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.
Housed in a building with a history as rich as its contents, LSU Libraries’ Special Collections has, since 1985, provided researchers with a gold mine of rare books, archives, manuscripts and photos detailing Louisiana’s past.
Special Collections in the Hill Memorial Library offers resources for original research in many fields. The program collects, preserves, provides discovery and access to, and promotes and instructs in the use of a wealth of research materials in areas including the humanities and social sciences, the natural sciences, agriculture, aquaculture, and art and design. These collections are largely donated by families with strong Louisiana ties.
Dr. Trent James, who, like his brother, uncle, father and grandfather, is an LSU alumnus, recently donated his family’s papers, detailing his father’s and uncle’s involvement in LSU and the Louisiana sugar industry throughout the early 20th century.
“[My father] loved LSU and appreciated everything it had given him,” James shared, continuing, “We have a lot of ties to LSU. We always loved it. It made me who I am.”
Seeing that the family’s papers were beginning to get scattered among family members, James decided to donate them. “It seemed to be the right thing to do,” he shared, adding that Special Collections is composed of “papers that would be otherwise lost and not available to anyone if they weren’t kept there. But they are available to those who want to study.”
James said he has a special passion for libraries—both his wife and daughter are librarians. “People want accurate information, and so much of it you can’t glean unless you read it and extract it yourself,” he explained. “That’s what libraries are good for. They get it organized, they make it accessible … That’s where librarians come in, and I think they’re essential. Somebody needs to judge, and constantly question, and make sure the information is accurate and true.”
Through the generosity of individuals like James, who donate both materials and funds to process those materials, Special Collections is able to build collections that serve students, scholars and the general public; enhance access to its unique holdings; provide educational public programming and exhibitions; and preserve the history of Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley.
James feels libraries are the source of knowledge. “I believe in libraries,” he said. “They’re essential. I think there will always be a need for books.”
Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.
Washington Mardi Gras
Since 1944, Louisianians have had a spirited presence in Washington, D.C., for the annual Washington Mardi Gras. During this year’s nearly week-long celebration, Mystick Krewe of Louisianians King Martin Svendson held a cocktail reception to raise money for a scholarship he and his wife started. Martin and wife Mary “Moo” Turner Svendson created the scholarship in memory of Moo’s father, Bert Turner, founder of Turner Industries. The Bert Turner Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time undergraduate student in the LSU School of the Coast & Environment.
Moo shared, “Through the business success Bert achieved, he made it possible for many of his children and grandchildren to enjoy Louisiana’s magnificent wetlands and coastal resources in a special way. Today, many of his children and grandchildren enjoy the fruits of the coast, including fishing, an abundant variety of seafood, incredible scenery and majestic wildlife. When time permitted, Bert enjoyed fishing offshore with fellow businessmen. He appreciated the bounty of the sea, which, as we know, originates in our precious, delicate and vanishing coastal wetlands.
“The Svendson family wanted to honor my father for his many contributions and successes and to originate a scholarship in his honor. This is one way of thanking him, while, at the same time, supporting an institution with a world-class coastal studies curriculum.”
Committed to the Coast
LSU recently launched “Committed to the Coast,” a campaign to raise coastal awareness by bringing attention to Louisiana’s impending coastal crisis, LSU’s coastal research and the impact of that research on Louisiana.
LSU boasts 200 faculty members involved in coastal research, bringing in approximately $73 million in grants to focus attention on these critical issues.
Louisiana contains 40 percent of the nation’s wetlands, but 80 percent of the nation’s wetland loss.
An LSU engineering study recently demonstrated that more than 60 miles of vital New Orleans area evacuation routes are vulnerable to land loss and subsidence (i.e., sinking or falling) and could be lost by 2100.
An LSU faculty member recently became the first scientist ever to accurately predict norovirus outbreaks in oyster beds when he detected contamination in Cameron Parish 30 days before the oysters were scheduled for harvest.
An LSU research team discovered that introducing excess nitrogen can make a salt marsh literally fall apart in 5 to 7 years.
In early 2013, the national Arbor Day Foundation named LSU a Tree Campus USA for the first time.
Tree Campus USA was created in 2008 to honor universities and colleges for effective management of campus forests and engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
“Achieving recognition as a Tree Campus USA is an important component in the overall management of the urban forest at LSU,” Assistant director of LSU Landscape Services Fred Fellner, PhD, said. “The size and value of the campus forest, both in literal and perceptive terms, is enormous. The trees are recognized world over and are a signature element at LSU.”
Since 1993, donors’ support of the LSU Foundation’s Endow an Oak program has provided immediate and long-term funding for the care of LSU’s renowned urban forest.
Josh Anders and brothers Jason and Judd, all LSU graduates, recently endowed an oak in memory of their grandmother, Juanita “Neet” Crawford, a Louisiana conservationist.
Anders shared why the gift is meaningful to his family, explaining, “My brothers and I will always consider the oaks on LSU’s campus a timeless, integral part of the university. Being able to invest in the sustainability of LSU’s historic oaks has been a great experience for my family.”
Fellner said the program was a valuable feature when applying for LSU as a Tree Campus USA. “Indeed, it was the principal driver in data collection and tree identification over the past many years that made our application process easier,” he said. “This was an unexpected benefit of the endowment program, could not be anticipated at its inception, and was truly
LSU achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, dedicating annual expenditutres toward trees, having a campus tree-care plan, and hosting an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.
LSU’s campus is home to roughly 1,200 oak trees, and they are as much a part of the university as are its students, faculty, staff and historic buildings.
Gifts of any amount may be made to the Foundation’s Endow an Oak program to support the general care and maintenance of LSU’s most treasured natural “residents.” An LSU oak can be endowed for a gift of $4,000, of which $2,000 builds the oak endowment to provide perpetual support and $2,000 can be used immediately by LSU’s arbor management team.
From the night 10 years ago when David Blank rescued her and her sister from the side of the road, Peanut has been a happy and playful dog. Even after being home alone when her house caught on fire. Even after jumping from the second floor balcony as soon as her leash burned through. Even after sustaining kidney failure, edema and major burns covering her head and back. Peanut is happy.
Peanut was first treated at White Oak Animal Hospital, her usual veterinary clinic, which suggested the Blanks take Peanut to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. One of the treatments Peanut underwent was continuous renal replacement therapy (similar to dialysis); LSU is one among only 10 places in the U.S. to offer this treatment for animals. The research and resources at LSU enabled doctors to heal Peanut in remarkable time.
This year marks the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s 40th. To celebrate the special anniversary, the school has launched a $5 million fundraising plan; the “Above and Beyond Capital Challenge” will augment three key programs: advancing cures for cancer, biomedical research, and companion animal health facilities equipment and enhancements.
Ginger Guttner, LSU SVM director of public relations, said the challenge “represents our future, our mission and our service to the community.”
Funding for these programs is what enables victories like Peanut’s. Through ICU, a “wound VAC” (i.e., a sterile infection vacuum) and the constant care of doctors and students, Peanut has bounced back.
“She’s back to her old self,” Blank said with a thankful smile.
Brothers Tim and Daniel Banks were relaxing at home, with dinner on the stove, when they heard a loud “bang.” They rushed to the kitchen, only to see it engulfed in flames.
The two LSU students hurried to round up their four foster animals and alert neighbors in their duplex. A crew of firemen arrived in five minutes, Tim said, adding, “But, that was pretty much all it took.”
The brothers lost everything, but friends, neighbors and even strangers rallied to help. “The money was nice,” Tim shared, “but it was also nice that people were there to help us out whenever it actually did happen.”
The LSU Family Association was among the first donors to step up.
The organization initiated the Student Life Emergency Support Fund last fall in its semi-annual meeting. The association, dedicated to helping families with their students’ transitions to LSU, offers opportunities for family members to partner with the university during their students’ time at LSU.
Family Association Council co-chairs Juan and Joanne Carrillo led the effort to support students who are experiencing crises. Joanne explained, “We’ve committed to a 24-hour turnaround response to those applicants, because it is an emergency, and they need to knowright away.”
While living in Dubai, Juan and Joanne sent two sons to LSU. Joanne said, “I have boys, and boys are not good communicators. Through the Family Association, from a distance, I could have access to information I needed, but also I was invited to share what was important to me as parent.”
The Carrillos were asked to chair the council in early 2011, shortly after moving back to Baton Rouge. Since then, the couple has worked to enhance existing programs and innovate with new programs.
Whether the effort is as needed as the Student Life Emergency Support Fund, or as much fun as the Family Weekend dessert social under the Campanile, the Family Association is committed to serving the university with initiatives to benefit student life.
Tim said the fire in October was more stressful than he could believe, sharing, “You don’t have anything. You don’t have any money. You don’t have anywhere to go. At the same time, you’re taking classes and you’re not gonna drop out.”
Contributions like the one Tim and Daniel received from the Student Life Emergency Support Fund have enabled them to find a new home and return to a sense of normalcy.