All of us should be proud of the student leaders at our university who are moving toward becoming future leaders in every realm of society. Part of becoming a leader is being engaged. Our students are deeply involved in campus and community activities and are making moves with the help of university faculty and staff to be movers and shakers at the state level.
Just this week, the University of Louisiana System hosted its annual ULS Day at the Capitol. Students, faculty, staff and alumni visited the state capitol to promote the UL System’s nine institutions and request support from our state’s leaders.
This provided an opportunity for our students to become involved in the legislative process by informing legislators and other state officials of their accomplishments, goals, priorities, and needs. The purpose is to also emphasize the positive impact of investing in higher education to help assure the future success of Northwestern State University and our ability to promote economic development expand the work force in our region.
Many thanks to the students from NSU’s Student Government Association, University Programming Council and School of Creative and Performing Arts for representing and promoting our university so well and effectively at the capitol.
A highlight from the day was having the NSU Saxophone Choir perform “Whatever the Case May Be” by Derek Brown. Derek Brown is a world-renowned saxophonist, famous for his creation of a BeatBox Sax style. NSU commissioned Derek to write a piece for the NSU Saxophone Choir, which the group premiered and recorded at the NSU SaxFest in February. The recording will be released on Youtube in the coming weeks.
Two former Northwestern student leaders, David and Sherry Morgan, were on campus this week to recognize recipients of the David D. Morgan and Sherry F. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarships to members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and the Morgan First Generation Scholarships to freshmen who became the first members of their family to enroll in college.
The Morgans have achieved extraordinary success in the insurance industry and other enterprises over the years since their graduation from NSU and are among the university’s most generous donors.
It was also announced during their visit to NSU this week that the Morgans have presented a gift of $1.5 million to the university to help fund a new Health Performance Center as part of the renovation and expansion of the NSU Athletic Fieldhouse complex.
The donation was the largest private gift ever presented to NSU Athletics, and the new facility will be named in honor of David and Sherry Morgan.
Northwestern’s prominence and prestige has been expanded by support from David and Sherry over the years, and we deeply appreciate their generosity.
On Thursday, the Presidential Leadership Program hosted the Louisiana Red River Special Olympics on campus. This event organized by our students and collaborative partners is just another way for our students to engage participants with intellectual disabilities and special needs by fostering a sense of acceptance of all students. I enjoyed participating in celebrating and empowering these athletes in this important and worthwhile program.
Congratulations to Sarah Aviles, Jordan Sensat, Magdalen Stanford, and Dr. Daniel Rivera-Vazquez for their American Chemical Society Proceedings Publication entitled ‘Modification of graphene oxide: Towards the development of a cost-effective material for the removal of ions and toxic organic compounds in water’. This project entailed modifying activated charcoal into graphene oxide and studying its effectiveness for the removal of certain known contaminants of pharmaceutical relevance from water. Particularly, salicylic acid, caffeine, and acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) were studied. Their data suggested the activated charcoal was more effective for removing salicylic acid and caffeine, while graphene oxide was more effective for the removal of acetylsalicylic acid. The results from this project could have implications in water purification policies and technologies employed.
Please join me for the Celebrating a Century of Greek Life at NSU event that kicks off tonight in conjunction with the Flavor of Louisiana at Prather Coliseum at 6 pm. The event features music, cocktails, and specialty dishes celebrating donors, supporters, alumni, and students at Northwestern State University. Tickets are still on sale and will be available for purchase at the door.
On Saturday, the Greek Riverfront Festival will be held on the downtown riverbank from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. featuring Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs followed by the Golden Explosion, the annual step show competition of the Theta Chi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at 7 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center. Decade Parties connecting fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters across the decades will start at 6 p.m. with each decade being hosted at a different restaurant. Tickets and more information on these events can be found at Greek Centennial Celebration | NSULA Alumni (northwesternstatealumni.com).
Dr. Marcus D. Jones
Northwestern State University