LONG PURPLE LINE
The university has honored outstanding former students since 1990 with induction into its Hall of Distinction, or Long Purple Line. The noteworthy achievements of those alumni reflect the success and accomplishments of countless others across the nation and world who prepared for lives and careers at NSU.
Additional information can be obtained from Drake Owens, Assistant VP of External Affairs, 318-357-4414 or email@example.com.
Artists: Timothy Murchison, Timothy Burkett
William J. “Bill” Dodd
William J. “Bill” Dodd served the state of Louisiana as a state representative, lieutenant governor, state auditor and superintendent of public education. Dodd was also a teacher, attorney, lecturer and author. He was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.
Dr. Carolyn Leach Huntoon
Dr. Carolyn Leach Huntoon served as the Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Agency Representative at the White House in the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy. She received NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and an award from the USSR Federation of Cosmonautics.
Ora G. Williams
Ora G. Williams served Northwestern for eight years as librarian and 15 years as an Assistant Professor of English. She introduced the teaching of English through the use of closed-circuit television. Williams was a distinguished lecturer and writer of many articles and books on local history. She was also well known for editing “Plantation Memo” written by Francois Mignon.
Mary Evelyn Parker
Mary Evelyn Parker was State Treasurer for five terms. She served as Louisiana Commissioner of Administration, Commissioner of Public Welfare and Executive Director of the Louisiana Department of Commerce and Industry. Parker was Chairman of the State Board of Welfare and Personnel Administrator in the War Department.
Dr. Murphy P. Rogers
Dr. Murphy P. Rogers was one of the pioneers of modern education in Louisiana. He was State Supervisor of Elementary Schools and was later Director of College Curricula for the State Department of Education. He returned to Northwestern as Dean. Rogers assisted generations of Northwestern students by contributing more than $120,000 for the establishment of scholarships.
Maj. Gen. Erbon W. Wise
Maj. Gen. Erbon W. Wise was an author and publisher of several weekly and daily newspapers in Louisiana and Texas. He served 27 years in the U.S. Army Air Force, the U.S. Selective Service System, U.S. Army Reserves and the Louisiana National Guard. Wise was Adjutant General and State Director of the Selective Service System, Civil Defense and the Office of Emergency Preparedness. Wise and his wife Marie set up the first endowed chair at Northwestern.
Thelma Kyser was a pioneer in the development of physical education programs for women in Louisiana. She served on the State Normal College faculty and was instrumental in getting an academic major in physical education for women established. Kyser reactivated the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches in 1954 and was President for 13 years. She was instrumental in editing and publishing two books that promoted Natchitoches and the Cane River area.
H. Lee Prather
H. Lee Prather served Northwestern as president, dean of men and a professor of government. For 37 seasons, he was basketball coach and was also football, baseball, and track coach. He coached for 20 years without an assistant. Prather had a record of 473-169 (.737) as basketball coach and won seven conference championships.
Harry “Rags” Turpin
Harry “Rags” Turpin was named Head Football Coach of Northwestern and stayed in that position 22 years. His 1939 team went undefeated at 11-0 and shut out eight opponents. He was also an outstanding athlete at Tulane University and at Northwestern State. After serving as Head Football Coach, he remained the Director of Athletics until 1957.
Admiral Ronald J. Hays
Admiral Ronald J. Hays was Commander of the Pacific Command for three years. He was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy and advanced to the rank of admiral. Hays also commanded U.S. Naval Forces Europe and all military forces in the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. He also served as the Deputy Commander In Chief of the Atlantic and Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
Dr. Jolly Harper
Dr. Jolly Harper was a teacher then became a minister, pastoring churches in Monroe, Provencal, New Orleans, Shreveport, Franklin, Bastrop, Alexandria, Ruston and Natchitoches. He also started the Natchitoches Chapter of Alcoholic Anonymous and has helped hundreds recover from alcoholism.
Lt. Gen. Guy A.J. LaBoa
Lt. Gen. Guy A.J. LaBoa served in the U.S. Army for 35 years and retired as a Lieutenant General in 1997. He commanded the First United States Army, served as Chief of Staff of the United States Forces Command, and commanded the 4th Infantry Division (Mech.) at Fort Carson. LaBoa received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Purple Heart.
Maj. Gen. Oris B. Johnson
Maj. Gen. Oris B. Johnson served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He served in the fighter group charged with the defense of Washington, D.C., and adjacent states. Johnson served in several important staff positions. He was awarded two Distinguished Service Medals, Four Legions of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, six Air Medals, plus numerous other medals.
Mary Gunn Johnston
Mary Gunn Johnston was involved in numerous activities as a student at Northwestern, including student government. Following graduation, she worked at Northwestern as a school dietitian. Johnston was active in a variety of civic and humanitarian efforts in Louisiana and Washington and projects to preserve Louisiana’s culture and heritage.
Sen. Don Kelly
State Sen. Don Kelly was recognized as one of the state’s most influential legislators. He was a floor leader for governors throughout his nearly two decades in the Senate. A Natchitoches attorney who was a delegate to the state’s Constitutional Convention, Kelly spearheaded successful efforts to bring millions of dollar in programs and projects to NSU and this region of Louisiana.
Walter Ledet was the school’s first All-American as a linebacker while earning degrees in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. During his three seasons, he led the Demons to two conference championships and also lettered in track. Ledet was Head Track Coach at Northwestern for 12 years, winning five conference championships. He was also an assistant football coach and later served as NSU’s Registrar.
Rep. Jimmy Long
Rep. Jimmy Long was the dean of the Louisiana House of Representatives, served for 32 years and was later on the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. He is recognized as one of the leading authorities on education in the South. Long was instrumental in bringing the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts to Natchitoches, and the Louisiana Scholars’ College to Northwestern. He was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.
Dr. Charles “Red” Thomas
Dr. Charles “Red” Thomas was associated with Northwestern for almost 30 years as a student, coach, professor, and administrator. He was the school’s first All-American in basketball. Thomas was Head Basketball Coach at Northwestern for seven years, leading his teams to two conference championships. He was later Dean of Administration and Vice President of Academic Affairs at NSU.
Marjorie Dial showed her love for Northwestern by remaining active with the Northwestern Alumni Association for more than 30 years. She has helped organized local alumni chapters and served on the association’s board. She won the title of Miss Louisiana in 1933 and later became a public relations executive.
Marjorie Dial showed her love for Northwestern by remaining active with the Northwestern Alumni Association for more than 30 years. She has helped organized local alumni chapters and served on the association’s board. She won the title of Miss Louisiana in 1933 and later became a public relations executive.
David Morgan used his experiences at Northwestern to propel himself to a successful career as an insurance executive. Morgan learned the importance of communicating at Northwestern and built a company with more than $100 million in assets in just over a decade. He has also been a generous supporter of Northwestern.
Dr. William V. Muse
Dr. William V. Muse is a national leader in higher education serving as President of Auburn University, the University of Akron and East Carolina University. Muse has worked to provide expanded opportunities for students and increase campus diversity. He has also been active in Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity as the International President and member of the Grand Council.
Melba Law Steeg
Melba Law Steeg worked tirelessly as a business and civic leader in the New Orleans Area. By being the first woman on many of the boards and commissions on which she has served, Steeg has provided many opportunities for women. Steeg has worked with religious, artistic, educational, medical and business groups to improve the quality of life in her community. An endowed chair in educational leadership was established at NSU in her honor.
Maj. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault
Maj. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault rose through the ranks to become a General and Commander of the Flying Tigers, a group of Americans who assisted the Chinese in their fight against Japan. The bravery of Chennault and his men boosted the morale of the American public during World War II. He was honored for his distinguished military service by the governments around the world.
Dr. Arnold Kilpatrick
Dr. Arnold Kilpatrick served as President of Northwestern for 12 years. During Kilpatrick’s tenure, Northwestern attained university status, opened a branch campus at Fort Polk, and an educational center at England Air Force Base and saw a major increase in enrollment. He oversaw a capital improvements program at NSU that either constructed or renovated most of the buildings on campus.
Joanna Magale established the Magale Foundation which helped countless students obtain a college education through a scholarship fund. The Magale Foundation also set up an endowed professorship at Northwestern. She is also responsible for establishing the first Southern Methodist churches in several communities and was a nationally recognized orchid grower.
Karl Moore rose through the ranks to become one of the top officials at International Paper. Moore was International Paper’s Staff Vice-President and Chief Information Officer responsible for company resources around the world. In addition, he has been generous to the university by organizing alumni chapters and assisting in development operations.
Dr. Edward C. Greco
Dr. Edward C. Greco was a member of Northwestern’s faculty and a noted research scientist in private industry. During the Cold War, he helped foster international understanding by heading an American team of corrosion engineers on a visit to the Soviet Union and later hosted a group of Soviet scientists. Greco served as Chairman of the International Corrosion Council which he helped form.
Robert Harling is a successful playwright and motion picture screenwriter. He was the author of “Steel Magnolias” and was instrumental in seeing that the film was shot in Natchitoches. Harling has expanded his range, directing critically and commercially successful films and working with many of the leading names in the motion picture industry.
Theodore H. Roberts
Theodore H. Roberts served as President of LaSalle National Corporation, one of the leading financial institutions in the Midwest. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. During that time, he was also a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which manages the nation’s monetary policy. Roberts has also been a lecturer at many of the country’s leading business schools.
Paul “Doc” Marx
Paul “Doc” Marx was a vital part of Northwestern’s athletic and health and physical education departments for more than 30 years. He was an athletic trainer, as well as a teacher, counselor, and mentor to numerous Northwestern students.
Edna Tarbutton was one of the state’s top girls’ basketball coaches, Tarbutton had a career record of 654-263-2, winning nine state championships including eight in a row between 1948-1955. Tarbutton was elected to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 as only the fourth woman inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Richard Ware was an all-conference football player at Northwestern. He had a distinguished career as an attorney and judge. Ware was the youngest judge in Louisiana when first elected and was chosen by his peers to head the Louisiana District Judges Association. Ware was recognized for his tireless efforts on behalf of children.
Dr. Doyle Z. Williams
Dr. Doyle Z. Williams was recognized as one of the country’s leading business educators, Williams served as a Dean at the University of Southern California and the University of Arkansas. Williams has also held leadership positions in national accrediting agencies and top professional organizations in the field of accounting.
Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey
Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey was a respected educator and preservationist. Bailey was a member of Northwestern’s faculty for 26 years. She was a nationally recognized expert on reading. Northwestern honored her by naming its top faculty research award in her honor.
Jesse L. Boucher
Jesse L. Boucher served as Mayor of Springhill and was active in the insurance, real estate and construction business. A World War II veteran, he served in the Army Air Force. Boucher has been an active recruiter for NSU, helping bring top students to the University.
Eugene Christmas was one of the most popular and well-known figures in Northwestern’s athletic department where he was a trainer for 25 years. Christmas, who earned the nickname of “Smiley” because of his ever-present smile, was also named “Man of the Year” in Natchitoches Parish.
Lucile M. Hendrick
Lucile M. Hendrick had a successful career as a businesswoman and teacher, then returned to Northwestern as Assistant Dean of Women and Dean of Women. She also worked as a volunteer in a variety of civic activities. Hendrick was a charter member of Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta.
Robert F. Kelley
Robert F. Kelley was a partner with Arthur Anderson & Co. for 24 years, overseeing managing practice services, marketing and international affairs. He was also active in local, national and international business and civic organizations in New Orleans and Chicago as well as in Europe and Asia.
Dan Chase was a successful coach and teacher prior to starting his own business. He was the first to make plastic models for the taxidermy industry as well as develop the quick tan system for animal skins. Chase was a generous supporter of Northwestern, establishing endowed professorships and scholarships to help students.
Dr. Thomas L. Hennigan
Dr. Thomas L. Hennigan was Director of the Audio-Visual Center at Northwestern for 14 years. Hennigan was organizer of NSU’s photographic production services and helped design, install, and operated Northwestern’s first closed-circuit television center.
George Stanley Lewis
George Stanley Lewis was Director of Administration/Special Education in the Natchitoches Parish school system. Lewis spent 34 years as a teacher, coach, and supervisor of special services. He has also served on state and international boards focusing on special education.
Leonard O. Nichols
Leonard O. Nichols, also known as “Dean Nic,” served as Assistant Dean of Men and was promoted to Dean of Men at Northwestern in 1963. Nichols helped establish and advise Northwestern’s Blue Key Alumni Chapter.
Mavis Pate was one of the first to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree for Northwestern State College in 1952. She served as the operating room supervisor for the SS Hope’s maiden voyage to Southeast Asia and was a missionary nurse in Southeast Asia and in the Middle East.
Dudley Fulton served Northwestern for over 23 years in various roles in the Division of Student Affairs. He held positions as counselor in the Veteran’s Guidance Center, Director of Student Personnel, Dean of Men, Director of Student Relations and Dean of Students. He also was a Professor of Psychology.
Elise P. James
Elise P. James served Northwestern for over 24 years holding the position of Director of Alumni Programs for over 12 years. She was the first woman president of the Northwestern Athletic Association and the first recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award at NSU. She was a driving force behind the establishment of the Long Purple Line.
Larry W. Rivers
Larry W. Rivers, former Adjutant General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, worked his way up from VFW Commander-in-Chief, which is the highest elective VFW office, to Adjutant General in six years. Rivers, a 1968 graduate of Northwestern, also served as executive director of the VFW Washington office.
Col. Ralph E. Ropp
Col. Ralph E. Ropp served in the U.S. Army for more than 27 years. He served as Director of Army Internal Information in Washington, Public Affairs Officer for the NATO Headquarters in Turkey, and Director of Public Affairs for the Military District of Washington. He also served as Executive Director of Region Activities for the Association of the United States Army.
Joe Sampité, who served as Mayor of Natchitoches for 20 years, was the first recipient of the Louisiana Municipal Association’s President’s Award and was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. He was noted as a tireless promoter of Natchitoches and Northwestern. Sampité was a teacher and coach prior to being elected mayor.
Jackie Smith, a Demon track and football star, was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He is considered among the greatest tight ends in football history. He played 16 years in the NFL, appearing in five Pro Bowls and Super Bowl XIII.
Dr. Buddy Bonnette
Dr. Buddy Bonnette taught health and physical education classes at NSU for 35 years. He was known for his outstanding work in the field of water safety and life saving. Bonnette influenced generations of students and was honored with the title of Professor Emeritus at NSU.
Ed Bradley rose through the ranks of the television industry to serve as Vice-President and General Manager of KSLA-TV in Shreveport. Bradley is active in the community serving on numerous civic and professional organizations on the local, state and national level.
Fred Clark received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern and is the former President/CEO of Sterling Sugars, Inc. He has also been active in the banking industry and served Northwestern as a faculty member and Executive in Residence in the College of Business. Clark has also been Chairman of the State of Louisiana Board of Parole.
Judge Rebecca Doherty
Judge Rebecca Doherty finished law school at the top of her class at LSU. After a successful career as a practicing attorney, she was named to the federal bench in 1991. Doherty was the first woman to be appointed as a Federal Judge for the Western District of Louisiana and one of the youngest persons to have taken the federal bench.
Jimmy Patterson is a long-time business and civic leader in the Shreveport area. Patterson is President of Siblings Financial, LLC. He was the founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of the Patterson Insurance Group. Patterson has been the recipient of numerous professional and service awards. A respected member of the insurance industry, Patterson has served on several prestigious insurance regulatory boards.
Dr. A.A. Fredericks
Dr. A.A. Fredericks served as President of Louisiana State Normal (now Northwestern State University) from 1934 until 1941. He was also a State Senator from 1932 until 1941. During his presidency, the College underwent its greatest building program to date. As a legislator, he oversaw important legislation in the areas of education, child and old age assistance.
Bobby Hebert was an honorable mention All-American quarterback at Northwestern. He brought great distinction to the university during his pro football career during which he passed for more than 21,000 yards and 135 touchdowns. Hebert, known as the “Cajun Cannon,” led the Michigan Panthers to a USFL title and the New Orleans Saints to their first divisional title. He also spent four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
Charlie Ragus was a successful businessman, building AdvoCare into one of the Dallas area’s fastest growing companies. The company was founded because of Ragus’ concerns about the health of others. A member of the football team at Northwestern, Ragus played with the Kansas City Chiefs. The first endowed chair in the NSU School of Business was named in his honor.
Raymond Strother had an up close view of American politics for decades. He has produced television and offered strategic campaign advice to more than 300 Democratic candidates for governor, senator, congress and president. Strother has also written for leading publications and has been called upon to lecture at leading universities.
Judge R. B. Williams
Judge R. B. Williams was a Natchitoches attorney for 33 years. Williams was elected District Judge from Natchitoches and Red River parishes in 1966 and served on the bench for 14 years. He was highly respected and was selected for leadership roles by fellow judges. He served as a Commander in the U.S. Navy in World War II.
Cheryl Wilson has had a successful career in health care administration, serving in key posts with Hospital Corporation of America. She has been Chief Operating Officer at Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria. Wilson also spent time working in higher education and in state government in Texas. She has also devoted many hours to community service activities.
Lt. Gen. Joseph M. Cosumano Jr.
Lt. Gen. Joseph M. Cosumano Jr. has had a highly successful military career, serving as Commanding General of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and U.S. Army Space Command. He has also had assignments in Germany and Korea.
Grover L. Davis
Grover L. Davis worked his way through the ranks to become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Crawford & Company, the world’s largest independent provider of diversified services to insurance companies, self-insured corporations and governmental entities. He heads a company with over 10,000 employees worldwide.
Gary Fields has worked for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Washington Times. He contributed to stories that earned a Pulitzer Prize. Fields was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his work.
Theodore (Ted) L. Jones
Theodore (Ted) L. Jones is one of Louisiana’s most respected attorneys, providing counsel to candidates and office holders at all levels of government including Louisiana governors, congressmen and U.S. senators. He is a leading expert on legislative and administrative law and campaign law.
Dr. Patricia E. Thompson
Dr. Patricia E. Thompson is a national leader in nursing education, serving as President of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing with over 260,000 members. She has been credited with providing leadership influencing practice, education, and policy. Thompson is one of only 1,500 people inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing.
Joseph G. Dow
Joseph G. Dow started Dow Fence & Supply Company in 1964 and built the company into one of the largest wholesale companies in the south. Dow has also become a successful real estate developer and an active philanthropist, making contributions to churches and community organizations.
Gayle Hatch is one of the most respected weightlifting coaches in the U.S. Hatch was coach of the men’s 2004 United States Olympic Team. He had athletes selected to more than 50 U.S. international teams including the 1984, 1988 and 1992 U.S. Olympic teams.
Valsin A. Marmillion
Valsin A. Marmillion is recognized as one of the top campaign strategists in the country. Under his leadership the firm of Marmillion + Company has emerged as one of the nation’s premiere marketing and communications firms. He has been active in the effort to save coastal Louisiana.
Dr. J. Michael Miller
Dr. J. Michael Miller has built a successful career with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Miller serves as Chief of the Laboratory Response Branch in the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program. He is responsible for the nation’s laboratory readiness and response capability for bioterrorism or other public health emergencies.
Gregory B. O’Quin
Gregory B. O’Quin used the skills he learned as a student leader to become a leading registered representative. He has also served the Alexandria community as Chairman of the Rapides Regional Medical Center and Chairman of the Rapides Foundation and the Orchard Foundation.
Lela Mae Lea Wilkes
Lela Mae Lea Wilkes has been President of Brown-Eagle Group, leading a 500-employee company. She is widely respected in her industry and was among the founders of the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance. Wilkes is also active in a number of civic and business organizations.
Dr. Robert Alost
Dr. Robert Alost became Northwestern’s President in 1986 and over a 10-year period led the university to an unprecedented period of growth, laying the foundation for future progress in all areas. Before becoming President, he served NSU as a faculty member, Department Head and Dean. Alost was co-founder of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and Director of the school from 1982 to 1986.
Ellis Coutee spent 30 years as a Senior Agent and Insurance Specialist in the U.S. Treasury Department before becoming an Enrolled Agent in private practice. Coutee has been active in church and civic affairs in Baton Rouge and around the state and has been a generous contributor to NSU, setting up scholarships and endowed professorships at Northwestern.
Melva Coutee broke new ground in her career as Exxon’s first female professional employee and first female supervisor and created opportunities for others in the future. Along with her husband Ellis, she has been a strong supporter of NSU for many years, setting up scholarships and endowed professorships at Northwestern.
Maxine Johnson is one of the most respected members of the nursing profession in the state. A long-time member of Northwestern’s nursing faculty, she was inducted into the Louisiana State Nurses Association Hall of Fame. Johnson achieved the rank of Colonel in the Army Nurse Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve.
John McConathy had an accomplished career as an educator in Bienville and Bossier Parishes. He served as Superintendent of Schools in Bossier Parish, helping make the system one of the state’s most respected. McConathy also had an outstanding second career as a businessman. He was named an All-American in basketball at Northwestern.
Ken Moran is an Alexandria entrepreneur who has built several successful businesses from scratch. He is involved in the recycling, manufacturing and trucking businesses and is noted for being able to take advantage of opportunities that become available. Moran has also actively supported local charities and Northwestern.
Tom F. Phillips
Tom F. Phillips served in the Judge Advocate General Corps, then joined one of the state’s most respected law firms, Taylor, Porter, Brooks, Fuller & Phillips. He was a partner in the firm for more than 40 years. Phillips was a generalist in the area of civil litigation and was widely respected for his legal ability.
Tom Carleton was a career educator who served as Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College. Carleton spearheaded the construction of a new campus at BPCC that led to unprecedented growth. He has received numerous honors, including the Shreveport Times Celebrate Leadership Award in 2004.
Dr. Robert Eugene Easley
Dr. Robert Eugene Easley served at the NASA Johnson Space Center from 1964 until 1998 in several leadership positions. He was a member of the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service. Easley received the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. From 1998 to 2005, he was an executive at The Boeing Company Space Exploration Division.
Brig. Gen. Curtis F. Hoglan
Brig. Gen. Curtis F. Hoglan was in the Army for 30 years. Hoglan served two tours of duty on the Department of the Army Staff in the Pentagon and also served throughout the United States, Germany, Korea and Vietnam. He was Commanding General of V Corps Artillery in Frankfurt, Germany, and the First ROTC Region. After his military career, he worked in the field of economic development.
Kevin Lynch was a sales and marketing executive with Procter and Gamble for 30 years, retiring as a Division Sales Manager. He was co-founder of the Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Greater Cincinnati and co-founded the National Fellowship of Catholic Men, serving as the organization’s president.
Barbara Jo Pease
Barbara Jo Pease worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Joe Waggoner before joining Shell Oil Company. She worked in the area of Business Process Redesign/Reengineering for several years until moving into the area of ethics and compliance. Pease became Shell’s chief U.S. Ethics and Compliance officer in 2001 and became internationally recognized in the field.
Joe Salter was Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2004 to 2008. He was the first representative from his district to hold the position. A member of the Louisiana House more than for 20 years, Salter has become one of the most respected leaders in state government. Salter was a career teacher and administrator for Sabine Parish Schools and has been honored both as a legislator and educator.
Bryant O. Lewis
Bryant O. Lewis is successful businessman who owns and operates Magnolia Pulpwood Company along with Timberland Holdings. He has been active in a number of professional and civic organizations in his community as well as on a statewide and regional basis. Lewis has been a generous supporter of the university, donating endowed professorships and scholarships. He has also served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
John A. Manno Jr.
John A. Manno Jr. is Co-Owner of Southland Printing Co. In addition to his leadership role in the business community, he has been involved in a number of church and civic activities. Manno is a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and is an advisor to the chapter on the NSU campus. He has served on the NSU Foundation Board of Directors and has shown his generosity by establishing scholarships to assist students at Northwestern.
Maj. Gen. Charles W. “Chuck “Thomas
Maj. Gen. Charles W. “Chuck “Thomas served 32 years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Major General. He served at posts throughout the United States, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Pentagon, and in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. After retiring from active duty, he became Vice President of Army and Marine Corps programs for BAE Systems.
David Wright is a successful Regional Sales Manager in for Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. A standout football player at Northwestern, he has been chosen for induction into the Graduate “N” Club Hall of Fame and was recognized as one of the top 100 players in NSU history. Wright was active in the coaching profession before beginning his career in pharmaceutical sales
Robert Charles Brown
Robert Charles Brown has been President of Arkansas Tech University since 1993, developing and implementing 41 new programs of study. Enrollment at Arkansas Tech has grown 77 percent under his leadership, the institution’s operating budget has grown from $31 million to more than $100 million and new records in private fundraising have been set.
Speedy O. Long
Speedy O. Long was in the Louisiana State Senate for two terms and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1965-1973. He worked to make the Army’s M-16 rifle more reliable and convinced the Pentagon to make Fort Polk a permanent military installation. He retired from Congress in 1973 and served as District Attorney from the 28th Judicial District from 1973 until 1985.
Dr. Melissa L. Lynn
Dr. Melissa L. Lynn is a nephrologist in Shreveport. After being a faculty member at LSU Health Sciences Center for five years, she joined a large private practice group. Besides seeing office and hospital patients in Shreveport, she also cares for over 700 dialysis patients in communities across northwest Louisiana. Lynn has a special interest in transplant nephrology and is actively involved in many clinical research projects.
Alvin Moreau was a teacher and coach in Baton Rouge and Lafayette high schools. He then went to graduate school at LSU and attended and graduated from UAB Medical Center as a physical therapist. In 1977, he opened the first Moreau Physical Therapy Clinic in Zachary and now has clinics throughout the Baton Rouge region. He is a member of the State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.
Dr. Tom Paul Southerland
Dr. Tom Paul Southerland was a career educator working as a teacher and administrator before coming to Northwestern in 1966. He held several administrative positions at Northwestern including Vice President for Academic Affairs and Executive Vice President. He was instrumental in establishing admissions standards for teacher education and developing 14 new programs for the College of Education as well as securing a specialist and doctorate program.
Maxine Aycock Southerland
Maxine Aycock Southerland is a respected educator and historic preservationist. Southerland taught on the high school level before joining the Department of Home Economics at Northwestern. After retiring from Northwestern she was appointed Director of the Louisiana State Center for the History of Education. She has been active in the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches for many years, serving as president for 12 years.
Brig. Gen. James T. Bonsall
Brig. Gen. James T. Bonsall was a decorated veteran and educator. Bonsall served on active duty and in the reserves. He retired as Chief of Combat Exercises with the 75th Maneuver Area Command in Houston. Bonsall was a teacher, principal, administrator in the Morehouse Parish School System. He was active in parish government and local civic affairs.
LaMark Carter was a four-time All-American for NSU in the triple jump in outdoor and indoor track from 1991 until 1993. He competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Carter was a seven-time USA champion in the triple jump, winning three outdoor and four indoor championships. He finished as high as second in World Championship competition.
W. Peyton Cunningham, Jr.
W. Peyton Cunningham, Jr. served as a Judge of the 10th Judicial Court in Natchitoches for 24 years from 1972 until 1996, winning election four times without opposition. Cunningham continued to serve as Judge Pro Tem in several parishes. He was also a member of the Louisiana Risk Review Panel. Cunningham practiced law in Natchitoches before being elected judge.
Sandra Ackerman Martin
Sandra Ackerman Martin is Chief Executive Officer of the Center of Child Protection, an organization that serves children who have been abused or suffered physical injury. Martin has been a special education teacher and advocate for children in the court system. She has also worked to assist victims of felony crimes.
Don Burkett was elected District Attorney for Sabine and DeSoto Parishes in 1984 and has been re-elected to four consecutive terms without opposition. Burkett is a past President of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association and has served on numerous statewide boards and commissions.
Virginia Burkett was the first female in the United States to be appointed Director of a state fish and wildlife department when she was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1988. She is an internationally recognized expert on global change and low-lying coastal zones. She was among the several hundred Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change authors who shared in receipt of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. F. Gary Cunningham
Dr. F. Gary Cunningham is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and holds the Beatrice and Miguel Elias Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is Senior Editor of the most widely read textbook of obstetrics. Cunningham was appointed by the National Institutes of Health to chair a Consensus Conference.
Dr. Walter Ledet, Jr.
Dr. Walter Ledet, Jr. is a board certified surgeon who has a long-time practice. He co-developed research and techniques in surgical removal of the gallbladder that have been published in leading medical journals and received national and international acclaim. Ledet was named one of Louisiana’s Top Doctors in 2007 and was named in Who’s Who.
Barbara Spruill Moffett
Barbara Spruill Moffett served as a member of the nursing faculty at Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana University. She was Director of Southeastern’s School of Nursing from 2001-2009. Moffett was named to the Nightingale Hall of Fame by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation and received the organization’s Nurse Educator of the Year Award.
Randy Moffett is President of the University of Louisiana System. He was President of Southeastern Louisiana University from 2001 until 2008. As University of Louisiana System President, he oversaw the selection of campus presidents and saw an increase in system performance. Moffett led Southeastern as it implemented admissions standards while maintaining a strong enrollment.
Winnie Dowden Wyatt
Winnie Dowden Wyatt was a missionary in Africa for three years. She promoted the benefits of dental health while in Africa and continued to do so once she moved to Texas. Wyatt has written short stories and articles for magazines. She is the author of five books, including two children’s books.
Philip Barbaree and Robert Lee Kirchoff opened their first Superior Grill Restaurant in Shreveport in 1983. After nearly 30 years in the restaurant business, they own and operate seven successful restaurants in Louisiana and Alabama.
Mary Rives Gallaspy
Mary Rives Gallaspy taught business and history at Pelican High School for 26 years. Her philanthropy helped her local community as well as Northwestern State University. Generations of future Northwestern State students will benefit from scholarships created by the Mary Rives Gallaspy Charitable Trust.
Robert Lee Kirchoff
Robert Lee Kirchoff partnered with Philip Barbaree to operate a successful chain of restaurants in Louisiana and Alabama. The chain includes Superior Grill, Superior Steakhouse, Cocina Superior and Superior Seafood.
H. Wayne McCullen
H. Wayne McCullen was a three-term mayor of Natchitoches, leading the city from 2000-2012. He was a member of the Natchitoches City Council from 1980 – 2000.
George Thomas Walker
George Thomas Walker was president of Northeast Louisiana University from 1958 to 1976. He was a noted faculty member at three Louisiana institutions and was an administrator at Northwestern State.
Dr. Hayward W. “Sonny” Hargrove Jr.
Dr. Hayward W. “Sonny” Hargrove Jr. was a college and university administrator for 25 years and taught undergraduate and graduate classes. He was active in many professional organizations and served as a consultant at national and international conferences. He led mission trips to China, Japan, Korea and Switzerland. Hargrove is a former SGA President.
Carroll Long had a successful career with State Farm Insurance, earning a lifetime membership in the President’s club, the highest honor for an agent. He co-hosted a number of events for NSU athletes and prospective students and he served as well as a volunteer chaplain for the football team.
Sen. Gerald Long
Sen. Gerald Long has represented parts of central and northwest Louisiana in the State Senate, holding several leadership positions. Long was an educator, State Farm Insurance agent and Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative before being elected to the legislature.
Denise Lewis Patrick
Denise Lewis Patrick is a freelance writer, editor, instructor and literary consultant who has authored books of poetry, short stories, picture and board books for children, non-fiction biographies, middle grade novels and a young adult novel. She is a mentor and coach for young writers.
Greg Vesey has served in a variety of executive positions with Chevron. He has worked in the company’s gas supply and trading, global power and technology ventures. Vesey is active in professional organizations and volunteers his time to help community non-profit groups.
Greg Ashlock is one of the nation’s most successful radio executives running iHeartMedia’s operations in Southern California. Ashlock oversees two of the top billing stations in the country.
Sen. Foster Campbell
Foster Campbell is an elected official, businessman and farmer from Bossier Parish. Campbell served with distinction in the Louisiana Senate from 1976 to 2002. He has been a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission since 2003.
Dr. James Larry Holly
Dr. James L. Holly is founder and chief executive officer of Southeast Texas Medical Associates. He has gained national recognition as a physician, educator and philanthropist.
Glenn Talbert has been a successful agent for State Farm Insurance in Shreveport for more than 40 years. One of the Top 100 Demon football players of all time, Talbert has been a generous supporter of the university for decades.
Dr. Randall J. Webb
Dr. Randall J. Webb was president of Northwestern State from 1996 to 2014, the longest tenure of any president in university history. Under Webb’s leadership, Northwestern State received unprecedented national and international attention for its academic programs and student accomplishments.
© 2014 Traditions of Northwestern State University of Louisiana