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Derrick Fourroux May ‘10 A Leader by Example page 6


2009 Foundation Board of Directors



3........... Creating Value in the Classroom: Dr. Banamber Mishra

Emma DiCarlo-Vincent, President Willie Mount, Secretary

4.......... Sidekick for Life: Judy and Bill Fuller 5........... Fuller - McNeese Collaboration: The Heifer Enhancement

James Taussig, Treasurer



6........... Cover Story, A Leader by Example: Derrick Fourroux

Bob Davidson Judy Fuller Tom Henning Joe T. Miller, Sr. Lee J. Monlezun, Jr. George Paret Patricia Prebula Glenn Pumpelly Donna Richard Billy Rose

7........... It Only Takes A Spark: Josi Andrus Brady 8........... The Typewriter: Theodore Witherspoon Petersen 10......... Smokey: Erma “Smokey” LeBlanc 11......... Preparing the Nursing Graduate: McNeese College of Nursing 12......... Lake Charles High School Collection 13 ........ Old-School Teaching: Miss Murphy and Miss Leaton 14......... IRA Charitable Rollover

John Scofield Jim Serra

15......... Snowbirds Really Do Fly South: Nancy and George Kuffel

Eli Sorkow

16......... McNeese Foundation, Jennifer Pitre Griffith:

David Stine Ray A. Todd, Jr. Tom Tuminello, Sr. Aubrey White Ex Officio Members Robert D. Hebert Richard H. Reid Advisory Board Members Billy Blake Coral Crain Byrd Fred R. Godwin Marilyn Hays Charles Viccellio 2

Planned Giving & Donor Research Specialist

17......... Rotary Club Commited to Academic Excellence 18......... Building a Solid Foundation: David Stine

FOUNDATION TIES Dr. Banamber Mishra • Recipient • JPMorgan Chase Bank Professorship in Business Research

Creating Value in the Classroom

When Dr. Banamber Mishra developed a proposal to apply for a professorship, he knew it was not a simple undertaking. Cultivating an idea from concept to publication can take anywhere from three to five years. Dr. Mishra obtained all of his degrees in economics, including a bachelor’s degree from Ravenshaw College, India, a master’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, and a second master’s degree and a doctorate degree both from the University of Alabama. With such an extensive education and 22 years of employment at McNeese State University, he serves as a tenured professor certified to teach economics and finance at the baccalaureate and graduate levels. When McNeese awards a professorship, it signifies that the faculty member is highly knowledgeable about a particular subject. Professorships, often linked to research, are awarded to faculty who are academically qualified from an institutional point of view. Professorships provide a financial stipend which may be used at the recipient’s discretion. These funds are expended to further the As McNeese experiences project and may include purchase of supplies, software or equipment or for travel to industry continued state budget cuts, conferences. Dr. Mishra has received several professorships over his extensive teaching career funding for professorships including the JPMorgan Chase Bank Professorship in Business Research, which he now holds. To be awarded a professorship, a faculty member must first submit a proposal on an appropriate topic. According to Dr. Mishra, “Topics often originate from the researcher’s previous work on a related issue or from a subject area where the researcher has a great interest.” The proposal may be a short-term project of one-year duration or a long-term project carried out over multiple years. Once the proposal is developed, it is submitted to the respective college for review. Professorships are awarded each fall pending available funds. Research results are submitted for approval for presentation at industry conferences and published in discipline-specific journals. McNeese’s College of Business is one of only 14 percent of all business schools internationally to be accredited by AACSB International–The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. According to the AACSB Web site, “Accreditation is a process of voluntary, non-governmental review of educational institutions and programs.” To meet the high standards required of AACSB, faculty members must publish at least two articles in refereed journals within the past five years for undergraduate instruction or at least three articles in the past five years for graduate instruction. Faculty utilize their own research as well as the research of others to create value in the classroom. Dr. Mishra’s current project, “Dynamics of Stock Market Return Volatility: Evidence from Singapore and Thailand,” helps students to understand the global economy, to comprehend global markets and to invest on a global scale. With 52 foreign countries represented at McNeese, or 5 percent of the student population, integrating global understanding into the curriculum is sound business practice.

is critical. A professorship may be funded with a donor’s $60,000 investment. The Louisiana Board of Regents matches the investment with a $40,000 contribution, bringing the total professorship to $100,000. Donors name the professorship and select the field of interest in which to designate the funds. McNeese currently has 84 fully funded and 14 partially funded named professorships. To inquire about starting a professorship, contact Jennifer Griffith at 337.562.4191 or jgriffith@


FOUNDATION TIES Judy and Bill Fuller • Donors • Judy and Bill Fuller Scholarship • Hester and Parrish Fuller Memorial Scholarship

Sidekick for Life

Sidekick – a close companion who assists a partner in a superior position ( A person closely associated with another as a subordinate or partner ( As Tonto is to the Lone Ranger, Dr. Watson is to Sherlock Holmes and Robin is to Batman, Judy Fuller is to Bill Fuller. Wherever William Porter “Bill” Fuller goes, Judy, his trusted sidekick and wife, isn’t far behind. Judy fondly describes Bill as a pioneer, a dreamer and a charmer. “He expects excellence of others, especially his wife. He thinks there is nothing that I can’t do,” stated Judy. Bill is the son of Parrish Fuller and Hester Porter, residents of Indiana who moved to Louisiana in 1919 to work in the hardwood industry alongside E.L. Hillyer, J.B. Edwards and Col. Albert Deutsch. Bill attended Culver Military Academy in Culver, Ind., before graduating from Oakdale High School. He served in the U.S. Navy and completed course work at the University of Southeastern Louisiana (now called University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Tulane University and Louisiana State University. With classroom training under his belt, Bill sought on-the-job training in the family’s sawmill and dimension plant operations business. He eventually took over the reins of Fuller Forest Products, a company started by his father.

Judy and Bill Fuller

Judith Lane Mizell, called Judy, grew up in Glenmora and graduated from Bolton High School in Alexandria. Upon completing her degree in business administration at LSU, Judy took a job in the office of Fuller Forest Products. Although Bill was busy with logging and lumber procurement, he wasn’t too busy to take notice of Judy. As a self-described tomboy with strong agrarian values, it didn’t take long for Judy to respond to Bill’s advances. Bill and Judy married on Oct. 6, 1969, and will soon celebrate their 40th anniversary. Bill Fuller is a pioneer, much like his father, Parrish, who pioneered reforestation as a way to replenish one of Louisiana’s greatest natural resources–timber. Bill has designed a trailer capable of transporting double loads of logs from sawmills to increase efficiency. He has successfully grown corn to produce corn silage on acreage where others said it was impossible. Bill, who would describe himself as a practical engineer, has a keen ability to solve problems using trial, error and relentless pursuit. He also loves auto racing. While Judy doesn’t particularly “love” auto racing, she does love Bill. As he pursued his passion for racing, Judy was in the sidecar. They followed vintage racing before transitioning to sports cars. Bill served as the driver, Judy as the cheerleader. The Fullers spent many years traveling from coast-to-coast to racing events living out of a van Niesmann + Bischoll CLOU motor home. The motor home was one of only two in the United States that had a garage in the back where a car could be driven under the queen-sized bed. In designing the couple’s dream home in Kinder, Bill mulled over his plans on an octagonal table that had been handed down to him by his family. Eventually inspiration took flight as Bill designed their 3,000 square foot, multi-southern hardwood, octagonalshaped home. After Judy’s initial shock at the idea wore off, construction began with Judy concluding, “As long as it (the house) was on a concrete foundation without wheels, I’d be happy.” Education has played a significant role in the Fuller dynasty with Parrish having served on the Louisiana State Board of Education for six consecutive terms (1929-53). Judy and Bill have continued this legacy and commitment to education. The Hester and Parrish Fuller Memorial Scholarship, established in memory of Bill’s parents, is open to agribusiness or mechanical engineering students. The Judy and Bill Fuller Scholarship is designated for the College of Business. The Fullers have also donated more than 100 acres in Kinder to McNeese’s Harold and Pearl Dripps Department of Agricultural Sciences to conduct research to learn about the corn silage cattle feed business. The 650-acre Soileau Farm owned by the Fullers has also been donated to McNeese to grow corn and soybeans. The Fullers have also partnered with the department to build a heifer enhancement and development program on an 800-acre cattle operation. The goal of this one-of-a-kind program is to help local cattle producers improve the quality of their herd and maximize their cattle operation potential. The Fullers don’t idle well. When they aren’t busy tending to their hardwood, cattle and farm operations, Bill may be found cooking homemade jelly while Judy knits or sews. According to Judy, “Wherever home is, and Bill is content, I’m going to be happy.” With a sidekick like Judy, Bill can’t go wrong!


FULLER – McNEESE COLLABORATION The Heifer Enhancement Program The Heifer Enhancement Program (HEP) began with a generous donation from Judy and Bill Fuller. The Fuller Farm, composed of more than 100 acres in Kinder, was donated to McNeese State University’s Harold and Pearl Dripps Department of Agricultural Sciences for the purpose of education and research. The farm operation consists of land to grow row crops, pasture to graze cattle and produce hay, cattle working facilities and an asphalt surface for feeding cattle. The Fullers and the McNeese agricultural sciences department share a common interest–the farming industry in Southwest Louisiana. The traditional crop in this region is rice. While rice farming has been lucrative in years past, some farmers have undergone difficult economic times and their land now sits idle. Mr. Bill would like to see this unused resource put back into production. This may be accomplished by non-traditional uses of the land. One such farming enterprise that has been extremely successful for Bill is the implementation of a feedlot system for cattle. The Kinder Farm property was originally a family operated sawmill. The sawmill had a hard surfaced area adjacent to it that now functions as an area to feed cattle. He grows corn that is processed as corn silage and fed to growing cattle. The challenge was to grow corn in an area that is not conducive to producing this grain crop. To put that land back to work in agriculture, Bill proposed opening a feedlot sustained by raising corn silage. Initial results were poor. Starting with the first yields of approximately 25 bushels per acre, he now produces 130 bushels of corn per acre. Soil conditions in Southwest Louisiana with its clay pan would not seem conducive for growing corn, but Bill worked to prove otherwise. He cultivated the soil, installed center pivots for irrigation and planted a crop. The corn silage is cut when it is nice and green and moist. The silage is placed in poly-bags that hold 130 tons, pressed down and fed to cattle, providing a high energy, affordable content that maximizes the cattle growth. After the Fullers donated the property, McNeese professors and Bill discussed possible options for the operation that would benefit everyone involved and provide important information for producers and farmers. The best fit was to utilize the feedlot and the corn silage program to develop heifers for area producers. The HEP encourages producers to develop replacement heifers for their herds as opposed to selling the heifers after weaning. Producers turn responsibility for developing the heifers over to McNeese’s department of agricultural sciences, which is in charge of feeding them corn silage produced on the Fuller Farm. The development period lasts between 150-180 days. Producers pay a per diem cost for enrolling their stock in the program. The Heifer Enhancement Program has been beneficial to all participants. McNeese faculty and staff have gained handson experience and research knowledge that would be difficult to attain from a book. Faculty and students collect data on average daily gain, temperament and carcass merit and examine the heifer for reproductive tract soundness. Producers receive healthier heifers at program’s end, and in turn, strengthen their overall herds. Producers also have the option of enrolling their heifers in the artificial insemination program. McNeese compiles and disseminates monthly results to the producer who may then select the better performing heifers to retain in their herd. Seeing their land used to support The Heifer Enhancement agriculture and education provides Judy and Bill Fuller tremendous satisfaction. Dr. William “Bill” Storer, McNeese assistant professor/research associate, is assigned to the Fuller Farm full time to monitor operations, to conduct research and to work with undergraduate and graduate students and student interns. According to Dr. Chip LeMieux, department head, “The Fuller’s donation of farmland, supplies and equipment enables us to work within a segment of the agricultural industry that we would never have been able to do before. The HEP is a unique program to this area.” In addition to the Kinder farm, McNeese is able to utilize the Fuller’s 650-acre farm located in Soileau. This acreage is used to grow corn and soybeans that are combined and used as feed grain. This year a 40-acre experimental plot of forage soybeans was planted to determine yield and quality. This is another non-traditional farm crop for this area. Hopefully, the McNeese/ Fuller partnership will continue for many years and will be able to cultivate this property into a research station that will provide beneficial information for producers throughout Southwest Louisiana.

Program, now in its fourth year, accepts heifers on a consignment basis. The 2009-10 program begins Oct. 19. Heifer calves weighing between 400 and 600 pounds are eligible for the four-month program on a first-come, firstserved basis. For further information, contact Bill Storer at 225.266.1821.


COVER STORY Derrick Fourroux • Recipient • Josi Andrus Brady Memorial Scholarship

A Leader by Example

To read the statistics that Derrick Fourroux has achieved in just three short years as a first-string quarterback is impressive. To get to know Derrick Fourroux as a person…now that is remarkable. Derrick lives in Erath, a small Louisiana town with about 2,100 residents in Vermilion Parish, nestled between Abbeville and Delcambre on U.S. Highway 14. Unlike his cousins who spent hours hanging out in their grandfather’s machine shop, Derrick preferred being outside playing ball. “Ball” could be baseball, basketball or football. He was proficient at them all. His first introduction to the quarterback position was playing parish league football at 8 years old. It was only natural that he was named quarterback his freshman year, playing the position all four years for Erath High School’s Bobcats. He earned all-state honors as quarterback for football, all-district honors as forward for basketball and as pitcher and shortstop for baseball and all district and regional honors for javelin and triple jump for track.

I have had the privilege of knowing Derrick since he was a freshman here at McNeese because I am the nursing athletic adviser. One thing that has always impressed me about him is his nonassuming attitude. He has always been very courteous and respectful, and in my opinion, has been able to accomplish things that other students could not. I feel the reason that Derrick has been able to juggle his very busy nursing curriculum and the rigors of being a student-athlete is that he is committed. Early in his academic career, he had many semesters when he was enrolled in many rigorous courses. I never heard Derrick complain---he just got the job done. He knows what is necessary for him to be successful in the classroom as well as the football field. I feel that Derrick has the drive and integrity to be successful in his chosen career, and he has proven himself as an outstanding McNeese Cowboy in the football arena. It has been my pleasure to know this young man, and I wish him continued success. Cynthia (Cindy) Howard, Assistant Professor College of Nursing 6

Brothers, Bruce and Zach, sister, Jasmine, and extended family were always in the crowds cheering Derrick on. His most ardent supporter back then and to this day is his mom, Patricia. Derrick describes his mom as a “hard working mom” who never pushed, but provided consistent discipline and support. Recognizing Derrick’s talent and passion, his mom worked hard to afford to send him to McNeese’s football camps and to the Manning Passing Academy. It became obvious that the training was not in vain when McNeese’s Head Coach Matt Viator recruited at Erath High School during Derrick’s junior year and offered him a football scholarship. Derrick describes Coach Viator as “a great coach who really has a mind for the game.” Players may be “red-shirted” their first year to allow them time to learn “the lay of the land” or at another point in their college career due to injury. A red-shirted player may practice with the team but not play in any games. Red-shirting preserves another year of eligibility for the player. Derrick was red-shirted his first year at McNeese and younger brother, Zach, an entering freshman in 2008-09, was also red-shirted. Derrick now leads the Cowboys as starting quarterback. He is a dual threat in the conference, excelling in both his running and passing games. Zach, who seems destined to follow in Derrick’s footsteps one day, is currently the third-string quarterback for the Cowboys. While Derrick’s activities on the field are to be commended, his accomplishments off the field are even more impressive. Derrick is a senior nursing student with an excellent academic track record. Students enrolled in McNeese’s nursing program undergo a rigorous course curriculum that includes extensive off-site hours in a clinical setting. Despite the demands on his time, Derrick has been successful in all his endeavors and has been named to the Southland Conference Commissioners Honor List. His dad, Bruce, a nurse himself, served as Derrick’s inspiration in pursuing a health care career. As a child, Derrick used to meet his dad at Lafayette General Hospital where Bruce worked in the Oncology Department. He said the key to his success has been “time management.” With a schedule that starts with strength training on Monday, a full class schedule TuesdayFriday, a game Saturday and football practices and study time in between, there is no time wasted. His nursing study group, which he meets with several times a week, has provided structure and motivation. Derrick Fourroux is the recipient of the Josi Andrus Brady Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a deserving football player in good academic standing. “Financially, things are not that stable. If not for the scholarship, I wouldn’t be at McNeese. I would probably be in the National Guard or the Marines or

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McNeese Athletic Foundation Wendy and Keith Romero • Donors • Josi Andrus Brady Memorial Scholarship

It Only Takes A Spark “Josi was an ordinary person who touched so many in an extraordinary way,” wrote Tanya Emmer Miles in her selfwritten book, Josi Stories, A Tribute. Josi Andrus, David Brady, Jace Eskind and Tanya became fast friends while students at New Iberia High School where they graduated in 1976. Since parting ways was out of the question, all four moved to Lake Charles to attend McNeese State University. They soon joined the band and became active participants at the Catholic Student Center. Keith Romero and Wendy Frederick were also frequent visitors to the Catholic Student Center. Who knew that a competitive game of “Horse,” in which Wendy challenged Keith, would plant the seeds that would eventually blossom into 25 years of marriage. By the way, Wendy won the game hands down with the loser, Keith, taking her to dinner. Activities at McNeese and the Catholic Student Center nurtured friendships that lasted the test of time, tribulations and celebrations. The friends all completed their McNeese degrees and went on to productive lives as community members, employees, parents, and always, friends. Josi Andrus married David Brady, Keith Romero married Wendy Frederick, Tanya Emmer married Ray Miles, another member of the Catholic Student Center, and Father Jace Eskind married his faith.

Wendy and Keith Romero

Upon Josi’s graduation in 1980, she began her life as a teacher. Her education prepared her well for the field, but it was her enthusiasm for life that garnered her “Teacher of the Year” awards. Sadly, Josi died in 2005, leaving behind a husband and two children, Matthew and Tyler. Wendy and Keith, honoring Josi’s memory, started the Josi Andrus Brady Memorial Scholarship. With matching funds from Keith’s employer, Smith International, the scholarship was established. In 2007, to celebrate the scholarship and to provide others the opportunity to pay tribute to Josi, Tanya and Ray hosted a fundraiser in their home. With family, friends, McNeese administrators and the scholarship recipient in attendance, the event was a rousing success financially and is a testament to Josi and her lifelong friendships. The Romeros specified that the Josi Andrus Brady Memorial Scholarship be given to a deserving football player in good standing. The football coach selects the recipient. In that way, Keith said, “Every time we meet for a football game, we will remember why we are there…for Josi.”

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FOUNDATION TIES Marianne and Paul White • Donors • Theodore Witherspoon Petersen Scholarship in Business

The Typewriter

The most vivid memory Marianne White has of her father is that of him sitting behind his desk working away in a white starched button-down shirt and tie while pecking feverishly at the typewriter keys. Theodore “Ted” Witherspoon Petersen was the grandson of Otto Julius Petersen, superintendent of the Franklin Sugar Refinery in Philadelphia, Pa. To rise to the rank of superintendent in the early 1900s was a significant accomplishment for an immigrant from Germany. The senior Petersen’s business prowess set the standard for his grandson’s business accomplishments later on. After a brief stint with Budweiser, young Ted went to work for Beneficial Finance Company. With a wife, four children and a much loved bassett hound, Cleopatra, in tow, Ted moved around the country as he moved up the corporate ladder. The family finally settled in Houston, Texas, in 1963. Ted’s family spent considerable time with him at his office. The office was rather drab–the basic white, sterile room filled with uninviting furniture and with a few awards scattered about. To daughter, Marianne, it was heaven. She loved to watch her father work, typing away one finger at a time on his manual Royal-brand typewriter. He would occasionally roll the paper feed to check for errors before hitting the carriage return again. The carbon paper used to make duplicate copies in those days made it difficult to correct his numerous mistakes. At that time, liquid paper and correction tape were not yet invented and “spell-checker” was still decades away. Marianne was fascinated with her dad and mesmerized by the typewriter while the other children tugged on mom’s skirt tail to signal they were impatient to go home. Over time, the manual typewriter evolved to an electric typewriter, a Selectric typewriter, and eventually, a computer with keyboard. Ted Petersen, however, did not evolve with technology, choosing instead to continue using his faithful companion. The memories of her father as a businessman undoubtedly shaped Marianne’s decision to pursue her education and her employment in business just as her father and his grandfather had. Marianne and Paul White have started the Theodore Witherspoon Petersen Scholarship in Business in honor of her father. The scholarship will be awarded to a business student that maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average. Their contributions are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $3,000 per year by Paul’s employer, Entergy. With additional matching funds received from the McNeese Foundation during its capital campaign, the $20,000 endowed scholarship will be fully funded in five years. Many years ago, Ted gave Marianne one of his awards for his business accomplishments at Beneficial, a plastic-encased silver dollar. While it holds little value monetarily, it is priceless to her. The other item Marianne hoped to receive one day was Ted’s trusted and lifelong companion, the Royal typewriter. Ted surprised her several years ago with the official handing-over-of-the-typewriter. The manual typewriter holds a special place in her house and an extraordinary place in her heart, permanently bonding her with her father, Theodore, and great-grandfather, Otto. The displayed typewriter now holds a letter that a young Ted had typed to his cousins in 1948, while serving in the U.S. Navy in Hong Kong. Although it is full of misspelled words and grammatically incorrect sentences, to his daughter, it is perfectly written. 8

continued from page 6 something. I’m very thankful for the scholarship,” stated Fourroux. Derrick hopes to become a nurse anesthetist one day. He will graduate in May 2010, and if not playing football professionally, he will work for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital where he served as a student extern this summer in the intensive care unit. He will be the first child and the first grandchild in his family to graduate from college. Derrick’s mom, his high school sweetheart, Megan Dronet, and family members from Erath can be heard in the stands rooting loudly for their favorite quarterback. Right beside them are Erath’s high school coaches and town folk who Derrick says are “like family…very supportive and caring.” Traveling by caravan, Erath supporters begin tailgating early on game day. When the lights of Cowboy Stadium dim you will find Derrick heading to the parking lot to join his extended family and greatest fans.

Derrick Fourroux is interviewed following the Tulane game by Alex Hickey (left) of the Lake Charles American Press and Rick Sarro (right) of Lagniappe and Soundoff.

continued from page 7 With the scholarship off to a great start, the Romeros felt called to do more. After Hurricane Rita, the baseball complex was in shambles. Keith and Wendy launched the Field of Dreams fund, again matched by a grant from Keith’s employer. “Smith International has been a wonderful company to work for and with. They are very positive and generous toward education,” said Keith. Additional support came from baseball family members and from friends through the GeauxCowboys Web site. The Field of Dreams fund combined with generous contributions from other donors has produced a McNeese baseball field that is state-of-the-art. The Romeros are active supporters of McNeese sports and are members of the Cowboy Club, Tip Off Club, Diamond Club and Athletic Cowboy Corral, to name a few. Recent contributions to the women’s basketball team and men and women’s strength training program have been matched by Smith International. Keith explained, “By being supportive and helping the student-athletes have a wonderful experience here at McNeese, we hope, in turn, that when they become alumni they will support their alma mater.” The generosity comes full circle. Live, Love, Learn and Leave a Legacy is not just a motto to Wendy and Keith Romero; it is a way of life. As the song goes…“It only takes a spark to get a fire burning…” The Romeros are sparks which have ignited a fire of generosity, a spark that started with their tribute to Josi Andrus Brady.


Foundation Ties Friends of Smokey and Roger LeBlanc • Donors • Erma LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship


Erma “Smokey” LeBlanc spent most of her adult life healing the sick. “Erma was a nurse. That means a lot more than someone who empties your bedpan for you,” recalled Vivian Jester Whitman, her co-worker and friend. Smokey served with the United States Army during World War II in the European Theater, receiving four battle stars. Erma met her future husband, M.A. “Chic” LeBlanc, in France during the war. She was the first nurse to go into France on a glider and she helped set up the second MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit. Chic landed at Normandy on D-Day in the third wave and earned the Silver Star. Smokey was a native of Altoona, Pa., while Chic was a native Louisianian from New Orleans. After their war service, the LeBlancs settled in Lake Charles, and had two children, Roger and Ann. Ann remembered that when she and Roger got in trouble as children, “the little colonel,” as they called their mom, would bring them into “the office” for discipline. Smokey and Chic were ardent storytellers who saw life through humorous lenses. Smokey would tell of sneaking out to farms during the war to steal chickens so she could make chicken broth for the wounded men. One Thanksgiving Chic found two turkeys and wrung their necks, only to find out that they were the general’s personal pets. Oops! Smokey worked alongside the nuns at St. Patrick Hospital as the director of nursing (DON). Vivian was a young graduate nurse trained by nuns at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas, when she moved to Lake Charles to work under Smokey. Vivian reminisced, “I have never been more scared of someone in my entire life. Smokey carried around that clipboard like it was armor!” After moving to Lake Charles Charity Hospital, now W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center, with Smokey as the DON and herself as a nurse anesthetist, Vivian became less intimidated by Smokey. In fact, Vivian came to love Smokey, stating, “What can be better than friendship and high respect?” When Joint Commission, the accrediting agency for health care organizations, came to inspect Moss Regional’s nursing service under Smokey’s leadership, the department was in 100 percent compliance with no deficiencies. Dr. Everett Schneider, head of pediatrics from 1964-92, remembered, “Smokey demanded excellence and placed good people under her. As the hospital expanded, Erma always recruited the best nurses in their field.” Smokey expected her nurses to tow the line. Linda Patterson, a nurse working under Smokey, said, “She was mean as could be with a heart of gold. I worshiped her.” Smokey kept an open door policy for her supervisors, welcoming their suggestions but expecting loyalty on the floor at the same time. Schneider said, “You always knew where you stood when you worked for Smokey.” Even when she was diagnosed with cancer, Smokey continued to work despite undergoing extensive treatment. Vivian helped Roger and Ann with caretaker duties. In fact, Smokey trusted Vivian to the extent that she posted a sign on her bed that read, “In case I am rendered unable to make medical decisions, please call Vivian Whitman.” Nursing staff at Moss Regional Hospital and friends created the Erma LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship as a tribute to Smokey. The contributions received from Mr. and Mrs. Roger LeBlanc have brought the scholarship to an endowed level. The Erma LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship provides funds to support a nursing student in good standing for up to four years. 10

Erma “Smokey” LeBlanc

FOUNDATION TIES Dr. Peggy Wolfe • Recipient • Emily and Charles Stokes Trust Professorship in Nursing

Preparing The Nursing Graduate

If you drive by the corner of Common Street and Sale Road, you might notice a three-story building with a red metal roof. It may look like the Red Roof Inn, but it is actually home to McNeese State University’s College of Nursing. The College of Nursing has grown from humble roots. In the early 1950s, area organizations including the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, the Lake Charles District Nursing Association and the Seventh District Medical Association came together to encourage the addition of a nursing curriculum at McNeese State College. Fifty plus years later, McNeese’s college of nursing is one of the most respected and largest nursing programs in operation–with an undergraduate enrollment of 1,244 and a graduate enrollment of 92. Fifteen percent of all students who enrolled at McNeese in the fall of 2009 enrolled in the College of Nursing. And, nursing is no longer considered only a woman’s career with more and more men entering the profession. Nineteen percent of the students enrolled in the college of nursing for fall 2009 were men.

Anetha Craft, left, clinical adjunct faculty member, and Dr. Peggy Wolfe, nursing dean

Most nursing schools admit students into their programs according to grade point average (GPA). The McNeese College of Nursing has a unique admission policy that honors McNeese’s own students first. A student enrolled at McNeese and meeting the published minimum GPA has priority over a transfer student with a higher GPA from another school applying for admission. Nursing faculty supported this decision to ensure that Southwest Louisiana stays equipped with adequate nursing staff who choose to live and stay in this area. McNeese is fortunate to have a dedicated faculty who work hard to ensure that nursing graduates receive the quality education that prepares them to pass the strenuous NCLEX exam, the licensing exam for nurses. According to a report issued in October 2008 by the Louisiana Board of Nursing, McNeese has far fewer faculty per graduate than does Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of Louisiana Lafayette. McNeese’s College of Nursing is the beneficiary of three Emily and Charles Stokes Trust Professorships in Nursing. The professorships were established by the Stokes Family through bequest. The professorships are dedicated to program development which includes expenses related to accreditation, travel, equipment purchases and faculty training for the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. Each professorship is assigned to a faculty member who manages the award’s use and expenses. The baccalaureate program recently underwent a redesign to ensure the curriculum reflected the best preparation possible for the student. According to Dr. Peggy Wolfe, dean of the College of Nursing, “We work to prepare the nursing graduate to practice in the real world.” Tremendous community support is received from outside agencies who allow their master’s-prepared nursing employees to serve as clinical adjuncts. By combining outside resources with inside talent, McNeese students are provided opportunities to implement theoretical training in a live, on-the-job setting. Applied Technology Research Corporation of Baton Rouge, in a March 2009 report, found that McNeese graduates nearly 80 percent of all nurses employed in Lake Charles and surrounding communities. The next time you seek health care in a clinic or hospital setting, take comfort in the fact that you are probably being cared for by a McNeese nursing graduate.


Lake Charles High School Collection The Archives and Special Collections Department of Frazar Memorial Library collects and preserves materials and books that document the University and the history in and around Southwest Louisiana. Among the Archives’ vast collections are memorabilia from the years of 1895-2003 at Lake Charles High School (LCHS). When LCHS’s Wildcats merged with Lake Charles Boston High School’s Cougars, LCHS lost much of its history. Thankfully, alumni came together to preserve their history, donating trophies, yearbooks, personal items and other mementos to the collection. The McNeese Archives not only collects and preserves donated materials of value for the community, but it also makes the collections available for review and research. The LCHS collection includes catalogs, photographs, clothing, scrapbooks and other memorabilia from its era. The items are often used at class reunions or similar events. Archives staff clean, arrange and catalog historical items donated to McNeese. Materials are preserved in archival-quality containers that minimize the ill effects of temperature, light and moisture. Fragile items, such as old newspapers, certificates and diplomas, are preserved using special conservation techniques such as deacidification and encapsulation. If you are interested in the collections available at the McNeese Archives, visit http:// htm. If you are interested in making a financial contribution in support of the Archives or you wish to inquire about starting a collection, contact Pati Threatt, assistant archivist, at 337.475.5734.


FOUNDATION TIES Former Students & Friends of LCHS • Donors • LCHS Murphy/Leaton Scholarship, Murphy/Leaton Professorship in Teaching Excellence

Old–School Teaching

Students often recall their favorite teachers, but few start a scholarship in their honor…unless, of course, you were instructed by Miss Iris Murphy and Miss Lucille Leaton. Miss Murphy and Miss Leaton taught together at Lake Charles High School (LCHS) for 30 years. Miss Murphy taught English and Latin while Miss Leaton taught Spanish and English. Both taught at a time when the instructors’ mere silence created fear and trepidation among students. Strict discipline in the classroom stimulated respect from students who strived to achieve just so their teachers would be proud of them. According to Jo Ann Cline Humble, LCHS class of ‘47 president, “Miss Leaton was undoubtedly my favorite teacher. She was extremely elegant, learned, intelligent and gracious. She displayed the best of manners and she called upon her students to show their good manners as well.” Daniel Ieyoub, class of ‘52 and later LCHS principal, remembered, “Miss Murphy and Miss Leaton were prim and proper. They would carefully set their plates at lunch to include a sprig of mint for decoration.”

Miss Murphy and Miss Le

aton with Kiltie drum

Back in the days before Title IX, LCHS had boys’ sports, but the girls were left on the sidelines. Principal G. W. Ford suggested starting a girls’ marching squad, and in 1939, the Kilties were created.

Though they weren’t the first and only sponsors during the Kilties 44-year existence, Miss Murphy and Miss Leaton were the most renowned, taking over its leadership in 1942. They would draw out the formations while sitting at their coffee table. Cissie McLeod recalled, “Miss Murphy and Miss Leaton could make you do things that you didn’t think you could do, such as marching in a pinwheel in perfect unison.” These two teachers commanded absolute perfection, giving students the confidence needed to achieve whatever was set before them. Under their direction, the Kilties gained national recognition appearing in the Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl and marching in numerous local and regional parades. As “all good things must come to an end,” the Kilties tradition came to a close in the early 1980s. Former students, Kiltie members and friends of Miss Murphy and Miss Leaton created the LCHS Murphy/Leaton Scholarship and the Murphy/Leaton Professorship in Teaching Excellence. Faren Kleckley White, senior nursing student, is the recipient of the scholarship. “Being given the opportunity to receive the Murphy/ Leaton Scholarship at McNeese has given me the extra inspiration to get through school knowing that people believe in me. Having that extra push, especially when registering for the semester, reminds me that I can and I will succeed in school,” said Faren. Their students were like family to Miss Murphy and Miss Leaton, and they remained in close contact with their students long past retirement. Miss Leaton died in 1998 and Miss Murphy died in 2005. Honored guests at Miss Murphy’s funeral included former Kilties and Wildcats from LCHS. A memorial to LCHS stands proudly at Lock Park in Lake Charles. On occasion, you can still watch former Kiltie members doing their 220 steps-per-beat shuffle when the rumble of drumbeats commence. Excerpts included from “Footprints of the Kilties,” by Nola Mae Ross and Susan McFillen. 13


The IRA Charitable Rollover There are many ways to make a planned gift to the McNeese Foundation. In 2009, the IRA Charitable Rollover may be one of the best options. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extends the IRA charitable rollover provision through Dec. 31, 2009. This provision allows individuals who are 70 1/2 or older the ability to make a tax-free distribution to the McNeese Foundation from their IRA up to a value of $100,000 per year. A distribution made to the Foundation prior to the end of 2009 is totally excluded from income. Before this law was enacted, contributions to charities from an IRA were treated as taxable income under federal law and under some state laws, and then offset, or partially offset, with a charitable itemized deduction. Who benefits most from an IRA charitable rollover? • Individuals who are 70 1/2 or older that are required to take minimum distributions from their IRAs, whether they need the funds or not. • Individuals who would like to make a charitable gift in excess of 50 percent of their adjusted gross income. • Individuals who do not itemize their deductions. • Individuals who live in states that don’t provide tax incentives for charitable deductions. • Single individuals who want to reduce estate tax attributable to their IRA. When Marianne White, coordinator of planned giving and donor research in the McNeese Foundation, asked William “Bill” Beaton why he chose to use an IRA charitable rollover to start a scholarship, he responded, “It just makes good sense.” Bill taught economics and finance in the College of Business in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Dr. Michael Kurth, former department head, interviewed and hired Beaton for an instructor position. Many years later, in gratitude to Dr. Kurth, Bill Beaton created the Dr. Michael Kurth Scholarship in Finance.

There are a few rules for making an IRA charitable rollover to the McNeese Foundation: • Distributions must be made in the form of an outright gift to the Foundation. • Distributions must originate from either a traditional or Roth IRA. • Distributions must be made directly from the IRA custodian to the Foundation. • Distributions cannot be made to donor advised funds and supporting organizations. It is always wise to check with a financial adviser prior to executing an IRA charitable rollover. To begin the process of contributing funds from an IRA or to receive a brochure with more information, contact the McNeese Office of Planned Giving and Donor Research at 337.562.4107 or


FOUNDATION TIES Ms. Margaret MunroKuffel • Donor • John •J. Munro III Memorial Scholarship Nancy and George • Donors Professorships in Education and Psychology

Nancy and George Kuffel

Snowbirds Really Do Fly South How do two snowbirds from the northernmost regions of this country wind up in hot, humid Southwest Louisiana and decide to call it home? Maj. George S. Kuffel hails from St. Cloud, Minn., while wife, Nancy, is a product of British Columbia, Canada. Looking for a bit of adventure, Nancy enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. George was looking for a bit of adventure himself when he joined the U.S. Army via the ROTC program at North Dakota State University. He was commissioned into the Army after graduation, began his career with the Korean Police Action and was stationed in cities around the world before he retired from active duty 20 years later after his last trip to Vietnam. While stationed in France, George met Nancy who was working in a civilian position. Upon returning to the United States, the couple eventually married. One of their many stops along the way included Lake Charles. While stationed here, the Kuffels had the opportunity to observe the impact McNeese State University had on the community of Southwest Louisiana. Upon Maj. Kuffel’s retirement in 1971, he and Nancy decided to call Lake Charles “home.” Although George retired from the Army, he didn’t retire from his love of learning. George’s proclivity to education was developed from childhood. His father served as the psychology department chair at Western Michigan State University while his mother received her library science degree from the

University of Indiana. George graduated from North Dakota State with dual majors in chemistry and zoology. Once the couple settled in Lake Charles, George enrolled as a graduate student in McNeese’s psychology department. He received his master’s of science degree in 1972 and worked as a graduate assistant. George also served as counselor at DeQuincy High School for three years before returning to McNeese to work in the Office of Continuing Education. George retired from McNeese in January 1995. Fourteen years later, he still continues to teach psychology courses at McNeese. George has committed the past 37 years of his life to education and he continues to do so today. George and Nancy Kuffel have left a planned gift to the McNeese Foundation through a bequest in their wills with the funds dedicated to establishing professorships in the Burton College of Education. George serves as president of the Outriders, the McNeese retiree association. When George isn’t teaching or volunteering, he can be found crafting fishing lures or toiling away in his workshop. Nancy keeps busy cooking for friends and family and playing bridge. The Kuffels are often spotted amidst the social scene in Lake Charles attending Banners events, art shows or symphony concerts. They continue to participate in their Friday night happy hour with their retired military friends, a tradition that has surpassed 20 years.

(For information on making a bequest or other planned gifts, visit 15

Jennifer Pitre Griffith


Planned Giving &

Donor Research Specialist Within the Office of Development and Public Affairs, there is another area few people are familiar with–the Office of Planned Giving and Donor Research. Established in 2004, the mission of the planned giving and donor research office is to support the missions of McNeese State University and the McNeese Foundation by working with individuals interested in making a contribution through planned gifts. Jennifer Pitre Griffith became the first planned giving and donor research specialist in the office in 2007. Planned gifts include bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts, among others. There are numerous ways to make these types of planned gifts including cash, securities, stock, retirement plan assets, savings bonds, real estate and life insurance. It is this office’s responsibility to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward current and potential donors making sure that the donor’s philanthropic intent aligns with the core values of the University. The planned giving and donor research office is not limited to just those areas. It also assists with marketing, Web presence and donor relations efforts. Both PILLARS and Dispatch from the Outriders, the retired faculty and staff newsletter, are produced biannually by the office. The Foundation Web site was completely redesigned under the office’s direction in conjunction with the Web company Bizzuka. The planned giving program was also revived with a new name, The 1939 Living Oak Society, for those making a planned gift to the Foundation. The retired faculty/staff association, the Outriders, continues to grow under the planned giving and donor research office. An annual picnic and day trips are held each year to help keep retired faculty and staff connected to each other and the University. Jennifer is responsible for maintaining the Foundation Web site, assisting with online giving, conducting donor research, updating the donor database and helping with marketing and donor relations. For more information on planned giving, visit or contact Jennifer at 337.562.4191 or by e-mail at


FOUNDATION TIES The Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles • Donors • Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles Scholarships

Rotary Club Committed to Academic Excellence

The Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles has contributed greatly to this community since the initial charter was granted by Rotary International in July 1963. The Club, with over 70 members, continues to uphold its long-standing reputation for philanthropy. The Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles is one of Rotary International’s 33,000 clubs with more than 1.2 million members worldwide. Club members adhere to the motto, “Service Above Self,” volunteering to combat hunger, to fight domestic abuse, to educate youth and to promote world peace. Perhaps Rotary is best known for its international work to eradicate polio. The spread and fear of polio were very real world wide not too long ago. Baby boomers and older generations may remember ingesting inoculation-laced sugar cubes as children. In 1985, Rotary made a commitment to immunize children against polio worldwide. Other partners soon joined forces, including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF. More recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has formed a $555 million funding agreement with Rotary to continue its polio project. According to Rotary International’s Web site, “In 1988, polio infected nearly 1,000 children every day. In 2008, fewer than 2,000 cases were reported for the entire year.” The Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles was created from the merging of two smaller clubs–the Rotary Club of South Lake Charles and the East Lake Charles Rotary Club. Since joining forces, the Club has actively supported youth outreach, victim abuse and education, among others projects. The Club started the first Interact Clubs, service clubs for high school youth, in Southwest Louisiana. In fact, LaGrange High School, [Washington] Marion High School and Lake Charles High School Interact Clubs were the first in Louisiana. The Club also sponsored a statewide high school championship tennis tournament many years ago, which contributed to the formation of the Lake Charles Racquet Club. The Club participated with Rotary International when the Group Study Exchange program first began and continues its involvement of that program today. Funds to support Rotary International or local, regional or state projects begin with each member contributing quarterly dues. Clubs also host varying fundraising projects such as the Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles’ annual auction. Held each spring, the auction includes dinner and silent and live auctions. Members may also become fellows in the “Paul Harris Society,” a distinction reserved for members who contribute $1,000 or more annually to Rotary International. The Club created the Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles Scholarship in December 1991 to provide funds for a Calcasieu Parish resident maintaining an overall GPA of 3.0 to attend McNeese State University for up to four years. The initial $10,000 contribution funded one scholarship. Eighteen years later, the Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles Scholarship provides funds for 17 students to attend McNeese. All told, 75 students have received the scholarship since its inception, making this the largest single scholarship fund established by a civic organization for the McNeese Foundation. “Recognizing the importance of education, the Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles has made it a priority to contribute to the McNeese Foundation to provide scholarships that will help deserving students.   Rotary members place a high priority on education and literacy,” stated John Hoffpauir, Rotary president.

I am a freshman majoring in agricultural sciences with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine. All of my life I have wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and last semester I began my pursuit. I currently work at a local veterinary clinic where I have been on staff for five years seeking to obtain priceless experience. Once I complete my doctorate, I plan to come home to Lake Charles and open up a practice. Thank you for your extreme generosity in funding the Rotary Club of Greater Lake Charles Scholarship. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be the recipient of this award. Sincerely, Kevin Shrewsberry 17

Building a Solid Foundation

Dear McNeese Foundation Supporters, McNeese State University’s three-year Building a Solid Foundation endowment campaign has now come to a conclusion. The McNeese Foundation is pleased to announce that despite recent economic downturns the campaign goal of $15 million has not only been reached, but also exceeded. The McNeese Foundation serves as the conduit to provide an outside funding source to the University. The Building a Solid Foundation campaign, begun November 2006 and ended June 2009, was initiated to raise funds to grow the endowment, a pool of funds held by the Foundation and invested over time for the purpose of achieving a positive return. The endowed principal remains intact while the income from the investment is used to support student scholarships, faculty professorships and chairs, and other projects that advance the University’s mission. The McNeese Foundation endowment has now provided over 300 academic scholarships, 35 athletic scholarships, one First Generation Scholarship, 84 professorships and two chairs. I would like to thank the McNeese Foundation and its donors for the opportunity of serving as the chair for the Building a Solid Foundation campaign. While the campaign has drawn to a conclusion, the work of the McNeese Foundation continues. Your philanthropic contributions as a donorpast, present, and future-are greatly appreciated and ensure that McNeese State University remains on the forefront of higher education in Southwest Louisiana and beyond. Sincerely,

David Stine

David Stine Campaign Chair McNeese Foundation Board of Directors Member


We trust that you have been informed or enlightened by something you have read in this issue of PILLARS. Comments or suggestions for future bi-annual editions are welcomed and appreciated. Please take a moment to complete this form and return it to the McNeese Foundation, Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA 70609 or send comments via e-mail to You are also encouraged to visit the Foundation Web site at for further information about our activities or methods of giving.

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Please contact me regarding making a contribution or planned gift to the McNeese Foundation.



EDITOR Marianne White Coordinator of Planned Giving and Donor Research STAFF WRITERS Jennifer Griffith Planned Giving and Donor Research Specialist ART DIRECTION, DESIGN, PHOTOGRAPHY Anne Cobb Graphic Designer/Multimedia Specialist Renee LeLeux Public Information Officer II FOUNDATION STAFF Kimberly Donalson Gift Management Specialist Jennifer Griffith Planned Giving and Donor Research Specialist

McNeese/Tulane Game 2009

Kelly McGough Administrative Assistant

Pam McGough Coordinator of Athletic Development

PILLARS is published by the McNeese Foundation to educate and inform the community of the role that the Foundation plays in support of McNeese State University. The name, PILLARS, was chosen to represent the importance of the Foundation’s support of McNeese as an institution of higher learning.

Melissa Ellis Northcutt Director of Development Operations and Special Events Richard H. Reid Vice President of Development and Public Affairs/ Executive Vice President, McNeese Foundation Beryl Romero Administrative Specialist Marianne White

Contact Information McNeese Foundation Box 91989 Lake Charles, LA 70609 Phone 337.475.5588 Fax 337.475.5386

Coordinator of Planned Giving and Donor Research


Nonprofit Org.

U.S. Postage Paid McNeese Foundation, Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA 70609


Permit No 336 Lake Charles, LA

Pillars Fall 2009 Issue  

PILLARS is published by the McNeese Foundation to educate and inform the community of the role that the Foundation plays in support of McNee...

Pillars Fall 2009 Issue  

PILLARS is published by the McNeese Foundation to educate and inform the community of the role that the Foundation plays in support of McNee...