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November 6, 2003

Outstanding ULM Alumni Honored at Awards Dinner

This year's recipient of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Alumni Association Golden Arrow Award is Representative Charles R. McDonald.

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 2003 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.

First as an educator and now as a legislator, McDonald, a Holly Ridge native, has had a lasting impact on education in Louisiana. He has taught and been an administrator at the elementary, secondary, and university levels. McDonald served under Presidents Walker, Vines, and Swearingen at ULM. He was one of the architects of TOPS and has chaired the education committee in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

McDonald graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1961. Coming from a family of sharecroppers, he worked his way through college by joining the ROTC and bagging groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly. He then was commissioned in the Army after which he returned to northeast Louisiana to take a job at Oak Grove High School. McDonald received his M.Ed. in 1969 and his Ed.D. in 1973. He was then hired by Northeast Louisiana University where he served until he won for his seat in the state legislature in 1991.

Both McDonald and his wife, Patsy, are ULM alumni and are active in their support of the University. Among the many things that they do to support ULM, is the hosting of an annual alumni and student recruitment dinner in Morehouse Parish. McDonald has also been a key ally for the University in the State Legislature. He has helped protect and enhance the University's financial resources, and he works tirelessly to increase the prominence of ULM among legislators.

ULM Alumni Association Director, Pam Shepherd, says, "ULM has no friend more loyal than Charles McDonald or "Dr. Mac." as we call him. There is probably no one single person that has promoted this university as tirelessly for so many years as Dr. Mac. From the time he came as a student, through his three degrees, and then returning as an employee up to his time as a legislator. He represents well what the Golden Arrow Award recognizes: outstanding support for the alumni association, the local chapter, and professional distinction."

ULM President James E. Cofer, Sr., says of McDonald, "Charlie Mac's vision and leadership have advanced ULM and education throughout the state of Louisiana. We are proud to honor him with this special award."

The Alumni Chapter of the Year Award went to the Acadiana Chapter with Brenda Brantly Dudley, as their president. The winner this year for the ULM Service Award is Sharon Traxler, whose outstanding devotion to the University serves as a model.

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