Governor Edwards Breaks Ground with Community Supporters at LSUA for New Martin Family Student Success Center

Louisiana State University of Alexandria (LSUA) has entered an exciting new era with the groundbreaking of the new Martin Family Student Success Center. The generosity of the local community tied to the support of the LSU System, the Louisiana State Legislature, and Governor John Bel Edwards, has made it possible for LSUA to begin construction on an innovative space that will serve as the centerpiece for students at every step of their collegiate journey.

The $12 million Center will be a central hub for student services that will serve as a front door to the university while ensuring that each LSUA student receives the level of individual support needed for success. Construction of this dedicated student space, which is a public-private partnership with the State of Louisiana, responds to the ongoing expansion of LSUA’s student body and pool of academic offerings – growth that has accelerated a need to make improvements to the campus’s overall appearance and add new facilities.

Hosted by the Office of the Chancellor and the LSUA Foundation, Chancellor Paul Coreil excitedly kicked off the ceremony reminding guests of LSUA’s track record of success and commitment to meeting the workforce needs of the community. Coreil concluded, “[This] a legacy project for LSUA and for Central Louisiana, where we can have the state-of-the-art student success center where everything students need is in one facility. The curbside appeal of a new building like this will help us recruit the top students from the area.”

The groundbreaking featured Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who said, “Student success just means success. It means success for that student but also for that student’s family, the community in which they live, whatever business employs them, or whatever business that student starts. It just means success.” He remarked on the continued growth of LSUA and the high expectations the state holds for qualified graduates entering the workforce.

Valencia Sarpy Jones, Chair of the LSU Board of Supervisors, noted the unprecedented support for LSUA and for higher education by the legislators of Louisiana. LSU President William F. Tate IV extolled the success of LSU System graduates contributing to the economic output of Louisiana for decades after graduation. Stephen Wright, Chair of the LSUA Foundation, thanked the many supporters and donors to the Fierce for LSUA campaign that garnered $5 million in private funds for the project, including contributions by every member of the LSUA Foundation Board and scores of LSUA faculty, staff, and students.

Evidenced by his $2 million gift to the project, Roy O. Martin III, President, CEO, and CFO of RoyOMartin, expressed his family’s heartfelt commitment to elevating the educational level of citizens across the state through scholarships and capital projects like the Martin Family Student Success Center. Martin said, “To see a student get a degree and a great job, become a doctor, or lawyer, or forester…become an engineer, or accountant when they would not have ordinarily been able, and they may be the first one in their family to do so, it is such a fulfilling thing. It just makes us very, very happy.”

LSUA Student Government President Sophi Borhi thanked LSUA’s supporters for making the dream of a student-centered building a priority, and she challenged future generations of students to take every advantage of the opportunities offered to excel in college and prepare for rewarding careers.

The services offered within the Student Success Center – spanning Admissions & Recruiting, Financial Aid, Advising, First-Year Experience, and a Career Development Center – will bolster LSUA’s retention efforts and connect students with career placement opportunities upon graduation.