Leslie Green’s love of books began as a child, but her career with books at LSU Press began in 2003.
Four years into her time at the Press, The Southern Review, also at LSU, recruited her. In 2011, she was able to work for both when the two literary publishers merged.
Green shared her love of working for both established entities by saying, “It makes a difference to be able to work in a place where you actually care about the mission.”
The Southern Review, started in 1935 at LSU, is a quarterly literary journal that publishes poetry and short stories, and was hailed by Time magazine as “superior to any other journal in the English language.”The Southern Reviewreceives so many writers’ works of creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry that it is only able to publish 1 percent of submissions.
LSU Press, also established in 1935, is one of the oldest, largest and highest achieving university presses in the South. It has published more than 2,000 books, garnering over 500 awards—including four Pulitzer prizes.
When Green’s 10-year work anniversary approached, her parents, Drs. Ed and Linda Green, chose to honor her accomplishment by creating the James Dudley Wells Memorial Endowment, named in memory of Leslie’s late older brother.
“They’ve always supported everything I’ve done,” Green said. “I’ve always gone in the direction of visual art, and this ended up being a nice marriage of the two.”
Leslie said her brother’s voracious appetite for reading is what sparked her own interest in books when she was a toddler. A swimmer, lifeguard and SCUBA diver, Wells studied marine biology at LSU but also loved reading.
The endowment supplements The Southern Review’s operations, which are largely funded by the state and sales of the journal. It allows the organization to use the gift where it is most needed, such as enabling staff to attend professional development conferences and bring in authors for readings.
“I believe [literature] is a really important part of civilization, and it’s important to our legacy in Louisiana and the world to publish what we do,” Leslie explained. “If we don’t support it, it’s going to go away.”
March 17 began like any other morning for Stephen Shipman, but soon took a delightful turn. The associate professor of mathematics was teaching his 11:30 a.m. Math of Resonance class when three unexpected guests arrived.
Guillermo Ferreyra, College of Science interim dean; Robert Perlis, mathematics chair; and Terry Latiolais, former chair of the college’s Dean’s Circle Executive Committee, walked to the front of the class. Assuming the men needed to make an announcement, Shipman dutifully took a seat beside his students.
The dean spoke.
Ferreyra offered words of praise about Shipman’s accomplishments and commitment to his students. All three men then presented the inaugural Dr. Marion “Soc” Socolofsky Award for Teaching Excellence to the surprised professor.
“Stephen embodies Socolofsky’s dedication to teaching and mentorship,” Ferreyra explained. “He advises student clubs and has mentored students from high school to PhD. The successes of his students are a testament to his stellar teaching ability. It was an honor to present him with the first Socolofsky Teaching Award.”
Last year, the college’s Dean’s Circle Executive Committee established the Dr. Marion “Soc” Socolofsky Award for Teaching Excellence. It celebrates Socolofsky’s contributions to the college by recognizing members of the faculty who have shown an exemplary commitment to academic excellence through teaching and mentorship. Students and faculty members submit nominations that are reviewed by the committee, which chooses recipients.
The award honors the legacy of the late Socolofsky, who was a fierce advocate for students and one of the college’s most influential leaders and educators. Throughout Socolofsky’s 36 years at LSU, he served as head of microbiology for 20 years; taught more than 12,000 students; advised more than 250 master’s and PhD students; and was a member of the Dean’s Circle.
“He had quite an impact,” said Dr. Jim Lange, a member of the Dean’s Circle and Executive Committee who personally felt that impact. Socolofsky supported Lange’s graduate school application and offered him a teaching assistantship, even though he was not Socolofsky’s student. “The people he impacted came to appreciate what he had done for them.”
Shipman received a plaque and a monetary award in recognition of his exemplary teaching and commitment to student mentoring and engagement. He shared that the award itself represents the importance of a professor’s role in students’ lives.
“The delight in seeing a student mature and succeed and find enjoyment in her or his learning experience has always added an extra dimension to my profession,” said Shipman, adding, “I appreciate the significance of this award and will continue to do my best to live up to Dr. Socolofsky’s example by caring for my students.”
Senator J. Bennett Johnston, a 1956 graduate of LSU Law, spent his 32-year political career advancing energy initiatives for the country. As a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources from its creation, and as its chairman and ranking member for much of his time in office, Johnston was either directly or indirectly responsible for all energy legislation considered by Congress between 1973 and 1996.
When Johnston was announced as LSU Law’s 2012 commencement speaker, Chancellor Jack Weiss said of his knowledge of energy law, “His years of service to the state of Louisiana and our nation as a senior statesman in Congress have positioned him as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on energy law and regulation.”
In addition to his public service, Johnston’s energy and environmental efforts are reflected through the J. Bennett Johnston Science Foundation. “We did it to honor his vision of higher education in the state and the region: that the only way we’re going to be able to compete is through higher education and science,” Mary Johnston Norriss, the foundation’s president, said of their efforts to establish the foundation and decision to support the LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center.
The foundation announced an $800,000 challenge gift to the Laborde Center. The gift will propel the law center’s efforts to raise $20 million to support the center and make it a self-sustaining program. Norriss said the science foundation’s goal is to have the gift matched dollar-for-dollar. The gift, and an additional $200,000 match from LSU Law, will be used to establish an endowed internship program, bearing Johnston’s name, in government energy policy.
Johnston said internships acquaint students with career opportunities, and acquaint companies with the skills and abilities of students. “We want to give more opportunity to these law students and custom-train them for great energy jobs around the country,” he said.
Norriss added that the internships will provide exposure to the energy law industry. “The internships will allow students to get hands-on experience in seeing how politics affect policy in energy and law.”
The energy law center, created in 2012, serves as an academic center for comprehensive instruction and research in energy law. It is the first of its kind in Louisiana and one of a handful in law schools nationwide. It will prepare lawyers to address the full range of 21st-century issues in the complex energy sector, as well as to assume leadership roles in industry, government and the academy.
The center has already developed coursework for a new student credential, an energy law concentration that will be implemented in the fall 2015 semester, and is collaborating with other LSU units to develop interdisciplinary coursework. It has also established the LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources, a student-edited academic journal focusing broadly on energy and its relationship to other areas of law.
“Energy is Louisiana’s biggest and most important business, and the LSU law school has a special role in promoting the oil and gas business in Louisiana,” Johnston shared. “We have a vision to make LSU law school the Westpoint of energy law.”
“One of the things that makes the world go ‘round is energy,” Norriss said, explaining the importance of the center to the country. She added that LSU has the expertise needed, situating it perfectly to house a world-class energy law center.
Johnston and Norriss serve on the center’s advisory council, which Johnston described as an outstanding group of lawyers and industry, business and community leaders who will help guide and mold the center’s structure to adapt to energy needs nationwide. He will serve as chair of the council.
“I believe in the mission of the energy law center,” Johnston said. “I believe it can become an outstanding national center.”
The LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center will:
• Train future advocates and leaders of the energy sector by providing sophisticated expertise in energy law that is grounded in the science, economics, engineering and business of energy.
• Take advantage of the uniquely comprehensive “energy laboratory” provided by Louisiana.
• Primarily focus on law relating to energy exploration, production, development, transportation and finance, with an environmental perspective.
• Provide ongoing, continuing, cutting-edge professional development for lawyers and leaders of the energy sector.
• Provide a supportive environment for applied research and policy as a foundation for economic growth and development.
Donor Investments for the Energy Law Center
• John P. Laborde (’49) contributed the lead campaign gift of $2 million, establishing a double-endowed chair in energy law and a significant programmatic endowment fund.
• John T. Nesser III (’73) and family, including Amanda Nesser Moeller (’05) and J.T. Nesser IV (’99), provided the first gift to the center—a $600,000 endowed chair.
• Liskow & Lewis created a $200,000 endowment for a visiting professorship in energy law. The Law Center hosted the inaugural Liskow & Lewis Visiting Professorship Lecture in fall 2013.
• Two additional endowed professorships were given in support of the program by Edward Womack Jr. (’83) and Sen. Jackson B. Davis (’40) and his wife, Rosemary.
• The Louisiana Board of Regents has matched $1.2 million in funds for endowed chairs through two competitive applications for funding.
Key Fundraising Initiatives
• Annual and endowed funds to support internships and externships in the energy sector
• Annual and endowed student scholarships for joint-degree and master’s-level students studying in the Energy Law program
• Support for special symposia and speaker programs
• Support for the Energy Law Moot Court Teams
• Support for a Junior Scholars Fellowship Program in Energy Law
• Support for a distance education initiative for Energy Law
• Additional faculty support through endowed professorships in Energy Law
• Support for cutting-edge faculty research in Energy Law
• Endowment to support operations of the Energy Law Center
LSU Laborde Energy Law Advisory Council, 2014
• Priya Radhakrishnan Aiyar – Washington, DC
• Robert B. “Skip” Allen (’75) – Houston, TX
• Scott Angelle – Lafayette, LA
• Dr. Stuart Bell – Baton Rouge, LA
• Jacques Besnainou – Washington, DC
• Caroline Blitzer-Phillips (’96) – New York, NY
• Dan Borné – Baton Rouge, LA
• Mark Boudreaux (’84) – Baton Rouge, LA
• Marcus Brown – New Orleans, LA
• Maryam S. Brown (’00) – Washington, DC
• Lori Cameron (’79) – Dallas, TX
• William M. Comegys (’74) – Shreveport, LA
• Ed Comer – Washington, DC
• Ryan M. Crespino – New Orleans, LA
• John Davies – Baton Rouge, LA
• Dr. Christopher F. D’Elia – Baton Rouge, LA
• John N. Estes III (’83) – Washington, DC
• Calvin Fayard (’69) – New Orleans, LA
• G. Lee Griffin – Baton Rouge, LA
• Joseph L. Hargrove Jr. (’75) – Shreveport, LA
• Johnnie W. Hoffman (’79) – Houston, TX
• Jonathan Hunter (’87) – New Orleans, LA
• Hon. Brian Jackson – Baton Rouge, LA
• Hon. Chris C. John – Baton Rouge, LA
• Hon. J. Bennett Johnston (’56) – Washington, DC
• Leonard L. Kilgore (’76) – Baton Rouge, LA
• Adam Knapp – Baton Rouge, LA
• Dr. Richard Koubek – Baton Rouge, LA
• Cliffe F. Laborde (’76) – New Orleans, LA
• John P. Laborde (’49) – New Orleans, LA
• James E. Maurin – Covington, LA
• Marjorie McKeithen (’91) – New Orleans, LA
• Mark W. Menezes (’81) – Washington, DC
• Hon. W. Henson Moore III (’65) – Baton Rouge, LA
• John Patrick Morris, Jr. (’97) – New Orleans, LA
• John T. Nesser III (’73) – Houston, TX
• James W. Noe (’97) – Houston, TX
• John B. Noland (’70) – Baton Rouge, LA
• Mary Johnston Norriss – New Orleans, LA
• Patrick S. Ottinger (’73) – Lafayette, LA
• Daryl Owen (’81) – Washington, DC
• Frederick J. “Rick” Plaeger II (’77) – Houston, TX
• Robert R. Rabalais (’89) – Houston, TX
• Robert K. Reeves (’82) – Houston, TX
• Oliver G. “Rick” Richard III (’77) – Lake Charles, LA
• Kimberly L. Robinson (’98) – Baton Rouge, LA
• Prof. Robert Rosner – Chicago, IL
• Yvette K. Schultz (’08) – Houston, TX
• Robert G. Szabo (’72) – Washington, DC
• Hon. Wilbert “Billy” Tauzin (’67) – Washington, DC
• Uisdean R. Vass (’85) – Scotland
• Stephen Waguespack – Baton Rouge, LA
• Kenneth L. Wallach – New York, NY
• Susan S. Wallach – New York, NY
Senior Ariel Jones of New Roads, Louisiana, is the first recipient of the new Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire Outstanding Supplemental Instruction Leader Award in the LSU Center for Academic Success.
Supplemental Instruction is an academic support program that uses peer-assisted study sessions. This free service is offered by the center and LSU’s colleges. The purpose of SI is to increase retention and graduation rates and improve student grades and academic performance within targeted, historically difficult courses.
“Being an SI leader is not a job, and it’s not an obligation,” Jones said of her peer-to-peer tutoring role. “It is such a privilege, and I am just so honored to be awarded with this, especially in the name of Dr. McGuire, because she has done so many things for this field of education. I’m just so thankful and appreciative that I was recognized, and really, words cannot describe it.”
McGuire retired from LSU last summer after serving the university for 14 years. For 10 of those years, she was director of the Center for Academic Success, a unit that received national and international acclaim during her tenure and continues to garner accolades and awards.
The generosity of her colleagues and friends through gifts to the LSU Foundation enabled the center to establish the award last year. It honors McGuire’s accomplishments and the impact she has had on the center, LSU students and the campus community.
Jones will graduate next May with degrees in biochemistry and Spanish. In addition to serving as an SI leader in organic chemistry for two years, she is part of the Honors College and is an LA-STEM Research Scholar. Jones was selected to receive the award for having characteristics displayed by McGuire: leadership, service, scholarship and a love of learning and teaching.
“Ariel has done an outstanding job of balancing a demanding academic load with her responsibilities as an SI leader,” shared Susan Saale, the Center for Academic Success’ associate director for academic support. “She is always looking for ways to make her sessions more meaningful for the students attending them while staying with the SI model, centered around collaborative learning.”
In her role as an SI instructor, Jones facilitates regularly scheduled, informal review sessions in which students compare notes, predict test items, develop organizational tools, and discuss readings. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together. Jones and her fellow instructors have all previously done well in the courses for which they lead sessions, and they attend all class lectures, take notes and act as model students.
Jones explained, “One of the great things about being an SI leader is that we’re in a position to be able to touch so many people’s lives and to really make a difference. It’s a unique program. Not all universities have the funds to do a program like this. At LSU, for us not only to have this program, but to also have it free and available to students—It’s just really great, and so I really hope students look into it and take advantage of it.”
Throughout her two decades as guidance counselor at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, Millie Guichard touched countless students’ lives.
“She was very inspirational, and she worked tirelessly to place students in colleges all over this country, and probably around the world, for that matter,” said Holly Houk Cullen, whom Guichard helped significantly through difficult times. “If a student was looking to go to college somewhere, and that individual needed financial assistance or any kind of help whatsoever getting into that particular campus, she was there to help them, to make sure that it happened.”
Cullen shared that Guichard’s job was never over. She worked long hours to maintain an awareness of the opportunities for her students, and helped many students through serious personal issues.
Betty Quaschnick Lennon, Cullen’s lifelong friend, added that Guichard often attended former students’ major life events, including Cullen’s wedding. “Every student that went through Franklin while she was a counselor became her family,” she said. “She treated all of the students like they were her own.”
Lennon, Cullen and other alumni showed their appreciation for Guichard by endowing an oak at LSU when her health began to decline. Cullen and Lennon created a Facebook group, an easy way to reach out to former classmates and draw support for the endowment. “Reading people’s comments shows the impression she made,” Cullen said.
They met the threshold for the endowment within a year.
“When I think of LSU’s campus, the oak tree immediately comes to mind as one of the iconic images of campus,” Cullen shared. “One of the reasons it is such a wonderful, scenic place is because of the oaks. I feel like the oak represents strength and persistence and courage, and all of the things that Millie was about.”
Cullen and Lennon were able to delight Guichard with a framed photo of her tree (below) before she passed away last summer.
“Of all the colleges, [LSU] was near and dear to her heart. She was a huge LSU fan, and she recruited into her 80s for LSU,” Cullen said.
Cullen, who serves the university as an assistant vice chancellor in the Office of Communications & University Relations, would often mail recruiting materials to her former mentor. “She loved receiving those materials and being aware of everything that was going on on campus. She just adored LSU.”
Lennon added, “The expression that y’all have, ‘Love Purple, Live Gold,’ she embodied that. That describes Millie Guichard to a ‘T.’ She wanted nothing but the best for everybody.”
The shelves of school libraries have been filled, collectors of rare books have found their oasis, and LSU Libraries has benefitted from nearly $2 million in philanthropic support.
The LSU Book Bazaar began as a small book sale in 1975, a project of the then recently resurrected Friends of the LSU Libraries. The first sale netted almost $600, remembered Anne West, chairperson of both the Book Bazaar and the Book Barn, where donated textbooks and antique books are sold throughout the year. The next year, the Friends branded the event the LSU Book Bazaar and sold more than 20,000 books and records, raising more than $7,000 for the libraries.
Most recently, patrons of the 2013 Book Bazaar bought nearly 70,000 items, enabling the Friends to make a $67,000 gift to the LSU Foundation to support LSU Libraries. “Students and faculty in every discipline benefit from the Friends’ hard work,” explained Elaine Smyth, interim dean of the LSU Libraries.
Over the past 38 years, proceeds from the Book Bazaar have contributed $1.8 million in endowed support for LSU Libraries. Earnings generated from the endowment are the major source of funding for the LSU Libraries to acquire items that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to fit within its annual budget.
West said the sales are used at the dean’s discretion, but typically fund the purchase of special books. “Those funds are necessary. There’s always need for more money in a library.”
In describing the impact the event has had on the community, West said that many schools have been able to establish libraries with books they bought from the Bazaar. “It gets books to people who couldn’t otherwise get them,” she explained.
Families and companies donate books, DVDs, CDs, e-books and albums almost year-round at drop boxes in Kean’s Fine Dry Cleaning locations throughout Baton Rouge. Bookstores in the area donate boxes for transporting the books, the LSU AgCenter donates space for the event, and dedicated workers at the Bazaar volunteer time.
Every year, most tables are left bare by the end of the sale, with items remaining only on the Collector’s Table, for rare books and first editions.
The 2014 Book Bazaar is slated for March 20-22, and will be held at LSU, in the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Mini Farm and Nelson Memorial Buildings.
Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.
John and Nancy Barnidge believe in funding opportunities that will remain long after they have gone. They have consistently contributed to the E. J. Ourso College of Business for years—through its student incubator program, endowed scholarships, the Dean’s Excellence Fund and the new Business Education Complex, among several others.
Their son’s recent positive experience with the Manship School of Mass Communication’s master’s program prompted them to expand their giving.
“Originally, we wanted to endow a scholarship and have the dean utilize it as needed,” John said, adding, “We never believed in giving gifts with a lot of restrictions.”
Instead, Dean Jerry Ceppos shared an “unorthodox” opportunity to give, through a donation to commemorate the school’s centennial. This year marks the Manship School of Mass Communication’s 100th year of journalism and mass communication education at LSU.
The year-long centennial celebration, named Manship 100, culminated in the distribution of nearly 1,000 tickets for a weekend of activities in October, aimed to establish a national brand for the Manship School in media and public affairs education, and to raise more money than ever before for its annual excellence fund—surpassing the previous, record-breaking year.
Ceppos said of the school’s unique curricula, “We are the only university to teach at the intersection of media and public affairs at all three levels—bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral. Our graduates cover Congress and state houses; work in congressional offices and federal agencies; and campaign for officeholders. Our job is to be sure that they can communicate the significance of public affairs, whether they’re working for public officials or for media organizations.”
The Barnidges’ donation provided a framework for supporting the school’s efforts to raise $300,000 in support through the centennial celebration. “It’s a good investment on our part,” John said. “[I thought], we can make a donation, and the dean can take that donation and quadruple it in terms of returns … four-to-one return on your money is good.”
The Barnidges’ gift provided funding for centennial publicity, mailing materials, keynote speakers, workshops, dinners and a tailgate. A specially designed centennial website hosts a timeline of student, alumni and friend stories and videos to help engage visitors in the celebration.
“It’s a sense of loyalty, a sense of pride for the university,” John said of his and Nancy’s decision to give. “It’s a sense of loyalty that’s instilled in you and, at least in me, it’s never left.”
Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.
In 2010, the LSU Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute, part of the E. J. Ourso College of Business, joined a consortium of universities across the country to offer the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.
Syracuse University established the first EBV program in 2007, and it was so successful that the program quickly expanded to other universities to serve more veterans.
EBV offers cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have a disability as a result of their service in supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Through the generous support of individuals and corporations, all EBV participant costs are covered, including travel, lodging and meals.
“It exceeded my expectations in every way,” said LSU EBV participant Phil Goldstine, who enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1986.
Goldstine founded Fish Ranger!, Inc., a fishing and outdoor guide service, in April 2012. Through his company, Goldstine hosts guided fishing tours in Alaska during the summer and in Florida during the winter. He also sells custom rods and fish-themed art.
Goldstine shared, “I had the mindset of ‘I want to learn and I want to learn it now.’”
He added he found applicability in 90 percent of the information he learned through EBV and has steadily been able to apply it to his business. “There are lots of little victories as I move forward. Every day I look and see what progress I can make today,” he said.
EBV was designed to open the door to entrepreneurial opportunities and small business ownership to veterans by developing their competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture. Veteran Adam Howarth exemplifies EBV’s mission.
Following four years of service in the U.S. Army, Howarth began to conceptualize a “gourmet fitness” cycling studio that would be located in Chicago. He intends for the studio’s classes to begin with stationary cycling and end with yoga, pilates or weights.
Howarth’s business is still in the planning stages, but he has already been able to apply useful information gleaned from EBV toward marketing and personal branding. “Without EBV, I wouldn’t have been prepared for obstacles that may come,” he said.
The LSU Laboratory School will commemorate its upcoming centennial by celebrating the school’s rich history and long tradition of excellence throughout the 2015-16 school year. Originally located at the LSU campus in downtown Baton Rouge, U-High opened in 1915 as Demonstration High School. The school provides teachers and pre-service teaching candidates with opportunities to obtain practical classroom experience and to study and observe effective teaching methods.
The breadth and depth of the school’s academic and extracurricular experiences has positioned U-High at the forefront of education. For the past several years, Newsweek has included U-High in its annual roster of Best High Schools in the U.S.
U-High graduate and Orlando Magic forward-center Glen “Big Baby” Davis said his experience at the school changed his life. Raised in a single-parent household with five other family members, Davis credits U-High with providing a strong foundation for his future success.
“Coming to U-High helped me see a whole different world,” said Davis, who graduated in 2004. He shared that his education there opened the door for several opportunities, including his professional basketball career.
In gratitude for those opportunities, Davis founded the Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation, which works to steer inner-city youth away from defiant behavior through a focus on literacy, healthy lifestyles and recreational activities. The foundation is supported by individuals, corporations, grants and fundraising.
Through his foundation, Davis joins several donors as an underwriter of U-High’s centennial celebration, which will boast a birthday celebration, an alumni recognition celebration, a homecoming reunion tailgate, school tours and a gala celebration, as well as other celebratory programs.
Davis shared, “I’m always in debt to that school because of what they showed me. I just wanted to be a part of what they’re doing.”
At press time, underwriters for the centennial and their respective U-High graduation years, if applicable, include the Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation; Coastal Bridge Company, LLC; Jonalyn and Raoul Robert;Susan and Richard (1957) Lipsey, Laurie (1985) and Mark Aronson, and Wendy (1988) and John Shiroda; Richard and Claire Manship; Sharon and Claude Pennington and Paige Pennington (2011); and Betsy and Newton (1962) Thomas. An underwriting gift was also made in memory of Dr. Peter A. Soderbergh.
The year-long celebration will focus on highlighting the school’s contributions to the community; increasing public awareness of the school’s specific contributions to improved educational practices; recognizing individual and curriculum achievements; developing stronger connections with constituents; increasing awareness and participation in scholarship, general endowment and planned giving initiatives; and providing a historical record of the school’s first century through the collection and archiving of memorabilia, photographs and information provided by alumni and friends.
Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.
The Business Education Complex opened in 2012, but opportunities for enhancement abound in the new home of the E. J. Ourso College of Business. Visit business.lsu.edu/BEC to learn more or to make a gift.
After using SAS Analytics in teaching and research for more than 30 years, LSU partnered with the business analytics software company to launch a Master of Science in Analytics to meet the workforce demands of this growing field. The program, housed in the Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences, is a combined effort between the department and the College of Agriculture’s Department of Experimental Statistics.
LSU graduated its first class of students with advanced analytics degrees in 2013, with impressive results. Nearly all of the 16 students received job offers before graduation, averaging two offers per student.
“We looked at job placement to judge the success of our program, and this has been a great year for hiring,” said Ken Koonce, former dean of the College of Agriculture. “We had several companies come to us looking for people, but we just didn’t have enough students to meet the demand right now. We strive to get there.”
More than 100 students applied for entry into the 2014 class; 33 were selected. The overwhelming interest has sparked buzz about creating an Analytics Institute and an analytics PhD program.
“LSU College of Business students have quickly accepted the Business Education Complex as their new home. The modern design, along with team rooms, welcoming commons areas, an Ideation Lab and extraordinary technology, have created new opportunities for the College of Business. The rotunda and auditorium have allowed the school to host various functions, speakers and other events that have aided in the professional development and learning opportunities of the students.”
Sarah Hebert Lilley
Flores MBA Association President
The Business Education Complex is equipped with a Securities Markets Analysis Research and Trading Lab, a financial lab that offers students and faculty access to real-time financial data, professional research tools and leading analytic software. The lab functions as a high-tech, hands-on classroom, complete with Bloomberg Terminals.
The college started with two terminals of the software that provides news, quotes and information on markets, equities, fixed income, currencies, portfolio analytics, mutual funds and economics. A small group of dedicated alumni and friends collaborated to commit $30,000 per year to fund an additional terminal.
The generosity of this gift made LSU eligible to receive nine additional
terminals from the Bloomberg Educational Foundation, bringing the total number of terminals to 12. Students now have the opportunity to use the software at any time, and can obtain their Bloomberg online training certification before graduation.
From Dean Richard White:
“Although we are just over a year removed from the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the BEC, we have already experienced tremendous benefits because of this state-of-the-art facility. In addition to being able to host almost all of the college’s functions on campus now, we have witnessed impacts on a variety of fronts.
“When U.S. News & World Report announced its 2014 rankings, the LSU Flores MBA Program jumped 20 spots overall, and is now 31st among the nation’s public institutions. Our Bloomberg Businessweek undergraduate program ranking improved overall by two spots, and we are now ranked 59th among public institutions. Earlier this year, Eduniversal, a worldwide organization, ranked our master’s of public administration program in the top 20 in all of North America. Additionally, our master’s of finance program was ranked in the top 40 in North America.
“Our college also has a tremendous staff that works tirelessly behind the scenes. We have gone from hosting an event or function maybe once every three days or so in Patrick F. Taylor Hall to hosting, on average, an event a day in the Business Education Complex. That is only possible due to the work of our small but talented staff, who have taken on more duties and continue to simply get the job done.”
• The Business Education Complex includes approximately 156,000 gross square feet of learning and research environments, including classrooms, labs and offices for faculty and college administration.
• The rotunda is home for the college’s student services, professional programs, institutes and administration.
• The Commons is a 3,500-square-foot central atrium providing students with study space, Internet access and areas for group meetings. Convocations, guest speakers, alumni functions and other events that bring together students, faculty and friends as a community are held in the atrium.
• The auditorium seats 300 students and guests for conferences, guest lecturers and student symposia.
• The Executive Dining Area provides a professional area for meals and snacks, and a dining area for the Executive MBA Program, Executive Education and special events.
• The undergraduate and graduate wings, each arranged in four pavilions, house classrooms for courses and faculty offices for their academic departments.
• The two wings include 22 radial and case-style tiered classrooms designed for discussion and learning and equipped with the latest in audiovisual equipment, plus 15 smaller rooms for seminars and breakouts.
• The SMART Lab, a 40-person financial trading room, is equipped with the most up-to-date financial analytics and data.
• Community Coffee sells coffee and light fare.
Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.