The late Henry Goodrich’s attendance at LSU was almost an assumption. His father and great-great-grandfather were both alumni, just as two of his three children eventually became.
His passion for the university, however, was his own.
Henry graduated in 1951 with his bachelor’s in geology, a degree program he chose after hearing the reputation of a particularly difficult biology professor. “That began a love of geology and, later, oil and gas and the oil and gas exploration business,” Henry’s son Gil said.
Henry built his career in oil and gas, eventually forming Goodrich Oil Company, and later serving as chairman emeritus of NYSE-listed Goodrich Petroleum Corporation, of which Gil now serves as vice chairman and CEO. Gil shared that his father believed in hard work and success, but, more importantly, honor and integrity, “which, I think, marked him as a leader in the oil and gas industry.”
Throughout his career, Gil said, “he always stayed close to LSU, the College of Science and Geology. He was very passionate about higher education in Louisiana and strengthening the LSU flagship in Baton Rouge. He believed very strongly that improvement of the university would come through dedicated endowments and improving the quality of the university in higher education.”
Henry’s lifelong commitment to LSU included serving on the LSU Foundation’s Board of Directors for 25 years, with a term as chairman from 1987-88. The College of Science recently showed its appreciation of his service and stellar career by inducting him into their Hall of Distinction.
Knowing the importance of philanthropy at LSU to his father, Gil and his family are naming the north entrance of the LSU Foundation Center for Philanthropy in Henry’s memory. “It was something he cared greatly about,” Gil said. “He loved people, and he loved life. He was very generous of both his time and his money. He had great compassion for other people.”
“I and my family, given his love of the university and passion about the LSU Foundation, thought this was a very appropriate way to honor him and the things that were important to him.”
Published in Cornerstone Winter and Spring 2015.