By Jim Smilie
The Rotary Club of Alexandria awarded its highest honor, the Service Above Self Award, to Dr. Greg Gormanous during the club’s meeting Tuesday afternoon in Alexandria Convention Hall.
Gormanous, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Louisiana State University of Alexandria, has a lengthy history of service to the Central Louisiana community. He is best known for his work to promote music events as well as Mardi Gras celebrations. Gormanous has helped organize numerous local music events and festivals, including the Otis Redding Dock of the Bay dance and the Little Walter Music Festival. He also traveled with and often introduced musician B.B. King when he was performing.
A member of the Krewe of Boogaloo, Gormanous helped start the annual Classic Cars and College Cheerleaders parade held during Mardi Gras. He also helped start the Krewe of Kolbi Bow-Wow with the Alexandria Animal Shelter and the Alexandria Zoo, where he is a current board member with Friends of the Alexandria Zoo (FOTAZ).
Gormanous has served on numerous boards and worked with a variety of service organizations including the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (LSBEP), the Alexandria Business Incubator, the Rapides Parish Primary Health Center, the Syra-Meric Club, the Alexandria Mardi Gras Association, the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Alexandria-Pineville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Rotary Club of Alexandria.
Among those who spoke on Gormanous’ behalf were former LSUA Chancellor Dr. Robert Cavanaugh, former Alexandria Zoo Director Lee Ann Whitt, LSUA Chief of Staff Melinda Anderson and Rotarian Mike Tudor. Tudor described Gormanous as, “the personification of a civic minded Rotarian.” Whitt said one of the things she admires most about Gormanous is that he, “loves to make moments for people. He likes to create great memories.”
Anderson, who chaired the Service Above Self Selection Committee, noted Gormanous is the 25th recipient of the award from the Alexandria club. “This is the highest honor Rotary can bestow on an individual,” she said. “The award is presented to an outstanding citizen of Central Louisiana who has unselfishly given to the community above and beyond their normal activities with no thought of self-benefit.” The recipient does not have to be a member of Rotary or the Alexandria club.
Previous recipients of the Rotary Club of Alexandria Service Above Self Award include: Dr. Haywood Joiner, Harry Silver, Jonathan Martin, Charles Charrier, Charlie Weems, Mike Tudor, Mike Johnson, Wayne Denley, Francis Davis, Glenda Stock, Rabbi Arnold Task, Jacque and Edwin Caplan, Scott Brame, Joy Hodges, Sara Simmonds, June Peach, George Foote, Robert Bolton, Wilton Fremaux, James Meyer, Charles White, Harry Brian and Robert Nash.
Pictured are (from left) Alexandria Rotary Director of Community Service Scott Laliberte, Gormanous, Alexandria Rotary President Robert Taylor, Alexandria Rotary Service Above Self Committee Chair Melinda Anderson and retired Alexandria Zoo Director Lee Ann Whitt.