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Southeastern graduate David Cavell, a former president of the Student Government Association, found himself knee-deep in the complex world of politics when he took on the role of campaign manager for Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.
For some people, involvement in public life seems to run in their blood. Southeastern graduate David Cavell, a former president of the Student Government Association, shows a natural gravitation to the field.
Political involvement runs in the family. His father and uncle both served as Student Government Association Presidents while in college and his uncle, John Weimer, serves on the Louisiana Supreme Court. So it is no surprise that David, a native of Thibodeaux, is following in the same path, first as an officer in student council in high school, then as SGA president at Southeastern. But it was in serving in the last year as campaign manager for Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne that David got his first real professional experience in political campaigns.
He first met Dardenne in high school when Dardenne was running for his first term as Secretary of State. The two maintained a relationship throughout David’s college career, with Mr. Dardenne offering his support and guidance when David was elected SGA president. Upon graduation, David was approached by Mr. Dardenne and asked to work on his upcoming re-election campaign, as his campaign manager.
In his work in the campaign, David was responsible for managing the day to day operations of the campaign and overseeing the campaign staffers and volunteers, while managing a $1.5 million budget. He was also charged the very important task of assisting with the planning of successful fundraising events for the campaign. His favorite part of the campaign was touring Louisiana and “meeting the people of this great state.”
“Southeastern prepared me with the educational background needed to successfully manage and lead a statewide campaign,” David says. “The SGA experience provided me with the skills necessary to succeed, while working with diverse individuals. It gave me the ability to lead an organization to achieve a common goal.”
The foundation started in his family: “My parents tried to instill in me at a young age that hard work and determination can take you far in life. At Southeastern, I saw that determination and gaining the ability to foster and maintain professional relationships are important, no matter what field you enter.”
David says he has a desire to serve others, a motive he attributes to his involvement while in college in the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. “My involvement with the fraternity instilled in me the desire to live a life of excellence, and that truth, courage, faith and the right power will help you succeed,” he adds.
Planning to attend graduate school, David sees a life in public service and working in the political arena as a definite career possibility.
“After experiencing the success of running my first campaign, I think one day I would like to serve as a chief of staff or a senior advisor to a public official,” he says. “Winning was very gratifying and humbling, knowing that all the hard work and dedication paid off.”