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Loyola University New Orleans Presents Integritas Vitae Award to Lynn Coatney 

By Loyola University on Mon, 07/26/2021 - 09:59

Local philanthropist will be honored Friday, August 13, during an evening of Cuban music

(NEW ORLEANS – July 26, 2021) Loyola University New Orleans presents one of its highest honors next month to a retired special education teacher who has made a profound impact on the lives of countless Loyola students. Lynn Coatney, a philanthropist committed to volunteerism around the greater New Orleans area and beyond, will be honored Friday, August 13, at the home of entertainment mogul Scott Rodger during an evening of Cuban music led by world-renowned actor (and musician) Andy Garcia.

The University’s Integritas Vitae Award is presented annually to someone who has lived “a life of integrity.” Mrs. Coatney, a resident of New Orleans, became officially involved with Loyola when her daughter Laura was a student. Laura, who transferred from another university after an injury that left her with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, chose Loyola as she found it “incredibly accepting and willing to accommodate.” Mrs. Coatney fell in love with the close-knit community on campus and became very involved with the university as a way of demonstrating her appreciation and support for the teaching and services Laura received while a student.

 A decades-long volunteer in the greater New Orleans area, Mrs. Coatney began her volunteer service at Loyola as a member of the Visiting Committee for the College of Arts & Sciences and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Together with her husband, Mike, she has given generously to support numerous projects at Loyola including the Pan-American Life Student Success Center, the Department of Psychology, the Office of Accessible Education, and the College of Arts & Sciences. 

When the university began designing its Pan-American Life Student Success Center unveiled in 2018, she strongly advocated for the Student Success Center's commitment to provide accommodations and technology for disabled students.  Through her generous philanthropic contributions, she has helped provide an array of accessibility services and technology that ensures that every Loyola student gets the education they deserve.

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master’s of Education in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin, Mrs. Coatney worked for years as a teacher and consultant for blind and visually impaired students in Austin and New Orleans.

Together with her husband, she started the Mike and Lynn Coatney Family Foundation, which supports nonprofits focused on education and women's healthcare. Today, she and Mike work with their three adult children to support local causes.

Their philanthropy and volunteerism over decades have benefited the Louisiana SPCA, Ochsner Medical Center’s Pediatric Department, St. Martin’s Episcopal School, Worldwide Fistula Fund, Loyola and an international girls’ health initiative called “Dignity Period,” a nonprofit organization that provides eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products and education to Ethiopian schoolchildren. 

Since 2015, the Coatneys have also sponsored the New Orleans branch of Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR), which supports survivors of sexual trauma and creates social change.

For her tireless service to others, St. Martin’s Episcopal School, where she served on the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2010, bestowed on her the 2011 Dorothy Porter Service Award. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Louisiana SPCA in addition to being a Board member at Loyola. 

“Lynn Coatney is a voice for the vulnerable. She uses her strengths and talents to improve the well-being of others, particularly those who have special needs or are marginalized in some way,” said University President Tania Tetlow. “And she does it all with complete humility in service to others. She shows us that by sharing our time and treasure, we can use our God-given talents to make a difference in this world.”