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Where law professors reign as Carnival royalty: Loyola revives 'Mardi Law'

February 28, 2014

During Mardi Gras in 1977, a group of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law students halfway through an academic year of hitting the books decided to blow off some steam and throw their own Mardi Gras party. Complete with a king and queen, costumes and “floats,” the first “Mardi Law” was ruled a success. Students held the celebrations for many years, including in 1979 when police strikes put a stop to citywide parades. Last Friday, the College of Law revived the tradition in honor of its centennial celebration.

The Student Bar Association hosted the 2014 Centennial Mardi Law Celebration outside the College of Law on the Broadway campus Feb. 21. College of Law alumni, family and friends took part in this free event, which included the crowning of the faculty king and queen, College of Law professors Bobby Harges and Mary Algero, a student organization parade on Pine St., and a block party with complimentary jambalaya, king cake, drinks and more.

Harges and Algero saluted their court from the second floor balcony of the College of Law. The library on the first floor of the College of Law also opened to tours of a new display of memorabilia, including photos and articles from past parades, in addition to one of the gowns worn by a faculty queen.

College of Law faculty have been honored as king and queen since the 1990s. They included professors Keith Vetter, Leslie Shoebotham, James Klebba, Mitch Crusto and Algero, who served as queen in 1995.

“I loved our law school Mardi Gras celebrations and parades. Each class level elected a duke and maid. Often a group of students carried a banner at the front of the procession announcing who we were. The court was transported in high style on a hay wagon pulled by a pick-up truck,” Algero said.

“I’m so glad the celebration has returned. I hope it continues. The event is just plain fun because it draws the law school community together around an event that could only happen here in the city of New Orleans.”

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