Crain invested as Southeastern's 14th President
Contact: Rene Abadie
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(1) PAST PRESIDENTS GATHER FOR PRESIDENTIAL INVESTITURE – Four of Southeastern Louisiana University’s former presidents attended the university’s Presidential Investiture on Friday to present John L. Crain, Southeastern’s 14th president, with the President’s Chain, a symbol of the authority of the position. Congratulating Crain, far right, are Clea Parker, J. Larry Crain, G. Warren Smith, and Randy Moffett, now president of the University of Louisiana System.
(2) PRESIDENT’S MEDAL WINNERS – Southeastern Louisiana University presented the President’s Awards for Excellence, the university’s highest faculty and staff honors, at the annual fall faculty/staff convocation on Friday. Southeastern President John L. Crain, far right, congratulated the recipients, from left, Michael Jones, Department of Management, teaching; Katherine Kolb, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, research; Alan Marsh, Department of English, artistic activity; Margaret Gonzalez-Perez, Department of History and Political Science, faculty service; and Barbara Hebert, director of the University Counseling Center, service by unclassified staff.
(3) CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT CRAIN – Former Southeastern President J. Larry Crain, second from left, congratulates Southeastern’s 14th President, John L. Crain, at Friday’s Presidential Investiture, which was combined with the university’s annual faculty/staff fall convocation. Three additional past presidents were also on hand to commemorate the occasion and included, from left, Clea Parker, G. Warren Smith, and University of Louisiana System President Randy Moffett.
HAMMOND – John L. Crain was invested as Southeastern Louisiana University’s 14th president Friday morning in ceremonies held at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.
The investiture was combined with the university’s annual fall faculty/staff convocation, which precedes the start of the institution’s new academic year.
Crain invoked Charles Dickens’ opening lines in “A Tale of Two Cities” -- “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – to describe the extraordinary contradictions Southeastern and Louisiana higher education face today.
At the ceremony, he was presented with Southeastern’s President’s Chain, a symbol of the authority of the position, by four of the university’s five former living presidents: Randy Moffett, now president of the University of Louisiana System, G. Warren Smith, J. Larry Crain, and Clea Parker. Also attending the event were representatives of the UL System Board of Supervisors and the Louisiana Board of Regents.
Former Southeastern President and current Commissioner of Higher Education Sally Clausen was unable to attend the investiture, but issued her congratulations to Crain.
“Dr. Crain assumes the presidency of Southeastern during a transformational time for higher education, a time when we must be unrelenting in our goals of investing in quality research and producing more graduates to fill the jobs of today, and the jobs of the future,” said Clausen “His knowledge of Southeastern’s strengths, his strong relationships with faculty, and his love for students will allow him to play an important role in achieving these goals, and he will undoubtedly do it with passion, vision and ingenuity.”
In his remarks, Crain noted that Southeastern “has grown and prospered, achieved great results, and been widely recognized for its successes … surely the best of times. Yet, despite this, we were recently forced to cut $10 million from our budget, and we face future budget prospects that may be even more dire … certainly the worst of times.”
He emphasized that even with challenges, good things can still happen, citing the university’s recent academic and student successes, “producing record numbers of graduates who are well prepared and anxious to make their mark on the world. Even as our budget is being cut, we are attracting record numbers of well prepared new students.”
Crain urged faculty, staff, students and alumni to pull together as a team and to face the challenges necessary to help the university move beyond the current financial crisis. He urged legislators and state leaders “to stand tall and defy conventional wisdom by helping to find solutions to the state’s financial challenges beyond just cutting the budget.” To higher education leaders, he asked that they champion fair and equitable funding for all institutions that successfully execute their missions.
He pledged that he would continue to be honest and straightforward in communicating with the campus and community constituents.
“I will continue to strive to be innovative and creative in helping to identify and implement solutions to our challenges,” Crain added. “And I will remain dogged and persistent in championing the cause of this great institution and its people.”
At the convocation, the university’s highest faculty and staff honors – the President’s Awards for Excellence – were presented to the following: Michael Jones, Department of Management, teaching; Katherine Kolb, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, research; Alan Marsh, Department of English, artistic activity; Margaret Gonzalez-Perez, Department of History and Political Science, faculty service; and Barbara Hebert, director of the University Counseling Center, service by unclassified staff.
In addition, Ann Nauman of the College of Education and Human Development, was named an emeritus professor of education; new faculty and staff and faculty who achieved promotions and tenure were recognized; and service awards were presented to employees who have served 25, 30 and 35 years at the university.
Also at the event, Southeastern Vice President for University Advancement Wendy Johns-Lauderdale announced five newly endowed professorships for the university: the Bruce Dugas Endowed Professorship in Business; Dorcas and H.N. Capron Jr. Endowed Professorship in Supply Chain Management; Joyce Junghans Endowed Professorship in Management; Knights of Babylon Endowed Professorship in Communication Sciences and Disorders; and the Viola Brown Endowed Professorship in Visual and Performing Arts.