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Class of 1961 to be Honored at Commencement

Class of 1961 to be Honored at Commencement

Golden Scholars

Vernel McCullor, from left, and George Dewey lead the Golden Scholars at last year's spring commencement at McNeese State University. The Class of 1961 will be honored during the 2011 spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Burton Coliseum.

The Class of 1961 will be honored during the annual celebration of the McNeese State University Alumni Association's Golden Scholar Society on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21.

These graduates attended McNeese when enrollment was 2,946 and the new Frazar Memorial Library opened. Tuition was $30 for the fall semester and $25 for the spring semester, while room and board for one semester only cost $268.

"Each spring, when these alumni get together during Reunion Weekend, you can't help but feel the excitement in the air," said Joyce Patterson, McNeese alumni director.

"They come back to campus with such enthusiasm and joy. It's contagious. To see them sharing memories of their times here at McNeese, laughing at stories of campus happenings and visiting with classmates they haven't seen in years…it's truly amazing to be a part of that," said Patterson.

On Friday, the graduates will meet in for a social, luncheon and an induction ceremony in McNeese's Parra Ballroom inside the Student Union Annex. Each member of the Golden Scholar Society will receive a lapel pin and an honorary certificate.

Members will then take a tour of the Shearman Fine Arts Theatre and the renovated quadrangle, which includes the new John McNeese statue.

On Saturday, the graduates will wear gold robes and march in spring commencement at 10 a.m. at Burton Coliseum with the Class of 2011. After their recognition during commencement, they will be honored with a reception at the McNeese president's home.

Class members are traveling from Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Virginia to attend this year's event. Two participants - Shon Castillo and Joy Dawn Rush Allee - have family connections to the McNeese Class of 2011. Castillo has a great niece, Katherine Graves, and Allee has a granddaughter, Rebeka Dawn Broussard, scheduled to receive their degrees.

The Golden Scholars from the class of 1961 are as follows: Margaret Anne Pellerin Akey, Allee, Barbara E. Isdale Bankens, Marie LeJeune Bennett, George Ann Morrow Benoit, Bettie Ruth LaFleur Brasher, Mary Jean Natali Broussard, Roberta Rae Bourgeois, Betty Ann Carrier, Castillo, Phyllis Elaine Collins Cuevas, Gayle Norman Davis, Nina Lynn DeVilbiss, Malon Utelious Dobson, Shelton Truman Fontenot, Dorris (D.J.) J. Fournerat, Lawrence James Gardner, James Michael Greene, Peggy Meadows Greene, Herman Ray Hill, Rita Ann Caldarera Hudgins, Mary Alice Carrier Hurst, Donald Eugene Ivey, Katherine Weldon Jean, Louise Lee Lyons Kepper, Harold Wayne Lyon, Ann Mathis, Henry Dale Meachum, Clarence McKnight, Sandra Owens Nourrcier, Robbie Lou Rasberry Ritchie, John C. Stubblefield, Sandra Claire Gilbert Weatherford, Mary Ann Walker Whitworth, Diane A. Hursh Wilkinson and Marietta Spees Woodley.

The Class of 1961 has invited classmates from 1939-1960 to participate. If you have not registered, contact Stephanie Clark, assistant alumni director, at (337) 475-5232 or