by Adam Lord
The LSUA Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary! The Foundation’s mission is to build philanthropy, advocacy, and support for educational excellence at LSUA.
With a vision of advancing LSUA to be a nationally recognized University for lifelong student success, the LSUA Foundation has worked tirelessly toward this end since 1992. That first decade saw the development of the Educational Challenge Fund and the establishment of the LSUA Child Care Center.
In the early 2000s, the Foundation took enormous strides toward its current footprint in Central Louisiana. In 2003, the LSUA Alumni and Friends Association was established as the premiere opportunity for engaging graduates and community supporters. In 2006, the Foundation acquired the Alexandria Museum of Art. An affiliated entity of the LSUA Foundation, the Alexandria Museum of Art, provides a state-of-the-art facility for exhibiting the work of regional, national, and international artists. While the museum’s core mission involves providing opportunities for cultural enrichment to the Central Louisiana community, it also contributes in substantial ways to the academic programs and activities of Louisiana State University at Alexandria (LSUA). Additionally, The Oaks, LSUA’s on-campus student housing option, opened in 2007 as a project of the Foundation.
Over the next decade, the Foundation focussed on a series of fundraising efforts and direct contributions to the advancement of LSUA. Thanks to the Mulder Charitable Trust, the Foundation received its largest gift ever at $6.2 million in 2013. This gift continues to provide support for student scholarships and faculty endowments. In 2014, the Foundation received over $3 million from the John and Anne McCann Estate, funding scholarships and faculty resources to date.
With support from the Foundation, in 2014, the university undertook efforts to update the campus master plan, create a recruitment call center, and refurbish an existing house on campus for use as the Foundation office. A major addition to the reach of the Foundation came later that year with the addition of the Generals Athletic Association (GAA). The GAA was created to serve the NAIA athletic teams as the non-profit association vested in fundraising to support LSUA teams and athletes. Additionally, between 2015 and 2017, the Foundation funded multiple initiatives at LSUA including the construction of the ICON Corner and renovations to the Coughlin Hall auditorium.
Since 2019, the Foundation has spearheaded the bold “Fierce for LSUA” capital campaign aimed at creating a private funding match for the new Student Success Center made possible by a partnership with the State of Louisiana. This effort has netted over $5 million to date, including a major $2 million gift from RoyOMartin.
“Academic excellence, student success, and faculty development have been at the forefront of our fundraising efforts over the last 30 years,” said Stephen F. Wright, LSUA Foundation Board Chair. “Our Board of Directors is consistently working with donors to create opportunities that impact the lives of our students and faculty to support LSUA as one of the fastest growing universities in Louisiana.”
Kelly Pepper, LSUA Foundation President, added, “We want to thank our donors for their contributions, allowing the LSUA Foundation, in partnership with LSUA, to support critical mission-driven decisions. While a lot has changed over the last 30 years, our constant is that we are dedicated to building philanthropy and support for LSUA.”
The work of the LSUA Foundation is invaluable to the success of LSUA’s mission to provide students with the education, skills, development, and other resources needed to establish the foundation for their future success.
Pictured: Back Row (L to R): Ben Luke, Blake Chatelain, Michael Crowell, Mark Brown, Kelly Pepper, Lawrence Searcy, Daryl Deshotel, Trish Leleux, Bill Fontenot; Front Row (L to R): Charlie Weems, Paul Coreil, Glenda Stock Smith, Stephen Wright, Aloysia Ducote, Nell Shehee.
Board members not pictured: Jason Cobb, Kyle Downs Weems, Chris Karam, Spencer Martin, Deborah Randolph, Dr. Robert Freedman
Photo credit – Nathan Parish