Chattin with Charlie ~ June 2014
6/3/2014 11:52:21 AM
Wow – what a night!
Lod Cook and his family were among the nearly three hundred guests who joined us for a memorable celebration of the Lod Cook Alumni Center's twentieth anniversary. The festivities began with a reception at The Cook Hotel, featuring entertainment by the Baton Rouge Caledonian Pipes & Drums and the Vintage Band from Tigerland. Lod and the Vintage Band led the way as guests strolled from the hotel to the Lod Cook Alumni Center for the anniversary dinner and program.
And the music continued. Our own Doug Pacas Trio provided dinner music, and we were most fortunate to have the U.S. Army Blues Swamp Romp play for us. Swamp Romp, a part of the U.S. Army Band "Pershing’s Own,” of Washington D.C., is co-led by LSU alumni SFC Graham Breedlove – LSU’s 2011 Young Alumnus of the Year – and MSG Harry Watters. The group presented a lively twenty-minute concert during the event.
During the 1994 dedication, Justin Babin, LSU’s oldest graduate, and JoLynn Wiemer, the newest graduate, removed a Golden Key from its box, symbolically claiming "ownership” of the new alumni center for current and future graduates. Recalling that moment, Lod presented the Golden Key to the Association’s National Board of Directors through Chairman Gil Rew to pass on to generations to come. Replicas of the key were given to guests at the dedication, and we carried on that tradition at our anniversary celebration.
Swamp Romp vocalist MSG Christal Rheams concluded the program with a rousing rendition of "God Bless the USA,” and the evening ended with a twelve-minute fireworks display that was one of the best I’ve seen.
On a personal note, I was surprised and truly humbled to receive the first Charlie W. Roberts Lifetime Achievement award. Several people remarked they’d never seen me at a loss for words. All I could say was, "I’m used to giving the awards, not getting them.” The recognition is one I share with the hundreds – no thousands – of colleagues, friends, and supporters who have made the LSU Alumni Association what it is today.
A special "thank you” to the Board of Directors for its vote of confidence, to Lod for his friendship and continued support, to the Association's extraordinary staff, and to you, our donors and friends, who make all our successes possible.
Charlie W. Roberts
President and CEO