White House Chaplain to be honored as Southeastern's Alumnus of the Year
Contact: Rene Abadie
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HAMMOND – U.S. Navy Commander Stan W. Fornea, who serves as the first chaplain ever assigned to the White House Military Office, will be honored Friday (Nov. 4) as the 2011 Alumnus of the Year by the Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association.
Fornea previously served under former President George W. Bush as command chaplain at the Presidential retreat at Camp David, part of the Naval Support Facility in Thurmont, Md. In his autobiography “Decision Points,” Bush describes Fornea as a source of solace, resolve and spiritual direction during the summer of 2006, a time the President described as the “worst period of my presidency” because of the ongoing Iraq War.
An ordained minister in the Episcopal Church of the United States, Fornea graduated from Southeastern in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in history and social studies. Later he earned a Master of Divinity Degree from New Orleans Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology Degree from Duke University, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Vanderbilt University.
“We are pleased to welcome Cmdr. Fornea back to Southeastern as our Alumnus of the Year,” said President John L. Crain. “In his service to our nation, Cmdr. Fornea has distinguished himself as a trusted adviser from the level of presidents to enlisted military personnel.”
Alumni Association Director Kathy Pittman said the award recognizes graduates with unique accomplishments on a national or international level who continue to utilize their degree from Southeastern to the fullest. He will be honored at the university’s Alumni Awards Evening on Friday. Tickets for the 7 p.m. event at Twelve Oaks are available from the Alumni Association, 985-549-2150 or 1-800-SLU-ALUM.
Between his assignments at Camp David and his current position, Fornea served as the Deputy Command Chaplain for Multi-National Forces at Camp Liberty and the International Zone in Baghad, Iraq. His military career started after serving 12 years in parish ministry work, including pastorates in Mississippi and Texas. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Navy in 1996.
He served with Naval Support Activities in London from 1996 to 1999, when he was assigned to his first operational tour with the Marine Corps in Cherry Point, N.C. He was later assigned as Command Chaplain aboard the USS LaSalle, the Sixth Fleet flag ship home ported in Gaeta, Italy.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, among others.
Southeastern celebrates Homecoming Week Oct. 31-Nov. 5 with a variety of spirited games and activities for students, a community decorating contest, and a bonfire and pep rally Thursday evening. The week culminates Saturday with reunions and tailgating in Friendship Circle and the Homecoming Parade scheduled to roll at 12:30 p.m. The football game, featuring the Southeastern Lions against Sam Houston State, will kickoff at a new earlier start time of 3:30 p.m. in Strawberry Stadium and will include the crowning of the Homecoming queen and king.
For a complete schedule of Homecoming activities, visit the web site southeastern.edu/homecoming.