50th annual ceremony recognizes distinguished alumni


Dylan Meche/The Lion's Roar

Michael R. Sharp receives a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Business at the 50th Annual Alumni Awards Evening. Sharp, a graduate from the Class of 1970, was recognized for his outstanding achievements in his field including working as a former President and CEO for First Guaranty Bank in Hammond.

As a part of Homecoming Week, a few of the university’s most celebrated and accomplished alumni were honored.

The 50th annual Alumni Awards Evening took place on Friday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Center. At the event, alumni and their friends were able to enjoy food provided by Southeastern Catering and a live jazz performance. 

Jenni O’Neil, associate director of alumni programming, explained why the university hosts these awards every year. 

“Alumni Awards Evening is our opportunity to recognize people who are distinguished in their career and have done good work in the community,” said O’Neil. “A university is only as strong as its alumni so this our opportunity to highlight those folks who are doing great things for us.”  

Some of the awards given included the L.E. Chandler Award presented to Gene Pregeant, an EEO/ADA compliance officer, and the Alumna of the Year Award presented to Michele Kidd Sutton, president and CEO of North Oaks Health System. 

Alumnus Daniel Roberts, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at Northshore Technical Community College, received the Young Alumnus of the Year award. 

Roberts shared how it felt to be honored by the university in this way. 

“It is a fantastic honor by my alma mater,” explained Roberts. “I am truly blessed to be apart of the Lion Nation family. There are so many people to be thankful for that are involved in my life that have helped me get where I am at in my career. I am so happy to continue to contribute to the university through my career.” 

Harris Beale, graduate of the class of 2015, described why he attended the event. 

“I played football here, and I really enjoyed my time,” shared Beale. “Since I graduated, I lived in Texas for a bit, but I moved back here to support my university by attending events like this.”