Southeastern Magazine

Alumni of the Year

The true measure of a university’s greatness can be found in the achievements of its alumni, and Southeastern is certainly known to develop leaders across all fields.

Southeastern Louisiana University

September 30, 2022

The true measure of a university’s greatness can be found in the achievements of its alumni, and Southeastern is certainly known to develop leaders across all fields. To celebrate this and honor some of our outstanding graduates, the Alumni Association established its awards program in 1969, which has since become a Southeastern tradition.

Honored at our annual Alumni Awards Evening on Oct. 6, 2022, as part of Homecoming week, this year we celebrate all of our outstanding alumni along with our top Alumni of the Year recipients: Carl Barbier as Alumnus of the Year and Ebony Morris as Young Alumna of the year.


A judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans, the Hon. Carl J. Barbier has been selected as the Southeastern Alumni Association 2022 Alumnus of the Year.

A New Orleans native and 1966 Southeastern graduate, Barbier was nominated by President Bill Clinton in April 1998 and sworn into office on Oct. 12, 1998.

“Judge Barbier is well respected in the legal community, a brilliant and accomplished judge who has had an exceptionally dynamic legal career,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs. “He has been so supportive of the University that the Awards Committee felt very strongly he deserves this honor.”

Barbier is a past president of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, now the Louisiana Association for Justice; past president of the New Orleans Bar Association; and past president of the Thomas More Loyola Inn of Court. He has served on the board of the Federal Bar Association.carl_barbier

As a federal judge, Barbier has handled a number of large, complex cases, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation that involved tens of thousands of cases arising from the largest oil spill in the history of the United States.

Barbier served for seven years as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services, which oversees the operation and budgets for all the Federal Public Defender Offices in the United States. He previously served as a member of the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council. He also serves on the Judicial Advisory Board for the Emory Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims.

Honors for Barbier include the Thomas Jefferson Justice by the People Award, presented by the American Board of Trial Advocates; the St. Ives Award as the Loyola Law Alumnus of the Year; and the Distinguished Jurist award, presented by the Louisiana Bar Foundation.


New Orleans Attorney Ebony Morris has been named Southeastern’s 2022 Young Alumna of the Year.

Morris graduated from Southeastern in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is an associate attorney with Phelps Dunbar, LLP.

slu_ebony_morris“Ebony has always been a top tier student and professional, from graduating cum laude at Southeastern to achieving a top 20 percent recognition among her law school graduates at Southern University Law,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Eric Summers. “Heavily involved in her sorority on our campus and the Southern University Law Review, she has taken that leadership knowledge to her field of law and is quickly becoming one of the top attorneys in our state.”

Morris is a member of the North Tangi Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which works with Southeastern’s chapter of the sorority in various services, mentorship, and leadership capacities. Her service continues at Southeastern, where she is a mentor and role model for students.

In her chosen field of law, Morris has been recognized by the 2020 and 2021 Louisiana Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, Lawyers of Color 2020 Hot List, 2020 Outstanding Young Woman Lawyer Award from the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division (NBA WLD), and NBA WLD’s Young Lawyer of the Week. She has also been recognized by The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.

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