Lt. Governor Mitchell Landrieu to address graduates
Contact: Rene Abadie
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HAMMOND – Louisiana Lt. Governor Mitchell J. Landrieu will address Southeastern Louisiana University graduates at the university’s commencement on Saturday, May 17.
Southeastern will confer associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees on approximately 1,060 students at the 10 a.m. ceremony in the University Center.
The commencement ceremony also will feature the presentation of university’s Golden Ambassador award to Southeastern alumni Wayne and Manuel Dugas in recognition of the brothers’ outstanding service, achievements and humanitarian efforts.
Now in his second term as lieutenant governor, Landrieu is recognized for launching the state’s Cultural Economy Initiative, an effort to establish arts and culture as a viable sector of Louisiana’s economy. He worked to pass the Arts in Education legislation, designed to put music and the arts in every Louisiana public school. For his efforts, in 2006 he received the inaugural Lieutenant Governors Arts Award from Americans for the Arts for his commitment to the arts as a means of social and economic change.
As the commissioner of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Landrieu manages more than 800 employees and a $165 million budget. He is responsible for leading the effort to rebuild the state’s tourism industry in the wake of the damaged caused by the hurricanes of 2005. Prior to his election as lieutenant governor, Landrieu served 16 years in the Louisiana House of Representatives representing the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans. He previously spent 15 years in private practice as an attorney and also taught at Loyola Law School where he earned his law degree. Landrieu holds a bachelor’s degree from Catholic University in Washington, DC.
The Dugas brothers are among the largest donors to Southeastern and played key roles in helping the university reinstate its football program in 2003 after an 18-year hiatus.
A 1951 Southeastern graduate, Manuel Dugas played running back and linebacker for the Lions. Having worked as a special agent for the Internal Revenue Service for a number of years, he is a retired State Farm Insurance agent.
Wayne Dugas is a 1959 graduate of Southeastern where he was named the most valuable player on the football team in his senior season. After having worked as a high school coach for several years, he went to work for Dollar General, eventually becoming one of the chain’s major procurement specialists. In addition to supporting Southeastern, the Wayne and Laura Jo Dugas Foundation has helped build a hospital and provides support for children’s organizations and libraries.
In 2004, Southeastern named its athletic administration building in honor of the Dugas family.