Page 1
















In this issue The McNeese Foundation – A Pillar of Strength

. . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3

That Was Then – This Is Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4, 5

2014 Foundation Board of Directors Officers • Judy Fuller, President • Patricia Prebula, Vice President • Willie Mount, Secretary • James E. Taussig, Treasurer Members • Glen Bertrand • Roxie Boxie • Emma DiCarlo-Vincent • Tom Henning • Willie King, Jr. • Ben Marriner • Joe T. Miller, Sr. • Lee J. Monlezun, Jr. • Ryan Navarre • George Paret • Billy Rose • Ric Sanders • John Scofield • David Stine • Charles Timpa • Ray A. Todd, Jr. • Aubrey White Ex Officio Members • Philip C. Williams • Richard H. Reid Advisory Board Members • Billy Blake • Coral Crain Byrd • Fred R. Godwin • Marilyn Hays • James Serra • Charles Viccellio 2   Spring 2014

Providing Uniform Support. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 6 Strike Up the Band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 7 Honoring Their Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8 The Road Less Traveled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 9 Valuing Internships. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 10 Preparing Future Leaders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 11 McNeese Makes a Difference. . . . . . . . . .

Page 12, 13

The Ties That Bind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 14 Immersed and Flourishing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 15 Charity Begins at Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 16 In Line With Online Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 17 Investment Charts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Page 18

Pillars | Foundation Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Page 19

Phoenix Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Page 20

PILLARS magazine is published for YOU! The McNeese Foundation values your feedback. If any of the articles strike a chord with you or you have suggestions for future issues, please share your comments by emailing:

The McNeese Foundation

A Pillar of Strength The McNeese Foundation has been a pillar of strength in serving the University for almost 50 years. Its founders, the Lake Charles Kiwanis Club, under the leadership of committee chair Harry Huber, never envisioned a $3,000 startup grant in 1965 resulting in assets totaling $62 million today. The official bequest language for the McNeese Foundation is: “I, [name], of [city, state, zip], give, devise and bequeath to the McNeese Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”

The original intent in establishing the Foundation was to raise funds for student scholarships. That purpose has since broadened to include support for professorships, academic and athletic programs, cultural enhancements, campus improvements and other projects. In 1968, the Foundation held its first campaign with a goal of bringing total assets to $100,000. The McNeese Alumni Association pledged the first $5,000 toward that goal. This year marks the start of another campaign – 75 for 75 – in recognition of the University’s 75th anniversary with a goal of bringing total assets to $75 million. The Alumni Association will continue its support in helping to meet this goal by adding to the over $570,000 in funding that it has contributed thus far. While garnering outside funds to support the University is the Foundation’s primary purpose, it also serves as a conduit in land acquisition. The campus footprint has been expanded in all directions. As early as 1979, the Foundation helped procure land between Hodges and Common streets and north of Sale Road, now home to the women’s athletic field house and Cowgirl Diamond. More recently, the Foundation helped acquire the former Millers House for Sports on Common Street and Charles Cinema on Sale Road, each of which will be employed to advance the University’s interests. In addition to increasing the McNeese Foundation assets, the campaign is dedicated to constructing a new Health and Human Performance Complex to house the health, kinesiology and athletic training programs and anticipated occupational therapy program. The complex will have a multipurpose arena type facility suitable for Banners performances and athletic events. The former married student housing complex off McNeese Street will be demolished to house the new complex. The McNeese Foundation is offering unique giving opportunities during the 75 for 75 campaign. A one-year membership is being offered for only $75. The 15 Will Get You 20 matching gift program provides a donor contributing $15,000 to an endowed scholarship fund with a $5,000 match. Outright gifts may be made with cash, check, credit card, stock transfer, real estate transaction or personal property. Deferred gifts may be provided through life insurance proceeds, IRA beneficiary designations, estate intentions or other vehicles. Donors may direct the contribution and make payments over a five-year period. For information on the McNeese Foundation visit or call 337.475.5588.

Spring 2014   3



cNeese State University opened its doors as Lake Charles Junior College on Sept. 11, 1939, as a division of Louisiana State University. That 86-acre campus located on the site of the parish poor farm is now over 1.7 million square feet of buildings and facilities. The new millennium began a period of unprecedented growth and expansion of McNeese facilities and infrastructure and included the most devastating event ever to hit the campus.

The original three buildings were: Kaufman Hall that housed classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, a cafeteria and the library; the Arena (now Ralph O. Ward Memorial Gym) designated for livestock shows and rodeos; and the Main Auditorium (named for Dr. Francis G. Bulber in 1992 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989), which became the center of entertainment and cultural performances for the region.

On Sept. 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita tore into Southwest Louisiana causing almost $30 million in damages to McNeese facilities and infrastructure. Despite a one-month closure, McNeese made every payroll, resumed classes online until the campus reopened and held commencement for 752 students just days before Christmas. This was truly a testament to the resilience, dedication and perseverance of McNeese administrators, faculty, staff and students. The College of Nursing and Department of Mass Communication moved into the new Juliet Hardtner Hall, three dorms and Sun Village Apartments were demolished and replaced with new suite-style residence halls and apartments, the Hodges Street Field House for women’s soccer and softball was built and the Jack V. Doland Field House was completely renovated and expanded, the entrance plaza at the corner of Ryan Street and Sale Road was finished, a state-of-theart addition to the Shearman Fine Arts Center added 59,918 square feet and a new 500-seat theatre to the facility, and private donors added over 1,600 acres of farm property in Allen Parish to the McNeese inventory. 1957 The Rodeo Team wins its first of three consecutive men’s national championships

1939 McNeese opens its doors in September 1939

1981 MFA Program established

1954 Nursing program approved 1964 Cowboy Stadium completed

4   Spring 2014

1965 McNeese Foundation established to raise funds to support student scholarships

1989 McNeese celebrates its 50th anniversary Slogan adopted— Excellence With a Personal Touch

U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 Best Colleges edition named McNeese one of the best regional universities in the South.


The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center opened, John McNeese Park and a complete renovation of the Quad was completed, the Center for Advancement of Meat Production and Processing (CAMPP) opened in Jefferson Davis Parish, the Band Hall was completely renovated, a new 800-space student parking garage was completed and Burton Residence Hall, closed since Hurricane Rita, was demolished, rebuilt and reopened.

The 75 for 75 Campaign To celebrate the University’s 75th anniversary, the McNeese Foundation is conducting a capital campaign dedicated to increasing the assets of the McNeese Foundation to $75 million and to raising funds for a new health and human performance building that will house the growing academic programs in health and wellness, health performance, kinesiology, athletic training and sports medicine. Included in the complex will be a large audience venue for performing arts, Banners cultural events and the future home of Cowgirl Volleyball and Cowboy and Cowgirl Basketball.

2013 McNeese alumnus Adam Johnson has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with his novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son.” Johnson is a 1996 McNeese Master of Fine Arts graduate.

1993 Banners Cultural Series begins

2013 The Master of Fine Arts program – established in 1981 - is ranked No. 22 in the nation by Poets & Writers magazine.

2013 McNeese completed a formal agreement with Fort Polk to offer academic degree programs and educational services to active duty service members, their families and civilians employed at Fort Polk. 2014 Banners at McNeese was recognized as the 2014 Outstanding Arts Organization at the annual Louisiana Culture Awards ceremony. The award recognizes an established nonprofit organization that has made an outstanding contribution to Louisiana’s arts or folk cultures in its region or the state. 

2014 The Robert Noland Alumni Pavilion, located in the Alumni Grove, opens and provides a large, covered, outdoor venue for events.

Spring 2014   5


Providing Uniform Support The Pride of McNeese Marching Band will again have new uniforms thanks to the generosity of William Voris (Bill) and Betty (Chisum) King. The Kings originally funded new band uniforms in 1998 that were unfortunately damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Rita in 2005. Bill and Betty met through mutual friends while attending Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. Bill was studying business administration and Betty was pursuing history and education. After graduating and marrying, Bill was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from 1968-70. Coincidently, Bill’s father, Voris King, was the head of the local draft board at that time. Bill went to work for Kelly, Weber and Co. as a selfdescribed banana-pusher in Leesville after his discharge from the Army. Kelly, Weber and Co. was a wholesale grocer that serviced mom and pop stores in Louisiana. It closed in 1973 due in part to competition from stores such as Walmart. Bill stayed active in his family’s business, Kingfish Enterprises, from 1973 until it dissolved in 2012. Betty obtained a Master of Education degree in elementary education from McNeese in 1977 and taught second grade for 25 years in both public and private schools before retiring in 1990. Bill is a member of the Scottish Rite Masons and an active Shriner at the Habibi Temple in Lake Charles. He served on the Board of Governors for the Shriners Hospital in Mexico City for 13 years, with 10 of those years as acting chairman. As often as possible, Bill enjoys crouching in his duck blind or fishing the marsh for that elusive bass to add to his mounted collection. Betty occasionally joins Bill in outdoor recreational sports, but she prefers spending time at the downtown Yoga Center. In addition to band, the Kings have supported McNeese by establishing the Francis Thompson King Memorial Nursing Scholarship (1-3), the Alvin O. King Memorial Football Scholarship, the Voris King Memorial Football Scholarship and the Willie Lee King Memorial Football Scholarship. They contributed to the Frazar Library Archives and Special Collections, housing the Voris King Collection, the McNeese Presidential Transition Fund, the Stampede Club and the Quarterback Club. Bill and Betty are annual presenters of the Francis T. King Rebounding Award at the Cowgirls basketball banquet and the Voris King Team Captain Award at the Cowboys football banquet. The Kings are doting parents to their Brussels Griffon breed rescue dogs, Tina and Tabitha. 6   Spring 2014

Bill’s father, Voris King, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from McNeese in 1988.


“We hope that students find that they can’t live without being a member of the Pride of McNeese Marching Band,” said Dr. Jay Jacobs, associate professor and conductor of university bands in the Department of Performing Arts. “We make every effort for band to be enjoyable by creating an environment where members form bonds and build interpersonal connections that last a lifetime.” Dr. Jacobs has been retooling and rebuilding the marching band since he became director of its 96 members in 2007. Since then, band membership has grown to 130. His goal is to increase the band size to approximately 200 members as it was in 1982 when there were 207 participants. To reach that goal the band needs to retain its current members and recruit new members. The University Bands program hosts several events each year in support of that effort including: So many doors opened for me as a member of the Pride of McNeese Marching Band. I traveled to places I had never been before; I enjoyed one-of-akind experiences you can only receive while playing in Cowboy Stadium; I learned the skills to succeed as a marching drum and bugle corps member; and most importantly, I developed friendships that will last a lifetime. Band has helped me with discipline, commitment, excellence and leadership. Emmanuel Charles “Manny” Neault Music Education Major (Instrumental)

• Showdown at Sundown Marching Band Festival hosts 15-20 high school bands with 2,000 students, parents, faculty and guests participating in an exhibition performance and awards ceremony. • All-Star High School Marching Band invites high school students from Texas and Louisiana to a Saturday home football game to network with and perform alongside McNeese band members. • All-Star High School Honor Band presents a three-day event each spring for high school students nominated by their band directors to participate in a master class and Honor Band Concert. • High School Summer Band Camp educates high school students about marching, concert and jazz bands. The four-day camp is led by outside clinicians, faculty and area band directors. McNeese’s marching band includes students from 33 academic majors representing 40 high schools from Louisiana, Texas and California. Incoming students receive competitive band scholarships and current members are given incremental scholarship increases year-to-year. To play sharp and to prepare for the three or more halftime performances required each season take practice. Practice begins the week before fall semester startup and includes 13-hour days. During the semester, students are enrolled in a two-credit hour course that entails seven hours of practice per week. For home games, two additional practices take place on Saturday. To look sharp and to provide members with a comfortable fit require careful selection of the band uniform. In 2014, new uniforms are being purchased at a cost of $435 each and with a life expectancy of 10 years – and the best part – they are washable. Spring 2014   7


Community leaders serving on the McNeese Foundation Board of Directors provide a diverse set of skills as they support and guide the Foundation in decision making and fundraising. Experience in investments, event planning, legal counsel and business are just a few of the talents the Board shares with the Foundation. One thing all board members have in common is that they exhibit leadership through a $1,000 annual contribution to the Foundation. Board members direct $900 to a scholarship of their choice or the Foundation’s general fund and $100 is designated for the Foundation Directors’ Memorial Scholarship. The Foundation Directors’ Memorial Scholarship was established to honor deceased board members for their service. After the death of a board member, the name is added to a plaque which hangs in the Burton Business Center on campus. A total of 18 students have received this scholarship since it was first awarded in 1991. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and complete 12 hours each semester. Awarding of the scholarship is a competitive process with consideration given to overall GPA and extracurricular activities and/or awards. Recipients may receive the scholarship for a maximum of eight semesters or until the undergraduate degree is obtained, whichever comes first.

Honoring Their Service 8   Spring 2014

To date, board members have contributed over $62,000 to this scholarship. Four students currently receive the award and their majors include civil engineering, mathematics, accounting and art. “The Foundation Directors’ Memorial Scholarship is a wonderful way to pay tribute to former board members for their service,” stated Jimmy Taussig, board of director’s treasurer. “These individuals invested their time, talent and treasure with the McNeese Foundation. The wisdom and guidance they have offered over the years provided the basis for the Foundation to grow and prosper to what it is today.”



Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

McNeese State University sophomore Dax Campbell is taking the road less traveled on his way to becoming a middle or high school math teacher. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website, nearly 30 percent of the 300,000 middle and high school math teachers in the United States neither majored nor minored in the subject they teach. Once Dax graduates with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, he will be making a difference by filling an urgent need for qualified math teachers. Dax first started on the engineering road when results of the PLAN test taken in high school showed he had the aptitude to become a doctor or engineer. Not being a big fan of blood, he decided to major in engineering. After taking

a chemical engineering class at McNeese, he felt like there was something else better suited to his interests. Dax visited McNeese’s Office of Career Services and took the Career Management Battery test to gain a better self-understanding so that he could make an informed decision of what direction to go. The test results confirmed the thoughts he had growing up about pursuing a teaching career. According to the test, education was a perfect match with psychology being a close second. Dax then changed his major to mathematics with a concentration in math education. Dax currently receives one of the four Foundation Directors’ Memorial Scholarships and is honored by the award. “This scholarship greatly reduces the amount I pay for school each semester,” said Dax. “It goes to show you that hard work and focusing on school do pay off.” With a spring schedule that includes adolescent psychology, linear algebra and calculus III, Dax continues the hard work and focus that led to his scholarship award. He is also enrolled in Education 204 and is observing at S.P. Arnett Middle School this semester as part of the class requirements. Taking the road less traveled runs in the Campbell family. His father, Raymond, is a McNeese student as well. Raymond has worked as an electrician for 19 years at Triad Electric & Controls and decided to pursue an electrical engineering degree. Younger brother, Patrick, plans to attend McNeese after graduating high school in 2016. The family likes to joke about who will graduate from McNeese first. In addition to classroom observing, Dax practices his teaching skills helping youngest brother, Sawyer, with his homework. Spring 2014   9


Valuing Internships Rehabilitating abused monkeys, manipulating bacterial genomes, raising heart disease awareness and researching legislative issues – these are just a sampling of internships available to students at McNeese. Internships, externships, cooperative education (co-op) and practicums are all forms of experiential learning that allows students to transfer their academic learning into hands-on experience. Engineering majors may opt to take a semester hiatus from their studies to co-op in local industry; nursing, clinical laboratory science and radiologic sciences majors can gain hands-on training while working in a clinical setting; and education majors student teach their final semester in area schools. Interning opportunities expand outside the traditional view and beyond the boundaries of Southwest Louisiana. Natural resources conservation management majors Leann Lucas interned at the Vervet Monkey Foundation in Tzaneen, South Africa, caring for orphaned, injured or abused primates or ex-laboratory animals, while Tory Theriot assisted biologists in feral hog and dove trapping, as well as prescribed burns at the Kerr Wildlife Center in Hunt, Texas. For a student to receive academic credit for the internship, it must be completed in the major field of study, conducted under a faculty adviser’s supervision and concluded with a graded project or paper. Many internships are paid positions with wages dependent on both employer and position. Exceptions include non-profit organizations and non-governmental entities with limited resources to compensate. High demand positions such as athletic internships are also generally unpaid, but the training provided can open doors for future employment, outweighing compensation. With the Baby Boomer generation entering the retirement age, a wealth of knowledge and experience goes with them. To fill some of that gap, employers are utilizing interns as a means of recruitment. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2013 Internship and Co-Op Survey, “More than one-third of respondents expected new college hires will come from that organization’s internship and co-op programs.” Internships provide employers a risk-free opportunity to assess potential hires. They also allow employers to begin training during the internship, thereby reducing costs employers face with new hires. “The McNeese internship program allows the company to review the skills and abilities of the intern, but more importantly, it allows the intern to gain real-life experience,” said Kerri Courville, human resource manager at Sasol and a 1992 McNeese college of business graduate. “This experience is very beneficial to interns and gives them opportunities to reach their career goals. In fact, several of our interns have gained experience, which has allowed them to continue to work directly or indirectly for the company. Therefore, the program is definitely a ‘win-win’ for the company and the intern.” “An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.” The National Association of Colleges and Employers

10   Spring 2014


Preparing Future Leaders “McNeese students are our future leaders and it is important to expose them to career opportunities through internships,” stated Matthew Welsh, regional director of the American Heart Association. “The AHA was privileged to partner with McNeese and its intern program in the fall of 2013. The program is a winning endeavor for students, employers and the community.” Working as an intern wasn’t something Jacob Terracina dreamed of after graduating from Barbe High School and entering McNeese. As a Barbe Bucs soccer player and football team manager, he dreamed of a career in physical therapy. While perusing McNeese’s online catalog before declaring a major, Jacob noticed the mass communication curriculum. Recognizing his outgoing nature and love of people, he changed his education trajectory to public relations.

Jacob received a band scholarship and became a member of the Pride of McNeese Marching Band. After two years of playing tuba, his studies and other time commitments dictated his withdrawal. One of those “other time commitments” was working as a paid intern with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and its government channel performing video editing. Through periodic email notifications sent from McNeese intern coordinator, Mary Kaye Eason, Jacob learned of an unpaid, nonprofit position with the American Heart Association. He was hired for 10 hours per week to work with community and corporate leaders, to orchestrate fundraising efforts and to develop strategies to ensure the success of the 2013 Southwest Louisiana Heart Walk. “Working as an intern with the American Heart Association helped me realize that the public relations field is more than communicating and

building relationships. A good deal of work is involved that requires not only your time, but also your personal touch to make the position your own,” said Jacob. Jacob hopes his next internship will be working with the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in its national philanthropy initiative, Push America, this summer. The position based in Charlotte, N.C., will serve individuals with disabilities. When he isn’t knee-deep in studies or the internship, Jacob volunteers for the Diocese of Lake Charles, the Newman Club and Students for Life. He is active in Pi Kappa Phi where he serves on the standards board and formerly served as recruitment and public relations chair. He also works at Academy Sports and Outdoors as a sales associate and McNeese as an intramurals referee. After his December 2014 graduation, Jacob hopes to secure a public relations position with a professional sports team. Spring 2014   11


McNeese Makes a Difference LaDonna McKnight, Banners at McNeese outreach coordinator, isn’t usually found sitting cross-legged on the stage of F.G. Bulber Auditorium scraping gum out of the cracks with a screwdriver.

It’s true, though, that she knows every inch of that stage floor. When LaDonna was in high school she danced on stage for McNeese productions such as “Oklahoma” and “The Merry Widow,” and she now supervises back stage for Banners performances each year.

LaDonna was one of 300 volunteer faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and community members that responded to the call for service as a volunteer at the first McNeese Makes a Difference event held Oct. 5, 2013.

President Philip C. Williams conceived McNeese Makes a Difference as a way to engage the campus community in the University’s 75th anniversary celebration while encouraging a spirit of community service and bringing attention to the physical improvements made campus-wide.

Focusing volunteer efforts on cleaning one of the original structures on campus was no coincidence. F.G. Bulber Auditorium, built in 1939 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, appears substantially the same today as when it was first constructed – but it screamed for attention. Crews dispersed inside Bulber to work on the lobbies, foyer, dressing rooms, bathrooms, seating areas and basement. Band students cleaned more than five decades of dirt and grime off the colored gels covering the stage lights. Another team polished marble in the lobbies and vestibule, marble that had lost its luster from paint overspray following Hurricane Rita and from decades-old wax sloshed on the marble following terrazzo floor cleaning.

Other students learned new skills – like mopping. LaDonna showed two percussion students how to use an industrial mop which they proceeded to use on the stage and in the bathrooms.

12   Spring 2014

On hands and knees splayed across the marble floor scraping off wax with a paint scraper and scrubbing off dirt with a foam cleanser was Eddie Meche, vice president for business affairs, and his wife, Marla. Pati Threatt, archivist and special collections librarian, worked on the marble in the side lobbies only to discover that much of it was actually wood. “I don’t know how they painted the wood to look like marble, but it is really impressive,” she said. “If you run your hand along the baseboards and knock with your knuckles, you can hear the difference.” LaDonna McKnight contemplates flooring choices

Having served as a dumping ground for the auditorium for decades, Bulber’s

Outside Bulber, Dr. Chris Thomas, director of campus life, operated one of the high pressure washers reserved to clean the building’s facade. “I started at the top and every swipe I made chewed back layers of mold and mildew,” he said. “It was like carving a bar of soap with a pocket knife. It was both one of the nastiest and most satisfying jobs of the day.” Kamon Ange, a volunteer from the Newman Center contingency, took over a second pressure washer. They made a strange pair – Chris wearing work clothes, a baseball cap and a facial handkerchief and Kamon wearing shorts, a T-shirt and goggles – both filthy and sopping wet. The effect on Bulber’s exterior was immediate as the walls changed color from a dingy gray to the original blond. The granite steps at the entry way to the auditorium returned to their original pinkish hue. “The pressure washers made such a drastic difference that we didn’t want to stop,” said Chris.

Beyond Bulber, an astounding nine dump trucks full of mulch was spread on the oak trees surrounding John McNeese Park, Lawton Drive and the Quad.

Dr. Toby Osburn, associate vice president for university services, and his wife, Chris, worked with Student Government Association members in planting snap dragons and pansies. basement was an area long neglected. The “Dungeon Team,” consisting of high school students and parents from various service organizations, were charged with the dungeon’s overhaul. Working conditions were poor with air handlers making for a noisy environment and prior flooding creating a dank atmosphere.

“We went through boxes and boxes of assorted rubbish and old mementoes,” said Bill Mungai, university events technical director. “No one really knew what was down there.” Some of the boxes contained old programs and fliers from McNeese Theatre productions from the past 50 years. Artifacts worth keeping were directed to Frazar Memorial Library’s Archives and Special Collections. Disposable items were relegated to a large dumpster secured specifically for the event.

The basement was full of spare parts from the 2,000-seat auditorium, most of which dated to 1940. When a major refurbishment of Bulber took place in the 1990s, each seat was disassembled, piece by piece, shipped away, stripped, refinished and re-upholstered. When the chairs were returned, they were accompanied by lots of spare parts. In the 25 years hence, those parts were strewn around the basement looking more like junk than treasure.

McNeese Makes a Difference culminated with a luncheon.

Reflecting on the day, Dr. Williams acknowledged the contributions of so many including a husband and wife duo, both alumni from Houston, Texas, who brought their children to volunteer, while Bill shared his amazement for the dungeon volunteers who came out with smiling faces to help the University. Spring 2014   13


Shirley McIver’s ties to McNeese start almost at the beginning of the University’s 75-year history. She attended John McNeese Junior College in the early 1940s when there were only three buildings on the campus that was situated far from the conveniences of town. “I would walk to the courthouse and ride the bus way down Ryan Street to Kaufman Hall for classes,” Shirley recalled. An English course she was enrolled in helped set Shirley on her career path. Students had to pick a research paper topic and she chose the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. Shirley’s research piqued her interest in nursing and she later transferred to the St. Joseph School of Nursing in Houston, Texas, to become a registered nurse. At that time, the cadet nurse corps fulfilled the pressing need for nurses during World War II.

answered the call and pledged $7,500 to the McIver Family Nursing Scholarship. Shirley fills her days keeping up with her family – including six grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren (a sixth great-grandchild was due in April) – in person and on the computer. She is a member of the Lake Charles Duplicate Bridge Club and has attained the title of Silver Lifemaster. Many of her bridge club friends also have ties to McNeese – as retired or former faculty and staff or as members on the Foundation Board of Directors.

By the time Shirley received her nursing degree, the war had ended, and she moved back to Lake Charles to work at St. Patrick Hospital. After meeting Joseph B. “Joe” McIver Jr. at a neighbor’s dinner party, the pair dated for a year and married on June 18, 1949. Joe had McNeese ties as well – as a student and member of the cheerleading squad. Joe worked at Cit-Con Lube Plant as an operator and owned McIver Carpet and Linoleum Co., McIver Building Specialties and McIver Building Erectors. Shirley continued working as a surgery nurse until 1956 when she switched to full-time motherhood after daughter, Patti, arrived. When Joe passed away in 1989, Shirley wanted to honor him in a special way and established the McIver Family Nursing Scholarship through the McNeese Foundation. “McNeese is an integral part of this community,” stated Shirley. “Southwest Louisiana’s leaders are dependent on McNeese and vice versa.” Shirley enjoys the Foundation’s annual scholarship brunch which gives her the opportunity to meet the students who are benefiting from her family scholarship. To date, the scholarship has helped 13 students with their nursing studies. “McNeese means a lot to me and my family,” Shirley said. “We feel very blessed to hear what the scholarship meant to the students who have received it.” As part of McNeese’s 75th anniversary celebration, the Foundation has asked scholarship donors to give or pledge an additional $7,500 toward their scholarship. Shirley 14   Spring 2014

Did you know that the black stripe on their caps represented an RN?


Immersed and Flourishing “The more involved on campus students become, the more driven they are to go to class and do well.” To say that Andrew Armand is involved in McNeese State University campus life is an understatement. Immersed and flourishing are more like it. The senior nursing major balances the rigorous nursing curriculum while serving as McNeese’s Student Union Board President and Student Government Association Senator, McNeese Student Nurses Association recruitment director and he is a former Peerleader. Andrew is a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and Rotoract Club member and was recently selected as Mr. McNeese. Andrew believes there is a relationship between student campus involvement and the classroom. “The more involved on campus students become, the more driven they are to go to class and do well,” he explained. “You meet people through clubs and campus events who could turn out to be a study partner for class or a lifelong friend – the possibilities are endless.”

Andrew’s campus involvement and classroom excellence are also literally paying off. He has received the Honors College Scholarship since his freshman year and is in his first semester as the McIver Family Nursing Scholarship recipient.

to meet Shirley McIver, his scholarship benefactor. “Mrs. McIver was very pleasant and welcoming,” said Andrew. “We talked about the times when she worked as a nurse, and it turns out she knows some of my family.”

“Receiving these scholarships is a huge honor,” he stated. “The scholarships help me pay for books, tuition, class fees and other expenses that come with a college education.”

Andrew’s plans after graduating in fall 2015 include working for two years as a registered nurse in a critical care unit and then continuing his education to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

At this year’s McNeese Foundation Scholarship Donor and Recipient Brunch, Andrew had the opportunity

He also hopes to one day start a scholarship at McNeese for nursing students who are involved on campus.

He also believes there is a stigma that exists about nursing majors who stay buried in their books and do not have time for anything else. Of course effort and studying are necessary to succeed in school, but there is room for extracurricular activities. “It’s all about time management,” Andrew said. “If you love something, you’ll make time for it. I want to be a role model for students and show them you can be involved and major in nursing.” Spring 2014   15


Charity Begins at Home

We have all heard sayings such as, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” “Charity begins at home” and “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” For many current, former or retired McNeese faculty and staff, these phrases are more than expressions – they are beliefs that are put into practice. Of the donors that have contributed to the McNeese Foundation consecutively for 25 years or more, 73 percent of them are members of this group. One such donor is Dr. Kalil Ieyoub, retired McNeese Vice President for Administration and Student Affairs. Dr. Ieyoub began giving to the Foundation in small ways as a new faculty member and steadily increased his giving over time.

Dr. Ieyoub found he loved teaching. “I loved the job and enjoyed teaching the young students so much that I decided to become a college professor.” He enrolled at Louisiana State University and obtained a doctorate degree in organic chemistry before returning to McNeese to teach chemistry. “Teaching students and watching them succeed was truly rewarding,” he said. “There was no doubt I was at McNeese to stay.” Dr. Ieyoub assumed more responsibility over time, becoming the Head of the Chemistry Department, the Dean of the College of Science,

and ultimately, the Vice President for Administration and Student Affairs. He retired from full-time employment in 2010 but resumed teaching part time in spring 2014. Many of Dr. Ieyoub’s extensive family are also McNeese graduates including three brothers, four children and 25 to 30 other relatives. For his retirement, his children established the Dr. Kalil P. Ieyoub Scholarship in Science. “I guess you could say McNeese is about family and dear to my heart,” he said. “I hope that I will be remembered as a great professor and as someone that cared about his students and helped them to reach their goals and succeed in their careers,” stated Dr. Ieyoub. Dr. Ieyoub suspects he speaks for many current or retired faculty and staff when he says that the McNeese Foundation has given him the vehicle he needed to be able to give back in a meaningful way. “While I have done as much as I could for McNeese – I wish I could do more,” he said.

He enrolled at McNeese after graduating from Lake Charles High School and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he returned to Lake Charles and taught in the chemistry lab at McNeese. “I taught 11 three-hour chemistry labs per week, made all the lab reagent solutions and cleaned labs when classes were over,” he remembered. “For this, I received a salary of $400 per month.”

Current, former or retired faculty and staff have contributed close to $1.4 million to the McNeese Foundation since 1986 (the year donation tracking began).

Student Body President, Kalil Ieyoub, crowns Peggy Addison as the 1958 Miss LaBelle.

16   Spring 2014


In Line With Online Education Online education is beneficial to many, but it doesn’t suit everyone. If you watch television or browse the Internet, you have probably seen advertisements for online education offered by Capella University, the University of Phoenix, DeVry University and others. Not as nationally known, but also an online education provider, is McNeese State University. McNeese began offering online education in 1999 with one online course. The first completely online program provided was the Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education. Fast forward to 2014 with McNeese now providing 100 percent online education for eight bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and five certificate programs with more expected. Awareness of online education increased dramatically in 2008 when the Louisiana Board of Regents issued a statewide initiative known as CALL, the Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana. By accessing the CALL website, viewers could select a program of interest and be referred to the institution(s) that offered that program. As a result of CALL, the Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice was introduced as a fully online program. The program was so successful that in 2011 the graduation rate for students enrolled online exceeded the graduation rate for those seeking campus-based instruction. Online course delivery provides students flexibility in learning. Flexibility is of utmost importance for adult learners – those ages 25 and over – who are juggling studies while maintaining careers and family obligations. Most online courses are

seven weeks with the exception being mathematics courses that generally require a full semester. Options available to students include enrolling in 100 percent online course delivery, majority campus-based instruction or a hybrid of both. In fall 2013, 48 percent of students were enrolled in one or more online courses and over 500 students chose to pursue their education entirely online.

flexibility of online courses make it worthwhile,” stated Jennifer Pitre, a December 2013 graduate with a Master of Science degree in instructional technology. Online education is beneficial to many, but it doesn’t suit everyone. According to Dr. Dustin Hebert, executive director of the Doré School of Graduate Studies and Extended Education, “It takes a special person to

Online education’s major benefit is increased access to learning opportunities for everyone. Adult learners can continue their careers while they earn their degree, because with online education, teaching and learning can occur outside the constraints of time and location. Also, with the explosion of technology and a variety of multimedia tools available to create instructional materials, online instructors have the ability to motivate and address a variety of student learning styles.

Rebecca Riley, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing

Prior to providing online course delivery, instructors receive extensive training. Many instructors embrace online education for its ability in helping the student learn how to learn. Online courses challenge the student to self-motivate and proactively pursue their education. “McNeese’s online courses allowed me to complete my master’s degree while working full time. Having access to assignments online at anytime and anywhere is a great benefit. Although self-discipline is required to meet deadlines, the convenience and

be successful as an online student as no one is holding that student accountable for participating in the course. It takes tremendous self-discipline to be successful.” McNeese is working with Hobsons, a leading innovative education solutions provider, in raising awareness of online offerings. For information about McNeese’s online programs, visit www.

Spring 2014   17


Investment Charts

The McNeese State University Foundation maintains money or financial assets that are both endowed and non-endowed. Funds that are endowed are invested for the purpose of gaining income over time. The endowed principle or corpus may never deplete in value. Only the interest earned from the endowed principle may be expended.

McNeese State University Foundation assets, managed by Equitas Capital Advisors, LLC, totaled $62 million as of 6/30/13. Investment allocations are shown below:

Foundation Endowment

Most endowments have guidelines established by a board of directors that specify the percentage paid out from each year’s investment. Prior to the recent recession, most colleges and universities were paying out at a rate of 5 percent per year. Since then, many endowment payouts have been reduced to 3 or 4 percent to reflect the decreasing return on investments. Endowed funds at McNeese are allocated toward scholarships, professorships and ancillary projects. Donors may designate their contributions to one or more endowed funds to support the Library, a specific academic college, department or program, an athletic sport or cultural program or a campus, facility or building improvement.

In 2013, the McNeese Foundation raised $5,617,859.

Professorship Endowment

As an example of an endowment payout, the McNeese Foundation scholarship endowment has maintained a payout of 5 percent both before and since the recession. A $20,000 endowed scholarship paying out at 5 percent would result in an award to the student of $1,000 per year or $500 per semester. The McNeese Foundation’s Board of Directors conducts quarterly meetings while the Investment and Budget committees conduct ad hoc meetings on an annual basis for the purpose of reviewing investment strategies, investment income and endowment payouts, making adjustments as necessary based on that year’s circumstances. 18   Spring 2014

Annual Foundation audits are conducted by the Certified Public Accounting firm of Langley, Williams and Company, LLC, in Lake Charles. In addition, quarterly reviews are provided by J. Aaron Cooper, CPA.

Pillars Staff EDITOR

Foundation Staff Shanie Miller

Marianne White

Administrative Assistant

Coordinator of Planned Giving and Donor Research STAFF WRITER Jennifer Pitre Planned Giving and Donor Research Specialist

Melissa Ellis Northcutt Director for University Advancement Operations and Special Events Richard H. Reid

Renee LeLeux Public Information Officer II

Vice President for University Advancement Executive Vice President, McNeese Foundation


Shelley Shaw

Anne Cobb Graphic Designer/Multimedia Specialist CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Candace Townsend, Director, Public Relations Mary Richardson, McNeese retiree

Administrative Specialist Pam Tate Gift Management Specialist

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. We know that there is a story behind your loyal support and we would really like to hear it. Contact Marianne White at 337.562.4107 or mariannewhite@

Contact Information McNeese Foundation Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA 70609 Phone 337.475.5588 Spring 2014   19

Nonprofit Org.

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

20   Spring 2014

Permit No 336 Lake Charles, LA

Final spring 2014 pillars 4 14 small  

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

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you