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2007 Alumnus and Young Alumnus of the Year presented at Loyola's Annual Business Luncheon

Loyola press release - March 12, 2007

(New Orleans)— Loyola University New Orleans held the 22nd Annual Business Alumni Luncheon on Monday, March 5, 2007 at the Sheraton New Orleans. New Orleans Saints Head Coach and NFL Coach of the Year Sean Payton was the featured speaker.

Awards for alumnus of the year and young alumnus of the year were presented at the luncheon. This year, the recipient of the alumnus of the year award is V.M. Wheeler, III, B’78. The young alumnus of the year is Percy Marchand, B’03.

V.M. Wheeler graduated with honors (magna cum laude) from Loyola University New Orleans in 1978 with a bachelor of business administration degree and an emphasis in finance. During his tenure at Loyola, he was a member of the Admissions Review Committee, the Business Administration Curriculum Committee, and the City College Dean’s Search Committee. Wheeler was an elected representative on the Student Government Association and the president of the Administrative Management Society. He was a member of the Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma academic fraternities and a member of the Alpha Delta Gamma social fraternity.

After graduating from Loyola, Wheeler earned his master of business administration degree from Southern Methodist University and his juris doctor from Tulane University. He was a member of the Loyola University president’s council from 1989 until it was disbanded in 1999 and served on the Loyola University Alumni Association board of directors from 1984 to 1990. Wheeler is a Fellow in the Loyola Institute of Politics and an adjunct faculty member of the Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business. Wheeler’s professional career spans over 20 years in investment banking and law, working in New Orleans, New York, Dallas and Houston. His investment banking expertise includes working for Lehman Brothers, Kidder Peabody, and Bank of America. Wheeler is a partner in the law firm of Gordon, Arata, McCollam, Duplantis and Eagan, where he represents a variety of corporate clients and financial institutions primarily in commercial transactions.

Wheeler is active in numerous professional and civic endeavors. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the New Orleans Bar Association. Wheeler is currently a member of the boards of directors of Christopher Homes and Friends of St. Alphonsus, and previously served on the board of directors of a local publicly-traded company. He has been the vice chairman of the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority and a member of the Governor’s Economic Development Commission.

Percy Marchand is the youngest of five children born to George and Janice Marchand, Sr. He currently owns and operates Marchand Ink, formerly Marchand Printing, a company which he began more than 10 years ago as a freshman at St. Augustine High School. The company had not settled in its new offices for more than a week when Hurricane Katrina caused over $50,000 in uninsured flood damages to the property and equipment.

Through the grace of God, family, and friends, Percy re-started his business in May 2006. The operation has not only been rebuilt to its previous capacity, but boasts new and updated equipment, a full-time staff, and a significantly increased clientele. Just recently, Idea Café selected Marchand from over 1,700 applicants as the grand winner of its national business grant competition.

In addition to for-profit ventures, Marchand also founded and directs YouthStartUp.com, a community program development and implementation organization which provides educational, entrepreneurial, and life-skills development courses to youth ages 14 to 21 and the African-American Leadership Conference, a 3-day conference aimed at retaining college-educated African-Americans in the City of New Orleans.

Marchand also serves as a legislative assistant for the Louisiana House of Representatives. In this position, Marchand organizes and facilitates community meetings and forums on the rebuilding progress of New Orleans’ Upper and Lower Ninth Ward areas.

In June 2006, Marchand was elected to the board of directors of the Gert Town Revival Initiative, Inc., and was subsequently elected to serve as chairman of the board.

Before attaining a bachelors of business administration degree from Loyola University New Orleans, Marchand served as vice president of the Student Government Association, president of the Black Student Union, and in the spring of 2000 joined the brotherhood of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, through the Rho Epsilon Chapter. He was named the North American Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year for the Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas region in 2001.

As a student at St. Augustine High School, Marchand participated in the school’s music program as a member of the jazz, symphonic, and marching bands. He was selected as a drum major for the renown “Marching 100” band and named a National Merit Semifinalist.

His stories of accomplishments and lessons learned have been featured in numerous publications including the front cover of The Times-Picayune Money Section (“Which Student Will be the Next Corporate Success Story”), BIZ New Orleans Magazine, the Louisiana Weekly, and various other print and television news outlets. He was recently featured in a post-Katrina article published in the London Times and named one of New Orleans Magazine’s “30 People to Watch” in its September edition.

He is currently a member of the Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., where he serves as the director of educational activities, and chapter advisor for Tulane University’s Rho Iota Chapter.

Loyola University New Orleans is a Jesuit-Catholic institution with a total student enrollment of 4,724 including 800 law students.