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Loyola awards endowed professorships to 7 outstanding faculty

February 28, 2014

On Feb. 26, seven professors from the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, College of Law and College of Music and Fine Arts were honored at the 2014 Loyola University New Orleans Investiture Ceremony. Held annually, the ceremony honors faculty who have demonstrated extraordinary teaching, mentoring and leadership by awarding them distinguished endowed professorships. At Loyola, endowed professorships are established with $100,000 or more in funding and are used to enhance teaching, research and scholarship activities.

The state of Louisiana encourages this commitment to excellence through the Board of Regents State Matching Program. Faculty endowment gifts are eligible for a match of $40,000 to create a distinguished professorship. This partnership of public and private funding encourages individuals and organizations to contribute to faculty endowment.

Professorships included:

  • Anthony A. Decuir, Ph.D., professor of music therapy, was awarded the Charles Edward Braswell Distinguished Professorship in Music Therapy. This professorship was established in 2010 through a gift from the estate of Charles Braswell, Professor Emeritus of Music Therapy. Braswell founded the music therapy program at Loyola, making the music therapy degree program one of the first of its kind in the South.
  • Patricia L. Dorn, Ph.D., professor of biology, was awarded the William and Audrey Hutchinson Distinguished Professorship I, established in 1999 through the generosity of William Hutchinson ‘38 and his wife Audrey ‘39, both graduates of Loyola. The purpose of this professorship is to promote excellence in teaching and scholarship.
  • Mark F. Fernandez, Ph.D., professor of history, was awarded the Patricia Carlin O’Keefe Distinguished Professorship in History, established by current Board of Trustees member Sean O’Keefe ‘77, H‘03 and his wife, Laura, in honor of Sean’s mother, Patricia Carlin O’Keefe. This professorship will primarily support student research assistants who work with Fernandez to complete research projects.
  • Kenneth Keulman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, was awarded the Provost Distinguished Professorship II, established in 1997 through the bequest of Loyola psychology professor Keith Jacobs, the proceeds of which funded three endowed professorships.
  • Blaine LeCesne, J.D., professor of law, was awarded the Donna and John Fraiche Distinguished Professorship in Law, established in January 2001 by Loyola College of Law alumna Donna Fraiche, J.D. ’75 and her husband John. She is a trustee emerita, having served on Loyola’s Board of Trustees for many years and as chairwoman from 2000 through July 2005. The purpose of the professorship is to promote excellence in teaching and scholarship in the field of public policy law.
  • Marcus G. Puder, Ph.D., associate professor of law, was awarded the Honorable Herbert W. Christenberry Distinguished Professorship in Law. It was established by College of Law alumnus Herbert W. Christenberry Jr., J.D. ’57, and named for his father, the late Judge Herbert W. Christenberry Sr., ’24, a graduate of the College of Law. Christenberry Sr. was the first College of Law graduate to sit on the federal bench, appointed by President Harry S. Truman to the U.S. District Court in 1947.
  • William F. Walkenhorst, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, was awarded the Renan Bu Contreras and Monica LeDee Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry, established by Renan Bu Contreras ’94 and his wife, Monica LeDee ’94, who met as chemistry majors at Loyola. The purpose of this professorship is to promote excellence in teaching, research and scholarship in the area of chemistry.

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