Alumni in Action
2013 LSU graduate Rachel Eggie Gibbs is using her hairstyling talent and expertise to help women in Baton Rouge, and around the world, battling cancer.
Katie Mehnert is focused on improving the industry she has spent more than 20 years working through her company, ALLY Energy.
Rami graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry, Concentration in Secondary Education. He currently is a Senior Optical Engineer at nLight in Washington State.
LSU research associate and recent LSU Master of Public Administration graduate Alvaro Armas will be one of two Knauss Fellows from the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program serving in Washington, D.C.
Eduardo Aguirre Jr.
Bachelor of Science - General Business, 1969
Named the first Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, Aguirre was the U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra from June 2005 until January 2009.
Doug Carl Ahlers
Master of Journalism - Journalism, 1983
Ahlers is the co-founder of Modem Media, an interactive advertising and marketing agency that creates Internet strategies for Fortune 500 companies. He helped build the first online shopping site and the first online travel site. He also built the first commercial Web site on the Internet - Zima.com - and created the first banner ad to appear on the Internet - AT&T. Modem Media subsidiary Poppe Tyson created the first Web site for the White House. Ahlers is currently a Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Senior Fellow in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Stephen Edward Ambrose
Master of Arts - History, 1958
Ambrose was a noted historian and author of historical books including Band of Brothers, the basis for the television mini-series of the same name, D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II, The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys who Flew the B-24s over Germany, Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors and Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West. A founder of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, he was also the military advisor on the Academy Award-winning film Saving Private Ryan.
Dr. James Rheuben Andrews
Bachelor of Science – Arts & Sciences Medical Combined, 1988
Medical Doctor - LSU School of Medicine, 1967
Honorary Doctor of Science, 1998
A world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, Andrews has operated on sports legends the likes of Bo Jackson, Peyton Manning, Emmitt Smith, Drew Brees, John Smoltz, Roger Clemens, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Jack Nicklaus, although collegiate and professional athletes only comprise about a quarter of his patients. He founded the Alabama Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center and the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala., and later the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Andrews successfully lobbied Little League for pitch-count limits because research conducted at his American Sports Medicine Institute found a correlation between pitching injuries and overuse as teenagers. While at LSU, Andrews won the SEC indoor and outdoor titles in the pole vault. In 2008, he was featured in the SEC’s 75 Years “Stories of Character” campaign and inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Larry Ottis Arthur
Doctor of Philosophy – Microbiology, 1970
Arthur is the associate director of the AIDS Vaccine Program at the National Cancer Institute, or NCI, at Frederick where he serves as the Operations and Technical Support Contract principle investigator and the AIDS Vaccine Program principle investigator. He also serves as president of SAIC-Frederick Inc., a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC, which operates the NCI-Frederick laboratories.
Seimone Delicia Augustus
Bachelor of General Studies - General Studies, 2005
Augustus received her degree in 2005 after just three years at LSU and while earning NCAA Women’s Basketball National Player of the Year honors twice. She was the first pick of the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx and a 2008 U.S. Olympic gold medalist.
James M. Bernhard Jr.
Bachelor of Science - Construction, 1976
Bernhard is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of The Shaw Group Inc., a Fortune 500 company offering a broad range of services to the power, process, environmental, infrastructure and emergency response markets.
Patricia Lucille Curtis "Pat" Hewlett Bodin
Bachelor of Science - Mathematics, 1972
Hewlett was the Chief Information Officer of ExxonMobil, the world's largest energy company, and the vice president of ExxonMobil's Global Information Services organization. In 1997, Hewlett was inducted into the YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers, one of the United States' most prestigious honors for professional women.
Major General William G. Bowdon, III – Retired
College of Business, 1970
Major General Bowdon entered the Marine Corps in 1970 and entered flight training. He received his wings in 1972. He later completed F-4 Combat Qualification Training and graduated from Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He was promoted to major in May 1981. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. Major General Bowdon served as the President and CEO of the LSU Foundation.
John Edmund Bradley
Bachelor of Arts - English, 1980
A former LSU football player, Bradley is a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated and has written several novels, including The Best There Ever Was and It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium.
Donna Leslie Brazile
Bachelor of Arts - Psychology, 1981
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, 2005
Brazile was the first African-American to lead to major presidential campaign as campaign manager for Al Gore's 2000 presidential run. She is the chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute and the founder/director of Brazile & Associates, LLC, a political consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.
John Berlinger Breaux
Juris Doctor – Law, 1967
Breaux was a U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1987-2005 and served as a U.S. Congressman from Louisiana's Seventh District from 1972-1986.
LSU Manship School of Mass Communication alumna Amy Brittain is part of the Washington Post staff recently recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for “its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be.”
Sherry Sue Lee Berry Brock
Bachelor of Arts - History, 1970
Master of Education – Administration Psychology, 1977
Certificate of Education Specialist - Reading, 1981
In 2006, Brock was the East Baton Rouge Parish Middle School Principal of the Year, State of Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year, and one of three finalists for National Middle School Principal of the Year as recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She has spent more than 35 years in education and says that she feels truly rewarded when she shares her passion for educational leadership with others whom she knows will assist teachers as they assist children.
Kenneth Thurman Brown
Bachelor of Interior Design – Interior Design, 1995
Brown is the host of the HGTV show reDesign. He credits much of his success to LSU’s interior design program. He owns the Los Angeles-based firm Kenneth Brown Designs and is the resident interior deign expert for MSN.com. He recently launched a new bedding line, Kenneth Brown Design Directions, for QVC and has a baby bedding line, Kenneth Brown Baby Limited Edition, at Babies "R" Us.
Bachelor of Science – General Studies, 1970
Juris Doctor – Law, 1973
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, 1993
Carville received both a bachelor’s degree and law degree from LSU and gained fame in the 1990s as the chief campaign strategist for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Carville also penned a best-selling memoir titled All’s Fair: Love, War and Running for President.
Cassandra McWilliams Chandler
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism – Broadcast Journalism, 1979
Chandler retired as one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s highest-ranking African-American women as Special Agent in Charge of the Norfolk field office. She previously held the titles of Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco field office, Section Chief in the Investigative Services Division and Assistant Director of the Training Program. After Sept. 11, 2001, she was promoted to Assistant Director of the Office of Public Affairs where she oversaw the agency's interaction with the media and the public. After her retirement from federal service in 2005, Chandler became the Senior Vice President of Investigative Services for domestic and international fraud investigations at a major banking institution. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Award,” the National Center for Women and Policing’s “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” Award, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ “Phenomenal Woman” Community Service Award.
Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication – Advertising, 2002
Honors College, 2002
LSU alumna Anita Chang was honored in 2007 as “Woman of Your Year” by Glamour magazine in New York City's Carnegie Hall. Chang was the youngest person ever hired on the national desk at the Associated Press and was honored by the magazine after fighting back from a traumatic brain injury suffered when she was hit by a car, to return to work at the Associated Press.
Sally Ilene Clausen
Bachelor of Science – Secondary Education, 1967
Master of Education – Special Education, 1971
Doctor of Education – Education Administration/Supervision, 1980
Clausen is the Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Louisiana. She has served as Secretary of Education for the Office of the Governor, President of Southeastern Louisiana University, President of the University of Louisiana System, and Vice President of the National Association of System Heads.
The landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on one of Earth’s closest neighbors captivated and fascinated people all over the world, but this historical and literally groundbreaking achievement held a special significance for the LSU community: University alumnus and Baton Rouge native Keith Comeaux served as test conductor, team chief and flight director for Curiosity’s launch, eight-month flight and landing on the Red Planet.
William "Bill" Conti
Bachelor of Music - Composition, 1963
Honorary Doctor of Music, 1985
Oscar-winning composer who has written theme music for several well-known movies, including Gonna Fly Now from the Rocky films, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart in 1977. He won the 1984 Academy Award for the score to The Right Stuff. He has also composed the scores for movies including The Karate Kid, For Your Eyes Only, and The Thomas Crown Affair, and wrote the theme songs for television shows including Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Cagney & Lacey, and ABC's Primetime Live. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has either served as musical director for or conductor for the Academy Awards 16 times.
Lodwrick Monroe "Lod" Cook
Bachelor of Science – Physical Science, 1950
Bachelor of Science – Math, 1955
After graduating from LSU, Cook joined the Atlantic Richfield Company and quickly advanced into management positions. In 1970, he was made a corporate vice president at ARCO and advanced to senior vice president, executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 1980, he became a member of the Board of Directors and in 1985 was named the president and chief executive officer, where he remained for nine years until his retirement in 1995. Cook is a trustee of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation and a director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. In 1994, he was invested with the Insignia of Honorary Knight Commander and the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales.
Joan Ernestine Cowart Cronan
Bachelor of Science – Human Resource Education, 1966
Master of Science - Physical Education, 1968
Cronan has served as the women’s athletics director for the University of Tennessee since 1983 and oversees all aspects of the Lady Vols athletics programs. In 2005, she was named National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators Athletic Director of the Year. Cronan is third vice president of National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and is president elect of the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administrators. She has served on the NCAA’s Executive Committee, Management Council, as well as the NCAA’s Council, and is a member of the NCAA Championship Cabinet and president of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Bachelor of Science - Health, Physical and Safety Education, 1955
LSU's Athletics Director from 1987-2001, Dean began and ended his sports career with the Tigers. Known throughout the country for his work as the television analyst for LSU basketball, Dean’s collegiate career puts him among the best at LSU. A three-time All-SEC selection, Dean is one of 36 LSU players to score over 1,000 points in his career. He was the first LSU player ever drafted in the NBA and is a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, the NABC Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and was a member of LSU Men’s Basketball All-Century Team.
Dr. Alexander William "Alex" Dunlap
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, 1989
A medical doctor and veterinarian, Dunlap is the chief veterinarian for NASA. He is responsible for all NASA policies related to animal health and welfare. In 1998, he was a Payload Specialist alternate for STS-90 Neurolab Program, studying the effects of microgravity on the nervous system, on the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Anson Wright Elliott
Master of Arts – Government, 1962
Elliott is a retired executive vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked for 24 years and supervised marketing operations and investor, government and employee relations. He was chairman of the National Executive Service Corp and served on the boards of the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy, National Association of Manufacturers, NY Botanical Garden, Police Athletic League, South Street Seaport and Union Theological Seminary.
Gen. Graves Blanchard Erskine
Bachelor of Arts, 1917
Four-star U.S. Marine Corps General who led the 3rd Marine Division during the Battle of Iwo Jima in WWII, where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and was later the Commanding General of Camp Pendleton, the major west coast base of the Marines. During WWI, he was injured in the battle of Bellau Wood and later was chosen to organize the Honor Guard that returned the body of the Unknown Soldier from France aboard the USS Olympia. Following his retirement, he served as assistant to the Secretary of Defense as Director of Special Operations of the United States Department of Defense. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Maxime Alan Faget
Bachelor of Science - Mechanical Engineering, 1943
Honorary Doctor of Engineering, 1972
Designer of the Mercury spacecraft and later worked on the Gemini and Apollo spacecrafts and the Space Shuttle. He is a member of the National Space Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and was a recipient of the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership.
Ruth Ann Udstad Fertel
Bachelor of Science - Chemistry, 1946
Fertel is the founder of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, which operates around the nation and the world in countries including Hong Kong, Japan, Aruba and the United Arab Emirates. She was dubbed the "First Lady of American Restaurants," and was the 1992 "Inc. Magazine Regional Entrepreneur of the Year" and the 1995 Horatio Alger Association "Entrepreneur of the Year."
Mary Carol Flake Flores
Bachelor of Science – Merchandising, 1971
Flores is the former first lady of Honduras. She is married to fellow LSU alum Carlos Roberto Flores, the president of Honduras from 1997-2001.
Carlos Roberto Flores
Bachelor of Science – Industrial Engineering, 1971
Bachelor of Science – International Trade & Finance, 1973
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, 1995
The president of Honduras from 1997-2001, Flores helped the nation recover after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in 1998. Flores is married to the former Mary Carol Flake, also an alumnus of LSU.
James Clyde "Jim" Flores
Bachelor of Science - Finance, 1981
Bachelor of Science - Petroleum Land Management, 1982
Flores is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Plains Exploration & Production Company, an independent oil and gas company primarily engaged in the activities of acquiring, developing, exploring and producing oil and gas in California, Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.
Murphy James “Mike” Foster Jr.
Bachelor of Science - Chemistry, 1952
Foster served as the governor of Louisiana from 1996-2001 after eight years in the Louisiana Senate representing the 21st District. He was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in 2003.
Sylvia Shaqueria Fowles
Bachelor of General Studies - General Studies, 2009
Fowles is a professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is a three-time Olympic Gold medalist for Team USA, and she also won the 2017 WNBA Most Valuable Player Award.
Lt. Gen. Terry Joan Walter Gabreski
Bachelor of Arts - History, 1973
Air Force three-star general Gabreski is one of the highest-ranking women in the history of the United States military. There is only one female in U.S. military history that is ranked higher than Lieutenant General and no Air Force female has been ranked higher. She is the Vice Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, which conducts research, development, test and evaluation and provides acquisition management and logistics for Air Force weapon systems. During Operation Allied Force in Kosovo in 1999, she directed logistics efforts for the air war across the entire theater. She has received various citations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Meritorious Service Medal with seven oak leaf clusters.
Kevin M. Griffin
Bachelor of General Studies - General Studies, 1989
Griffin is the lead singer of the platinum-selling rock band Better than Ezra. The band's song Good reached No. 1 on the Hot Modern Rock Chart in 1995 and their songs In The Blood and King of New Orleans were Top 10 hits.
Adolph Glenmore Gueymard
Bachelor of Science - Petroleum Engineering, 1935
Gueymard worked for Tidewater Oil Company before joining the First City National Bank. He retired from the First City National Bank as senior vice president for petroleum and minerals. A veteran of World War II who landed at Normandy on D-Day and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Gueymard served as director of several boards and/or foundations following his retirement including Zapata Corporation, Camco Global, Vale Inco, Harrisburg Bank, Midhurst Corporation and First City National Bank of Houston.
Honorary Doctor of Science, 1992
Hara researched at LSU in the 1950s and then later received an honorary doctorate of science degree from LSU in 1992. He is the former President and CEO of Seiko Instruments. Currently a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and member of the International Business Advisory Committee.
Rufus William "Bill" Harp
Bachelor of Arts – Speech, 1947
Master of Arts – English, 1951
Harp was a television set decorator for television series including L.A. Law and Moonlighting in the 1980s.
William Bass Hatcher
Bachelor of Arts – First Grade Teacher Certification, 1917
Master of Arts - Education, 1923
Doctor of Philosophy – History, 1937
After a modest beginning as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, Hatcher progressed to roles as principal, superintendent, dean and eventually LSU President from 1944-47. He was “especially interested in making the program of the university available to greater numbers of citizens, particularly those ambitious young men and women of Louisiana who have the capacity to learn and willingness to work.” Hatcher Hall is named in his honor and the College of Education’s LSYOU and GEAR-UP programs, which support ambitious young high school students, are housed in Hatcher Hall.
Brenda Garibaldi Hatfield
Doctor of Philosophy - Education, 1991
Hatfield was appointed to the position of Chief Administrative Officer for the City of New Orleans two weeks prior to Hurricane Katrina. She immediately established a temporary base of operation in Baton Rouge for essential city personnel to begin the monumental task of coordinating emergency relief funding for the citizens and government of New Orleans. Hatfield quickly amended the city’s budget to reflect a totally devastated revenue base, helped establish the city’s Office of Recovery, worked with the city’s Homeland Security to build an Office of Emergency Preparedness and worked with the Sanitation Director to collect thousands of tons of hurricane debris and provide new trash collection services to residents and businesses.
Walter W. Hitesman
Bachelor of Arts - Journalism, 1939
Hitesman is the former president of Reader's Digest. He started the Books and Recorded Musical Division of Reader's Digest, and was appointed president and chief operating officer in 1973 and retired in 1974.
Melvin Lee “Kip” Holden
Bachelor of Arts - Journalism, 1974
Holden became the first African-American Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish on Jan. 3, 2005. He previously served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 63 from 1988-2001 and was a Louisiana Senator from District 15 from 2002-2004.
Lead metallic engineer for the Space Launch System at the NASA Facility in New Orleans, is assigned to a special rocket that will one day take humans into deep space to explore places like Mars. This rocket is the largest, most powerful rocket that NASA has ever built. Read her story.
Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr.
Master of Arts – Government, 1942
Doctor of Laws – Special Convocation, 1965
Humphrey was the 38th U.S. Vice President of the United States and served under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He also served as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota for 23 years. The Democratic nominee for president in 1968, he narrowly lost to Richard Nixon. He has several buildings named in his honor, including the Hubert H. Humphrey Building of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Eddie Joe Jones
Bachelor of Science - Accounting, 1963
The former president and chief operating officer of the NFL's Miami Dolphins franchise and executive vice president and general manager of the New Orleans Saints, Jones also served as a trustee of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement and Disability Plan.
William Vernon Jones
Doctor of Philosophy – Physics, 1967
Jones is a Senior Scientist for Suborbital Research at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. He has worked extensively with NASA's balloon-based research.
Catherine D. "Kitty" Kimball
Juris Doctor – Law, 1970
In 1992, Kimball became the first woman elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court. She made history again on Jan. 12, 2009, when she was sworn in as the first female to serve as chief justice of Louisiana's highest court. Kimball began her legal career in the early 1970s and became the assistant district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, which serves Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge Parishes, in 1978. Four years later, she was elected a judge for the 18th Judicial District Court and served as the chief judge for the 18th District from 1990-1993. In 2006, she was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame.
Delos Lavern "Kip" Knight III
Bachelor of Science – General Business, 1978
Knight was the former vice president of marketing for eBay North America, the global online shopping site, is an alumnus of E. J. Ourso College of Business. He is currently the president of Knight Vision Marketing, a strategic marketing consulting firm, and works with the U.S. Department of State to teach diplomats marketing strategies to enhance the country's image overseas.
Tracy William Krohn
Bachelor of Science - Petroleum Engineering, 1978
Krohn founded W&T Offshore, Inc., an independent oil and natural gas acquisition and exploration company, in 1983 after working at Mobil Oil and Taylor Energy and has served as the company's chief executive officer since then. W&T Offshore went public in 2005 and doubled its size in 2006 with the purchase of Kerr-McGee's Gulf assets. In 2005, Krohn was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year national award winner in the Distribution/ Manufacturing/Security Category and in fall 2008, he was ranked 321 among Forbes 400 Richest People in America.
Mary Loretta Landrieu
Bachelor of Arts - Sociology, 1977
In 1997, Landrieu became the first woman from Louisiana elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate. She is now the state's senior senator, a member of the Appropriations Committee and the chair of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She was the Louisiana state treasurer from 1988-1996 and a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1980-1988.
Pinkie Gordon Lane
Doctor of Philosophy - English, 1967
Lane was the first African-American female to earn a Ph.D. from LSU and the first African-American Poet Laureate of Louisiana. Lane is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including Elegy for Etheridge: Poems and Girl at the Window: Poems. Two of her works were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Cpl. Germaine Catherine Laville
Bachelor of Science – Education/Upper Elementary, 1942
After graduation, Laville taught school for one year before enlisting in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. She was killed in the attempt to rescue a Marine from a fire in an aerial gunnery class in 1944. At age 22, she was the first LSU alumna to die in World War II. Laville Halls – East and West – are named in her memory.
Russell Billiu Long
Bachelor of Arts – Economics, 1941
Bachelor of Laws – Law, 1942
Juris Doctor – Law, 1968
Long was a U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1948-1987. He was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance from 1965-1981 and the Senate Majority Whip from 1965-1969. He also served on the Board of Directors of The New York Stock Exchange, Lowe's, and Met Life.
Augustus Carlyle “Carl” Maddox
Master of Science – Health, Physical & Safety Education, 1943
Maddox went from high school coach to assistant football coach at LSU and was the backfield coach for the 1958 LSU National Championship team. The first director of the LSU Union, he eventually became the LSU Athletics Director. Under his leadership, significant upgrades were made to LSU athletics facilities and ten varsity sports were added. He received the Corbett Award, a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. He was inducted posthumously into the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction and the Carl Maddox Field House is named in his honor.
Freddie Ray Marshall
Master of Arts – Economics, 1950
The Secretary of Labor under President Jimmy Carter, Marshall was also one of the founders of the Economic Policy Institute in 1986. He is currently the Professor Emeritus of the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He is the author of more than 30 books and monographs, including "Thinking for a Living: Education and the Wealth of Nations."
James Edward Maurin
Bachelor of Science - Aerospace Engineering, 1971
Maurin is a founder and currently serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of Stirling Properties Inc., a nationally recognized real estate services firm that is one of the largest in the Gulf South. In 2004-05, he served as the chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers, or ICSC, and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees.
Grover Elmer Murray II
Master of Science – Geology, 1939
Doctor of Philosophy – Geology, 1942
A former professor and dean at LSU, and vice president for the LSU System, Murray went on to become the president of Texas Technological College, which was renamed Texas Tech University during his tenure. In 1996, he was awarded the William H. Twenhofel Medal, which is the highest award given by the Society for Sedimentary Geology.
Jake Lee Netterville
Bachelor of Science - Accounting, 1960
Netterville is the chairman of the board of Postlethwaite & Netterville, one of the top 80 firms in the country and the largest Louisiana-based public accounting firm, after spending 22 years as the managing director.
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal
Bachelor of General Studies - General Studies, 2000
A four-time NBA champion, including the 2006 title with the Miami Heat, O’Neal was the 2000 NBA MVP while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. The 1992-93 NBA Rookie of the Year, he has also earned NBA Finals MVP three times and was the NBA scoring champion twice. A 15-time all-star, he was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 1996.
Michael Plato Papajohn
Bachelor of General Studies - General Studies, 1987
Papajohn is the only actor to star in four $150 million moves in the same calendar year - 2009s Terminator: Salvation, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, Land of the Lost, and G-Force. Getting his start in acting as the stunt double for Dennis Quaid in Everybody's All-American while still a baseball player at LSU, Papajohn has gone on to appear in films including The Longest Yard, Charlie's Angels and For the Love of the Game. His most memorable role to date is the carjacker who kills uncle Ben at the beginning of 2002s Spider-Man and leads Peter Parker to devote his life to crime fighting.
Mary Carolyn Bennett Patterson
Bachelor of Arts - Journalism, 1942
Patterson became the first female senior editor for National Geographic in 1962, spending a total of 37 years at the publication. She is also the author of her memoir, Of Lands, Legends, & Laughter: The Search for Adventure with National Geographic, about her time with the magazine.
Suzanne Marie Perron
Bachelor of Science – Textile and Clothing Communication, 1991
Perron is the owner of Suzanne Perron Studio in New Orleans, which specializes in bridal and debutante gowns. She worked with celebrity designer Vera Wang in New York for four years on the design of runway and bridal collections and has had her designs featured on the covers of Vogue, Modern Bride, and Martha Stewart Weddings. She has also worked for world-renowned designers Carolina Herrera, Anna Sui and Christina Perrin, and designed the dresses that Jennifer Lopez wore in her wedding to Marc Anthony, Holly Hunter wore to the Academy Awards and Mariska Hargitay wore to the Golden Globes.
Robert Lee "Bob" Pettit Jr.
Bachelor of Science – Insurance & Real Estate, 1954
A two-time All-American, Pettit became the first player in LSU history to have his number retired. In 1971, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and was a member of the NBA 50-Year Top 50 team. He was a first round draft choice in 1954 of the Milwaukee Hawks and played all 11 seasons with the franchise, which later retired his number. He wrote nearly every record in the Hawks’ record book and was a four-time MVP of the NBA All-Star game. He led the Hawks to the 1958 NBA Championship and five NBA Finals. In 1964, he became the first NBA player to exceed the 20,000-points scored barrier.
Robert E. Pierre
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism – News Editorials, 1990
Pierre is the metro bureau chief at the Washington Post. In 2000, Pierre suggested the Post consider a series on the lives of black men. Six years later, the Post ran a series titled Being a Black Man, that later became a book with the same title. In April 2008, he was part of the Washington Post metro staff that won the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for coverage of the massacre at Virginia Tech.
Joseph Howard Rambin Jr.
Bachelor of Science - Petroleum Engineering, 1954
Rambling had a 35-year career with Texaco, moving his way up the ladder to finally being named the chief executive officer and chairman of the board in 1964 before later retiring in 1970.
Rex Taylor Reed
Bachelor of Arts – News Editorials, 1960
Reed is a film critic who writes an entertainment column, On the Town with Rex Reed, for the New York Observer, and previously co-hosted the syndicated television show At the Movies.
Lt. Gen. Thomas Gene Rhame
Bachelor of Science - Accounting, 1963
Rhame led 1st Infantry Division against Iraq during Persian Gulf War, which successfully conducted the initial attack to penetrate Iraqi defensive positions. He is currently the vice president of finance and administration for the Association of the U.S. Army, a private, non-profit educational organization that supports the Army.
Major General Ronald G. Richard – Retired
Bachelor of Arts – History, 1968
Major General Ronald G. Richard served with the 4th Marine Division in Louisiana and Texas. Captain Richard completed Amphibious Warfare School and subsequently attended the Senior Career Level Advance Course. He was promoted to major in 1979. He earned a Masters of Arts degree in International Relations from Salve Regina College and later served in the Persian Gulf War. Brigadier General Richard was promoted to his current rank in 1997, assuming his present command two years later. His personal decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and gold star in lieu of a second award; Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" and gold star; and the Combat Action Ribbon with gold star. Major General Ron Richard currently serves as the President of the LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation, and is currently serving as the Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC.
PhD in Econometrics - Dept. of Economics and Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, 2003
Robelo is the Minster of Science of the Province of Cordoba in Argentina. He is the first ever minister of science.
George Walter Ruiz
Bachelor of Arts – Political Science, 1986
Ruiz is the Managing Director of Royal Collection Enterprises, the trading subsidiary of the Royal Collection Trust, which holds the art collection of the British Royal Family. The collection includes paintings, drawings and watercolors, furniture, ceramics, clocks, silver, sculpture, jewelry, books, manuscripts, prints and maps, arms and amour, fans and textiles. The value is estimated to be at least $16.5 billion.
Thomas O'Neal Ryder
Bachelor of Arts – News Editorials, 1966
Ryder is a director of Amazon.com Inc., and is also a director of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. He was previously the chairman and chief executive officer of the Reader's Digest Association. One of the most respected magazine publishers in the country, Ryder received the Magazine Publishers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Mary Frances Seghers
Bachelor of Arts – News Editorials, 1974
Seghers is the executive vice president and head of worldwide government relations for Sony Picture Entertainment. She previously served as the senior vice president of Sony Entertainment European Community Affairs, which includes Sony Music, Sony Pictures and Sony Playstation.
Gerald Martin "Marty" Sixkiller
Bachelor of Fine Arts - Graphic Design, 1992
Sixkiller, a media tools supervisor at PDI/DreamWorks, was technical director for Shrek the Third, Shrek 2, Over the Hedge and Flushed Away and senior technical director for Madagascar.
Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes
Doctor of Philosophy – Algebra, 1971
Spikes was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from LSU. She later became the first female chancellor of a public university in Louisiana when she was appointed to the position at Southern University. In 1998, she made history again by becoming the first woman in the United States to head a university system when she was appointed the president of the Southern University and A&M College System. In 2007, the Honors College building at Southern University was renamed the Dr. Dolores R. Spikes Honors College Building. She has been honored with the Thurgood Marshall Educational Achievement Award and was considered one of Ebony Magazine's "Most Influential Black Women in America."
Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication - Advertising, 1996
Master of Mass Communication, 1998
Spitale is the senior manager for global product development at Lucas Licensing, a subsidiary of Lucasfilm. He oversees product development for Star Wars and Indiana Jones collectibles and merchandise worldwide. Lucas Licensing has over $8 billion in sales worldwide and includes the best-selling boys action toys of all time.
Raymond Dolph "Ray" Strother
Bachelor of Arts – Publishing/Management, 1962
Master of Arts – Journalism, 1965
An author and political consultant, Strother is one of the founding partners of Strother-Duffy-Strother, a strategic and political communications firm. He has worked on more than 50 campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives and won awards for documentaries about civil rights leader John Lewis and U.S. Treasurer Lloyd Bentsen. In 2008, he was inducted into the American Association of Political Consultants Hall of Fame.
David Moore Suarez
Bachelor of Architecture - Architecture, 1978
Suarez is the president and chief executive officer of Atlantic Company of America, Inc., Washington, D.C.'s premier historic restoration construction firm. His firm has worked on impressive projects including the restoration of the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum, the U.S. Treasury Building, Constitution Hall, and the old Louisiana State Capital building.
Collis Benton Temple Jr.
Bachelor of Science – Education/Health and Physical Education, 1974
Master of Education - Administration, 1979
In 1971, Collis Temple, Jr. became the first African-American to play varsity basketball at LSU and was named to the All-SEC Academic First Team as a junior. Temple was featured in the SEC’s 75 Years “Stories of Character” campaign in 2008. He is founder of the Harmony Center, a non-profit organization for foster children and mentally disabled adults, and also co-founder of the Sports Academy athletic program in Baton Rouge. He also serves as the chairman of BREC, the Recreation & Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge.
Linda Joyce Thomas-Greenfield
Bachelor of Arts - Political Science, 1974
Thomas-Greenfield is currently the United States Ambassador to Liberia, one of the few African-American females to ever serve as a U.S. Ambassador. She was sworn in on July 18, 2008, by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In 2000, she received the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs.
Master of Fine Arts – Creative Writing, 2002
Vernon is an author who has been compared to Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. Her three published novels include Eden in 2002, Logic in 2004 and A Killing in This Town in 2006. Eden, which she wrote while in graduate school at LSU, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the 2004 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2005, she received the Louisiana Governor's Award for Professional Artist of the Year. A Killing in This Town won the inaugural Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence in 2007.
Rebecca Claire Wells
Bachelor of Science – General Studies, 1975
Wells is an author and playwright whose novels include the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Little Alters Everywhere, and Ya-Yas in Bloom. Her book, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was later turned into a movie that grossed over $73 million worldwide and featured Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Ellen Burstyn and James Garner.
Walter Charles Williams
Bachelor of Science - Aeronautical Engineering, 1939
Honorary Doctor of Engineering, 1963
The flight operations director for the Project Mercury space missions, including the manned flights of Alan Shepard, "Gus" Grissom and John Glenn, Williams served as the deputy associate administrator of the Office of Manned Space Flight and the chief engineer at NASA where he also directed the Worldwide Tracking Network and recovery operations for manned space flight missions. His career began with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor to NASA, where he supervised the flight of the X-1 on Oct. 14, 1947, when Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier, and was first Chief of the NACA High-Speed Flight Station, later renamed the NASA Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Facility. On Nov. 17, 1995, the Integrated Test Facility at the Dryden Flight Research Center was renamed the Walter C. Williams Research Aircraft Integration Facility.
Rosemary Tripi Wong
Master in Education
Wong is a native of Louisiana who matriculated through the Jefferson Parish Public Schools. As a young, elementary teacher working in the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, she experienced the difficulty of managing a classroom while trying to engender student learning and academic success. As CEO of Harry K. Wong Publications, she is the driving force behind the development of the company’s educational books and tools aimed at improving the effectiveness of teachers. She was selected the LSU 2012 Distinguished Alumna of the College of Human Sciences and Education for her extraordinary work in education.
(BM 2017) recently took on the role of John Laurens opposite Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton during the show's run in Puerto Rico, and will also be performing in the lead role as Alexander Hamilton when the show opens in San Francisco this spring.
Adriana Joy Zabala
Bachelor of Music Education – Music Education, 1994
A former Fulbright Scholar who studied German Lieder at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, Zabala is a mezzo-soprano who has performed with the Seattle Opera, the Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, the Syracuse Opera, the Arizona Opera, the Lyric Opera of San Antonio and Opera Pacific. Among her recent performances are roles in Carmen in Spain, Le Nozze de Figaro in Ottawa and Exhilaration at Carnegie Hall.