Education for Generations

The Laborde family’s passion for LSU began nearly a century ago. Though it was the height of The Great Depression, Lucien’s parents encouraged higher education, and taught their sons and daughter the French concept “noblesse oblige,” that service to God and country is a noble obligation. Lucien and wife Peggy in turn, instilled this love of education and commitment to service in their children, adding LSU to their list of obligations.

“I always had a love of learning, and that carried on throughout my career,” Lucien’s son Luke said. Luke, who was top of his class throughout school, recently earned his third degree from LSU, a doctorate of renewable natural resources.

Two years ago, he discovered that he also loves teaching. When his department found itself short-staffed, he voluntarily put his doctorate work on hold to take over a few classes. “[It’s] one of the best decisions I think I’ve made,” he shared. “I enjoy interacting with the students. They make you so optimistic about our future.”

Luke and his wife, Sonja, decided to find additional ways to help students, and offered to help fundraise for the College of Agriculture’s goal of 100 new freshman scholarships. “The truth is that alumni want to help,” Sonja said, explaining that a tangible project like scholarships inspires them. “LSU alumni are wonderful.”

Luke Laborde with Indie Barbier

The college is halfway to its goal, and Luke is confident that all 100 scholarships will be funded by next fiscal year. “We’re not going to be able to raise 100 endowed scholarships right away, but we can raise $100,000 every year,” he said. “We need to make believers of our College of Agriculture alumni association members in terms of what we can do.”

The couple has included a bequest to the college’s scholarship program in their will, but they also give annually because they believe the need is immediate. “Our hope is to start the gift before we die,” Luke said. “This is what we can do right now.”

“LSU gave us such opportunities,” Sonja added. “We’re both very humbled by that and grateful that we had such opportunities, and would like to see other young people have the same opportunities.”

Luke shared that “Leaving a Legacy,” doesn’t quite express their goal. “What we want to leave is an opportunity.”


Published in Cornerstone Winter and Spring 2015.


Earning Their STRIPES

Before LSU students step foot in a classroom, they are encouraged to show their stripes.

STRIPES is a four-day program that prepares incoming students for the transition to LSU by teaching them what it means to be a Tiger. These new Tigers earn their stripes by learning LSU history and traditions, meeting other first-year students, identifying opportunities to get involved, finding out about academic resources/support, and exploring the campus.

The incoming students play games and activities that test their LSU knowledge, hone their Cajun dancing skills, engage in a mock lecture with a faculty member, participate in bonding activities, and learn the alma mater. The program launched in 2000 with only 65 students. In 2005, alumnus Charles Barney made a game-changing gift of $1.1 million to expand the program, more than doubling its size. STRIPES now reaches 900 first-year students each summer. Students who participate in STRIPES have higher retention and graduation rates than their peers who choose not to participate.

Beverly Suffern, a 2011 chemical engineering alumna, shared, “I had family friends who went to STRIPES before I went to LSU who said how much fun it was and recommended that I attend. When I decided that I was going to go to LSU, it was the first thing that I signed up for. I couldn’t wait to learn all the traditions and the football cheers in Tiger Stadium.”

Suffern chairs the program’s alumni council, which works to develop a strong alumni base that supports bringing STRIPES and its traditions to incoming students. Several council members have invested in the program by funding students’ registration fees. Suffern explained, “The donation is our way of showing our commitment to the STRIPES program. It will cover the registration of a student with financial needs. It is a small way to make sure that someone has the experience at STRIPES that means so much to all of the council members.”

Though the idea of alumni giving began with the council, all STRIPES alumni are encouraged to contribute however much they are able to the program’s scholarships and activities.

“STRIPES is the first impression of the university for incoming students,” Suffern shared, adding, “It is what gets incoming freshmen excited and ready to start their college journey. It lays the foundation for getting involved, understanding how the different aspects of the university work, and generating overall love for our great university.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

Des Racines Profondes

Lillie Petit Gallagher’s heritage is deeply rooted in the French culture of South Louisiana. Her father’s family owned the only general store in the predominantly French-speaking community of Cutoff. Her mother’s family owned a restaurant in the same town.

Lillie and her husband, George, celebrated her rich cultural background through a gift to her alma mater that honors her parents. George was an ExxonMobil engineer, so the couple was able to leverage the company’s 3:1 educational matching gift program to establish the Lillian Defelice and Sampson J. Petit Professorship in French for Business.

Lillie shared, “My whole family had been in business, so I wanted to establish an opportunity for French and business to be explored and used in whatever way it could help LSU’s French department,” she shared.

The matching gift program has allowed her and George to maximize their donations, Lillie said, explaining, “It’s fantastic. It gives Exxon employees the opportunity to make a difference. Your small donation can be leveraged. It allows the employees to have a stake in college programs that are near and dear to their heart, and make a difference in people’s lives.”

The matching program is available to both current and retired employees and their annuitants, which recently enabled the couple to celebrate Lillie’s roots even more deeply.

Lillie said they decided to create a scholarship partly because George attended college on a scholarship. “Had he not had the opportunity to go to school on scholarship, he probably would not have had the opportunity to go to school and have an engineering degree, which then went on to a 50-year association with Exxon,” she said.

She added that George’s career provided travel opportunities that allowed them to see much of the world. She and George are grateful for these opportunities, and are passing them on to students.

Lillie explained, “We feel it’s important for students to be exposed through travel. So, hopefully, some of this scholarship program will enable students to travel to different parts of the French-speaking world.”
The Lillie Petit and George Clark Gallagher Scholarship in French Studies will provide students with funds to supplement tuition or travel.

“I am very close to my French roots, and I was motivated to continue that connection with the French in Louisiana,” Lillie said, adding that it can be difficult for people to feel a connection to their heritage. “I was hoping that through this scholarship and professorship, it would provide that opportunity for young students.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

Dedication to Education

Thomas Wallace Neff was born in a small South Louisiana town in 1890, but his father ensured he didn’t stay there long.

“My great-grandfather was basically a farmer, and at an early age, much to my great-grandfather’s credit, decided that his son needed to have an education of higher learning,” said Charles Neff, Thomas’ grandson.

When Thomas was 15 or 16, he traveled to Baton Rouge, found a room to rent, and finished his high school career there with the understanding that he was going to college. Charles said that Thomas’ father didn’t have much money, so he made sure his son understood, “You’re going to have to work to put yourself through school, but you must get a degree at LSU.”

Thomas did work throughout his time at LSU. He earned his degree in mechanical engineering in 1916, served in World War I, then came back to work at LSU, where he taught physics and mechanical engineering for 43 years before retiring in 1960.

“He liked being a teacher and being with students,” Charles said. He added that when Thomas became eligible for retirement, he requested to remain at the university for five more years. Even when those five years came to a close, it was difficult for Thomas to say goodbye to the university where he had spent his career.

“He was passionate about the school and the football team, as well as education,” Charles shared. “When I was small, that’s all I ever heard, was constantly ‘Young man, get your education. Get your education. Get your education.’” Charles said that because of this mantra, when his grandfather passed away, the one personal effect he wanted was Thomas’ diploma.

Though Charles is not an LSU alumnus, he was inspired to honor his grandfather’s dedication to education and the university through a donation to the College of Engineering’s renovation and expansion of Patrick F. Taylor Hall. “Education was everything to him,” Charles shared. “I felt it would be a tribute to make some contribution toward that engineering school, where he basically spent his whole life.”

Charles’ gift is part of the College of Engineering’s successful $100 million Breaking New Ground campaign. He hopes this donation will help the college be a premier school, and to provide excellent facilities to continue the legacy of good education for engineering students in Louisiana. “And, in a small way, if my grandfather’s name is somewhere on the building, that would just be wonderful.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

Cover to Cover

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.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

An Excellent Surprise

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.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

A Vision for Louisiana

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.”

LSU Law Center
LSU Law 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.

law-stained-glass-largeKey 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

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

From Student to Teacher

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.”

Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

Endowing a Legacy

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.”


Published in Cornerstone Summer and Fall 2014.

Community Support Builds Endowment

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.