Frank W. Harrison is a legacy name at LSU, where three generations of Harrisons have received degrees. Frank W. Harrison, Jr. was instrumental in helping the LSU Foundation in its early stages, and only left the Foundation’s Board of Directors to pass the torch to his son, Frank W. “Billy” Harrison, III. Billy is now leading the Harrison family legacy of giving back to LSU.
He shared that being asked to join the Foundation’s Board of Directors was an honor. “I give my time and money to the Foundation in order to further the academic resources of LSU. I want to see LSU continue to be a tier one academic institution benefiting, primarily, the students in Louisiana. I want to do everything I can to ensure LSU continues to maintain the quality of education that it has already successfully established and help raise the bar of academics even higher.”
In his nearly 15 years of active involvement with the Foundation, Billy has seen LSU alumni and friends develop a more philanthropic mindset. “From my father’s generation, to my generation, to the younger generation, the Foundation has tried to cultivate, through outreach to alumni, a culture of giving back to the academics of LSU,” he said.
Billy shared that this evolution of philanthropy will continue to grow with the Foundation’s proposed new building across from Tiger Stadium. “We need a higher visibility … and a presence on campus that says ‘We are the Foundation.’” He added that the Foundation also needs more space on campus for its staff and development officers.
In the next five to 10 years, Billy would like to see the Foundation grow to include offices in other key LSU alumni cities, like the office recently opened in Houston. He would also like to see more development officers hired by the Foundation, and an endowment that has doubled in size. “We are a tier one academic institution now, and we don’t want to backtrack. The Foundation needs to work with LSU in academic fundraising efforts to help ensure that LSU retains our deans and professors, and keeps the professor-to-student ratio small.”
“LSU is, first and foremost, an academic institution,” he explained. “The Foundation is here to support LSU academically, and to ensure our students get the best possible education. The best way to do that is to give back to the university with your time and money.”
Frank W. Harrison, III and his wife, Ann, are residents of Houston, Texas, and are dedicated supporters of the Department of Geology & Geophysics in the College of Science. In 2012, Billy was named to the College of Science Hall of Distinction and was designated a Tiger Leader in the 2011 LSU 100 awards. He is actively involved in the College of Science Dean’s Circle, Tiger Athletic Foundation and the LSU Alumni Association. Billy is the co-founder and co-general partner of Houston Energy, L.P.
Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.