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Oct. 24 2002

Outstanding ULM Alumni Honored at Awards Dinner

This year's recipient of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Alumni Association Golden Arrow Award is former ULM Alumni Director and Monroe Restaurateur, Don Weems.

The annual presentation of the award, honoring a ULM Alumnus who distinguishes himself through service to the University, was Thursday evening at the annual Alumni Awards Dinner as part of Homecoming 2002 festivities. The Golden Arrow Award was established in 1981 by the Alumni Association to recognize outstanding alumni who have served the ULM Alumni Association and their local chapter.

Weems graduated from Sarepta High School in 1964, received a BBA in Economics in 1975 from ULM, and an MBA of Business Administration from ULM in 1976. He worked for ULM for 20 years and opened his restaurant after retiring from the University in 1996.

Weems is an accomplished ULM Alumnus with many achievements. He opened his restaurant, the Waterfront Grill, in Monroe in 1996. Earlier this year Weems was named the 2002 Louisiana Restaurant Association "Restaurateur of the Year". Weems
has held the position of ULM Alumni Director and Director of Admissions. He is also a previous ULM Service Award Winner, Athletic Scholarship Foundation Booster Club President, Founder of 31 Ambassadors, Member of the "L" Club, and Life Member of the Alumni Association. While attending ULM as a student, he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma, as well as other organizations. He also remains active in the ULM Alumni Association and can usually be found tailgating in "The Grove" before every home game. Also active in the Monroe community, Weems is a member of the Board of Directors of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. He has chaired and co-chaired "Northern Exposure," a trip to the state capitol to meet with and host a reception for state legislators, for eight consecutive years. Weems is married to Dewanda, a graduate of ULM, their two children, Clay and Anna, also attended the University.

Director of the ULM Alumni Association, Pam Shepherd, says, "Don Weems is very deserving of this award because he is such a strong supporter of this institution, he never misses a chance to let it be known that he loves ULM."

President of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, James E. Cofer, Sr., says of Weems, "Don has contributed much of his talent, time, and energy to the betterment of this University. The impact that he has made on his alma mater shows not only through his involvement with the University but also with his continued involvement in the Northeast Louisiana region. Don and his entire family have supported and continue to support ULM in a way that is to be commended. We are pleased to honor Don with this special award."

The Alumni Chapter of the Year Award went to the Dallas Fort Worth Chapter with Michael Smith (1989 School of Construction graduate) as their president. The Dallas Forth Worth Chapter has the highest percentage of Active Alumni of any other chapter. This is the 3rd year in a row for the Dallas Forth Worth Chapter to win this prestigious award.

The winner this year for the ULM Service Award is Traci Murphy, ULM Head Athletic Trainer/Senior Woman Administrator. Murphy has been involved with many community service projects while at ULM. She has helped with the City of Monroe Neighborhood Blitz/Operation Clean Sweep, Keep Monroe Beautiful Campaign, Watersweep, Team ULM, Adopt-A-Spot, Buddy System, J.S. Clark Carnival, and Life Skills Coordinator. All of these service projects involved the organization and participation of ULM student athletes. She is married to Pat Murphy, ULM Assistant Football Coach.

The late Dan Johnston, a former SGA President and Cheerleader, was recognized for his remarkable contribution to ULM. His family accepted the first Distinguished Alumnus Award to be presented by the Alumni Association. Johnston, a 1982 ULM graduate in the School of Construction, meant many things to the University. He was on the implementation committee for 31 ambassadors, a Golden Indian in the Booster Club, a member of Phi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and most of all a strong supporter of all things associated with ULM.

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