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Martina Malone May ‘09

There just aren’t enough hours in a day pages 6, 7


2009 Foundation Board of Directors Officers Emma DiCarlo-Vincent, President David Chozen, Vice President Willie Mount, Secretary


3........... Going to Paw Paw’s School: Karen and Kenneth Chamberlain 4-5....... The Nine Lives of Mr. Tom Tuminello: Tom Tuminello 6-7........ Cover Story, Investing in Martina Malone: Martina Malone

James Taussig, Treasurer

8-9....... An Unassuming Man: Robert J. “Bob” Pumpelly


9-10..... A Good Apple but a Green One: Dr. Lee J. Monlezun Jr.

Bob Davidson Judy Fuller Tom Henning Joe T. Miller, Sr. Lee J. Monlezun, Jr. George Paret Patricia Prebula Glenn Pumpelly Donna Richard Billy Rose Eli Sorkow John Scofield Jim Serra David Stine

11......... Acorns Don’t Fall Far from the Tree: ............

Craig McLachlan “Mac” Burns

12......... Turning Sadness into Celebration: Bellard Children 13-14.... Pinnacle Excellence Awards: ............

Write to Excellence and Freshman Foundations

14 . ...... A Culture of Research: Dr. Ron Darbeau 15......... Save a Stamp & Give Online 15......... The Gift Process: Beryl Romero, ............

Administrative Specialist for Accounts Payable

16......... A Life Filled with Promise: John J. Munro III

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

17......... Considering a Planned Gift? Bequests 19......... 1959 Freshmen 2009

FOUNDATION TIES Karen and Kenneth Chamberlain • Donors • Dr. Thomas S. Leary, Past President - Engineering Scholarship

‘When I get big, I’m going to go to Paw Paw’s school,’” said Karen.

Karen and Kenneth Chamberlain

Going to Paw Paw’s School Karen Chamberlain was just a little tyke when she first visited the White House. Of course, we’re not talking about the White House in Washington, D.C., but the White House in Lake Charles, home of McNeese State University’s president. For approximately 10 years, this house on Ryan Street was home to McNeese’s third president, Thomas S. Leary, Karen’s grandfather. Karen was born in Lake Charles but lived in central Louisiana along with her sister. The family traveled to Lake Charles often to visit Karen’s maternal grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Leary. Her memories of the big White House are still vivid. “We had all of our Christmas’ there. We came to Lake Charles for every holiday, so all of my childhood memories of the holidays are in that house,” said Karen. In 1961, Dr. Leary was recruited from the Cities Service Company (Citgo) to become associate professor of engineering in the Department of Physical Sciences. Dr. Leary came to McNeese with considerable industry experience as well as strong academic credentials that included undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Iowa State University.

Under Dr. Leary’s leadership, the Department of Engineering and the William T. and Ethel Lewis Burton Computation Center were established. The engineering program was originally located at the Chennault airbase after its closing. According to his daughter, Patricia “Pat” Leary Duhon, “He begged and borrowed old desks, typewriters, tables and other equipment to set up classrooms and offices…literally scrubbing floors, windows, moving and cleaning furniture, and doing all the other things needed to get a college department set up.”

Recently Karen and her husband, Kenneth Chamberlain, established the Dr. Thomas S. Leary, Past PresidentEngineering Scholarship to honor a beloved grandfather and role model. While Kenneth never had the opportunity to know Dr. Leary personally, he recognized how important Karen’s grandfather was in the lives of their family. The Chamberlains have secured matching funds from Kenneth’s employer to build the scholarship. “It was the first time we realized that for a very reasonable amount, you could start a scholarship. I always wanted to do something to honor my grandfather’s years and service at McNeese,” said Karen. By the time Karen enrolled at McNeese, her grandfather had retired from the University. “He took me around and introduced me to people when I came for my orientation. I was the first grandchild to attend McNeese,” said Karen. In total, four Leary grandchildren have now graduated from McNeese State University and two great-grandchildren are currently enrolled. Being a firstgeneration college graduate himself, Dr. Thomas Leary’s leadership created quite a legacy for his descendents in choosing McNeese State University.

Leary became McNeese President on Oct. 15, 1969. McNeese State College became a university under his reign. As president, Dr. Leary never strayed far from his passion for education. Quoting from Dr. Joe Gray Taylor’s book, McNeese State University 1939-1987, A Chronicle, “Thomas Leary could justifiably take pride in his accomplishments as an educational administrator.” “Paw Paw was just so proud to be president. His office was in the round building (Smith Hall) and we would often go by to visit. He got the biggest kick out of having his own bathroom. We used to stand out on the balcony at the White House and watch the band practice across the street. I remember standing on the balcony and saying,

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Leary 3

THE NINE LIVES OF MR. TOM TUMINELLO A cat isn’t the only animal with nine lives. Mr. Tom Tuminello Sr., a McNeese Foundation board member and longtime McNeese State University supporter, has used his nine lives and then some.

Upon docking safely back in the United States, Mr. Tuminello, who had endured many days of seasickness, looked up at the ship’s captain standing on the bridge and said, “Next time you want me to go over there, you’ll build a road!”

Mr. Tuminello was born in Shreveport to a family that included three boys, two girls and hard-working parents. Tom’s father was a house painter and his mother managed a grocery store, which also served as the family residence. After graduating from Fair Park High School and taking course work at a business college, Tom entered the Army. A few of those nine lives were depleted during service in World War II.

Tom returned to Shreveport on his mother’s birthday, and after a brief stint working for Texas & Pacific Railroad, he went into business with the uncle of his soon-to-be wife, Delores, assisting at his beer distributorship. Before long, he was asked to take over the Schlitz brand and with that “The Lake City Beverage Company” was born.

He was trained as an army medic at Camp Barclay outside of Abilene, Texas. On New Year’s Eve, 1943, Tom boarded a troopship in New York City headed for Europe. The Aquitania was a British vessel originally built as a cruise ship for the Cunard Line. Aquitania was called into service when Adolf Hitler marched into Poland, beginning what became World War II. The ship was the largest Cunard-built liner at that time, easily accommodating the 8,000 soldiers and full crew on board. It took 11 days for the unescorted Aquitania to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Only when landing safely did the soldiers learn that an enemy submarine had been in pursuit the entire voyage. Once in England, the army medics gathered in an old English college that was being used for a staging area. Of those 3,500 medics, three were selected to serve instead as combat engineers. Tom was selected to be part of the 20th Engineer Combat Battalion scheduled to storm Omaha Beach. His boat took off in the first wave of attack only to be turned back due to inclement weather. The next night the boat took off again, hitting a mine and injuring many, but ultimately landing at Omaha Beach. Young Tom and a partner were given the task to scour the beach to mark landmines. Tom was then asked to retrieve dynamite from his ship, all the while undergoing heavy enemy artillery fire. Tom safely recovered the explosives and the cliffs of Normandy were cleared to allow troop and tank ascent. Providing support for the “Big Red One,” Tom and his comrades fought valiantly against the enemy until the end of the war. 4

After years of running a successful wholesale distributorship, health problems led to Tom’s retirement from Lake City Beverage in 1999. His family commitments, including his wife, Delores, two children and two grandchildren, and his community involvement ensures that he stays very active. The Tuminellos are longtime patrons of the McNeese Foundation. They established the Delores and Tom Tuminello Professorship to support scholarly activity and professional development, and they created the Delores and Tom Tuminello Art Series in the Department of Visual Arts. From an early age, Tom has been interested in art, remembering his father’s profession as a house painter. Lisa Reinauer, visual arts professor, said, “Tommy and Delores Tuminello have been patrons of the arts for as long as I can remember. This was the first (and for many years - only) lecture series dedicated to the visual arts. Their endowment has enabled McNeese to bring in such artists as Jack Troy (ceramics), Lorna Simpson (photography), Susan Hauptman (drawing), Rudy Pozzati (printmaking), Dottie Attie (painting), Lynda Benglis (sculpture) and Danny Harries (illustrator), just to name a few. The series has reached every area of concentration (and beyond) our department offers. The list is a first-class ensemble of who’s who in the art world. Any major university would be hard-pressed to match the caliber and number of visiting artists the Tuminello series has featured.” Tom and Delores Tuminello are truly two of the kindest and most generous individuals one could ever hope to meet, and among all of its donors, McNeese State University is fortunate to have this couple’s ardent support.

FOUNDATION TIES Tom Tuminello, Sr. • Board Member • Donor • Delores and Tom Tuminello Professorship * Delores and Tom Tuminello Art Series

An Excerpt from:

Newsletters from the 20th Combat Engineer Association of World War II Written by Mr. Tom Tuminello September 2006 images/ww2-WA-2006-09.pdf As we were going in on the morning of June 6th, our landing craft hit a mine, which killed three and wounded eighteen. We landed in water up to our knees and zigzagged across the sandy beach up to the cliff as German gunners were firing on us from the pillbox at the top of the cliff. We were there a short time when the first sergeant came to Joe Piekarski and me and told us that someone had left the dynamite on board the landing craft and we needed it to blow a hole in the cliff for the tanks to get to the top. We left our guns and the mine detector against the cliff and took off across the beach, into the water, and up the ramp of the landing craft, which was still where we left it. Bullets began hitting the wall of the craft and we slid into the hold and grabbed the dynamite. As we slid out of the hole, bullets pinned us down. All of a sudden we heard a voice coming through a vent on the sidewall of the landing craft. The voice said, “When he has changed his belt on the machine gun, I will say go and you take off.” When he said, “Go,” we took off into the water and onto the sandy beach zigzagging again to the cliff. We made it and the hole was blown in the cliff for the tanks. I thank the one person left on the landing craft who was talking to us through the vent. 5

COVER STORY: Martina Malone • Recipient, C. Marshal Abadie Memorial Scholarship

Investing in Martina Malone For marketing senior, Martina Malone, there just aren’t enough hours in a day.

Martina, a Lake Charles native and St. Louis High School graduate, chose McNeese State University to remain closer to home where her younger brother and sister reside. She briefly considered attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, but realized that with McNeese offering similar programs it was more cost efficient to stay home. “At the time I only had one scholarship, TOPS, so going away to college would have required a lot more money to pay out of pocket,” stated Martina. As an entering freshman, Martina had a good idea of what she wanted to pursue as a career. Her father served as a role model by using his entrepreneurial skills to run a small marketing business. Martina’s experience in helping her father with sales was the initial lure that brought her to the field of marketing. “I went into marketing because it offered a broad variety of career choices such as sales, public relations, promotion and research. Almost every company has a marketing department of some kind,” she said. Her goal in becoming a marketing coordinator will be firmly grounded with a degree in marketing and a minor in mass communication with a concentration in public relations. Martina is a recent recipient of the C. Marshall Abadie Memorial Scholarship funded by First Federal Bank of Louisiana. The scholarship was created for junior-level students enrolled in the College of Business. According to Martina, “Everything helps. Tuition goes up every year, you have book costs, school supplies and gas expenses, and I’m involved in three different student organizations that require fees. This scholarship really is important for me.” Campus activities, employment commitments and course work keep Martina plenty busy. Martina serves as vice president of community relations for both the American Marketing Association and for the Society for Human Resource Management and is a member of the Student Leadership Advisory Council in the College of Business. She tutors at the Write to Excellence Center 10 hours per week and interns 15 hours per week in McNeese’s Athletics Department. “Students who work on campus are limited to a certain number of hours. I have had to learn how to budget my money, so having a scholarship helps, especially when you have times where you can’t really work because you have tests or something else.” As if university commitments weren’t enough, Martina recently lent her energy and expertise to a fundraiser, “Dress Up for Miracles,” for the Children’s Miracle Network. Working with her friend, Emily Janot, this runway fashion show fundraiser brought in over $4,000. Martina put her marketing and mass communication skills to use, publicizing the event with print materials and the use of newspaper, television and radio media. Recently, Martina was one of three students selected at McNeese to attend the National Conference on Ethics in America (NCEA) held in October by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York. According to its Web site, “NCEA serves to promote awareness among undergraduate students of ethical issues in collegiate communities and professional career fields. Each year, over 150 students representing more than 60 academic institutions from across the country participate in the conference. These outstanding young men and women work with exceptional mentors from a variety of backgrounds to discuss moral and ethical challenges that we as a society face in all facets of day-to-day life. The goal is to challenge the delegates to think critically about relevant topics and to facilitate a dialogue that lays the groundwork for the delegates to build upon as they bring their ideas back to their colleges and universities.”


Martina was selected to represent McNeese based on recommendations by MSU College of Business Dean Dr. Mitchell Adrian and by Write to Excellence Center Director Dr. Delma McLeod-Porter. About her experience, Martina said, “It was so nice to see different business leaders doing what was ethically right when faced with really bad decisions. You always hear about the bad stuff on television with bad decisions that executives made, so to sit and listen to people in journalism, in academia and in business make really sound decisions about what they did and still be successful was inspiring to me.” After the trip, the students had an opportunity to share their experiences with McNeese’s Office of Public Information and Communications staff as well as with the College of Business faculty. “I talked to the dean about different things that I thought could be implemented into the curriculum. We are taught things from a textbook’s standpoint, but I think it would be great if we were able to incorporate real life situations. That is what real live people are faced with when they work for corporate America. Supervisors don’t say, ‘OK, you have five hours to figure out how to handle this crisis.’ Instead, they say, ‘The media will be here in 30 minutes. How are you going to handle this?’ So, I think forcing us to think critically is something that is really valuable for the future,” she explained. Martina believes that the topic of ethics should be introduced in all disciplines since nursing students might deal with a situation quite differently than that of a business student. “I love the College of Business and the faculty that we have,” said Martina. “It is so nice to have a dean and faculty who care enough to invest their time to ensure the success of their students.”

College of Business (COB) Strategies for Student Success: • Formed the Corporate Advisory Council to include a variety of business leaders who help guide the COB in preparing students for their careers. • Established the Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC) to serve as liaison to the dean and to manage student related projects, such as the senior gift campaign and the graduation reception. • Created the COB Alumni Chapter to draw upon the experiences and insight that former students may offer. • Launched a mentorship program whereby COB alumni are matched with a current student in order to help their protégé matriculate through higher education. • Provided a job search skills workshop utilizing an outside expert to present a six-hour power session on how to navigate through the employment field. • Created a COB investment team so that students could learn first-hand how market fluctuations impact investments. • Conducted Business Day including an array of outside professionals that speak with individual classes and includes a keynote speaker during lunch. • Implemented a consulting practicum at the graduate level. • Provided opportunities for students to work with faculty in conducting research and to present their findings at industry conferences.

“Martina recently helped coordinate the ‘Dress Up for Miracles’ Runway Fashion Show fundraiser benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network. She put a lot of time, energy and talent into the program. The event was a huge success, raising $4,000 for CMN.  Martina is beautiful on the inside and out. She is passionate about her work and always willing to lend a hand.” Kay Morgan, Children’s Miracle Network Annual Giving Manager “In addition to intelligence, Martina possesses excellent interpersonal skills. She is also a hard worker with a positive attitude and a strong desire to develop professionally. She seeks and accepts leadership responsibility and she works well independently. I have no doubt she will represent the McNeese College of Business with integrity as a marketing graduate.” Mary Kaye Eason, Instructor and Coordinator of Support Services, College of Business 7

FOUNDATION TIES Robert J. Pumpelly • Donor • Pumpelly Oil Company Business Faculty Excellence Award • Pumpelly Oil Company Scholarship

AN UNASSUMING MAN Robert J. “Bob” Pumpelly

Humble beginnings and a transient family life as a child shaped Robert J. “Bob” Pumpelly’s decisions as an adult. The Pumpelly family moved around a lot over the years as the family patriarch worked in the oil industry. Settling in Oklahoma City, Bob attended Central High School where he proudly played the trumpet in the 120 member all-male-band. An unassuming man, this may have been the only time someone might have heard Bob “toot” his own horn. As the eldest of seven siblings, Mr. Pumpelly set an example at an early age for a strong work ethic. He began his exceptional career at the age of 13 by throwing a paper route in Oklahoma City and shining shoes in Tonkawa. Back then, a person didn’t have to have a drivers license to operate a car so at age 13 Bob took to the road. In 1936, Bob’s father, an employee of Continental Pipeline (previously Marland Oil Co), relocated the family to Lake Charles. As a 17-year-old teenage ‘Okie’ at the time, Bob wasn’t too keen on the move. As he rode into Lake Charles he thought, “What in the world am I getting into? I heard about all the water in Louisiana, but there is moss hanging down from the trees. How in the world could the water get so high as to grow that moss?” Of course, over time, Bob grew to love the area, becoming one of its biggest supporters and key community leaders. Upon settling in Lake Charles, Bob went to work for the first Conoco-owned gas station in Louisiana, located directly across from the current civic center. “I like to be my own boss,” he explained. A budding entrepreneur from the get-go! He met his future bride, Vida M. Vincent, at a tent skating rink in downtown Lake Charles. When asked what he remembered about the day that they met, he recalled, “She was a good skater.” Bob and Vida celebrated 67 years of marriage, producing two children, Glenn and Jane, seven grandchildren and one greatgrandchild. They traveled many roads in their long marriage, “holding hands in Africa,” and seeing the far regions of the world…but Lake Charles would always be called home. As an Aviation Machinist Mate, first class, during World War II, Mr. Pumpelly served in the Navy Air Force for 31/2 years. Thankfully, the war ended right about the time that Bob 8

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Cont. from page 8 I am sure that I speak not only for myself but also for all faculty in the College of Business in expressing how much we appreciate the support of donors and sponsors such as Mr. Robert “Bob” Pumpelly. His on-going generosity, and that of the other donors, has done much to enhance faculty professional development and in so doing contributes much to a stronger faculty and a better College of Business. Dr. Charles “Ray” Comish, Professor I remember when I received the news that I had been chosen as a recipient of the Pumpelly Oil Company Scholarship.  I was very honored and proud that I had been selected.  It weighed in on my decision to choose McNeese for my undergraduate studies.  Mr. Pumpelly was always a man that I had the highest regard for, as a Christian role model and respected businessman.  His scholarship afforded me the opportunity to begin studies that would later be used to achieve a doctorate in chiropractic from Texas Chiropractic College in Houston, Texas.  It is always amazing to see the harvest of well-planted seeds. Eric Snow, Doctor of Chiropractic

was scheduled to dispatch overseas. Upon his return to Lake Charles, Bob resumed his duties as manager of the downtown Conoco station. Before long, he was purchasing other service stations, becoming the largest Conoco jobber (distributor) in this area. Pumpelly Oil Company soon expanded to include bulk lube oil plants in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Eunice and Houston, Texas, and Pumpelly Tire Center in Lake Charles and Sulphur. With such success, his commitment to civic responsibility continued. Sharing his time, talent and treasure have always been important to Mr. Pumpelly. He has provided service to local, regional and national organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Crime Stoppers, Rotary Club, Samaritan Counseling Center, Gideons International, Foreman Reynaud YMCA, Safety Council, Boy Scouts and American Heart Association, to name a few. He holds an honorary doctorate degree from Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City where a dormitory has been named after him. Bob Pumpelly has been a long-time supporter of McNeese State University where he is a staple in the crowd at many university sporting events. He has been a McNeese Foundation contributor for over 20 years. In 1992, as chairman of the board of Pumpelly Oil Company, Mr. Pumpelly was named the recipient of the Beta Gama Sigma Chapter Honoree in McNeese’s College of Business. The award is reserved for individuals who have achieved distinction in business and administration. Since 1994, the Pumpelly Oil Company Business Faculty Excellence Award has been given to deserving business professors who excel in their field. The Pumpelly Oil Company Scholarship created for employees or children of employees of Pumpelly Oil is another indication of Bob’s commitment to McNeese. Bob believes McNeese is “a vital part of our community. Two of our main employees at Pumpelly Oil Company are both McNeese graduates. I have also known a lot of people who have taught at McNeese over the years.” Success in marriage, family, business and life…what more could one ask for. And with all of that, Bob remains an unassuming man. He continues to live in the same house he and Vida built together in 1948. When asked why he stayed in the same place for so long, Bob replied, “I had it in my craw that after all those moves while growing up, I was going to stay put when I could.” And that he did!

FOUNDATION TIES Dr. Lee J. Monlezun • Donor • Lee J. and Gertrude Monlezun Sr. Scholarship • W.J. and Evelyn Prague Scholarship • Monlezun/Prague In/Out Scholarship


An obstetrician/gynecologist, the husband of Ms. Anne, a cheerleader for Southwest Louisiana’s Mardi Gras and a dapper dresser—all of these describe Dr. Lee J. Monlezun Jr. but there is so much more. He was born in Lake Arthur to Lee J. Monlezun Sr. and Anna Gertrude Hensgens Monlezun. His father was an entrepreneur who seemed to start a new business every time he and Gertrude had another baby. At final count, that would make 10 businesses in all. According to Dr. Monlezun, “Back then, you didn’t really have a family until you had 10 children.” As the oldest sibling, Dr. Monlezun was the leader of the pack and the first son to have the middle name “Joseph,” which all sons would ultimately carry. Entering Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette at age 14, he received an exceptional education in a highly disciplined environment. It was during this time that he found his calling. One of his

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the Medical Service Corp. Lee J. graduated from McNeese with a Bachelor of Science degree (pre-med) in 1965. “The thing I loved most about McNeese was it allowed me the ‘coming out’ that I did not have in high school.” Lee J. Monlezun achieved his goal of adding an M.D. behind his name after graduating from LSU School of Medicine. He married Anne Gillett 30 years ago. They have four sons, nine grandchildren and a pooch named “Skipper,” who rides shotgun with Anne in a side car connected to Lee’s 2003 Centennial Harley Davidson.

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responsibilities while at seminary was to accompany others to the Infirmarian, the person responsible for the care of the sick. Lee J. was fascinated by the medical field stating that, “medicine just clicked with me.”

never received his senior ring when he graduated from Immaculata.

As a graduate of a seminary with an enrollment of 180 boys, Lee J.’s exposure to the female population had been limited. In fact, according to Lee J., he hadn’t seen a girl in four years until he came to McNeese as a freshman.

Ms. Jones got to know Lee J. well. In fact, according to him, she gave him the best advice he had ever received during his college days at McNeese. “You’re a good apple [Lee J. Monlezun], but a green one.” In essence, her advice was for Lee J. to not rush through school but to enjoy his tenure as a student. She also counseled that he enroll in Physical Education 351, Recreational Leadership. According to the McNeese Catalog, PE 351 was “a course designed to train leaders for recreational activities and to acquaint the student with the organization, planning and philosophy of recreation,” or as Dr. Monlezun called it, “A course that taught you how to plan your leisure time.” As a practicing physician, Lee J. said, “It was one of the best courses an aspiring doctor could ever take.”

Ms. Clara Louise Jones, biological sciences department head at McNeese, liked to get to know her students. One day she asked Lee J., “Where did you come from?” Lee J. responded, “The seminary.” Ms. Jones replied, “The cemetery?” “No,” said Lee J. “The seminary.” “Well, then, where is your graduation ring?” she asked. Lee J.

While at McNeese, Lee J. was elected a freshman senator after writing and singing his campaign song, accompanied by his guitar. He was president of both the Newman Club and the Student Body. He played trumpet in the marching band and sang tenor for the department of fine arts. He participated in ROTC, graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant Colonel in

The path to becoming a physician started at McNeese State University. At that time, Lether E. Frazar, McNeese president, had just been elected to the state position of Lieutenant Governor. Papa Monlezun said, “When the president of McNeese becomes a Lieutenant Governor, you know that McNeese is going to do well.”


Forty-four years later, Dr. Monlezun continues to support and serve McNeese State University. He has been a member of the Foundation Board and the Alumni Association Board, as well as serving as Alumni President. According to Joyce Patterson, alumni director, “Lee J. always brings such enthusiasm, commitment and a wealth of wonderful ideas to help expand the Alumni Association. Any time that you are around Lee J. you can see and feel his love for McNeese.” Dr. Monlezun helped plan McNeese State University’s 25th and 50th anniversaries and looks forward to helping with the 75th in 2014.

Dr. Lee J. and Anne Monlezun have endowed the Lee J. and Gertrude Monlezun Sr. Scholarship and the W.J. and Evelyn Prague Scholarship and they fund the Monlezun/Prague In/Out Scholarship. With an extensive family tree, including 38 first cousins, a thriving bee keeping business and a demanding medical practice, one would wonder where Lee finds time to see his wife, Anne. Being a stickler for detail and scheduling, Lee and Anne have maintained a standing Friday lunch date…one that has lasted for 30 years! Anne chooses…

McNeese Athletic FOUNDATION The Mac Burns Memorial Golf Tournament • Sponsor • Mac Burns Memorial Golf Scholarship • Mac Burns Memorial Scholarship

Acorns Don’t Fall Far From The Tree When Craig McLachlan “Mac” Burns entered this world, his parents could not know how closely his footsteps would parallel his father, Craig. Both father and son were state golf medalists while seniors at Sulphur High School. In fact, Craig’s golf record for the Tors was unbeaten until son, Mac, came along. Mac Burns was a lifelong Sulphur resident who grew up playing golf like his dad. Craig recalled his own childhood collecting golf balls with his friends at the age of 12. The boys would place the balls in an old egg carton, sorting according to manufacturer title. Craig managed to sell enough golf-loaded egg cartons to purchase his first set of clubs. Craig was on the golf team as a student at Sulphur High and at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. When Mac came along, Craig and his wife, Lucy, also an avid golfer, had a “shadow” on the greens. The city of Sulphur’s Frasch Park would let area kids come out and play for fun. Before long, Mac was a member of the American Junior Golf Association. Mac earned many titles during his tenure at Sulphur High. He was a member of the Golden Tors 1989 regional and state champion golf team, the 1989 St. Louis Golf Invitational champion medalist and 1989 Bayou Oaks Golf Invitational first place finisher. He played in the 1988 Future Masters Golf Tournament at the Dothan, Ala., Country Club. Mac’s crowning achievement as a senior was winning the 1990 Division I State Championship and receiving the Louisiana High School Boys Golf Medalist Award. It was no wonder that Mac was highly recruited and offered several university scholarships to play golf.

Craig McLachlan “Mac” Burns

Mac chose McNeese State University over USL, Louisiana State University, Northwestern State and Northeast Louisiana University, now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. McNeese was a good place for Mac to hone his golf skills while also receiving a quality education. Of course, being close to home with a wealth of friends and a devoted family was an added bonus. While at McNeese, Mac was a business administration major and member of the golf team and Kappa Alpha. Tragically, in January 1992 Mac died as the result of an automobile accident. According to Judd Bares, a childhood friend, “Mac was a winner at whatever he did. His competitive spirit didn’t leave much room for anything less. I am privileged to have been among his closest friends.” The Mac Burns Memorial Golf Tournament began as the result of a caring community banding together to pay tribute to one of their own. Mac’s friends, city of Sulphur employees, Sulphur Parks and Recreation board members and community residents took immediate action to organize a golf tournament in Mac’s memory. Dick Kennison, tournament committee member, said, “It is amazing what can be done when you are not worried about who is going to get the credit. The tournament took on a life of its own.”

The 18th Annual Mac Burns Memorial Golf Tournament held May 23 was a four-man scramble with two shotgun starts at 7:30 a.m. and at 1 p.m. The $55 entry fee included golf fees, lunch, course refreshments and a “ditty bag.” Flight prizes, drawings and gift certificates were awarded for redemption at the Frasch Park Pro Shop.

The first tournament, held just three months after Mac’s accident, cost $55 per person and resulted in $22,000 raised. Seventeen years later, the cost remains at $55. “I wanted to make sure that the people that played in the tournament the first time could play in it the 15th and 20th time,” said Dick. Proceeds are dedicated to scholarships at McNeese with the Mac Burns Memorial Golf Scholarship awarded to one four-year, full-time golf student and with the Mac Burns Memorial Scholarship awarded to four one-year, full-time freshmen. To date, the Mac Burns Memorial Golf Tournament has raised over $237,000. Kendall A. Jones, an engineering technology freshman, is a Mac Burns Memorial Scholarship recipient. “I am very grateful and blessed to be a recipient of the Mac Burns Scholarship for my first year. I worked hard to adjust from high school to college and the work paid off. I was blessed to be on both the honor roll and the president’s list,” she said. Kendall has 17 peers who have also received this scholarship who probably echo her appreciation to the Burn’s family and the volunteers behind the annual Mac Burns Memorial Golf Tournament.


FOUNDATION TIES Bellard Children • Donors • Larry and Frances Bellard Memorial Scholarship

Turning Sadness into Celebration When mechanic Larry Bellard of Grand Lake received a contract to work on school buses in the early 1990s, his wife, Frances, obtained a CDL license so she could help by driving the buses into the garage. That license proved to be a steppingstone in her life. Cameron Parish School System officials asked if Frances would be interested in driving buses as a substitute. She agreed. When she was asked to drive school buses full-time, she agreed again, and became one of the most familiar school bus drivers in Cameron Parish. “She loved her job and she loved the kids,” her daughter, Cheryl Bellard, said. “The students called her ‘Froggy Fran’ because she collected frogs and had a row of them on her dashboard.” Frances died of cancer in March 2004, just three months after the death of her husband, Larry. In memory of her love for the children who rode her bus, family, friends and fellow drivers scattered her ashes along her route. To turn sadness into celebration, the Bellard children made the decision to honor their parents by creating a memorial scholarship through the McNeese Foundation.

Editor’s Note: One of the Bellard children is employed by a company that offers matching gifts. Depending on the employer, a matching gift company may pay a one-to-one, two-to-one or even three-to-one match. As an example, someone employed by a company that offers matching gifts might contribute $1,000 per year when building the scholarship. The employer will then match the $1,000 contribution with another $1,000 contribution (or more). Through matching gifts, scholarships may be built to endowment level in record time. 12

“Our parents were married for 46 years. My father worked at the plants and owned his own business to provide for his family. My mother stayed home with all of us. She didn’t start working until we were grown,” Cheryl said. “We knew we had to do something to thank them for all their sacrifices.” When fully funded, the Larry and Frances Bellard Memorial Scholarship will be available to students in any major. Specific criteria have not been established, but the Bellard children—Cheryl, Donna, Leigh, Brett and Wendee—would like to see the scholarship awarded to a Grand Lake student. “It would be great if we could award the scholarship to someone who rode mom’s bus,” Cheryl said, adding that she and her siblings plan to use some of their father’s retirement money and other payouts to build the scholarship. Their father, who also died of cancer, sold his mechanic shop years ago and eventually retired from one of the plants. “He was never able to enjoy one day of his retirement. By the time he retired, we had to wheel him into his party. This way, his money will be put to good use. It’s his money, after all.” Four of the five Bellard children attended McNeese and Cheryl is an employee in the Office of Career Services.

FOUNDATION TIES Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. • Donor • Pinnacle Excellence Awards

Write to Excellence and Freshman Foundations: A Winning Combination

In spring 2005, McNeese State University began work on a quality enhancement plan (QEP). With one goal in mind, faculty, staff and students were assembled during the course of a month to solicit input about improving student learning campus-wide. Ideas flowed freely that spring, and after reviewing the recommendations, two initiatives were decided upon: improve students’ writing skills across all disciplines and require entry-level freshmen to complete an in-depth foundations course to supplement traditional orientation. “The first thing I tell students is that you must be able to communicate effectively and appropriately as required by your discipline in order to be successful in your career. To help you do that, we offer the Write to Excellence (WTE) program,” said Dr. Harold Stevenson, QEP director. “The second thing I tell students,” Stevenson continued, “is that attending McNeese is not the same as graduating from McNeese. You get no points for attending. You only get points for graduating. To help you do that, we offer Freshman Foundations (FFND 101).” The WTE program is designed to ensure that all students who progress through the University learn to communicate effectively through writing. Students’ entry-level writing skills are enriched through the traditional freshman composition course sequence, through FFND 101 and through other writing-enriched courses that comprise a substantial portion of the students’ general education curriculum. In the Writing Center, directed by Dr. Delma McLeod-Porter, students receive one-on-one assistance from peer tutors and from many graduate students in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, who are trained to assist students from all disciplines and at any stage in the writing process. McLeod-Porter said, “Peer tutors are good at facilitating engagement among students visiting the center.” The Writing Center is a safe haven for students. “People are very sensitive about their writing. When you begin talking to someone about their writing, you also run the risk of personalizing that experience,” said McLeod-Porter. The Writing Center, decorated with whimsical art and wind chimes, provides a welcoming, non-threatening atmosphere to all visitors. “Both seriously and jokingly we call the Writing Center the ‘nexus of intellectual activity’ because that is what we want this place to be. We intentionally don’t have walls. We want the tutoring center to generate energy for intellectual activity. It is an interesting dynamic…what we wanted, though we didn’t articulate it. It sort of emerged as a natural response to the environment that we have created in the Writing Center… the conversation always seems to go far beyond just writing,” Delma explained. Freshman Foundations was designed to introduce entry-level students to the culture of writing that should be expected at McNeese. All disciplines will require some degree of professional writing for students whether they want to be a registered nurse, an electrical engineer or a literary author. FFND 101 also serves to introduce positive attitudes and behaviors leading to success at the university level. The course imparts specific expectations from an academic standpoint in a student’s chosen field of study. “FFND 101 is ground zero. It sets the tone for the whole rest of your college career,” says Donna Self, program director. Student peer mentors assist faculty members from each academic college and from general and basic studies who teach FFND 101. Lisa Reinauer, visual arts professor and FFND 101 instructor, said, “Freshman Foundations allows us to get to know our freshmen from day one. The course affords us the opportunity to introduce important information concerning degree requirements, advising and college success skills. Connecting with the students during that important first semester also allows one to identify both students at risk and students needing to be challenged.”

The WTE and FFND programs while improving student learning have spawned two other initiatives as well--the Faculty Colloquia Series and Quality Day. During the Colloquia, faculty

The Pinnacle Excellence Awards were established by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. in 2003 to recognize selected faculty for their innovative teaching methods and outstanding achievements in the classroom. The university appreciates the commitment of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., the parent company of L’Auberge du Lac Casino and Resort, under the supervision of Vice President and General Manager Larry Lepinski.

Cont. on page 14


Angel Marks, a peer mentor majoring in early childhood education, said, “FFND 101 offers many practical lessons that seem like common sense. However, for those who have never been to college or those who are the first in their family to go and have no one to instruct them, these lessons may not be so intrinsic. Freshman Foundations is the much-needed bridge to guide students from dependence and uncertainty to independence and confidence.”

FOUNDATION TIES Dr. Ron Darbeau, Professor • Recipient, Calcasieu Parish Development Board Professorship for Industrial and Economic Development

Cont. from page 13 from each of the university’s colleges presents a topic for peers and community members in a specific area of expertise. Dr. Stevenson said, “Faculty colloquia provide a forum for the kind of work that faculty do. The truth is that we [as faculty] often work in isolation. We miss opportunities for cross-fertilization. The Colloquia is a celebration or showcase of a faculty member’s work.” This informative program, opened to the public, is sponsored by McNeese’s Alumni Association and the Write to Excellence Center.

Undergraduate Scholars

According to Dr. Toby Osburn, dean of student services, “Quality Day is an opportunity for the entire University community to celebrate the ‘excellence’ in our motto, Excellence with a Personal Touch. This day, more than any other, is one in which students, faculty, administrators, alumni and friends pause and reflect on what McNeese does best… teaching and research…service to the community… and, support services for students…in the ongoing effort to make McNeese even better.” The one-day event features community leaders sharing insights on topics relevant for success while in college and beyond. Quality Day has become a pep rally of sorts for the campus community to come together for food, fellowship and fun.

A CULTURE OF RESEARCH College of Science Researchers

Quality Day Winners

As part of the 2009 Quality Day event on the McNeese campus, the McNeese Alumni Association distributed $35,000 to students for research projects through its undergraduate scholar program. The Alumni Association’s program reinforces the “Write to Excellence” initiative as students must submit written proposals for their research projects and then present their final reports to the association’s board of directors. Thirty-two students—22 from every campus department and 10 from the College of Science— were awarded $1,000 each for their research projects, projects that involve storm erosion, non-traditional students, pigs, cattle, elementary students, and robotics and computers. And three students among these 32 research proposals received an additional $1,000 for their projects. This is the fourth year that the alumni association has funded the undergraduate scholar program. 14

McNeese State University’s First Patent About 10 years ago, Dr. Ron Darbeau and his student researchers discovered a novel approach to making polymers – a discovery that could have a profound impact on industrial manufacturing. The finding, made with the assistance of fellow chemists Dr. Ulku Ramelow and the late Dr. Mark Delaney, could not have been discovered without the preliminary data funded by the endowed Calcasieu Parish Development Board Professorship for Industrial and Economic Development, according to Darbeau. “This endowed professorship allowed us to purchase chemicals, supplies and equipment and to support student researchers among other things.” Although he was the principal recipient of the professorship, Darbeau prefers to delegate credit for the patent to his fellow researchers, both faculty members and students. “If not for the three of us – Dr. Ramelow, Dr. Delaney and myself – being in the same building at the same time, we would have never earned this patent. It was a dovetail of each of our interests and areas of expertise,” Darbeau said. “And if not for the endowed professorship, we could have never funded the preliminary data to get to that point. Everything just came together.” According to Darbeau, the professorship not only serves as seed money for future endeavors, it also demonstrates a university’s commitment to education and research. “Without student-assisted research, particularly in the field of science, aspiring scientists may not receive the training they need to make breakthroughs that could shape the future, Darbeau explained. “That is why it is so important for universities to create a culture of research. There is nothing more encouraging to undergraduates than to do hands-on research with their professors. Students benefit from their research experiences and many continue their research studies in graduate or medical schools.” He added, “People think it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform research, but that isn’t always true. This patent is just one example of that.”

SAVE A STAMP & GIVE ONLINE Almost 30 years ago you could mail a letter for less than half of what the cost of a stamp is today. Now, the McNeese Foundation is offering an easier and more cost effective way to make donations with the addition of its new online giving service. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and your donation will be made safely and securely in minutes. Start by visiting and clicking “Give Now” on the home page. Next, click on “Donations” to begin the online giving process. From there you can specify the gift amount, area of designation and additional information such as names and addresses of those you wish to be notified if making a tribute gift. A list of all scholarships, professorships, chairs, colleges, departments and academic support units is provided for your convenience. Also provided is a link to companies offering matching gifts to its employees and/or retirees. After you have entered your gift information, follow the steps shown on the screen to complete your gift. The Foundation accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. You will create an account that will be used for this gift and future gifts. Instead of re-entering billing information each time, your information will be stored for you. Our system only stores address information. We do not store any personal or credit card information. Upon completing your gift, you will receive a receipt and confirmation e-mail. Longtime Foundation donors have discovered the convenience of giving online. Carol Rogers Breglio gives an annual Christmas gift to the Skip Rogers Memorial Scholarship that was established in memory of her brother. “This scholarship keeps the spirit of my brother alive,” said Breglio. “I have been sending checks since he died 13 years ago and was thrilled to find his scholarship listed. It [online giving] was quick, easy and personal and gave me a small connection to Skip that was very special.” For more information about online giving, contact Jennifer Griffith, gift planning and donor research specialist for the Foundation, at 337.562.4191, or by e-mail at


Administrative Specialist for Accounts Payable gf The McNeese Foundation has provided financial support to McNeese State University faculty, staff and students since 1965. From its inception, the Foundation has continually grown thanks to the generosity of alumni, employees and community members. The Foundation administers approximately 475 scholarships, 84 professorships and two chairs. Accounting for incoming and outgoing funds requires a dedicated staff with great attention to detail. The McNeese Foundation has eight staff members who strive for excellence. Beryl Romero, the administrative specialist for accounts payable, is one of those staff members with 27 years of service at McNeese. In addition to managing scholarships, professorships and chairs, the McNeese Foundation also handles in/out accounts. In/out accounts are similar to a checking account set up for academic department and educational support unit supervisors to handle day-to-day finances. The funds, used at their discretion, provide income to supplement operational budgets. In/out accounts are supported through private donations, fundraising events, club and chapter memberships, book revenues and other means. Accounts may be as small as $100 or larger than $100,000, depending on the scope of the account. At the end of the fiscal year (July 1-June 30), any remaining funds may be carried over to the in/out account for use in the next year. As an example of an in/out account, the Banners Cultural Series generates revenue from memberships and sponsorships. Banners also incurs expenses for entertainment, food and beverages. The McNeese Foundation handles accounting associated with the Banners Cultural Series as well as with 360 other in/out accounts. The basic process for managing in/out accounts includes: • Receiving check requests and supporting documents submitted by account custodian. • Reviewing requests to ensure Foundation, state board and/or NCAA guidelines are met. • Evaluating requests to make certain documentation is complete and accurate. • Preparing documents for appropriate authorization. • Submitting package to the vice president assigned to that account for evaluation and signature. • Processing and dispersing approved expenditures. • Archiving documents through a scanning process. Beryl handles all in/out accounts, bank transfers, account balances, corporate card reconciliations and auditing requirements, as well as foundation memberships such as Inner Circle, President’s Circle and The 1939 Living Oak Society. For more information on how to contribute to a special area of interest, contact Beryl at 337.562.4210 or by e-mail at 15

FOUNDATION TIES Ms. Margaret Munro • Donor • John J. Munro III Memorial Scholarship

As a frequent guest on the Lee Janot show, John was heard by many listeners throughout Southwest Louisiana. One of the listeners was the family of Jennifer Brantley from Jennings. The family used to sit around and listen to the radio to hear John J. Munro sing. Written July 1997 …I’m writing in search of information concerning the music of John Munro. A memorial scholarship fund was set up in his name, I believe in the late 60s. Our family purchased the record album of his recordings. Sadly in moving, it seems to have been lost forever. I had hopes th[at] McNeese would have a copy of the album and that I could purchase a copy. Coming from a family of nine children, our fun was guitar playing and family gatherings. John Munro made a big impression on our family and we watched him on the Lee Janot show out of Lake Charles each time he appeared to play his guitar… Sincerely, Jennifer Brantley Written August 1997 …I wish to thank you for forwarding my letter concerning the search of John Munro’s album to his parents. Mrs. Munro contacted me and was kind to replace the album along with some additional music. My husband and I love music and appreciate the music we grew up with— and John Munro’s album was part of my family’s past—and now ours… Sincerely, Fred and Jennifer Brantley and Elaine Green (mother)

“The scholarship was a ‘god send.’ I felt honored to be the first person to receive the award because it was obvious how much it meant to the Munros and how blessed they were to have a wonderful son, even if it was for only a short time. The biggest testament that I can give is that 25 years later I still keep in touch with Marge and consider her a friend.  She has followed my career over the years and I think she is just as proud as any parent when one of her recipients moves up in the world.” Kevin Hannen, Owner Hannen & Associates 16

A LIFE FILLED WITH PROMISE Mrs. Margaret Munro and the late Mr. John Munro Jr. established the John J. Munro III Memorial Scholarship in February 1969 to honor their son who died in an automobile accident. John was a senior speech major at McNeese State University. John, the only child of the Munros, was a blessing to his parents and the community. His grandfather’s gift of a guitar, given to John at an early age, began a legacy of song writing, ballads and folk music that has stood the test of time. While living in Albuquerque, N.M., John studied under a Juilliard Music Conservatory graduate. His father’s military career and his mother’s modeling school profession moved the Munros to several destinations over the years before the family finally settled in Southwest Louisiana, home to his mother’s family—the Fisks. A brief look into the Lake Charles American Press archives produced the following: Legal Secretaries install officers (May 23, 1968): “Entertainment was furnished by John Munro, who sang a medley of songs…” Quoto Club holds installation dinner (May 23, 1968): “Musical selections were presented by John Munro.” LCLT’s “Dirty Work” is an evening of laughs, song (July 19, 1968): “There are entertaining and in-between acts…and nice looking and talented John Munro singing and playing the guitar.” John also appeared on radio and television, including the Lee Janot show on KPLCTV as well as stints in St. Louis and Kansas City. And if sharing his talents through music while pursuing his degree weren’t enough, John also taught swimming and guitar at the YMCA. The John J. Munro III Memorial Scholarship, designated for a junior or senior student demonstrating financial need, has touched the lives of students from several fields of study. Mrs. Munro isn’t the only one that continues to listen to the music recorded by her son. According to Marianne White, coordinator of planned giving and donor research for the McNeese Foundation, “John’s beautiful voice accompanied by the strings of his guitar resonate so clearly that when listening to his CD, it seems like John is playing live in the next room.” John is never far from his mother’s heart. She has stated her intention that John’s memory will not only continue through the established John J. Munro III Memorial Scholarship, but also, as a member of The 1939 Living Oak Society, through a planned gift left by bequest. The memorial scholarship made in John’s memory will touch the lives of countless students at McNeese for many years to come. Mrs. Munro said that “by mentioning his name my son is remembered and hearing his name is like music to my ears.”


“You Can’t Take It with You” is the title of the Pulitzer-Prize winning play of 1939 and the movie that won Best Picture of 1938, starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold and Lionel Barrymore. And if “You Can’t Take It with You,” at least know who will get it when you’re gone. Of course, “it” meaning your remaining property, money, stocks, bonds, jewelry, art collection or other valuables that you may leave through a bequest. A bequest is a legacy or gift of personal property often specified through a document called the Last Will and Testament. Through a will, you may specify who receives your property and how you want it dispersed. There are several options for making bequests: Specific bequest. This is a gift of a specific item to a specific beneficiary. For example, “Claude Monet gives his art collection to his nephew, Vincent Van Gogh.” General bequest. This is usually a gift of a stated sum of money. For example, “John D. Rockefeller gives $50,000 to his son, Nelson.” If there is only $2,500 liquid cash in the estate, other estate assets must be sold to meet the bequest. Contingent bequest. This is a bequest made on condition that a certain event must occur before distribution to the beneficiary. For example, “Katie Couric gives $50,000 to her daughter, Carrie, provided she enrolls in college before age 21.” Residuary bequest. This is a gift of all the “rest, residue and remainder” of your estate after all other bequests, debts and taxes have been paid. For example, Bill Gates owns property worth $50,000 and intends to give his child $15,000 by specific request. The residuary estate will be left to his spouse, Melinda. If the debts, taxes and expenses end up totaling $20,000, there would only be $15,000 left for Melinda. To ensure that Bill’s beneficiaries receive the proportions he intended, the estate should be divided according to percentages of the residue rather than specifying dollar amounts. The previous items can apply in the case of bequests to individual heirs or bequests to charitable organizations. The above types of bequests generally define the amount of the bequest. The additional terms below are optional considerations when the bequest is made to charity. Unrestricted bequest. This is a gift for the McNeese Foundation’s general purposes, to be used at the discretion of its governing board. A gift like this—without conditions attached—is frequently the most useful as it allows the Foundation to determine the wisest and most pressing need for the funds at the time of receipt. Restricted bequest. This type of gift allows the donor to specify how the funds are to be used. For example, Debbie King and Jeanne Sievert, members of The 1939 Living Oak Society, have made bequests in their wills naming the Banners program as the recipient of their planned gifts. Honorary or memorial bequest. This is a gift given “in honor of ” or “in memory of ” someone. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Harlow, members of The 1939 Living Oak Society, have a provision in their will which dedicates a portion of their estate to the Jordan Anne Harlow Memorial Fund for Assistance of Students with Disabilities in memory of their daughter, Jordan. Endowed bequest. This bequest allows the donor to restrict the principal of the gift, requiring the McNeese Foundation to hold the funds permanently and use only the investment income that is generated to disperse. Scholarships, professorships and chairs can be endowed. In some cases, a portion of contributed funds may be matched by the McNeese Foundation or the Board of Regents. For example, the Stokes Family left a bequest to establish the Emily and Charles Stokes Trust Professorship in Nursing. The corpus of the professorship never depletes. Only the interest earned is paid out, meaning the Stokes family gift continues giving indefinitely. Consult an attorney or tax adviser regarding utilizing a bequest as a vehicle for charitable giving. Visit the McNeese Foundation Web site at or contact Marianne White at 337.562.4107 for further information. 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.” Information provided in part by Stelter.


1959~Freshmen~2009 “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Institutions of higher learning have always struggled to find the right balance between tradition and progress and McNeese is no different. As a university, we value our history and reputation while at the same time constantly looking for ways to improve the way we educate our students. A McNeese alumnus recently donated a beanie or “doggy cap” to the McNeese Library’s Archives. In the 1950s, McNeese freshman male students wore the beanies to cover their bald heads, ritualistically shaved by the seniors. This particular beanie is battered, stained and missing the letter “M”, and anyone else probably would have thrown it away. It’s purple and gold (the school colors at the time) and has an “S” and a “C” stitched on. With the missing “M,” the letters would have stood for “McNeese State College.” Today, the beanie represents how much the life of a McNeese freshman has changed, yet at the same time how much it has stayed the same. Life was a little different for freshmen 50 years ago. In 1959, married students could live in a specially designated apartment building for $50 per month (utilities included). McNeese’s total enrollment was around 2,500 students. The library consisted of a few shelves of books in a room in Kaufman Hall. Students played with a new toy called a “hula-hoop” in the Student Union. The latest, must-have technological gadget was an 18-pound “portable” electric typewriter with correction tape included. Today’s freshmen will take a new course called “Freshman Foundations” to learn skills for academic and personal success. Students will also begin to learn the writing skills they will need as part of McNeese’s new Quality Enhancement Program initiative, “Write to Excellence.” Students today enjoy a library with hundreds of thousands of books, including digital books available from virtually anywhere. They use laptops weighing less than five pounds to write papers and deliver them electronically to their professors. Students use the Wii game console to virtually hula-hoop. McNeese’s enrollment stands at around 8,300 students. Looking back at the changes in McNeese’s history is a fun exercise, but we can learn from it, too. Fads come and go, clothing styles change and technology advances at warp speed. But a freshman starting college today still learns to write papers, still has to come up with the rent money and still needs to hula-hoop every once in a while. McNeese takes pride in its freshmen. Even if they did wear silly hats.

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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Editor Marianne White

Staff Writers Erin Cormier Jennifer Griffith Pati Threatt Marianne White

Art Direction, Design, Photography Anne Cobb Renee LeLeux

Foundation Staff Kimberly Donalson Jennifer Griffith

McNeese Steel Drum Band performs for Quality Day 2009

Kelly McGough Pam McGough

Melissa Ellis Northcutt

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.

Richard H. Reid Beryl Romero Marianne White

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


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For information on other naming opportunities available at McNeese State University, call 337.475.5588.

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Pillars Spring 09  

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

Pillars Spring 09  

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