Wainwright invested as Southeastern's 15th president
Monday, December 4, 2023
by: Tonya Lowentritt
1) WAINWRIGHT SPEAKS AT INVESTITURE - Southeastern Louisiana University President William S. Wainwright addresses the
crowd during the ceremony on campus.
2) PAST PRESIDENTS GATHER FOR PRESIDENTIAL INVESTITURE – Three of Southeastern Louisiana University’s former presidents attended the university’s
Presidential Investiture on Friday to present William S. Wainwright, Southeastern’s
15th president, with the President’s Chain, a symbol of the authority of the position.
Congratulating Wainwright, from left, are Randy Moffett, Sally Clausen, Wainwright,
and John L. Crain.
HAMMOND – William S. Wainwright was invested as Southeastern Louisiana University’s 15th president
Friday morning in a ceremony held in the Student Union Grand Ballroom on Southeastern’s
At the ceremony, he was presented with Southeastern’s President’s Chain, a symbol
of the authority of the position, by three of the university’s former presidents:
Sally Clausen, who served from 1995 – 2001; Randy Moffett, who served from 2001 –
2008; and John L. Crain, who served from 2009 to 2023. Also attending the event were
representatives of the UL System Board of Supervisors and the Louisiana Board of Regents.
Gratitude, humility, and responsibility were a few of the words Wainwright used
in his remarks to describe the range of emotions he was feeling as he gazed out over
“I am witnessing in real time the awesome power, value and purpose of higher
education,” he said. “I see a dedicated university family; a regional and local community
galvanized around our collective missions; mentors and coaches; law makers and locally
elected officials who share our mission and vision; and my family who have loved,
supported, and challenged me to fulfill my purpose in life. For this and so much more,
I am truly grateful for this opportunity, and I commit to dedicating my entire being
to the success of Southeastern.”
In his remarks, Wainwright also recognized Clausen, Moffett, Crain, and the 11
former presidents “who built what we know and love today as our Southeastern.” He
thanked them for their leadership, sacrifice, vision and unyielding support.
Wainwright acknowledged Governor Edwards, the Greater Northshore Legislative
Delegation, the UL Board of Supervisors, President of the UL System Jim Henderson,
and Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed “for their tireless dedication
to higher education and ensuring that all students, faculty and staff have equal access
and opportunity to prosper and thrive as a result of our mission.”
He credited the Louisiana Community and Technical College System with building
him as a higher education leader. He said the system taught him how to succeed and
fail with grace and humility, enabled him to lead state and national higher education
strategic initiatives, and sent him across the globe to advance education access and
professional development for students, faculty and staff.
When addressing the students, Wainwright told them their success is vital to
the strength of our communities, state and nation.
“Southeastern provides a one-billion-dollar economic impact in our region. That
translates to strong communities and economies built by our graduates,” he said. “Most
importantly, this means that the success of our Southeastern team results in greater
social mobility for our graduates, therefore sustaining generations of families through
the value proposition of our mission.”
Wainwright pledged to recruit, retain and sustain faculty excellence, continued
investment in innovation through research and technology, and that facility enhancement
and expansion will remain front and center.
“As a university family, we have weathered many storms and our collective resilience
will carry us through anything that will try to distract us from accomplishing our
mission in the future,” he added. “With a focus on our core values of excellence and
caring and commitment to data driven strategic planning and execution, Southeastern
will garner historic endowments and private investment that will build a future forward
culture of excellence. And we will get there, together.”