Archived News | Return to News Center

November 19, 2007

Envision ULM: community embraces higher education

At Envision ULM, the university and the greater community celebrated the infinite power of higher education.

On Nov. 15 at the Monroe Civic Center, ULM President James E. Cofer said: "Tonight we are celebrating what is most important: 'the life of the mind.' We are celebrating that great endeavor through the words of those who are most important to ULM - our students, faculty and alumni. Jack (Blitch), Henry (Cole) and Larry (Shappley) are the representatives of those three entities that make this institution great."

Jack Blitch, the Vice President for Attractions Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, earned his bachelor's of science degree in construction at ULM in 1971. He talked about architecture mentors Thurman Potts, who started the construction program at ULM, and his father.

"My mentors had no idea what they had prepared me for back in 1971 and now all those architectural history, economics, business law, and accounting classes at ULM made perfect sense and helped prepare me for my career. With that experience, I now manage a group of 300 Imagineers at Walt Disney World where we are challenged to create and deliver the impossible."

ULM bolstered another young student with big aspirations. Larry Shappley, a junior criminal justice major from West Monroe, plans to attend law school. The foundation he received at ULM prepared him for those goals, he said.

"I can truly say that the discipline and hard work that the professors have instilled in me have laid the foundation for my future success. I have learned, through the guidance from my professors, that hard work is the key to success," said Shappley, who came to ULM with an academic and an athletic scholarship.

Henry Cole ('71), program chair of marketing and business communication, talked about the crucial role of faculty involvement in student success, the importance of service to the community and the significant research conducted by ULM faculty. He cited Bob Eisenstadt, Bruce Walker, Paul Dunn, Tammy Parker and Ken Clow, all Ph.Ds in the College of Business Administration.

"For good things to happen, there must be an environment that lends itself to success. We do have such an environment at ULM. We have an environment that is student-centered, is positive, fun and respectful. You add many talented people, you add diligence and the result is that good things happen and lives are touched," Cole said.

The Emy-Lou Biedenharn Foundation received the 2007 Hall of Distinction Award, an award that recognizes those who have honored ULM through a lifetime of distinction or exemplary service to the university. Upon accepting the award, Murray Biedenharn commented on the immeasurable ways to benefit people through higher education.

Citing former Hall of Distinction Award winners Kitty DeGree and the Thomas H. and Mayme P. Scott Foundation, Biedenharn said:

"This is a group of people who always recognizes that with economic success comes not only an obligation to help other people, but a privilege to help other people. And it's certainly been ingrained in our family for three generations. I don't think there's any better way to touch more people than to support this university, and we're very proud to do that."

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.