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Louisiana College celebrates Founders Day 2020

Alexandria KALB-TV logo Alexandria KALB-TV 10/29/2020 My Sherie Johnson
a large brick building: Alexandria Hall at Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana. © Provided by Alexandria KALB-TV Alexandria Hall at Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana.

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - One hundred years ago, the City of Alexandria partnered with Louisiana College in Pineville to construct a central campus building. On Thursday, Oct. 29, students, faculty and staff, alumni and community members gathered to celebrate Founders Day.

Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall and his Chief of Staff, LC alumna Susan Broussard, were special guests. Alexandria Hall’s construction began in 1920 and was named to honor the people of Alexandria who built and provided funding for construction.

Mayor Hall spoke about the partnership between the two cities, saying that the Red River may divide them, but there has always been unity. He stressed the importance of education and how it affects community wellness.

“It tells us more that the river doesn’t divide us. It actually brings us together, and education is the base, the key that enables us to combat poverty and unemployment,” Hall said. “We have to make education available to everyone who wants an education.”

Hall explained Alexandria is a hub for opportunity, but it’s nothing without the surrounding towns, including places like Ball, Boyce, Cheneyville, Colfax (his hometown), Tioga, Woodworth, and others.

“For sure they’re all necessary to be a part of Central Louisiana and the growing community that we’re trying to have.”

Brewer says Founders Day is a time to reflect on the purpose of the college.

“It’s very important for our students, alum, faculty, and staff to even remember and recall these facilities and buildings...what went behind it,” Brewer said. “The sweat, time, prayers, and hard work. It’s important today for us to celebrate who we are and those who came before us. That we stand on the shoulders of some great people who came before us, who give us an opportunity to continue providing this wonderful education.”

Faith Kirkland is a junior leadership and communications major at LC. Kirkland explained that it was cool the college brought in important community members, even though they’re not from the City of Pineville.

“I think that it’s really cool how Mayor Hall said that the river doesn’t divide us. I thought it was really inspiring to see that these people graduated from LC and to see how they’ve turned out and how they can impact the community,” Kirkland said.

When asked about what it means to be studying in a 100-year-old building Kirkland said, “Honestly, it blows my mind especially the fact that I take the elevator every day, but the fact that possibly, of course, that the elevator isn’t actually 100-years-old.”

She continued, “It’s honestly so inspiring and today at least all my classes are in A-H and I feel like today I’m just going to have a deeper appreciation for the building that I’m sitting in and the people that I’m listening to or the tests that I’m taking just because of the history that is literally based on the ground that I’m standing on.”

Broussard’s remarks focused on what she described as a life-changing transformational experience Louisiana College provided her. Broussard explained her faith exponentially grew and she met her husband at LC. Out of what she calls forever life-changing experiences, “The third thing that Louisiana College did for me and one I hope that it’s doing for you is one that is so important in today’s work world, and in the overall world that we live in… Louisiana College gave me the ability to think critically.”

Broussard shared this quote from author F. Scott Fitzgerald: “The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

“The idea that we can hold two opposing thoughts in mind at the same time and still function is the innate ability to have critical thinking skills,” Broussard said. “With that ability then you can bring value to whatever job you have.”

Her message about critical thinking relates to Louisiana College’s liberal arts focus and Mayor Hall agreed that thinking critically is a key to student success.

“I want them to know that they can take it seriously because she’s speaking from experience. Her record will show that what she was saying is true and it does pay off,” Mayor Hall said. “Critical thinking is a total necessity and attribute for success in any business.”

During the ceremony, everyone sang a hymn written a century ago by Louisiana College alumnus Baylus Benjamin “B.B” McKinney. There was also mention of former college president Dr. Claybrook Cottingham, who served during Alexandria Hall’s construction.

According to Brewer, Louisiana College offers a first-rate education, a wonderful educational experience.

“We’re preparing graduates, transforming lives, preparing students to go into any area of life that God’s calling them to,” Brewer said. “We bring with this excellent education a focus on our faith that’s central to all we do, our faith in Christ and that He is the cornerstone of who we are and why we exist.”

Louisiana College continues to offer an education that Brewer describes as relevant, relational and rigorous, where students are taught to think critically, to do analytical reasoning and problem-solving.

After the Founders Day ceremony, everyone met in front of Alexandria Hall to see the new dedication marker. Founders Day was started to recognize historic campus facilities. Previous Founders Day celebrations included Tudor Hall, Cavanaugh Hall, and the Hixson Student Center.

To watch the full ceremony documented by the Louisiana College Wildcats Media team, click here.

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