert in early childhood education, Diane recognizes the vital importance of investing in Louisiana’s children and in the teachers who commit their careers to changing lives through education. Her confidence in the ECE Institute affirms the importance of our impact in this crucial aspect of shaping Louisiana’s future.”

As the founder and owner of Early Childhood Specialties, Diane said her mission aligned with the institute’s mission.

“My mission through Early Childhood Specialties to support young children, their teachers and their families coincides with the work and mission of the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute,” Diane said. “It was serendipitous timing that Henry and I were looking for ways to support LSU just after the launching of the institute. Making a financial contribution to the institute is the perfect complement to my professional efforts to further the field of early childhood education, as it will help to ensure that Louisiana’s youngest children have a strong foundation for their future development. Their healthy start in life is vital to the future of our communities!”

The university said the couple’s donation is part of its largest campaign for higher education, the Fierce for the Future Campaign. LSU said the $1.5 billion campaign is the state’s largest higher education campaign.

“Henry and I are pleased to be able to provide both an immediate and a planned gift to the Institute,” said Diane. “It gives us immense satisfaction knowing our gifts are supporting the research, education and advocacy efforts of the institute, both now and well into the future. We are confident that our fund will help the institute’s visions become a reality, benefiting LSU, Louisiana’s young children and families and the early childhood education field. We are proud to support the institute’s important work.”