ULM Magazine FALL 2021 • VOLUME 21

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FALL 2021 • VOLUME 21



photo by Siddharth Gaulee




President Dr. Ronald Berry and First Lady Dr. Christine Berry

Dear ULM Alumni, Friends, and Supporters, Changing Lives – it’s what the University of Louisiana Monroe has been doing for 90 years. As you will see within the pages of the fall 2021 issue of the ULM Magazine, change is taking place in all areas of ULM to continue this tradition. In a decade-by-decade look, you'll see that as the world changed, the university changed with it. From meeting the demand to train aviators for World War II, the name in 1999 and mascot change in 2006, ULM never flinched from doing what was needed to move forward.


It’s been an amazing fall as we have celebrated the 90th anniversary of our university and a true honor for me to be invested as the ninth president of ULM. A significant part of the Investiture/90th Anniversary Week, Sept. 28Oct. 1, 2021 was our "Take Flight through Reading" initiative. Joining with the United Way of Northeast Louisiana, we presented every third-grade student in Ouachita Parish with a special gift. The university wrote, illustrated, and produced the original book, "There's a Bridge on the Bayou," which included a $500 scholarship for each of these third-graders. These students will be our freshmen class of 2031, when our university will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Christine and I had the pleasure of spending a day reading the book to students from Monroe City Schools and talking to them about how education can give them the power to change

PRESIDENT their lives. I cannot tell you how excited we will be to see these children coming to ULM as young men and women. The Warhawks new football Head Coach Terry Bowden initiated change the moment he stepped on campus. His philosophy of improving everything in a student-athlete's world goes beyond the practice field, including academics, attitude, and self-discipline. In Coach Bowden's own words, "I want my student-athletes to have a better chance to have a great future — a better chance to be a great father, to be a professional in whatever profession they choose. I want them to know how to act in public, to know how to carry themselves with dignity. I want them to have class so they can represent themselves well, their families well, and their university well." If that doesn't speak of change, I don't know what does. Through a partnership with ULM alumnus and businessman Dhu Thompson, we are launching the Entrepreneurial Pelican Cup, which will start by changing lives at ULM and advance to changing lives across the state. This college student business-plan competition will challenge students to push their ideas for new businesses past the classroom and into realworld scenarios. Backed by Mr. Thompson's initial funding of $50,000 in cash prizes – with $25,000 for first place – this is an opportunity to change lives as never before. There is change in leadership roles, with Dr. Michelle McEacharn being named the first

female Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences. These are big changes, and there are others equally important. The university started its first music festival, Bayouval, to raise scholarship funds for students in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. The Kitty DeGree School of Nursing was reaccredited through 2030, a feat only accomplished by demonstrating excellence year after year. The ULM Foundation is on course to raise $100 million by 2031. Is this a hefty goal? Yes. Can we do it? Yes. Because change is not only happening on campus, it's happening in our community. New partnerships are in place with the cities of Monroe and West Monroe, thanks to our relationships with Mayor Friday Ellis and Mayor Staci Albritton. Moving forward, we will own who we are, where we are, and what we must do, all in the context of a purpose of changing lives. I challenge and welcome you to join us in Changing Lives at ULM.


Ronald Berry, D.B.A. ULM President



President Ron Berry and Dr. Christine Berry watch fireworks over Bayou DeSiard at the Envision gala held Sept. 30, 2021, at Bayou Pointe Event Center. Envision's theme was from the president's favorite movie, "The Greatest Showman." photo by Brice Jones, Ph.D. ULMMAGAZINE FALL 2021


















photos by Siddharth Gaulee

(Above) A college football legend, Bobby Bowden, left, visits with ULM alumnus and sportscaster Tim Brando at a gathering to welcome Bowden's son, Terry Bowden, as the Warhawks' new head coach. (Below) ULM Football Head Coach Terry Bowden was introduced to the Warhawk Family on Jan. 18, 2021. From left are, Bowden, his parents, Julia Ann and Bobby Bowden, First Lady Dr. Christine Berry, President Ron Berry, Director of Athletics Scott McDonald and Tommy Bowden, Coach Bowden's brother.

Sarah O'Connor Siereveld (MBA '20) CONTRIBUTORS Mary Elizabeth Dean Mark Henderson Heather Pilcher Danielle Kelley Tolbird Graduate Assistant Ashlyn Dupree Student Worker Skylar Henry

The ULM Magazine is published for members of the ULM Alumni Association and friends of the University of Louisiana Monroe and friends of the ULM Alumni Association. Send letters & comments to: The ULM Magazine Office of Marketing & Communications 700 University Ave. Monroe, LA 71209–2500


Email: ulmmagazine@ulm.edu Any letters or comments may be published and edited for length and style. Contents © 2021 by the University of Louisiana Monroe and the ULM Alumni Association. All rights reserved. The University of Louisiana Monroe is a member of the University of Louisiana System.

A BOWDEN ADDS TO THE BEST IS ON THE BAYOU ULM Athletics held a welcome event for the new head football coach Terry Bowden and his staff on January 18, 2021. The Bowden family was also in attendance to celebrate Terry’s formal introduction to the ULM Family. Terry is a member of one of the most well-known and successful football coaching families. His father, Bobby Bowden, transformed Florida State into a national championship program and earned 377 collegiate wins, ranking second all-time in Division I history. His brother Tommy is 72-45 overall after 10 seasons at Clemson, leading the Tigers to eight bowl appearances. His brother Jeff has over 30 years of collegiate coaching experience. It was a room filled with stars from the college football world and the event was hosted by Tim Brando, ULM alumnus and national sports commentator for Fox Sports. The college football world stopped to mourn the loss of Bobby Bowden, who died Aug. 8, 2021. The elder Bowden expressed his wishes to join his wife Julia Ann to attend the first home game at Malone Stadium to watch his son add another win to the Bowden family collection, but was gone too soon. The late great was honored before the Sept. 18, 2021, home opener, and every player wore Bobby Bowden stickers on their helmets to pay tribute to the legendary coach.


photo by Siddharth Gaulee

DIRECTOR Dear Alumni -

Director of Alumni 318.342.5244 ssiereveld@ulm.edu

As the world has integrated into the new normal, so has your ULM Alumni Association. We welcomed over 1,700 new alumni into our flock in 2021! They continue to excel in their fields and exude what it means to be a Warhawk – being the best in the world at what they do. This year we hired a completely new staff who are ready to serve you. It is my pleasure to introduce Becca Kleinpeter as the Associate Director of Alumni Affairs and Medria Taylor Buford as the Coordinator of Alumni Operations. We are thrilled to be a part of the university family! The energy on campus is electric – we hope you visit with us soon to experience our beautiful campus and recall where your life was forever changed. In conjunction with our staff, the Alumni Association Board of Directors developed a new Strategic Plan with renewed focus on engagement and increasing visibility of alumni and ULM; cultivating new relationships and partnerships in the university and local community; and directly connecting with each of you.

This year, the Alumni Association awarded the first scholarship from the Alumni

We plan to re-engage with our chapters and clubs across the country to gather for watch parties, community service and networking events. We are proud to have collaborated with the ULM Foundation, athletics and recruiting staff during the Berry-Bowden Roadshows this past summer. We connected with over 300 alumni and hope to expand this engagement event next summer. The Alumni Association has created its newest offering, the Alumni Business Directory, found on our website, alumni. ulm.edu. The purpose is to establish alumni networking relationships and offer resources to elevate businesses in partnership with ULM Career Services. The Alumni Association also partners with on-campus departments and employees to further connect alumni and the community to the university. Known for our traditional and nostalgic events, we continue to elevate them each year and look forward to hosting VIP Alumni Tailgates, Wine Over Water, and Golden Society again this season. This year, and moving forward, we will work towards changing the future together as alumni advocates. Advocacy comes in all forms – become a member, refer a student, sponsor an event, hire a Warhawk, participate in a career fair, impart knowledge to future graduates in your field, attend an alumni event, promote the university in your career networks and personal life, and change the future with us.



The Board of Directors also recently updated the Association’s mission: To support ULM in “changing lives,” the Alumni Association connects, engages, and fosters relationships with current and future alumni to one another and the university through communications, events, and programs. The journey of the college student continues well past graduation. While a life is transformed throughout a student’s college career, it is our duty as alumni to offer growth opportunities and instill change so that each student has the best experience at the time of their enrollment.

Association Legacy Scholarship fund after being established in 2019. This is one of two scholarships directly funded by the Alumni Association. However, there are countless opportunities for children of alumni to receive scholarship awards.


Sarah O'Connor Siereveld

As we enter another year, let us take a moment to celebrate our alumni across the globe. You have navigated your life and career through a pandemic and conquered insurmountable odds.










(Left) University of Louisiana System President and CEO Dr. Jim Henderson speaks at the Investiture Ceremony for the University of Louisiana Monroe's Ninth President Ron Berry. (Right) President Ron Berry delivers his investiture speech as his wife, Dr. Christine Berry, right, looks on along with distinguished guests at the Investiture Ceremony.


photo by Jeanette Robinson

“Christine and I are truly honored to be here with you today as well as to have the opportunity to serve our community and the campus as the ninth president and first lady of the University of Louisiana Monroe.” – PRESIDENT RON BERRY

photo by Siddharth Gaulee




I N V E S T I T U R E O F U L M ' S 9 TH P R E S I D E N T


historic event took place at the University of Louisiana Monroe when the Investiture Ceremony for the university’s ninth president was held during the week of the institution’s 90th anniversary. On Oct. 1, 2021, President Ron Berry received the university medallion and symbolic mace, 90 years and just a few days since the institution’s first day of classes on Sept. 28, 1931.

ULM's First Lady spoke on the Berrys’ journey to the presidency. “Over a year and a half ago, when Ron entered the presidential search, it was still a dream that seemed almost impossible at times. But because of the support of this faculty, this staff, these students, these alumni, this community, this whole region, we did it. This is us,” Dr. Christine Berry said. “We achieved what we thought would be an impossible dream. And now that we have

seen what we can do, let’s keep dreaming, let’s dream bigger,” she said. Henderson reflected on Berry being chosen for the presidency in September 2020, saying, “Selecting presidents is not a science; it’s not an art; sometimes, it’s just being at the right place at the right time and finding the right candidate.” “Finding the right candidate, when you do it, when you get it right, it’s an extraordinary feeling. We got it right with Ron Berry,” Henderson said. Joined by the First Lady and ULM's McDaniel, Henderson conducted the formal investiture. “Dr. Berry, it is a great privilege for me, with the authority vested in me under the constitution of the state of Louisiana and


The investiture processional stretched from the ULM Library to Fant-Ewing Coliseum. Preceded by the Sound of Today Marching Band, President Berry and his wife, Dr. Christine Berry, led the Executive Council and distinguished guests, deans, and faculty of the four colleges, staff, and students into an event honoring the future and past of the university.

Special guest speakers included former president Dr. James Cofer, Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Faculty Senate President Dr. Janelle McDaniel, alumnus and ULM employee Erick Burton, Jr., ULM alumnus and former faculty member Miguel Perez, and President and CEO of the UL System Dr. Jim Henderson.


photo by Jeanette Robinson


through the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System to formally invest you as the ninth president of the University of Louisiana Monroe,” Henderson said. Berry then made his first comments as the invested ninth president. “Christine and I are truly honored to be here with you today as well as to have the opportunity to serve our community and the campus as the ninth president and first lady of the University of Louisiana Monroe,” he said. “It is a task that both of us take on with the utmost of seriousness, appreciation, and honor. We pledge to serve you, our university, and our community with our passion and our energy, our talents, and with selflessness. And to always represent ULM with honesty, integrity with gratitude, and with true servant hearts.”


“The University of Louisiana Monroe must continue to serve proudly as an anchor for this community as it has done for the past 90 years. At the same time creating the momentum, innovation, and creativity to move our region and our students boldly toward the future,” Berry said. “I know with your help we will be the best in the world at what we do. This I pledge to you. Our students, faculty, and staff; our community deserves no less.” (Above) UL System President and CEO Dr. Jim Henderson, left, places the university medallion around the neck of ULM President Ron Berry at the Investiture Ceremony held Oct. 1, 2021. (Below) President Ron Berry makes his first address as the invested ninth president of the university at a ceremony in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Following investiture, President Berry and Dr. Christine Berry had pizza with students in the concourse at the coliseum. A brunch for faculty and staff was held at Bayou Pointe.


9 I N V E S T I T U R E O F U L M ' S 9 TH P R E S I D E N T photo by Jeanette Robinson



“The University of Louisiana Monroe must continue to serve proudly as an anchor for this community as it has done for the past 90 years. At the same time creating the momentum, innovation, and creativity to move our region and our students boldly toward the future.” – PRESIDENT RON BERRY


photo by Siddharth Gaulee






he one constant in the history of the University of Louisiana Monroe is change.

Ouachita Parish Junior College was founded on change.


Ninety years since the first students filed into classrooms on Sept. 28, 1931, ninth university President Ron Berry's administration is built on change – changing students' lives and changing the lives of the people of the region. Fatefully, the goal nine decades ago is the same – ­ change through education. Compiling a decade-by-decade history of the university was the project of Hope Young,

Public Relations Director with the ULM Office of Marketing and Communications, and Mark Henderson, retired editor of The News-Star. Hope scoured archived editions of The Pow Wow, referred to "The Bayou" pamphlet and the book "The Building of a University" for stories and snippets from the past. Mark, armed with research and backed by 37 years of writing about Northeast Louisiana, including ULM, took a narrative approach to the decades he covers. The writers' styles differ, yet combine to tell the story of a university, people, and life in this

microcosm of the world in Northeast Louisiana. The research for this project would not have been possible without the dedication of Assistant Professor of Library Science and Coordinator of Special Collections Heather R. Pilcher. Heather spent the last several months digitizing all existing issues of The Pow Wow into the University Archives. Heather shared interesting articles, facts, and photos that were instrumental to tracing the university's history. The university, ULM Foundation, and magazine team hope these few pages provide readers with an abridged, exciting overview of the past 32,900 days.


Here are a few headlines and paragraphs through the years: Dec. 15, 1931 Building nearly complete; every convenience put it “Work on the Ouachita Junior College is nearly complete. It certainly will be a happy day to the students when they see the workmen pack up their tools and bid them a fond farewell.”


On Dec. 15, 1931, the first edition of the student newspaper, The Pow Wow, was published.

Feb. 24, 1932 College boys offer aid on the levees around Monroe – Girls work in kitchens “When conditions became so acute that the students of Ouachita Junior College were asked to aid in the recent flood fight, the school responded heartily. Monday, February 1, 1932, classes were suspended while the boys and girls worked untiringly at the levees or in the Relief Kitchen at the courthouse. … This noble work performed by the students and members of the faculty gives the Ouachita Junior College a name for cooperation and service in a crisis when their interest was greatly needed and appreciated.”




On the first day of classes at Ouachita Parish Junior College, there were 11 faculty instructors for 415 students. The date was Sept. 28, 1931. In 1922, Ouachita Parish School Board Supt. T.O. Brown started talking about the need for an institution of higher learning in Ouachita Parish. Five years passed until Brown presented his idea to the Monroe Kiwanis Club, which liked the idea, but they faced a challenge.

According to “The Bayou,” the Louisiana Legislature would have to pass a bill authorizing the “establishment and maintenance of a junior college.” In May 1928, the Legislature passed Act 173, the Junior College Law, giving the local school board authority to call an election for a parish-wide tax to support such an institution. On Dec. 12, 1928, in a special election, voters approved a one mill tax for 10 years for the “construction, equipment, and operation of the junior college.” (The Bayou)


Oct. 5, 1934 Dean Colvert explains standing of Northeast Center under new plan The institution has been turned over to the State University for operation, and the name has been changed to the Northeast Center of the Louisiana State University. (The) Plan brings first two years of LSU’s curricula to the people of Northeast Louisiana. Oct. 31, 1935 Clyde French is still missing – Football star in dazed condition disappears A dismal cloud of gloom settled over the student body of Northeast Center, when Clyde French, son of Dr. and Mrs. J.T. French, of 1115 Jackson Street, and star end on the Indians’ football squad, mysteriously disappeared from his home … Delirious from the probable effects of typhoid fever, French wandered off without his family knowing … … Coach Jim Malone … immediately called off practice, and had his players search the countryside for the missing boy. … French was the only Monroe boy on the football team, is very popular with the student body and the football squad. Dec. 2, 1938 Land purchase increases campus to 52 acres

The school board and Ouachita Parish Police Jury purchased the original 38.1 acres for $22,860 on Jan. 24, 1930. The first building, Brown Hall, named in honor of T.O. Brown, was constructed and equipped, along with grounds and landscaping for an investment of $350,000.

… Northeast Center has purchased fourteen acres of land directly north of the present campus. … Bayou DeSiard and College Avenue mark the boundaries of the latest acquisition. … Dean Colvert mentioned that the total value of the college property was now estimated at three-quarters of a million dollars.

The future University of Louisiana Monroe was born and reared during the Great Depression. According to “The Building of a University” by former President Dr. George T. Walker, by 1934, the school board turned to the state for financial assistance. That year the Legislature approved the Ouachita Parish Junior College to operate as Northeast Center of Louisiana State University. In 1939, under the LSU umbrella, the name changed again, to Northeast Junior College.

Physical examinations for the flying school to be installed at Northeast Junior college are being held this week. … the new plane to be used in instructing the students arrived. … a Piper Cub, powered with a fifty horsepower Continental motor. It is designated as one of the safest light training plans in the world today.

Oct. 27, 1939 Flight training program planned at college




flight school under the new C.A.A. War Training service. … Due to the splendid direction of F.L. Severence, chief flight instructor, and the efficient direction of the ground school under Lewis Slater, the flight school has made an enviable record throughout the nation in training received. April 22, 1943 Eighteen Army Reserves Called For Active Duty




The 1940s dawned with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt asking Congress for additional taxes to fund the military, undoubtedly foreseeing the growing threat in Europe.


Headlines grew larger as reports of military conflict from Europe came faster. When it came to war, and it did, it would be fought and won by air. Northeast Junior College was one of the early sites for military aviation training. In 1939, NJC joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program, one of about 400 colleges in the nation preparing young men to fight in flight. Classes were held on campus and training at nearby Selman Field, now the site of the Monroe Regional Airport. According to an article in The News-Star, 15,000 navigators and 1,500 pre-flight cadets trained in Monroe. The 1940s began on the edge of war and ended in a time of new prosperity in the country and Northeast Louisiana. Headlines from The Pow Wow Oct. 4, 1940 C.A.A. authorizes advanced flight course at NJC

Provisions for the installation of a secondary flight school at Northeast Junior College were announced Thursday by Dean C.C. Colvert after receiving a wire from the Civil Aeronautics Authority Board in Washington regarding the advanced course. Dec. 19, 1941 Former student killed in action; war becomes grim reality Pearl Harbor bombed … Congress declares war … All this and more, too, became a reality when the college was notified of Ensign Walter Savage Jr.’s death at Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. A graduate of NJC, Ensign Savage, was reported killed while in the service of his country. … he was reported to be on the U.S.S. Arizona.


… Ensign Savage’s death struck at the very heart of NJC students who the day before acted like high-school kids, suddenly grew up into men and women. War at last became real to them. Dec. 18, 1942 Fifty-seven students are trained each period by college flight school Fifty-seven trained men every eight weeks is the record set by the NJC

Two-thirds of the Northeast Junior College Army Reserves received notice that orders to report would be sent to them about April 29, 1943. Eighteen names appeared on the list of reservists to be called to active duty. Sophomores Jack Bishop, Dalton Boyd, James Coyle, John Lewis Davidson, Robert Easterling, Keith Jones, David Rankin, Tommy Sands, Willie Telano, Alton Williamson; freshmen Prentiss Boyles, Woodard Boyles, Clayton Brown, Meade Evans, C.W.Jones, Sam McInnis, Olan Walters and Horace Wiggers. Feb. 25, 1944 Colvert Submits Post-War Plans The project proposal by Dean C.C. Colvert includes the construction of several new buildings on campus, a vocational building, one for commerce and home economics, science building, gymnasium and a shop for the housing and repair of college equipment and vehicles. The total cost is approximately $744,000. May 25, 1945 Malone Ends 11 Years as NJC Coach Coach James L. Malone, who has completed 11 successful years as athletic director and head coach at Northeast Junior College, is carefully planning the 1945 football schedule. During Malone’s 11 years, his teams have won 72 games, tied six and lost 14. The Indians were rated national football champions in 1935, 1937 and 1940. March 7, 1947 Mysterious burning of stadium bleachers T.O. Brown Field, a wooden football stadium, was dedicated on Oct. 7, 1932. After five years, the seating was limited and also uncomfortable. On Jan. 8, 1938, “ … the old stadium mysteriously burned. The fire inspector … attributed the incident to an alleged prowler.” May 6, 1949 Athletics Essential for Junior College Development An editorial called for more funding for athletics, stating, “No college can offer many types of sports activities without sufficient funds. NJC had to settle with one sport ( football) in order to hold her own in competition with surrounding junior colleges. Football has been a great lever for enrollment increase here and when we add other sports we will see added numbers interested in our school.”




The United States would enter the 1950s with the prosperity of the middle class on the rise. However, that did not necessarily mean peace as male students were enlisting to serve in the Korean War. At Northeast Louisiana State College (no longer a junior college as of July 5, 1950), the beginning of the decade was in stark contrast to the beginning of the 1940s, when maintaining the status quo took


One of the first repairs was for the roof on Brown Hall, then 18 years old, at an estimated $6-$8,000. “A liberal application of paint and plaster” would go everywhere needed. Two new dorms, one for men and one for women, opened in 1952. Cafeteria manager Rosa Turnbough focused on making meals pleasant and nutritious. She dealt with a few tardy students or those with picky palates, but it was nothing like during the war when she sometimes resorted to syrup as a sweetener. Athletics were picking up with the basketball team under the coaching of Edward Payne, who doubled as the baseball coach. A track team was fielded with Athletic Director Arnold Kilpatrick serving as coach. Andrew “Bully” Willis and later Dr. Joseph Robert Brown coached the men's tennis team. The golf team hit the links guided by sponsor J.H. Rust, Jr. Enrollment climbed through the decade with a record of 1,102 for the fall 1953 semester, doubling enrollment for fall 1950. That figure doubled by fall 1958, with enrollment of 2,230.

By 1959, Northeast was accepted into the Association of American Colleges under President Dr. George T. Walker, student ID cards were issued for the first time, a federal student loan fund started with $2,188 from the National Defense Act of 1958, the School of Pharmacy and Music Department were accredited, and enrollment for fall 1959 was 2,459, up 62 percent from 1954.

March 9, 1956 Concert Band Opens Season The Northeast State Concert Band opened its 1956 season with concerts at three high schools. The band is made up of 47 Northeast students and is conducted by Joe Barry Mullins, associate professor of music. Mr. Mullins has been band director for five years. May 24, 1957 Face of N’East Changing Under construction is a $200,000 addition to the Fine Arts building, a $100,000 addition to the student center building and a $50,000 infirmary building. A $200,000 Agriculture-Home Economics building was completed earlier this year. Oct. 10, 1958 Special Education Center for NE Planned Levelle Hayes recently began his duties as assistant professor and director of special education. At Northeast, Hayes will organize and put into operation a special education center with services offered to public elementary and high schools in the 10 parishes surrounding Northeast.


In 1956, Monroe Mayor W.L. (Jack) Howard signed a proclamation setting off a designated area surrounding campus to be College Town. Initiated by the Student Council, Mayor Howard’s action on the project serves as a tribute to Northeast’s rapid growth in size and prestige.

towns and villages outside the radius of Monroe and West Monroe. The distances vary from 50 to 75 miles.


precedence over building projects and expansion.

June 19, 1959 Rapid College Growth President Walker said appropriations for operations and capital outlay approved by the Legislature totaled more than $1.7 million for 195960, an increase of more than $400,000 from the previous fiscal year.

Dec. 20, 1950 Departments Add 33 New Courses Thirty-three new junior and senior courses were planned for the January 1951 semester; accounting, agronomy, animal industry, business retailing, business law, economics, home economics, journalism, military science, psychology, geography, health and physical education, secretarial science, zoology, English, fine arts, education and music. The additional offerings were required to meet the college’s new four-year status. March 16, 1951 Baptists Obtain Lot for Religious Center The Baptists of Ouachita Parish purchased a lot near the campus to build a religious center for the Baptist Student Union. The first unit to be constructed will be a chapel for weekly meetings of the BSU. May 13, 1952 Pow Wow Salutes Northeast’s First Grads Thirty-six students were to be awarded degrees on May 25, 1952, in the first class of the new four-year Northeast Louisiana State College. Feb. 12, 1954 Library Collection Exceeds 15,000

Oct. 7, 1955 Over 400 Students Commute to Campus There are over 400 students commuting each day to Northeast from


Over 15,000 volumes are now in the Northeast library, according to Mrs. W.W. Ward, librarian. In recent years since the school became a four-year college, about 4,500 volumes have been added.






Growth at Northeast Louisiana State College set a torrid pace in the 1960s, more than doubling its enrollment. One student, in particular, opened the door for many to follow.

Enrollment at the institution was 2,641 at the start of the 1960s. In 1961, the number rose to 2,977. The number would climb every year. By the fall of 1964, enrollment reached 4,229 – a 16.2 percent increase from the previous fall.

By 1968, the student body numbered 7,602. The college’s reach was becoming global, with students representing 39 states and 19 foreign countries. SARAH LOUISE MCCOY BREAKS BARRIERS Sarah Louise McCoy was a Black woman seeking admission at the college, which was denied based on her race. In 1964, McCoy filed a class-action suit in federal court on her behalf and other prospective Black students.


The district court ruled in favor of the college on a technicality, but a federal appeals court overruled and ordered McCoy and others to be admitted. McCoy became the first Black graduate of Northeast, setting the stage for others, like Joe Profit. A graduate of Richwood High School in Monroe, Profit became the first Black student to play football at a predominantly white Louisiana college as well as the first Black football player to compete in the Gulf States Conference. He led the Indians in rushing and all-purpose yards for three seasons, from 1968-1970. The Atlanta Falcons selected Profit in the first round (No. 7 overall) of the 1971 National Football League Draft. Rapid growth in academics and facilities Under President Dr. George T. Walker, the college pushed to accommodate the decade’s rapid growth. • 1960 - The state Board of Education authorized a department of nursing offering a bachelor’s degree and a $200,000 dining hall capable of serving 1,500 persons at each meal opened. • 1961 – The college opened its first air-conditioned residence halls, Madison and Breard. • 1962 - Garrett Hall opened, housing geology and biology classes; the new College Union Building opened with eight bowling lanes, a 220-seat theater, commuter lounges, TV and game rooms, and meeting rooms; and 60 acres of land across Bayou DeSiard was acquired, doubling the size of the campus. • 1963 – Sandel Library opened.


• 1966 – Hanna Hall opened, housing physics, geology, and mathematics, along with a modern foreign languages laboratory; Northeast announced the addition of a graduate program in pharmacy, a new four-year course in building construction, and the beginning of construction of a new 11-story dormitory, Olin Hall. • 1968 – The State Board of Education approved bringing together the health-related programs into the School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions; faculty payroll reached an estimated $3.5 million.

GOLDEN ERA IN SPORTS The basketball team won the Gulf States Conference championship for 1961-62 by defeating archrival Northwestern State Demons 88-81 in February 1962. All-American candidate Lanny Johnson accounted for 27 points. A Northeast Louisiana State athlete held a world record after John Pennel vaulted 16-3 at a March 1963 meet. By August, Pennel claimed a new record at 16-8¾. He was named Athlete of the Year in the Gulf States Conference. In February 1965, the Indians were the best in the Gulf States Conference in basketball, winning its second crown in four years with a 76-72 victory over Northwestern. And baseball also enjoyed its day in the sun, clinching four Gulf States Conference titles in six years under head coach Bill Dotson. A CHANGING CAMPUS CULTURE In January 1960, eight to 10 male students entered a women’s dorm in an attempted panty raid triggered by a blackout. The Pow Wow at the time reported: “Most of the men had been routed by coeds wielding soft-drink bottles by the time college officials arrived on the scene.” In 1962, the collegiate show “Jazz Unlimited” featuring the Northeast State Jazz Ensemble was selected as one of 20 college groups to make an entertainment tour of American military bases abroad. In May 1966, 309 persons donated blood for the Northeast “bleedin” campaign, ranking Northeast as the top college to donate blood. Students donated to help U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. But the growing unpopularity of the Vietnam War led to a 1969 decision to drop the requirement for male students to take ROTC. The class became an elective. By the end of the decade, continued growth on campus forced the issue. Talk started about granting the institution university status.




All things seemed new in the 1970s.

A new name. A new president. New digs for many of the sports teams. New traditions.

The decade marked significant change, significant growth, and the ski team. A NEW NAME, NEW LEADERSHIP

The 1970s opened with Northeast Louisiana State College becoming Northeast Louisiana University. Beyond the name change, the most significant development of the decade was a change in leadership. President Dr. George T. Walker


On Nov. 20, 1975, the Board of Trustees selected Dr. Dwight D. Vines, NLU's Dean of the College of Business Administration, as the new president.

The team finished with its first winning season since 1970, including an 18-0 shutout of Louisiana Tech.

ENROLLMENT UPS AND DOWNS Early in the decade, enrollment continued its fast climb. Fall 1975 enrollment broke a record with 9,718, up from the previous year's 9,216. The increase of 502 was the largest one-year jump. The school had experienced record growth during each of the 25 years it had been a degree-granting institution.


retired on Jan. 1, 1976, stepping down after more than 17-years.

In fall 1976, NLU instituted increases in standards for admissions, especially in the fields of pre-pharmacy, pharmacy, and general business. Enrollment in fall 1976 fell from 9,718 to 9,143. Spring enrollment in 1977 continued to fall as the nation's economy weakened, with the student base falling below 9,000 at 8,466. BIG BUILDING PROJECTS

Other buildings opened in the 1970s included the Administration Building in 1970; Sugar Hall, home of the School of Pharmacy, in 1971; Strauss Hall, housing the School of Education, in 1973; also in 1973, the Band Building became home for The Sound of Today; and in 1974, the Anna Gray Noe Alumni Center. CELEBRITY STATUS A Who's Who of celebrities and newsmakers visited Monroe in the 1970s, sponsored by the SGA or the Free University speaker series. Some of the speakers included attorney F. Lee Bailey, political activist Ralph Nader, social-political activist Gloria Steinem, feminist and civil rights activist Margaret Sloan, civil rights activist Ralph Abernathy, actor Leonard Nimoy, "The Greatest" Muhammed Ali, and Louisiana humorist Justin Wilson. Students also enjoyed performances by popular bands and musicians, Three Dog Night, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Grand Funk Railroad, Carpenters, ZZ Top, Kenny Rogers, and the First Edition, Andrae Crouch, Dan Fogelberg, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, the Spinners, James Taylor, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Charlie Daniels, and Willie Nelson. ATHLETICS IN TRANSITION On the playing field, the Indians were in transition for much of the decade. The 1970 baseball Indians were runners-up in the NAIA World Series. In summer 1972, longtime football coach Dixie White resigned to become a scout for the New Orleans Saints.

The 1978 football season started strong, with the Indians going 4-0-1.

And in 1977, NLU's Hank Kizer, Bill Rainwater, and Mike Adams organized the Intercollegiate Water Ski Team. In October 1977, the team won its first overall competition in the home waters of Bayou DeSiard against 11 universities. The 1978 season started with a firstplace finish at the Southwest Texas University Ski Tournament. In October 1979, NLU played host to the first National Intercollegiate Ski Tournament, where the team placed second behind San Diego State.




The President Dwight Vines era at Northeast Louisiana University primarily consists of the 1980s.

Far from flashy, Vines' leadership style could best be described as solid and steady, marked by growth in enrollment, programs, and the campus footprint. When Vines took the helm of NLU in January 1976, enrollment growth slowed, and as the 1970s waned, the student body shrank.

By 1980, that retrenchment turned around. During that spring semester, enrollment climbed to 8,324 from the previous spring's 7,692. The decade saw record numbers. In fall 1983, NLU's student body peaked at 11,586, and fall enrollment never slipped below 10,000 for the rest of the decade. MORE ACADEMIC PROGRAMS As the student population grew at NLU, so did program offerings. During Vines' tenure, 40 new degree programs were established. Among those were agriculture, aviation, airway science, community health, marriage and family counseling, mild to moderate special education, music theater, school psychology, specialist in school psychology, technical communications, and toxicology. The MBA was the first accredited in north Louisiana and in the school's accounting program.


For NLU sports, 1978 was a critical year. In September, NLU joined a new conference of eight schools, the America Athletic Conference. The conference was primarily for spring sports and NLU was the only member with a football program. Indians basketball began conference play in the 1979-80 season.


Sports complexes were among the new structures going up on campus. In 1971, Ewing Coliseum, home to basketball, opened with a capacity of 8,000. In 1976, Heard Stadium became home to tennis with 15 courts. In 1979, Oxford Natatorium, home of swimming and diving, opened, and Malone Stadium hosted its first football game. Named after the school's winningest coach, Jim Malone, capacity was 30,427.

Then, in November, Lenny Fant announced he would retire as NLU basketball coach at the end of the season. Fant coached at NLU for 21 years, and his Indian teams had a string of 17 consecutive winning seasons going into his final season. Assistant basketball coach Benny Hollis would succeed him.



led ULM to 102 wins against only 15 losses, three conference championships, and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. The greatest of those teams was the 1985 edition that went to the Final Four and finished with the country's best record, 30-2. ULM continued to produce outstanding squads. The 1987 team, for example, went back to the NCAA Tournament under Coach Linda Harper. The biggest splash for ULM sports, however, would come in water skiing. In its second year of competing in the Collegiate National Team Championship, NLU won its first title in 1980. The team went on to win every year through 1988, a total of nine championships. It was the beginning of a dynasty that now lays claim to 29 national titles, the most in the nation. New departments established were Communicative Disorders, Computer Science, School of Communication, Educational Leadership and Counseling, and Pharmacy Practice Laboratory.


Construction on the campus included the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing building and the School of Construction building, both built in 1981. The Chemistry and Natural Sciences building was built in 1984. Non-classroom additions included the Indian Bank, Bookstore, a third-floor addition to Sandel Library, and Spyker Theater. ATHLETICS TO CELEBRATE After becoming a member of Division 1-AA in 1982, the Indians claimed the Southland Conference football title in 1983 and 1987. Under the leadership of Pat Collins and led by future Super Bowl quarterback Stan Humphries, the Indians went 13-2 and won the 1987 1-AA national championship by defeating Marshall, 43-42, in the title game. The 1980s were the golden days of NLU basketball as well. The team took the TAAC basketball title in 1983. Coach Benny Hollis was named NLU's athletic director in 1981, and Mike Vining was named basketball coach. In 1982, the team earned its first NCAA basketball tournament invitation. Future University of Louisiana at Monroe basketball coach Keith Richard was on that team. Vining would later take NLU back to the NCAA tournament in 1986 after winning the Southland Conference regular-season and tournament. The NLU baseball team won the Southland Conference regularseason title in 1983 under Lou St. Amant. Opportunities for women athletes also opened up at NLU in the 1980s. In March 1980, NLU's softball team played its first collegiate game against Louisiana Tech University at Saul Adler Field in Monroe. President Vines was an avid tennis player, and he established a tennis team that would win the Trans Athletic Conference championship in spring 1981.


Women's volleyball, which began as a club sport in the 1960s, became a varsity sport in 1982 with the Southland Women's Conference formation. But the greatest success for women athletes in the 1980s came on the basketball court. All-Americans Eun Jung Lee and Lisa Ingram

CHILI AND OOZEBALL Two new traditions began in the decade, adding to the social life on campus. In 1984, NLU supporters Tom Deal, Frank Elkin III, and Don Weems decided to plan, organize, and direct an annual celebration of food and competition: the Chili Cook-off, a tradition that continues today. And a Spring Fever Week competition that started in 1989 gave birth to the school's dirtiest tradition: oozeball. Students grabbed their most ragged clothes and shoes and made their way to the muddy pits behind the tennis courts, where men, women, and co-ed teams competed in a mud volleyball tournament.




Like a teenager filling out after years of growth, Northeast Louisiana University spent the 1990s maturing into the campus that saw rapid changes in the previous two decades. It was a time for the school to catch its breath. That doesn’t mean the campus was free of significant changes. Early in the decade, the institution had a new leader. At the end of the 1990s, it had a whole new identity.

NLU President Dr. Dwight D. Vines announced in early 1991 that he would retire after about 15 years at the helm. On July 1, 1991, Lawson Swearingen Jr., succeeded him. Swearingen practiced law in Monroe for 22 years, which included 11 years of service as a state senator in the Louisiana Legislature. He would lead the university through the rest of the decade. During his tenure as president, NLU would: • Add three doctoral and two master’s degrees • Obtain capital outlay funds of more than $45 million, used to build or renovate multiple buildings on campus, including the university’s seven-story signature building housing the Library, Administrative Offices, and The Terrace Conference Center • Achieve 98.2 percent academic program eligibility for accreditation – highest among all public universities and colleges in Louisiana at that time Sports on the bayou As the 1990s dawned, the NLU football team enjoyed momentum


The following year, Swearingen approved the elevation of the intercollegiate athletic football program from the Football Championship Series to the Football Bowl Series as an independent. In that 1994 season, under head coach Ed Zaunbrecher, the Indians finished 3-8, the highlight being the school’s first victory over an SEC team, cellar dweller Kentucky in the season opener. In baseball, the Indians’ finest division ranking in years would come in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Smoke Laval guided the Indians to three Southland Conference titles and three NCAA Regionals. With eight wins, ULM’s women’s tennis team won more Southland Conference championships than any other team, was nationally ranked four times, and produced two all-Americans.

Lady Indians soccer began in 1999 and is ULM’s youngest sport. And NLU’s dominance on the water continued, with the water skiing team winning six national intercollegiate water skiing titles – in 1990, ’93, ’94, ’96, ’98, and ’99. IN 1999, THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE WAS BORN The Board of Trustees for State Colleges and Universities changed its name to the University of Louisiana System in 1999. With the creation of the UL System, made up of nine state universities, each school was permitted to consider a name change to the University of Louisiana. There would not be a single University of Louisiana, but two or more would be allowed – identified with an addition of a city as part of its name. When Southwestern Louisiana University announced it wished to change to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the door opened for ULM to come into existence.

In 1993, the Student Activity Center opened, featuring an indoor track, weight room, group exercise room, and basketball and racquetball courts. The site selected for the Student Activity Center, however, was ground zero for football tailgating. Fortunately, Jeff Thompson, development officer for the NLU Annual Fund, and Don Weems, Director of Alumni Affairs, started brainstorming as to where to relocate. The area south of Malone was largely overgrown and inaccessible, but the proximity to the stadium made the new location very desirable. Through the efforts of many people, this area was cleared, and soon grills were heating up at the new “Grove.” LAGNIAPPE In 1991, new sounds were emanating from Stubbs Hall. Interested community members partnered with the university to create 90.3 KEDM-FM, and NPR newscasts, classical music, and jazz had a home on the airwaves across Northeastern Louisiana. In 1997, NLU’s educational resources became more accessible when Sandel Library first offered access to the library’s journal collections from anywhere with access to the internet.



Under Coach Rosemary Holloway, the Lady Indians softball team won the 1992 National Invitational Tournament championship, claimed three Southland Conference titles, ranked in the Top 20, and produced the league’s only all-American, Sarah Dawson.



that continued during the tenure of head coach Dave Roberts. In 1992, the Indians reached the NCAA Division IAA Quarterfinals. When Roberts left after the 1993 season to join the Notre Dame coaching staff, his overall record at NLU was 37–20–2.



The first decade of the new millennium treated the University of Louisiana at Monroe like a boomerang. Tough times on either end of a magic flight. ULM received a no-opinion audit for fiscal year 1999, placing accreditation from the Southern Colleges and Schools in jeopardy. Although ULM received a qualified report in 2000, President Lawson Swearingen announced his resignation barely a week into the 2001-02 school year, effective Dec. 31, 2001. THE COFER YEARS From 2002-2010 President Dr. James E. Cofer’s “Reclaiming Our Campus” campaign saw more than $80 million in new construction and renovations, improvement of education programs, and living environments for students. The footprint of the campus changed radically at 10 a.m. Sept. 25, 2004. Olin Hall, a men’s dormitory that rose 11 stories on the banks of Bayou DeSiard and built in the 1960s, came crashing down into a pile of dust. In its place, Bayou Suites East opened in spring 2006. ULM opened Bayou Village apartments in August 2005. The apartments featured one- to four-bedroom floorplans with 9-foot ceilings, climate control, ceiling fans, a full kitchen, and high-speed internet.

And in summer 2006, two new residence halls opened at the site of the demolished Monroe and Slater halls. The University Commons consisted of two buildings along Northeast Drive. One resembled traditional dorm rooms, while the other sported suites with two bedrooms.


Improvements were made to traditional dormitories Ouachita and Madison halls. In spring 2006, ULM demolished Breard, Cosper, Lemert, and Harris dorms.



Changes to the Student Union Building began in 2004. The Wigwam would leave a former dining hall and move to the SUB as a food court. The bowling alley and pool room were eliminated, replaced with conference rooms, banquet facilities, ballrooms, lounges, and offices. The Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center opened in August 2008 in the former Wigwam location. At the beginning of spring 2007, ULM’s College of Pharmacy moved to 1800 Bienville Drive, one mile from the main campus. Cofer and his wife, Deborah, settled into Bon Aire, the official university president’s residence, in summer 2008. BECOMING WARHAWKS Many graduates of the institution were still reeling from the change of the university’s name from Northeast Louisiana University in the previous decade. But they were still Indians.


Until 2005. In September, the NCAA ruled against ULM’s use of Indians as a school mascot, claiming it to be offensive. Chief Brave Spirit was deemed a caricature and was discontinued. References to “the reservation” were eliminated. The Brave On Horseback, a mascot used at home football games, actually wore a Plains Indian headdress, not representative of regional tribes, and discontinued his use of a tepee. Cofer formed a committee to examine options concerning the mascot. In January 2005, the committee voted unanimously for a new mascot. On April 5, 2006, the Indians became the Warhawks, and Cofer praised the choice. “It offers the dual image of being both a tribute to General (Claire) Chennault and the majestic image of a fierce bird,” he said at the time. Chennault, who led the famous Flying Tigers during World War II, was a northeastern Louisiana native. The student body chose the mascot’s name, Ace, over Curtiss, General, Flash, and Gunner. And on Aug. 31, 2006, with 18,000 supporters in attendance, the Brave On Horseback rode into Malone Stadium one final time. He took off his headdress, gave it to former university President Dr. George T. Walker, who presented it to the ULM Alumni Association at midfield. The new era began as Ace led the newly christened Warhawks onto the field against Alcorn State. The Warhawks won, 24-6. ATHLETICS EXCEL In 2001, ULM football joined the Sun Belt Conference. The football team started the 2000s under Bobby Keasler, but he resigned three games into the 2002 season with an overall record of 8-24. Success would return under head coach Charlie Weatherbie. From 2003-2009, Weatherbie’s record was 31-51, but the highlight of the Weatherbie era came in 2007.


December 2007: The ULM Warhawks, which began the season 0-4, came roaring back, starting with a home victory against Arkansas State. The Warhawks would win six of its final eight games, including two memorable nights. On Nov. 10, 2007, ULM beat Grambling State in front of a record

home crowd of 30,101. The following week, the Warhawks did the unthinkable, beating Nick Saban’s Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 28-14. The team became bowl-eligible for the first time in school history. In April 2005, Orlando Early, assistant coach at Alabama, succeeded Mike Vining as men’s basketball coach. Vining retired with a record of 402-302 and eight conference championships in 24 seasons. Also, in 2005, Mona Martin was named the Southland Conference’s women’s basketball coach of the year. Martin coached the team to a 22-8 record, becoming the conference’s regular season champions. ULM’s most consistent winner of all was the water ski team. From 2000-2009, ULM claimed the NCWSA championship seven times – 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. At the end of the 2009 season, the ski team had won the national title 22 times in its 31-year history. ENROLLMENT CLIMBING, FUNDING DECLINING In 2009, ULM was reaping the benefits of a master plan implemented in 2005 to change the institution from an open-admissions school to one that requires a certain ACT score. The fall semester of 2009 saw enrollment crack 9,000 for the first time in recent years, with 9,004 enrolled. Then clouds started building up on the horizon. After a decade of significant growth, ULM faced the reality of recession in Louisiana. The Board of Regents instructed ULM to prepare for budget reductions of between $7.8 million and $14 million.




Administrators at the University of Louisiana Monroe confronted budgetary concerns after 2010, as continuous shortfalls for the state hit higher education with blow after blow. ULM President Dr. James Cofer, having overseen a startling decade of rapid growth, now dealt with the early rounds of budget cuts. As of January, ULM”s budget had been cut by $9.5 million.


STATE CUTS FUNDING DURING BRUNO YEARS The Louisiana Board of Supervisors turned to one of its own to follow Cofer, and on Nov. 8, 2010, Dr. Nick Bruno became the institution’s eighth president. Bruno was at ULM from 2002-05 as Associate Vice President for Business Affairs and then Vice President for Business Affairs. He departed ULM for the UL System in Baton Rouge, where he was Vice President for Business and Finance for over five years before being appointed president. Bruno returned to ULM with a vision of ULM on the national stage as an institution with dynamic research and more health sciences programs. But first, he had to deal with the state budget woes. In December 2011, the state cut ULM’s budget by $1.8 million. In June 2012, another 8.4 percent cut was handed down for fiscal year 2012-13.

ULM survived the financial spiral. In September 2011, enrollment fell to 8,515, but increases were seen for every category of full-time students. In August 2012, in the face of budget cuts, freshmen enrollment increased 10 percent, with total enrollment rising to 8,545. The following year, enrollment reached 8,645. Although enrollment dropped slightly in September 2014 to 8,527, ULM reported its strongest ever freshman class, 1,314. The student body would continue to grow despite continually rising tuition; by fall 2016, enrollment again exceeded 9,000. CAMPUS CONSTRUCTION Construction on campus in the most recent decade continued at a more modest pace than the previous decade. Still, new buildings and renovations kept the face of ULM fresh. Among the projects: • Renovations at University Park, including new lighting and LED scoreboards. • The demolition of Lake C. Oxford Natatorium. In its place, ULM builds Bayou Pointe Event Center. • ULM spent $18 million to renovate the old library, Sandel Hall, called a “one-stop-shop,” Sandel now houses many core administration offices and the campus bookstore. • A new International Student Center, funded by a $1 million donation from Eric Liew and his wife, Linda, capable of housing 14 students. • A new water ski team facility, a $335,000 building on Bayou DeSiard with storage and showers. • A $4.1 million end zone football field house at Malone Stadium.

CONSOLIDATION OF COLLEGES Changes occurred in the organization of academia on campus, in

CHANGES IN ATHLETICS ULM Athletics was marked in its most recent decade with comings and goings. Head coaches and Directors of Athletics shifted through the decade. FOOTBALL 2010-15 – Todd Berry, who in 2012 led the Warhawks to the Independence Bowl 2015-20 – Matt Viator, who was released after a winless 2020 2020-present – Terry Bowden brought in to revive Warhawks football beginning with the 2021 season MEN’S BASKETBALL 2006-10 – Orlando Early 2010-present – Keith Richard, a ULM hardcourt alumnus WOMEN’S BASKETBALL 1995-2015 – Mona Martine retires after 19 years and 263 victories 2015-19 – Jeff Dow 2019-present – Brooks Donald Williams BASEBALL 2010-14 – Jeff Schexnaider, who led the team to a Sun Belt Conference title 2014-17 – Bruce Peddie 2017-present – Mike Federico SOFTBALL 1985-2014 – Rosemary Holloway-Hill retired 2015-18 – Corey Lyon 2019-present – Molly Fichtner DIRECTORS OF ATHLETICS 2013-17 – Brian Wickstrom succeeds Bobby Staub 2017-18 – Nick Floyd, who resigns due to health concerns 2018-present – Scott McDonald, ULM Chief Administrative Officer and interim Director of Athletics The one shining light in the sports scene at ULM in the most recent decade? Why, the water ski team. Since 2010, the water ski team added seven more intercollegiate national championships, bringing the total to 29. The team’s honors went international in 2012, dominating the World University Championships held in Los Morros, Chile. The team brought home 13 medals, including four gold.


• Laird Weems Center, a new home for the ULM Foundation and Alumni Affairs.

The focus on pharmacy, nursing, and other health fields resulted in Bruno’s biggest coup. In May 2018, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved a license for the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) on the ULM campus. A land-lease agreement was reached the following month, and the largest building on ULM’s campus since the library construction began going up in September. VCOM welcomed its first class in fall 2020.


By December 2014, a state audit showed state funding for ULM had fallen from $55.5 million in 2009 to $27.4 million in 2014. The operating budget in that time fell from $488 million to $75 million, offset in part by rising tuition.

part because of budget constraints. In 2013, ULM's consolidated its five colleges into four. The new structure included the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences, College of Business and Social Sciences, College of Health Sciences, and College of Pharmacy.


Cofer would leave ULM in the fall of 2010 to become president of Missouri State University in Springfield.







n Sept. 30, Bayou Pointe Event Center transformed into an elegant under-the-big top experience for Envision, a gala of ballgowns and tuxedoes, cakes and champagne, songs and silk streamers to honor the University of Louisiana Monroe’s ninth President Ron Berry and his wife Dr. Christine Berry.


Vice President of Enrollment Management and University Relations Lisa Miller’s imagination sparked when she learned the president’s favorite movie is “The Greatest Showman,” a musical about P.T. Barnum. Miller coordinated designers, florists, menus, and musicians to produce an enchanting evening for ULM’s President and First Lady. The sell-out event-of-the-season was the perfect nighttime occasion to commemorate President Berry’s Investiture Week. Guests enjoyed a gourmet meal while singers from the School of Visual and Performing Arts gave renditions of some of the president’s favorite show tunes and VAPA dancers pirouetted between the tables. Eightyear-old Olivia Chandler’s cherubic voice backed by the ULM Choir was symbolic of the Berrys' awareness that the ULM students of the future are the children of today. Olivia is the daughter of VAPA Choral Director Dr. Deborah Chandler and Career Center Director Kristin Chandler. A brilliant fireworks show concluded the festivities, with the lights in the sky reflecting onto the still waters of Bayou DeSiard. Envision guests enjoyed the pyrotechnics from the patio of Bayou Pointe to a chorus of “oohs and aahs.”


Envision was a tribute befitting the Berrys, who encourage everyone to reach for their goals. As President Berry’s favorite song from the movie states, “A million dreams is all it’s gonna take, A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make.”



ENVISION www.ulm.edu

photos by Jeanette Robinson and Siddharth Gaulee





t’s 97 degrees in the shade. It feels like 108 degrees. But there is no shade to be found on the ULM Sound of Today Marching Band practice field. The heat takes its toll on an early September afternoon.


Crisscrossing the field, a man in a sports cap and ULM shirt guides the musicians through precision routines. That’s Allen Parrish, D.M.A., the new Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Professor in the University of Louisiana Monroe

School of Visual and Performing Arts. “If my people have to be out here, I want to be out here with them. I’m not standing in the shade,” Parrish said. The band takes regular water breaks, and Parrish frequently reminds his musicians, “You are so much more important than a hole in a line. Take care of yourselves.” As the break ends, the musicians return to the practice field, take their positions, and go again. It’s a good performance, and Parrish has the band move to its next set. The practices in the sweltering summer heat pay off. photo by Siddharth Gaulee

The Sound of Today was in tune and in step for the eight-minute halftime show during the Warhawks’ first home game – a win over visiting Jackson State. Parrish said his musicians were ready for the second home game when the Troy Trojans came calling. The SOT second halftime show featured Latin Pop. Parrish admits to pushing the band with new music and new moves – and he likes what he sees. “The strength of this band is in its hard work ethic and its desire to be better,” he said. Parrish earned his Doctor of Musical Arts at Southern Mississippi University. Before joining ULM, Parrish taught low brass classes at a community college. He was hired by ULM in March 2021 and had time to think about what he wanted to bring to the band even before officially taking the reins of SOT on Aug. 9. “The music comes first. And you should have music that the audience will enjoy. The students told me they wanted something to tie all the music together,” Parrish said. At the same time, the music must be something to which the band can march. “It’s perhaps the hardest music they’ve ever played,” Parrish said. “At the same time, many of the students are telling me it’s the best time they ever had because they are challenged.” ULM’s instrumental music majors march in the band as part of their scholarship requirements. Of the nearly 120 players in the group, however, 70 to 80 percent are non-music majors. Participating non-majors are eligible for scholarships and grants. They also can earn up to two credits. “We have a lot of strong players in each section,” Parrish said. “I’m relying on juniors and seniors, and my section leaders, to work with the freshmen to get them up to speed.”


Dr. Allen Parrish is the University of Louisiana Monroe’s new Director of Athletic Bands and an Assistant Professor in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Parrish hopes to grow the Sound of Today Marching Band from 120 to 200 or more members.

Parrish has a three-to-four-year plan to give the band a bigger sound, with a goal of more than 200 players in the next few years. He intends to create a quality product people will want to join, use out-of-state tuition waivers to attract high school musicians from Arkansas, spend time in high schools recruiting talent, and invite students to the ULM campus.



photo by Siddharth Gaulee




FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES “The College of Business and Social Sciences is a great college with high-quality students who are engaged in the programs, a group of faculty and staff whose dedication and devotion is unmatched, and an alumni base which both appreciates and supports our students and programs. This is my home and my family, and my love for ULM and the college runs very deep.”

University of Louisiana Monroe President Ron Berry announced McEacharn’s appointment as the new Dean of the CBSS, saying she possesses qualities essential for a college dean – experience, expertise, and enthusiasm. "The university is truly fortunate to have Dr. Michelle McEacharn accept the position of Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences. She is an outstanding teacher and scholar who will provide strong advocacy and leadership for the college. Dr. McEacharn is leading the college towards new levels of achievement," Berry said. Before becoming Dean, McEacharn was the Susan and William D. Banowsky Endowed Chair and Professor of Accounting in the William D. Hoover School of Accounting, Financial and Information Services in the CBSS. When Berry, former Dean of the CBSS, became ULM president in 2020, Associate Dean and Professor Peggy Lane, Ph.D., filled the role of interim dean. Lane was the CBSS's first female interim dean. When interviewing for the position, McEacharn was asked why she wanted to be dean. Her response captured the momentum building at ULM. "Who wouldn't want to serve in this role

at this time? The excitement across campus is genuine and pervasive with Ron Berry as president. What a bright future for ULM under his direction.” “The CBSS is a great college with highquality students who are engaged in the programs, a group of faculty and staff whose dedication and devotion is unmatched, and an alumni base which both appreciates and supports our students and programs. This is my home and my family, and my love for ULM and the college runs very deep,” McEacharn said. McEacharn has served in the ULM Accounting program continuously since 1989. She began as an instructor and progressed to assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor in 2003. McEacharn earned her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration at ULM and her Doctor of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. McEacharn serves as the Executive Director for the Federation of Business Disciplines and is a past president for the Northeast Chapter of the Society of Louisiana CPAs. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Accounting Education Award by the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants in 2009 and the Outstanding Educator for the Southwest Region of the American Accounting Association in 2008.




ichelle McEacharn, D.B.A., is the first woman to lead the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Business and Social Sciences in the 90-year history of the university.





REACCREDITED THROUGH 2030 “To reach and maintain this level of excellence can only be accomplished with the full commitment and support of the university.”




he Kitty DeGree School of Nursing at the University of Louisiana Monroe received 10-year reaccreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for its undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the graduate Master of Science in Nursing programs. The U.S. Secretary of Education officially recognizes CCNE as a national accreditation agency. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. Wendy Bailes, Ph.D., Director of the School of Nursing, said the BSN and MSN programs were reaccredited individually, which affirms the overall excellence of the KDSON and the university. The BSN has held accreditation since 2000, and the MSN since 2017.


“The reaccreditation recognizes that both programs’ curriculums and teaching/ learning strategies are in alignment with the standards as established by CCNE, and have demonstrated effective outcomes, such as pass rates, completion rates, and faculty qualifications,” said Bailes. “To reach and maintain this level of excellence can only be accomplished with the full commitment and support of the university.” ULM President Ronald Berry offered his congratulations and thanks to the nursing faculty and staff for the accomplishment.

photo by Emerald McIntyre

“The 10-year reaccreditation is a testament to their commitment to excellence, continuous improvement, and to providing our students with an exceptional educational experience. Their dedication to our students and the healthcare profession is what makes the nursing programs at ULM so impactful and successful,” said Berry. Don Simpson, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Health Sciences, said the reaccreditation demonstrates the excellence of the nursing program and the shared work of the entire ULM family. Representatives of CCNE visited campus in spring 2020. The reaccreditation is retroactive from the date of the visit, March 2, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2030. “I am incredibly proud of the faculty, the students, and our community. A team, not individuals, accomplished this full approval and ULM Kitty DeGree School of Nursing has an outstanding team,” Simpson said. Preparing for CCNE visit

Bailes said faculty and staff spent two years preparing for the site visit. “The intense work of writing the selfstudy began the summer of 2019. This document reviews the university, the school, the programs under evaluation, the student body, the faculty body, and the community of interest,” Bailes said. “Sandra Jones was

our writer who spent the summer and fall of 2019 getting the 300-plus page document ready for submission.” Jones and Martha Goodman were cochairs of the curriculum committee, and Amy Kincannon led the assessment and evaluation committee. These committees were responsible for meeting one-half of the standards required by CCNE for nursing programs. “My administrative team of Rhonda Hensley, Sandy Bailey, and Karen Arrant was crucial to the success of this project,” Bailes said. During the exit interview in the spring, CCNE representatives complimented the KDSON leadership, faculty, and the student body. “They were especially impressed at the turnout of the student body when they interviewed them. All four site visitors were complimentary of the professionalism of the nursing students,” Bailes said. “We will continue to excel as we go forward these next 10 years. It is because of the support we receive from our university family and our community, so on behalf of the KDSON administration, faculty, and students, we want to say thank you all for your support,” Bailes said.

profound research being conducted by our distinguished faculty."

Jois is working with proteins from sunflower seeds, modifying them in the laboratory using mini-proteins called peptides to arrest the rapid growth of lung cancer cells. The process is called grafting.


"ULM's faculty and staff continue to do remarkable things to ensure that our research matters, and we remain a relevant force in public health," said John W. Sutherlin, Ph.D., Chief Innovation and Research Officer.

Dr. Seetharama Jois is researching the use of proteins modified from sunflower seeds to possibly arrest the rapid growth of lung cancer cells.


"There are different kinds of lung cancer. I'm specifically looking at non-small cell lung cancer, which affects 85 percent of lung cancer patients," Jois said. Properties of peptide drugs can be beneficial to the body, but the problem, Jois said, is finding a way to deliver the drug.


"If we give the peptide drug orally, it will be digested, and it won't work. We can deliver the drug through IV, and it would work for a short time, but it will eventually get digested as well." The use of the sunflower seed protein provides a stable platform, keeping the peptides from breaking up.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee




he National Institutes of Health awarded $1.65 million to fund cancer research under way by Seetharama Jois, Ph.D., a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Basic Pharmaceutical and Toxicological Sciences at the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Pharmacy. The research is in collaboration with Yong-Yu Liu, M.D., Ph.D., a cancer pharmacologist at the ULM College of Pharmacy, and a lung-cancer researcher from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.


Jois is concentrating on non-small cell lung cancer because "this type of lung cancer is hard to cure, and the survival rate of these patients is poor.” The cancer spreads when affected cells multiply at a rapid rate. The problem with current treatments, Jois said, is that chemotherapy kills healthy cells and cancerous ones. Jois also said available therapeutic agents help only a small number of patients, and they often develop resistance. The grafted sunflower seed protein is being experimented with to see if the chemical interaction that causes cancer to spread can be interrupted. Jois is testing the protein on cancer cells grown in a lab. "We have to make sure it does not kill noncancerous cells," he said. The next step is testing in a model system. "What we are looking for is this: Will it work orally? We will check for the development of resistance, and find new ways to treat non-small cell lung cancer," Jois said. The NIH grant will support research for five years.


Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research LaWanna GilbertBell said, "This is the second R01 awarded by NIH to the university since 2016. This is the highest award possible from the NIH. It reiterates and highlights the

“What we are looking for is this: Will it work orally? We will check for the development of resistance, and find new ways to treat non-small cell lung cancer.”

"I can make the unstable peptide stable through grafting, replacing some of the chemical group of the sunflower seed protein with what I want in the lab," Jois said.



THE YEAR IN FEATHERS 2020 – 2021 26













ayouval Music Festival 2021 debuted Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

The fusion of “bayou” and “festival” hints at the event’s musical menu, which featured the local flavor of Code Blue and the Flatliners with appearances by School of Visual and Performing Arts singers and musicians. Bayouval’s main event was set on the banks of Bayou DeSiard at ULM’s Bayou Pointe Event Center.


Bayouval was sponsored by the ULM Foundation to support scholarships in the School of Visual and Performing Arts in the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences. A Patron Party pre-event reception was held at Bayou Pointe. The ULM Jazz Ensemble provided entertainment at the event, which included food, beverages, and an art show

and sale. VAPA scholarships benefiting from Bayouval Florence Ziegler Allbritton Piano Award: Allbritton joined then-Ouachita Parish Junior College in 1933 and taught piano for 40 years. She retired in 1973 and died in 1999 at age 89. The scholarship was established in honor of her former students. Recipients must be a piano major in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Code Blue and the Flatliners Scholarship: Established by Bishop Johnston and supported by friends and family of this local band of physicians, the scholarship is for full- or parttime students pursuing a degree in music. Past recipients include: Yoddit Esayas, 2015; Noah White, 2016-17; Kody Jernigan, 2018-19; Solomon Abang, 2019-22. Roger Vernon Foss Memorial Music Scholarship: The scholarship was established in memory of Foss by Ecoutez Press, Ltd., his colleagues, and friends. It is for fulltime students in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Foss was the husband of the late Barbara Ann Foss, a nursing instructor and later director of the School of Nursing.

Past recipients include: Sunil Dangol, 201819; Nishant Shresta 20218-20; and Elijah Thomas, 2020-22. Clara Frieberg Memorial Fund: After fleeing Germany with her mother in 1939, Frieberg came to Monroe to live with her sister, Helene Marx. Born and reared in Germany, Friedberg studied piano under European masters. She shared her musical knowledge and skills as a private piano teacher for many years. Her sister established the fund to assist students studying piano in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Nathaniel Medlin received a scholarship from the fund in 2014-15. Franky Russell Endowed Memorial Jazz Ensemble Scholarship: Mary Freddie Roberts Russell established the scholarship in 1997 in memory of her son. The scholarship requires students to be enrolled in Jazz Ensemble and show talent in jazz improvisation. Past recipients include: Joshua Love and Stephen Taylor, 2014-15; Siripong Saetieo, 2015; Mason Howard, 2017; Delton Dickson and Kody Jernigan, 2018-19; Noah White, 2019; Solomon Abang, 2020-22; and Michael Rivera, 2021-22.



photos by Siddharth Gaulee


Bishop Johnson (third from left) and his family celebrate when he was named an honorary member of Code Blue and the Flatliners. Bayouval began at 3:30 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting naming the newly renovated band room the Jack & Coralie White Rehearsal Room in the Sound of Today Band Building at University Avenue and Mitchell Street. Jack White was ULM Director of Bands Emeritus. He died at age 84 in August 2020. Known as the person who named ULM’s Sound of Today Marching Band, White joined the university in 1970. He retired after 21 years of sharing his expertise in music with thousands of students.


photos by Siddharth Gaulee






During the week of its 90th anniversary and the investiture of its ninth president, the University of Louisiana Monroe took part in a service project aimed at improving literacy in third-grade classrooms across Ouachita Parish. This project provided over $1 million in future scholarships to area third-graders. It encouraged them to "Take Flight Through Reading" since having strong literacy skills in elementary school directly relates to high school graduation rates and the pursuit of higher education. “There’s a Bridge on the Bayou”


Gov. John Bel Edwards was presented with a copy of "There's a Bridge on the Bayou" on an October visit to the university. Pictured, from left, are President Ron Berry, book illustrator ULM Executive Creative Director Srdjan Marjanovic, Edwards, and book author ULM Foundation Development Officer Cindy G. Foust.

In collaboration with the United Way of Northeast Louisiana, ULM produced an original book, “There’s a Bridge on the Bayou,” authored by Cindy G. Foust of the ULM Foundation and illustrated by Srdjan Marjanovic, Executive Creative Director for the Office of Marketing and Communications.



(Above) First Lady Dr. Christine Berry reads "There's a Bridge on the Bayou" to Monroe City Schools third-graders on the front steps of Bon Aire.


(Below) President Ron Berry reads "There's a Bridge on the Bayou" to third-graders on the patio at Bon Aire.

Hundreds of thirdgraders from Monroe City Schools visited ULM on Sept. 29, where President Berry, his wife Dr. Christine Berry, and university volunteers read “There’s a Bridge on the Bayou” to the children and presented each one a book to keep. photos by Siddharth Gaulee

as long as they continue to dream. Hundreds of third-graders from Monroe City Schools visited ULM on Sept. 29, where President Berry, his wife Dr. Christine Berry, and university volunteers read “There’s a Bridge on the Bayou” to the children and presented each one a book to keep.


The book's main character is President Ron Berry, who tells the story about how education and the University of Louisiana Monroe chang ed his life. During Investiture Week, the book was given to more than 2,000 third-graders to inspire hope in the belief that students can do and become whatever they set their minds to,


ULM Warhawks Softball show third-graders how to be Talons Out! From left are, Ashlan Ard, Kennedy Page, Jacelyn Buck, Adrianna Chavarria, Korie Kreps, and Kinsey Kackley.


Printed on the book's first page is a "2031 Centennial Scholarship" for $500. The 2021 third-graders who keep their books can present them and receive the scholarship when they join the ULM freshman class of 2031, which also marks ULM's 100th anniversary. Over 100 volunteers visited third-grade classrooms throughout the parish to read and give the books to students. Why third-graders?

Data shows that students are four times more likely to drop out of school if they cannot read proficiently by the fourth grade. In October, the Louisiana Department of Education announced $40 million would be invested in literacy, especially in early childhood education. Current research suggests that over half of Louisiana students in grades K-3 are performing below grade level, with test performance scores dropping for three consecutive years.


(Above) Dr. Pamela Higgins Saulsberry, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, reads to young students in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Thankfully, this same research offers a solution; however, it requires two things: students who are motivated to learn and well-trained teachers. ULM is committed to assisting in achieving both of these goals, and it is out of this desire that "Take Flight Through Reading" was born.

(Above) Monroe City Schools third-graders were treated to a day at ULM to "Take Flight Through Reading." (Left) ULM Baseball Head Coach Mike Federico answers a question from a visiting student about "There's a Bridge on the Bayou." (Below) President Ron Berry and Dr. Christine Berry welcome Monroe City Schools third-graders to Bon Aire.

www.ulm.edu photos by Siddharth Gaulee






nnovation, fostered in a culture of expanding ideas and pushing established boundaries, leads to the changes in business, healthcare, and technology which propel society past the normal and into the incredible. To encourage students to develop their innovative ideas, the university, with a key partner, announced the Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup. ULM developed the Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup business competition with sponsor Dhu C. Thompson, a ULM alumnus and founder and retired CEO of Delta Plastics. Thompson is providing $50,000 in prize money to be presented to students and faculty advisers for first place ($25,000), second place ($15,000), third place ($10,000), elevator pitch ($2,000), and $3,000 to faculty for first, second and third places.

“I want to bring the vision here (ULM)

The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup is a realworld entrepreneur education opportunity for college students. Whether they are serious about launching a startup or they want to learn more about entrepreneurship, competitors will gain a greater appreciation of the challenges and opportunities of starting a viable business. Thompson said participation in the Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup would provide students with more than experience; it will show them that by putting your ideas on the line and backing them with solid planning, people will notice. “You’ve heard the old adage; it’s not personal, it’s just business. Let me tell you what, that is a wrong statement. Business is personal. You know why? Because it is your values, your ethics, your relationships with people. When people realize who you are, and you’re goalsoriented, and how you perform, it brings in

– DHU THOMPSON those like-minded people. That experience is phenomenal,” Thompson said. The 2022 competition is open to all ULM and VCOM students, with future competitions open to all colleges and universities in Louisiana. The website ulm.edu/pelicancup provides more information about how to enter the Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup. There is no cost to enter the competition. Teams are not required to launch their businesses to compete. Students and their faculty advisers are rewarded for the rigorous work accomplished throughout all phases of the competition. Thompson is founder, past owner, and former chairman of the board for Delta Plastics, producer of agricultural irrigation tubing, and the largest recycler of plastics in Arkansas. He is also the former owner and past chairman of the board for Revolution Bag that manufactures EPA-compliant trashcan liners. Thompson’s honors include 2004 Arkansas Business Executive of the Year and SBA Person of the Year. In 2019 he sold the Revolution brands to a New York private equity firm and now focuses on entrepreneurship growth in Arkansas and Louisiana.


Thompson was inspired by the success of the Arkansas Governor’s Cup, which started more than 20 years ago. The Arkansas college business-plan competition leaders – Arkansas Capitol and the University of Arkansas – shared their “playbook” with Thompson.

and take the state of Louisiana. Everything moving forward is going to be significant. It is a lot of hard work, but it is going to pay off,” Thompson said at a press conference on Oct. 22 to announce the competition. “We’re going to grab this torch and move forward and make some pretty special things happen.”




photo by Siddharth Gaulee

Announcing the Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup at a press conference were, from left, alumnus and sponsor Dhu Thompson, College of Business and Social Sciences Dean Dr. Michelle McEacharn, ULM Foundation Development Officer Dr. Morgan P. Morgan, Director of External Initiatives Cathi Hemed and President Ron Berry.

“You’ve heard the old adage; it’s not personal, it’s just business. Let me tell you what, that is a wrong statement. Business is personal. You know why? Because it is your values, your ethics, your relationships with people. When people realize who you are, and you’re goals-oriented, and how you perform, it brings in are those like-minded people. That experience is phenomenal.”







hanks to donors' generosity and the Louisiana Board of Regents, the University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation announces $1.5 million in a new endowed chair, new professorships, and scholarships.

many of our students face, it is imperative that we focus our attention on our students and their success; thus, we live and work by our college motto of being 'student-centered and excellence-driven,'" said Berry.

and then implement the solutions, with an eye for making the solutions sustainable for the future by producing the next generation of educators steeped in successful pedagogy and practices."


First Generation Scholarships Sally Liew and Kevin Koh First Generation Scholarship benefits two first-generation students each year – one in Elementary or Secondary Education with a preference given to those who have an interest in pursuing an advanced degree in Special Education (Early Intervention) and the second, a student pursuing an undergraduate degree in finance with a preference given to those who have an interest in pursuing a career in the banking industry. Sally is a ULM finance and Master of Education graduate specializing in special education. Kevin is a ULM finance graduate and president of BancorpSouth Louisiana Region.


The Lenora Francois Stewart & Dr. David W. Stewart Endowed Professorship focuses on an interdisciplinary distinction between marketing and psychology for a faculty member specializing in consumer behavior marketing. "Lenora and I are pleased to be able to give back to ULM. The foundations that ULM provided were critical to the subsequent success I have enjoyed as a professor, consultant, author, and manager/administrator. Teaching and research are activities that have influenced me as both a student and as a professional. I was taught by some remarkable faculty members at NLU and carry their influence even today. Thus, it is fitting that we provide resources to help develop and support the next generation of ULM faculty and through them the next generation of students, teachers, and professionals," Dr. Stewart said.

The Susan D. and William S. Banowsky Chair in Accounting was created through a $600,000 gift from Susan Denmon Banowsky and William Slater Banowsky, Jr., to benefit the Accounting program. President Ron Berry, former Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, said, "Given our Accounting program has already earned a national reputation for CPA passage rates and for earning and maintaining separate accreditation, your gift will allow us to take our program to the next level of success, recognition, and reputation. Our college faculty share a common vision of providing a transformational education for our students. In the region we serve, and the challenges

The Dorothy and Ray Young Family Endowed Professorship – Dorothy Young, a 1967 graduate in Elementary Education, desired to give back to her alma mater by establishing an endowed professorship in education. Dean Dr. John Pratte of the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences shared, "Our faculty are often held back by the availability of resources to make opportunities a reality. The Dorothy and Ray Young Endowed Professorship is exactly the type of resource they need to bring such programs to fruition. Funds from this professorship will be used to research issues in education affecting the region, state, and/or nation, develop viable solutions to the problems raised by these issues,

"Many investors appreciate the opportunity to leverage their investments in ULM with Louisiana Board of Regents Sponsored Programs' matching dollars," said Susan Chappell, Executive Director of ULM Advancement, Foundation, and Alumni Relations. In June 2021, the Board of Regents matching funds totaling $500,000 were added to private contributions, resulting in $1.5 million for the chair, professorships, and scholarships. "The ULM Foundation is grateful for these esteemed donors and their desire to impact higher education at ULM positively," Chappell said. "Endowments last forever. The fruits of these endowments create opportunities that did not exist before."

Ouachita Independent Bank First Generation Scholarship was established by stockholders and friends of Ouachita Independent Bank under the leadership of Clyde White to commemorate the positive impact this bank had on the North Louisiana community before it became BancorpSouth. They desired to preserve the legacy of OIB in a meaningful and lasting way, specifically, an endowed scholarship to benefit first-generation students pursuing a degree in the William D. Hoover School of Accounting, Financial and Information Services or the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management.


Luffey First Generation Scholarship to benefit first-generation students with a preference for student-athletes was established by John Luffey, Jr., a ULM accounting graduate whose family has been significant benefactors of ULM academics and athletics.



$100 MILLION BY 2031




Paths to Educational Excellence Through Giving


n July 1, 2019, the ULM Foundation launched a continuation of the most successful capital campaign in the history of ULM, the SOAR Campaign. SOAR has a new goal of $100 million by Sept. 1, 2031, in celebration of the university’s centennial. The university’s first day of classes was Sept. 28, 1931. Even during the unprecedented challenges in 2020-21, progress towards the $100 million goal is impressive. Through the generosity of ULM supporters, the SOAR Campaign total as of Nov. 4 is $15,715,555. The ULM Advancement team manages fundraising, and every gift that comes to the university and the affiliates is counted towards the overall goal. About SOAR

“Friends, alumni, and the community embrace the university as a life-changer

– Susan Chappell


tudents/Succeed funds private Foundation scholarships

pportunities/Educate is dedicated to innovative academic opportunities for both faculty and students thletics/Achieve supports Warhawks athletic programs

enovations/Build funds are dedicated to the construction of new facilities and renovation of existing facilities such as the Jack and Coralie White Band Rehearsal Room, new Softball Student Learning Center, renovated Baseball Facility Project, and new Lucy Shackleford Center and Kitty DeGree Neuromuscular Lab in the physical therapy program If you are interested in contributing to the SOAR Campaign, contact the ULM Foundation office at 318-342-3636 or foundation@ulm.edu.


SOAR, which stands for Students/Succeed, Opportunities/Educate, Athletics/Achieve, Renovations/Build, is a university-wide capital campaign.

“Friends, alumni, and the community embrace the university as a lifechanger through education. They have generously engaged in helping achieve our mission.”

through education. They have generously engaged in helping achieve our mission,” said Susan Chappell, Executive Director of ULM Advancement, Foundation and Alumni Relations.

photo by Calli Sinclair


The Dr. Alex John, Jr., Endowed Scholarship was funded by the BULM Club of the ULM Alumni Association. Alex John, Jr., Ed.D., (1943-2018) was the first Black dean at ULM. In 1980, John was named Dean of the Office of University Relations.


A $25,000 check was presented to the ULM Foundation on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2021. John was an early champion for diversity and inclusion at ULM. As a faculty member, John advised and encouraged Black students to persevere in their quest for a college education. John joined ULM in 1971 as an instructor in psychology and became a tenured assistant professor. In 1974, he was appointed Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs. John left the university in 1982 and became a successful businessman.


From left, President Ron Berry, Dr. Pamela Higgins Saulsberry, Cedric White, Diana Mahannah-John, Gerald McHenry, Corlice Joseph Mims, Rev. William Gipson, and Dr. Valerie Fields.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee

The ULM Doctor of Physical Therapy program in the College of Health Sciences can offer specialty services in physical therapy and provide clinical education courses for PT practitioners at the Lucy Shackelford Human Movement Center and Kitty DeGree Neuromuscular Lab at ULM.


Lucy Shackelford, Ph.D. (1948-2000) was a professor of Kinesiology at ULM. The Dr. Lucy Shackelford Endowment in Kinesiology provided more than $200,000 for treatment tables, exercise equipment, supplies, and materials for the Lucy Shackelford Human Movement Center. The Kitty DeGree Foundation bequeathed $50,000 for the DPT program in 2019 to create the Kitty DeGree Neuromuscular Lab. In 2020, the program received a state-of-the-art Bertec Station thanks to another generous donation from the foundation of $160,000. The KDF is the university's greatest monetary benefactor. At the Lucy Shackelford Center/Kitty DeGree Neuromuscular Lab are from left, Dean Dr. Don Simpson, Dr. Lisa VanHoose, Dr. Ashanti Jones, Cindy Rogers of KDF, President Ron Berry, and ULM Foundation Executive Director Susan Chappell.


The $100,000 Mary Ellen Soignier Stapleton Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business and Social Sciences was established to honor Mrs. Stapleton, a ULM alumna, and education advocate. Stapleton and her husband Jimmie met as accounting students at ULM. She graduated in 1990. The couple had three children. She died in 2010 at age 41. The Stapletons were strong supporters of the power of education to change lives.


The Stapleton family wrote, "In spite of facing extraordinary challenges with breast cancer, Ellen continued to have unwavering courage and faith. She enjoyed helping with various groups and encouraging others at school, church, work, or home."


Friends and family gathered at Laird Weems Center to celebrate the $100,000 Mary Ellen Soignier Stapleton Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business and Social Sciences on June 26, 2021.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee

Christopher Gissendanner, Ph.D., and Sharon Meyer, Ph.D., received $100,000 endowed professorships from the University of Louisiana System Foundation and Willis-Knighton Health System.

Gissendanner is School of Sciences Associate Director and Professor of Biology in the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences. Meyer is a Professor in the School of Basic Pharmaceutical and Toxicological Sciences in the College of Pharmacy. Willis-Knighton invested $120,000, and the ULS Foundation contributed $80,000 in matching funds for the professorships.



Gissendanner was named Professor of Biology, and Meyer was named Professor of Toxicology.


Pictured, from left, UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson, Dr. Sharon Meyer, Dr. Christopher Gissendanner, President Ron Berry and Claire Rebouche of Willis-Knighton. photo by Siddharth Gaulee

The ULM School of Construction Management, College of Business and Social Sciences, received $250,000 from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors and Contractors' Educational Trust Fund.


The LSLBC has donated $1,142,000 and CETF has given $400,000 plus funded a $1 million endowed chair to the SCM. SCM Director Ed Brayton, Ph.D., said the school's progress is thanks to the two organizations. "We have spent that $1.4 million. This year we're looking at doing a pre-engineering building," Brayton said. "We have been able to do what we've done because of these private funds. We have really turned this program around because of them."

Pictured are, from left, back row, Sen. Glen Womack, Andy Dupuy, Garland Meredith, and President Ron Berry, and front, Dr. Ed Brayton, Dean Dr. Michelle McEacharn, and Vic Weston.


photo by Siddharth Gaulee

The Louisiana Cancer Foundation added another $10,000 for the continuing breast cancer research by Paul Sylvester, Ph.D., of the ULM College of Pharmacy. Since 2005, LCF has contributed $137,500 to Sylvester's research. Sylvester is Associate Dean of Research and Pfizer, Inc. B.J. Robison Endowed Professor of Pharmacology. He is examining anti-breast cancer effects of tocotrienols, a rare natural form of vitamin E.


Louisiana Cancer Foundation donated $10,000 for research by Dr. Paul Sylvester of the College of Pharmacy. From left are, President Ron Berry, Donna Jackson and James Adams of LCF, Sylvester, and Dean Dr. Glenn Anderson.


"With the support of the Louisiana Cancer Foundation, our laboratory has been able to conduct seminal research regarding the anticancer effects of tocotrienol, with the goal of developing tocotrienol-based therapies that can be used in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer in women," Sylvester said.








coach in college," Bowden said before the Berry-Bowden Roadshow stop at the Petroleum Club in Shreveport on May 25, 2021. "Especially at the Division I level, you've got to be able to go out and sell your program." As curious ULM supporters filed in for the meet-and-greet with Bowden and President Ron Berry, it didn't take them long to interact with their new football coach. Bowden breezed from table to table and weaved tales of his career, his famous football family, and his grand plans for his latest renovation project. "There's an interest in college football and there's a buzz around town," Bowden said. "That's not hard to see. We've got a very receptive audience here, a hungry crowd. Whether that's because I've got some name recognition or they're hoping upon hope that we can make that move up to being a successful program, I think the university has an opportunity here that is very big." photo by Siddharth Gaulee

“There's an interest in college football and there's a buzz around town.” www.ulm.edu



ore than an hour before taking his turn as one of the featured speakers at an alumni-outreach event, the servant coach helps decorate tables. Terry Bowden knows his duties as the head football coach at ULM never end. No job is beneath him. Need flower arrangements and glasses bearing his likeness set out? He's your guy. Need someone to shake hands and preach the gospel of ULM football? He's the guy. Need a storyteller who can sit down with local reporters and fill their recording devices? Bowden is definitely the guy. "There are some things that are required by the job if you're going to be a head football

ULM product and Shreveport native Tim Brando, a nationally recognized broadcaster who can match Bowden for high energy speeches, is optimistic about the synergy he sees developing at the university. "I believe, with Dr. Berry's prowess on the academic side and Terry's acumen and history on the athletic side, we're going to see impact that resonates beyond football," Brando said. Berry accepted the daunting task of speaking between Brando and Bowden, but ULM's ninth president delivered a strong message on this leg of the Roadshow. "What makes me get up in the morning, what drives me to work late at night and early in the morning is every student that comes on our campus," Berry said. "If you look around the room, you see success. You see people who've been there and done that.



Below, Lisa Miller, Vice President of Enrollment Management and University Relations shares her ULM spirit at the Roadshow.

“What makes me get up in the morning, what drives me to work late at night and early in the morning is every student that comes on our campus.”

You see people who came to ULM with an idea, a dream, looking for an opportunity and something in life." "If you think about where ULM is located and the high poverty rate in all those rural areas, and you think about the challenges in our public education system, how could you not say that ULM must do its part to create opportunities for every student that walks through our doors." By hiring Bowden, Berry aimed to provide better opportunities for the football studentathletes too. The team is coming off a winless season and finding a coach to help refresh its brand was one of his first tasks. "Here is the famous Bowden family and we've got him here at ULM," Berry said. "He's going to do amazing things for us." With spring football practice behind him, Bowden can spend more time on external relations. He knows how to work a room and doesn't need a whistle to command attention. "This is the sixth program I've taken over as a head football coach and you want to get involved with the community," Bowden said. "You want to get behind the community and you want them to feel like you're part of the community."


– PRESIDENT RON BERRY photo by Siddharth Gaulee


photos by Ty Hundley

Enjoying the Shreveport Roadshow were, from left, former ULM President Jim Cofer, Lynette Pierce, J.P. Pierce, ULM Head Coach Terry Bowden, Dr. Christine Berry, President Ron Berry and Deborah Cofer.



BERRY-BOWDEN ROADSHOW (Above) The Berry-Bowden Roadshow went to Shreveport, Dallas, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and wrapped up at The Pursuit at Bayou Pointe. (Left) Visiting at the Berry-Bowden Roadshow in Baton Rouge are, from left, President Ron Berry, former state Sen. Ronnie Jones, Warhawks women's basketball Head Coach Brooks Williams, state Sen. Katrina Jackson and ULM Athletics Director Scott McDonald. (Above right) Warhawks Football Head Coach Terry Bowden entertains a crowd at one of the Berry-Bowden Roadshows.


(Right) Jo and Charles McDonald among the ULM supporters attending The Pursuit and Final BerryBowden Road Show at Bayou Pointe.




Bowden is settling into the local scene, exploring what it has to offer. He bought a house, found a church, and discovered a few fishing holes to wet a hook when time allows. He likes to get up early for long walks, lift weights, and read before attacking each day like a pit bull on Red Bull. photos by Siddharth Gaulee

“So let's go out and support our program like every other team in the conference.” – TERRY BOWDEN

"I'm 65," he said. "I can honestly say, I'm not looking for another job. I'm looking to try to build this one and have a legacy as opposed to going out the back door like so many have here the last 27 years." Near the end of his talk, Bowden made a final sales pitch and asked the group if it's OK if ULM shoots for third or fourth in the conference. Someone blurted, "We want to win it!"


The seasoned fisherman cast his line and now he can set his hook, "You're dadgum right we want to win the conference," he said, voice rising. "So let's go out and support our program like every other team in the conference. You clapped at that. So now, let's go support and put our money where our mouth is. It doesn't happen any other way. I'm not asking you to give a million dollars. Buy season tickets and tell your friends to buy season tickets. That's where it starts."











Are we going to fight to win this program, or are we just going to quit, shrug our shoulders and say, ‘Well, that’s it?’”

photo by Siddharth Gaulee

“There’s a point in time when you will have to ask yourself, ‘Are you going to stand

Fighting to resurrect a program is nothing new to Bowden. In 1983, he inherited a team at Salem University in West Virginia that did not win a single game the year prior. During his first season, the Salem Tigers fought hard for three victories. Following his inaugural year, Bowden led the team to back-to-back eight-win seasons.


That’s the question University of Louisiana Monroe Football Head Coach Terry Bowden is not only posing to his team but also the Northeast Louisiana community at large. He was hired in December 2020 to turn around a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2012, and the challenge excites him.

and fight for what you believe in, or are you going to quit and give up?’ We’re going to figure out what kind of people we are when it comes to facing adversity,” Bowden said.




“We have the opportunity at ULM to combine academic success with the character building of football. I want my players to be able to say, ‘I’m a better man because I went to ULM.'" – TERRY BOWDEN www.ulm.edu


He’s ready to fight for his beliefs. “It will be a battle each week, but we’ve gotten a taste of where we want to go. There’s not a doubt that’s where everybody wants to go,” he said. A lifetime on college campuses

He’s coached at colleges with less than a thousand students (Salem), a few thousand students (Samford and North Alabama), and tens of thousands of students (Auburn and Akron). Bowden knows the right size university when he sees it. “People say, ‘ULM only has 9,000 students.’ Well, so does Notre Dame,” he said. “This school is just big enough to have everything you need, from curriculum to an academic support system to a social life. But it’s small enough that students get individualized attention.” Bowden not only thinks ULM is the right size for student-athletes but also knows the community is the right size for his family.

In football, momentum is important. Take the Warhawks dominating 29-16 win over Troy University on Sept. 25, 2021. Even though the Trojans were a 24-point favorite, the Warhawks gained momentum after going up 10-0 early in the second quarter. Never trailing, the Warhawks put the game away in the fourth quarter with a team safety and an electrifying pick-six by linebacker Ja’Cquez Williams. Bowden senses momentum within the ULM, Ouachita Parish, and Northeast Louisiana communities. With new leadership in ULM President Ron Berry and fresh ideas in other institutions and entities across the region, Bowden knows that now is the time for the community to win big. “We have the ability to be the best version of us, which is an awful lot to be proud of. All of us are beginning to pull that feeling together. I do sense a real,” he pauses, thinking of the right word, “maybe it’s a movement, maybe it’s an understanding, but I sense that we are really coming together. I think our leadership is very ULM-oriented and community-oriented. We don’t have to go thousands of miles away to find someone that knows what’s best for Monroe.” Learning in the classroom and on the field

Forty miles southeast of the university is Winnsboro, the hometown of Berry. The president often speaks of his modest upbringing in rural Northeast Louisiana and the life-changing opportunity that ULM presents to children living in poverty. Bowden sees that opportunity become a reality in some of his student-athletes. “Take the players I have. They don’t have a computer in their home. They may have parents who work 12-hour shifts every day and get paid on Friday and hope to get to next Friday. I’ve got many students like that,” he said. “We’re in a position to provide a great

Bowden respects his teammates in academia who teach his student-athletes in their classrooms. The professors fulfill the students’ educational needs, preparing them for rewarding careers. And when the players suit up for practice, he knows they still have more to learn. “To me, if we as coaches just teach them how to block and tackle, we haven’t done our job. I want to teach them how to get knocked down and get back up again, to love the person next to you, to care that they trust you and you trust them,” he said. “I want my student-athletes to have a better chance to have a great future — a better chance to be a great father, to be a professional in whatever profession they choose. I want them to know how to act in public, to know how to carry themselves with dignity. I want them to have class so they can represent themselves well, their families well, and their university well. I want a lot of things for my players.” He wants to change the culture and record of his football team, but more than that, he wants to set his individual players up for greatness after graduation. “I think the most important thing we can change is the lives of our players,” he said. “I want to see ULM develop great leaders and great men. They will go out and make a difference in their family and in their profession, and in their community because of their experience here. I want to develop their academic, athletic, spiritual, and social lives so they can go out and be the kind of man that we need men to be.” Bowden believes it takes everyone – students, coaches, professors, alumni, and community members – to take ownership of moving the university forward to change lives. “We have the opportunity at ULM to combine academic success with the character building of football. I want my players to be able to say, ‘I’m a better man because I went to ULM.’”


photo by Siddharth Gaulee

Momentum and movement

education, especially for the lower economic and depressed areas around this university. If we can provide a college education for the 10 parishes around us, what better thing could we do?”


From a young age, Bowden has seen his fair share of colleges. Growing up, his renowned father, the late Bobby Bowden, was just starting his own career, coaching at various universities across the South before accepting his long-tenured and respected job as head coach at Florida State University. The younger Bowden chose to play at West Virginia University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting. A lifelong learner, he later earned a law degree from Florida State, completed post-graduate work at Oxford University in England, and received a master’s degree from Clemson University this past spring.

“I know my colleagues outside of work. We go to church together. We live in the same neighborhood. We know each other,” he said. “We’re plenty big. We have all the things that a student needs, but we’re small enough to provide that in a very personal manner.”


“ULM’s previous records didn’t scare me,” Bowden said, shaking his head. “Your biggest assets are going to be your people and the way your people work together toward one purpose. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the staff, the administration, and the department are committed to having a good, solid football program that matches the overall excellence of the university. It’s important to the university, and it’s important to the community. I think it’s important to all of us to turn this into a successful program. That’s where we’re headed.”







University of Louisiana Monroe President Ron Berry gives his University Address before faculty and staff at University Week in August, before the start of the fall 2021 semester. Afterward, Berry recognized the 11 recipients of the ULM Foundation 2020-21 Awards of Excellence.


resident Ron Berry's goal is to be the "best in the world at 'what' we do" at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

of poverty, and into a better life."

Identifying the university's collective "why" is the blueprint for the "whats" of Berry's developing strategic plan. This will challenge the status quo of decades of economic depression in the northeast corner of Louisiana.

“Think about our students. Our kids need us to be the best in the world at what we do so that we can give them a pathway for themselves and their families. And when we do this, guess what happens to our community? It rises up. So, where do we go from here? We answer our 'why.”

"In the 5th Congressional District, so many people live in poverty with no hope of a better tomorrow," Berry said. "It's time to own who we are, where we are, and do what we must do. It's time to raise our region up, move out


Berry recognized the 11 recipients for 2020-21 during University Week at his University Address.

At Berry's University Address on Aug. 9, just days before the start of the fall 2021 semester, he energized the Warhawk Family to discover the "why" that fuels the "what." "We've done a lot when it comes to, what?" Berry stated, noting enrollment for fall 2021 is in good shape, the university has the best budget in 13 years, raises are in the works for faculty and staff, and the ULM Foundation has set a $100 million goal by 2031." No doubt they are going to reach that mark." "The bigger question is why? Why do we do what we do?" he asked, explaining, "When you know your 'why,' your 'what' has more impact."

Using his own story of growing up in rural Louisiana and becoming the university president as an example, Berry said it is only through education that lives change. The students' lives are changed, and so are the lives of those around them. "Think about our students. Our kids need us to be the best in the world at what we do so that we can give them a pathway for themselves and their families," he said. "And when we do this, guess what happens to our community? It rises up." "So, where do we go from here? We answer our 'why.'" Many of the faculty and staff at ULM already answered the call to their “why” through demonstrating exceptional commitment to the university and the community.


Because of this, each year, the University of Louisiana Foundation presents the Awards for Excellence to faculty and staff who have shown these outstanding characteristics.

ULM Foundation presents Awards of Excellence

SCOT HUMES, D.M.A. Excellence in Creative/Artistic Activity

JOHN CARR, PH.D. Excellence in Research

TODD MURPHY, PH.D. Excellence in Research

KRISTI DAVIS, M.B.A. Excellence by Unclassified Staff

ANTHONY WALKER, PHARM.D. Excellence in Service

NORMA FLANAGAN Excellence by Unclassified Staff

MARCIA WELLS Excellence by Unclassified Staff

JESSICA LASITER, M.H.I.N. Excellence in Creative/ Innovative Works


LEIGH NANNEY HERSEY, PH.D. Excellence in Service

EMAD EL-GIARD, PH.D. Excellence in Teaching


SHANNON BANKS, M.S. Excellence in Teaching


ULM FOUNDATION PRESENTS AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE 2020 SHANNON D. BANKS, M.S. An instructor in the School of Basic Pharmaceutical and Toxicological Sciences in the College of Pharmacy, Shannon D. Banks once sat in the seats his students now occupy when he was a ULM toxicology student. Because of his rapport with students and innovations in the classroom, Banks was awarded the 2020 ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. Banks is also the 2020 winner of the Athletic Foundation Faculty Appreciation Award.

and Vashon Washington Opera Orchestra are all enhanced by his talents. He directs the Northeast Louisiana Clarinet Choir, an ensemble of ULM clarinet students, high school students, professionals, and other musicians. In the process, he recruits potential students for the ULM Music program. “Within the past year, I have received a large number of invitations that have afforded me the opportunity to bring my craft and artistry to venues on a global scale,” Humes said. “For each, I am not only a musical artist but, as faculty, strive to represent ULM as a place to be recognized for its excellence.” TODD MURPHY, PH.D.

Banks said, “I hold all of my students to a high-level expectation of learning. I expect them to not only be able to recall facts and information about course material, but to also be able to apply and evaluate that information in real-life scenarios.”

When Dr. Todd Murphy has his head in the clouds, it’s research. Murphy, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Science, received the 2020 ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Research.

Banks graduated from ULM in toxicology in 1998 and started a career with Eli Lilly & Co. in 1999 as a study monitor and director through 2006. He returned to his alma mater as an instructor in 2007.

He has been awarded 11 grants, valued at $626,491. Murphy has developed a suite of meteorological instruments at ULM, which he manages, including a $3 million polarimetric S-band Doppler weather radar.


The Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony, Rapides Symphony,

ULM funded a truck to mount the lidar system and other weather instruments, which led to the development of a mobile profiling laboratory.

ANTHONY WALKER, PHARM.D. If there’s a health fair in Northeast Louisiana, chances are Dr. Anthony Walker will be there, too. In 2019-20 he participated in five community health fairs, two days of CPR training, Prostate Cancer Awareness 5K Walk/Run, and was a guest speaker at Carroll High School Medical Magnet Program. The Clinical Associate Professor and Pharmaceutical Care Laboratory Manager for the ULM College of Pharmacy’s School of Clinical Sciences provides basic life support instruction to pharmacy students. Walker earned his first B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science, with a second B.S. in Pharmacy, both at ULM. He obtained his Pharm.D. at Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. Walker joined ULM in 1999 as a certified poison information specialist with the Louisiana Poison Control Center and assumed his current duties in 2005. MARCIA WELLS There is a classroom unlike any in the state at the University of Louisiana Monroe's College of Pharmacy campus on Bienville Drive. It is called an active learning classroom. It takes a lot of technology smarts to manage


As an artist, Dr. Scot Humes, Associate Professor of Music in the School of Visual and Performing Arts, is one of ULM’s greatest ambassadors, and that’s why he was named the 2020 winner of the ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Creative/Artistic Activity.

In 2018, thanks to Murphy, a proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a portable Doppler wind lidar. This was ULM’s first successful NSF proposal in approximately 10 years.

ULM is the only university in the country with this collection of atmospheric research instrumentation – a true feat for an undergraduate-only program.


a smart classroom. Marcia Wells, Instructional Technology Manager for Pharmacy, proves every day she is up to the challenge. She’s the 2020 recipient of the ULM Foundation Award for Service by Unclassified Staff.


Every classroom and conference room in Pharmacy is wired with state-of-the-art distant learning technology. Wells not only maintains the equipment but she has been involved in installing it in each room. Wells is responsible for all technology, including the toxicology program on the main campus, and she also services branch campuses in Shreveport and New Orleans. Wells joined ULM in 2005 after a career with State Farm Insurance Cos.



This professor’s tireless preparation, attention to the traditionally underserved students, and great patience have earned him the 2021 ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. Emad El-Giar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry in the School of Sciences, has a world of experience. He has taught in his native countries of Egypt and Sudan, and Canada, and the United States. “I embrace teaching as an opportunity to inspire and empower future scientists, medical doctors, and engineers,” El-Giar said. “I consider a teacher’s primary role is to aid students develop and enhance their skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, group dynamics, and oral as well as written communication.” Much of the students’ success comes from El-Giar’s approach early in a semester. In the first class, he conducts a voluntary placement quiz with some math and general chemistry questions to gauge the abilities of the students. JOHN CARR, PH.D. A lifetime fascination and study of turtles has earned Dr. John Carr the ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Research for 2021. For 15 years, Carr, Professor of Biology in the School of Sciences, has tracked nine species of small and medium-sized turtles in 16 Latin American countries. Since 2005, Carr has traveled to Colombia to help shape a turtle conservation action plan, which expanded to Ecuador.

Carr’s most intensive study, however, occurs nearby. He has participated in distributional surveys of amphibians and reptiles at state wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges in Northeast Louisiana as part of a three-state region. In 2020, he completed five turtle surveys in North Louisiana, resulting in 19 research papers, including 20 different ULM graduate students as authors. He co-authored “Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana: An Identification and Reference Guide” published in 2017. KRISTI DAVIS, M.B.A. The 2021 ULM Foundation Award for Service by Unclassified Staff recipient is Kristi Davis. Davis started at ULM in 2003, earning a Bachelor of Science, then an M.B.A. Since 2009, Davis has served in several business and budgetary roles. She is now Assistant to the Vice President for Business Affairs, Dr. Bill Graves. In 2020, she was named Executive Director of the University of Louisiana Monroe Facilities Inc. At ULM, she chaired the SACSCOC Financial and Physical Resources Committee, has served on the Warhawk Village Project Operations Committee, Women’s Symposium Board, Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Staff Senate, and United Way Campaign. Off-campus, Davis volunteers at North Monroe Baptist Church and a homeless shelter. She serves on the Sterlington Elementary PTO. Davis and her mother partner with Louisiana State Police and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. NORMA FLANAGAN Norma Flanagan, Administrative Coordinator III in the School of Humanities is the 2021 winner of the ULM Foundation Award for Service by Classified Staff.

and unlocking classrooms on the third floor of Walker Hall, assisting faculty, delivering mail, ordering supplies, and much more. “I attribute my strong work ethic to my dad, who always said, ‘Do the job as if you were working for yourself. Take pride in the job you do,’” she said. LEIGH NANNEY HERSEY, PH.D. Dr. Leigh Nanney Hersey is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and MPA Coordinator in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences. For her, volunteerism is a way of life, and she is the winner of the 2021 ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Service. Hersey participates in the Career Center Mentoring Program, Strategic Plan Focus Group, Title IX Ad Hoc Task Force, SACSCOC Steering Committee, Academic Innovation Council and search committees for Athletic Director and Director of Office of Sponsored Projects. She served as a faculty representative for the United Way Campaign for three years. In 2017, she served as a community investment volunteer for the United Way of Northeast Louisiana. Hersey serves on the boards of the Downtown Arts Alliance and the Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana. She is a transport coordinator for Senior Moments Weimaraner canine rescue organization. JESSICA LASITER, M.H.I.N. Jessica Lasiter is the 2021 winner of the ULM Foundation Award for Creative and Innovative Works. Lasiter is Associate Professor and Program Director of Medical Laboratory Science in the School of Allied Health. She holds a master’s in Health Information Management and is a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist. “I am constantly trying to find innovative and creative ways to ‘connect the dots’ and keep the students’ attention,” she said.

Since 2003, Flanagan has worked in Admissions, Graduate School, Education, and now with School of Humanities Director Ruth Smith, Ph.D.

As part of the study of renal physiology, Lasiter has the students mold the anatomy of the kidney with Play-Doh, then use the model to explain renal function.

Flanagan is the person auditing degree sheets for English, History, Communications, and World Languages, updating major changes for four departments, and keeping the CAES Dean’s Office informed on graduating seniors.

Lasiter was tasked with planning social events for the Bi-State MLS Conference as chair of the meeting. She worked with VAPA to create an “MLS Murder is Served” event.

She’s supervising student workers, answering phones, receiving visitors, locking


ULM Foundation presents Awards of Excellence

These are just a few of the innovations employed by Lasiter, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Louisiana Tech before joining ULM in 2010.




Order a ULM Commemorative Brick today! Leave your legacy and become a part of ULM forever! The University of Louisiana Monroe invites you to add your personal touch to the Scott Plaza Fountain. Purchase your Commemorative ULM Brick to: ALUMNI CLASS NOTES

CELEBRATE commencements or other milestones HONOR a family member or influential person in your life CREATE a meaningful message for future generations of students, educators and leaders A Commemorative ULM Brick will inspire others to leave their legacy at Scott Plaza. Your brick purchase is 100% tax-deductible! All brick sales are available to the public.

700 University Avenue, Monroe, LA 71209

SCAN* & ORDER! For your convenience, purchases can be made online: ulm.edu/brick


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1981/1983 ULMMAGAZINE FALL 2021

Dr. Cheryl Weems Harding, CEO of James L. West Center, brought a new technology to the center after researching the benefits of UV rays since the onset of COVID-19. The center's six new infection prevention protocols have positioned the James L. West Center for Dementia Care as the only healthcare center in the entire United States to offer the multifaceted and exclusive multi-level UV ray infection prevention program.


Tami Rolen-Tharp is a business adviser with Gallagher Benefit Services. Tami guides a team to design, implement and manage a cost-effective benefits program to reduce costs, improve workforce productivity, educate employees, mitigate risk and help attract, retain and develop top talent. She helps optimize one of a companies' largest expenses – healthcare benefits; while making sure the employee benefits strategy aligns with the client's business goals. Tami was ranked as the top 12 producers in Gallagher Gulf States at the 2021 GBS Awards Meeting held on March 11, 2021



David Coleman (Health & Phys. Ed.) lives in Bossier City with his wife of 23 years, Sara Gremillion Coleman. They have a 10-year-old Golden Retriever named Cayenne. David has been working for the VA Hospital for 10 years. For the last four-and-a-half years, David has been a state director for Louisiana's Veterans Golf Association. The program gets together military veterans like himself (Gulf War) who love to play golf and share camaraderie and golf competition. David organizes, runs the events, and plays all over the state almost every weekend. They have close to 10,000 members nationwide. David is a PGA Golf Professional in the Gulf States PGA Section, which is Louisiana and Mississippi. This year, he was nominated by fellow PGA members for the Patriot Award for exceptional performance and commitment to promoting the game of golf to the nation's military and veterans. Recently, David was notified he won the award for his PGA Section and will also be nominated for the national award. David will accept the award in December at their final PGA event of the year.


Dr. Jeremy Muse (Liberal Arts) was named the 2022 Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year.


Shawna Rodrigues is the author of "Beyond the Pear Blossoms," released in December 2020. It reached International Best Seller status in February 2021 across seven categories in the U.S., U.K., and Australia (top 10) and an additional nine categories in the U.S. and U.K. by Amazon's standards (top 100).


James (Bobby) Skeen (B.S. Agribusiness '00) since 2015 has been the executive vice president for the Louisiana Cotton & Grain Association based in Monroe. The LCGA is an agricultural trade

organization charged with promoting and representing the interests of Louisiana cotton and grain farmers on the local, state, and national levels. He is very proud of his university and loves the direction it is going. He remains involved in the university and helps the agricultural program to prepare its students for success upon graduation.


Jake Nabholz is regional president and will become CEO effective Jan. 1, 2022, of Nabholz Construction Services.


and ULM for three years.


Ash Aulds (B.A., M.B.A.) lives in El Dorado, AR, with his wife, Sarah Book Aulds (B.A. '15, M.A. '17), and one child, Avery, 3, with another on the way. Ash is currently working as a senior manager, Marketing & Merchandise Analytics at Murphy USA's corporate headquarters. He was recently elected president of the ULM Alumni Association and is looking forward to serving the association and its members.


John (B.A. History '11) and Allison Davis (B.S. Education '08, M.Ed. Educational Leadership '11) are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter Emma Catherine Davis on Sept. 15, 2021.

Katy Thomas (B.S. Elementary Education, M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction) has recently accepted a job at Alliance Academy International and moved to Quito, Ecuador. She is a fourth-grade missionary teacher.

Sarah Warren, Argent Financial Group Marketing Chief, was named Young Business Leader of the Year by Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

Chelsea Velduize (B.S. Biology '17) is a member of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2024.


Ashley Wallis Landry, M.B.A., CSBI, SOLC, (B.A. Management '10, M.B.A. '12) has been appointed the Vice President of Clinical Services at Open Health Care Health System in Baton Rouge. Ms. Landry is a native of Baton Rouge. She was a fouryear letterman in women's basketball. She has over 10 years of experience in healthcare administration and serves as a change agent in this industry. Her platform has allowed her to share the positive impact ULM has had on her healthcare career, and how the professors, administrators, and coaches shaped her into the healthcare professional she is today.


Rebecca Hamm, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(CT), (BS Radiologic Technology '13, M.Ed. Instructional Technology '14) received tenure and was promoted to Assistant Professor of Radiologic Technology at ULM in September 2021. She was featured on the cover of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) newsletter, the ASRT Scanner, in the April/ May 2021 issue. Rebecca is currently serving as the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists president. She was awarded the Bob Cassling Memorial Scholarship from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists with $4,000 to complete her doctoral degree. She is in the Educational Doctorate program at Louisiana Tech University, with graduation projected for 2023. Rebecca published the peer-reviewed article in a national journal, "Acute Pancreatitis: Causation, Diagnosis, and Classification Using Computed Tomography" in November 2021. Since the beginning of 2020, she has written three other peer-reviewed articles and five columns for national publication. In 2021, Rebecca was asked to serve as a site visitor for the national accreditation agency JRCERT. She started the first Lambda Nu National Honor Society for Radiologic and Imaging Sciences chapter at ULM in 2018. Rebecca has been a presenter at several state conferences and a professional mentor through ASRT



Medria Buford (B.A. General Studies '18) married Lester D. Buford, Jr., in the midst of the pandemic on Jun. 26, 2021.


Arianna Smith (Health Studies Marketing and Management '19) was named an outreach coordinator of a nonprofit healthcare organization serving southeast Louisiana at the beginning of the pandemic. Arianna was given multiple leadership positions in the organization and was recognized as the weekly Healthcare Hero for her assistance in COVID-19 testing. She became engaged, had an article published by the Louisiana Primary Care Association about school-based health centers, and was accepted into LSU's School of Social Work in summer 2021. She is thankful for the help from professors at ULM and misses her home on the bayou every day. Millicent McFarland (B.S. Kinesiology '19) is a doctoral student at Florida A&M University in physical therapy and will graduate in 2023.


Erick D. Burton (B.B.A. '21) was recently appointed an Enrollment Services Specialist in the ULM Office of Recruitment. Burton is a Vidalia native. As a student, he was a member of the Campus Activities Board and served as a committee head for three years. He brought best-selling authors to campus, spearheaded Homecoming 2019 and Casino Night 2021. As one of the founders and president of the Cultural Diversity Council, Burton sought to educate the ULM community on the cultures and ethnicities of its members, increase awareness of injustices and inequalities, fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion for all, and find ways to impact the ULM campus and the greater community as a whole through shared visioning. Robert Scott Foust (B.A. General Studies/ Business Administration '21) has recently accepted a position as an accounting executive at Arthur J. Gallagher.



AT-LARGE VICE PRESIDENTS DeAndre Alexander ('08 BGS) Keith Beard (BA ‘84) Monica Butler (BBA ’05, MA ‘08) DeJaneiro Davis (BBA '99, MAT '13, M.Ed. '18) Lacy L. Durham (BBA ‘01) Dakota Hawkins (BA ‘15)

DECEMBER 2020 Michael R. Bautner Mary M. Byargeon Ruthie Sampson JANUARY 2021 Alma Sewell FEBRUARY 2021 Nadine S. Johnston Kay T. Fisher Debra K. Newman MAY 2021 Sharon K. Hargrove Paul Karlowitz Jerry Mack Madden Donna A. Rhorer Elizabeth C. Stammerjohan Cindy S. Strickler Stanley G. Williamson

Jo Luebkeman

Barbara Lassiter

James Pierce

Pamela Bacon

Kenneth Hart

Florence Peters

Kathryn Thompson

Amaryles Williams

J. Cruse

Thomas Dansby

Mary Carter

Rebecca Henson

Richard James

Raymond Frost

Joe Stewart

Jack Ray

Paul Draper

Glenda Johnston

Carolyn Files

Henry Bateman

Carole Horton

Carson Linton

Art Yum

Michael Napoli

Mary Lambert

Fay Thurman

William Keene

Lee Adair

David McMillan

Jessie Conville

Larry Bailey

Carolyn Head

Julia Becton

Rodney Hatfield

Jeanne McCabe

James Vanderhoeven

Susanne Landry

Steven Plauche

Elizabeth Shaw

Laddie Woods

Randy Reynolds

Billy Burns

Doris Guillot

Mike Wilson

Chester Daigle

Aaron Morris

Mahmoud Hassan

Sarah Taylor

Kim Smalling

Bettye Dunn

Maxine Bryan

D. Bishop

Alice Hammett

Charles Thacker

William Aycock

Margie Wilhite


Jennifer Ables (BA '97, MS '99)

NOVEMBER 2020 Helen M. Johnson




PRESIDENT Ash Aulds (BS ‘14, MBA ‘15)


David McMillan photo provided by Special Collections & Archives

JULY 2021 Teresa G. Gadberry Rita P. Massey

Dr. Toni Lowe (BBA ’00) Mary Linda McCann (BBA ’91, MBA ’98) Shawn McCoy ('85 BBA, MBA '87) Spencer Moore (BA ‘12) Wally Mulhearn (BS '85) Kyle Russell (BBA '85) Thad Schaeffer (Alumni by Choice) David Smith (BS ‘83) Robert Wright (BA ’12, MA ’20)

Complete bios are available at alumni.ulm.edu/page/board

AUGUST 2021 Ava F. Pugh Dorothy J. Carter

UNIVERSITY MOURNS LOSS OF DEAN EMERITUS VAN MCGRAW, PH.D. The University of Louisiana Monroe mourned the passing of Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus Van McGraw, Ph.D., of Monroe, who died on Jan. 21, 2021. For more than 35 years, McGraw's insight and expertise shaped the university's business programs into the award-winning College of Business and Social Sciences.

McGraw returned to ULM in 1964, and for the next 12 years, served as Professor of Management and head of the Department of

McGraw retired from administration in 1989 to focus on teaching. He served as Director of the Business Cooperative Education Program until 1991 and continued teaching as Professor of Management until 1996. He was named Professor Emeritus of Management and Dean Emeritus in 1991. Contributions may be made to the Dean Van McGraw Endowed Scholarship online at https://webservices.ulm.edu/webforms/form/ form-giving.


McGraw joined then-Northeast Louisiana Junior College in 1959 as instructor of Business Administration. From 1962-64, he took sabbatical leave and earned his doctorate in Business Administration at LSU.

Management and Marketing. From 1976-89, McGraw was Professor of Management and Dean of the College of Business Administration. From 1989-1996, he continued as Professor of Management and was Director of the Internship Program.

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