January 4, 2002

Loyola honors alumnus, former mayor with Integritas Vitae award

The Hon. Moon Landrieu, B'52, L'54, H'79

Loyola presented former 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge and mayor of the city of New Orleans, Moon Landrieu, with the uni-versity's most prestigious awardthe Integritas Vitae. Loyola bestows the Integritas Vitae to an individual who possesses high moral character in a lifetime of unselfish service without expectation of material reward or public recognition. Recipients of this award have demonstrated courage of convictions and adherence to the principles of honesty, integrity, justice, and preservation of human dignity throughout their lifetime.

Landrieu was a city councilman when in 1969 he led a successful push for a city ordinance outlawing segregation based on race or religion in public accommodations. A graduate of Loyola University's College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law, Landrieu came to Loyola to play baseball but was deeply influenced by the social justice views of the Revs. Joseph Fichter, S.J., and Louis Twomey, S.J.

Following law school and a three-year stint in the Army, Landrieu opened a law practice and taught accounting at Loyola. His wife Verna, also a Loyola graduate, encouraged Landrieu to give politics a try. After representing the 12th ward, Landrieu won an at-large seat on the city council and later served as mayor. In addition to being the first New Orleans mayor to open city government to a large number of African-Americans, Landrieu focused on expanding the city's shrinking economy. Among other efforts, he pushed to build the Superdome, a project that proved a huge boost to the city's economy.

Landrieu followed his term as mayor with an appointment by then-president Jimmy Carter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). During his tenure as secretary of HUD, Landrieu secured the federal financing for what became the New Orleans Convention Center. His final post in public service was as 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge, which he held from 1991 - 2000.

Landrieu and his wife have raised nine children, many of whom have followed their father into public service.