“We are paying tribute to Kay and Bill by announcing that from Saturday forward their names will be part of Cowboy Stadium – Cowboy Stadium Honors Kay and Bill Doré,” said Bruce Hemphill, McNeese athletics director.
Bill will also be an honorary captain with the team at the coin toss prior to the start of the game.
The university and the athletics department have benefited greatly from the generosity of Kay and Bill Doré, according to McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams. “Education is important to Kay and Bill and we sincerely appreciate their continued financial commitment to both the university and the athletics department.”
Bill received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McNeese and he earned athletic letters in football and track. He was inducted into the McNeese Athletics Hall of Honor in 1988, he received the prestigious McNeese Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1995 and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2005.
“We are very fortunate that Bill has been especially generous in his support of his alma mater,” said Richard Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president for the McNeese Foundation.
In 2008 a generous $1 million donation to the McNeese Foundation for athletic-related endeavors was used to establish scholarships for student-athletes and a portion of that donation was used to complete the debt obligations on the SkyRanch. This allowed the athletics department to begin generating revenue from funds received for private and corporate boxes and seats in the Blue and Gold Room. Prior to this, fees collected for the boxes and seats in the Blue and Gold Room were used to pay the construction debt on the facility that opened in 1998.
A $2 million endowment through the McNeese Foundation to support graduate student stipends resulted in the graduate school being named the William J. Doré School of Graduate Studies and the Doré Family Foundation was instrumental in creating the Kay Doré Counseling Center at McNeese, a facility that provides a clinical setting to train students to provide quality mental health services.
Bill is also one of the founders of the Golden Saddle Club, which raises funds to provide scholarships to McNeese rodeo students, and he was instrumental in establishing the McNeese Rodeo Hall of Fame, located at Burton Coliseum.
“If all of that were not enough, many more areas of McNeese have been enhanced by the commitment and generosity of Bill and Kay Doré over the years,” Williams said. These include the general University Fund, men’s basketball and baseball teams, track and field, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer and volleyball, the visual arts department’s mural contest, the marching band’s travel to the football national championship game in Chattanooga, Tenn., an educational program aimed at reducing the number of middle school drop-outs, the McNeese Hurricane Rita Support Fund, doctoral stipends for faculty in the McNeese College of Nursing and the 2010 President’s Transition Fund used to renovate the president’s home.
A businessman and entrepreneur, Bill Doré founded Global Industries Ltd., a worldwide marine construction and offshore diving company, and he retired as its chief executive officer in 2006. He has been recognized for his lifetime achievements with a national Horatio Alger Award in 2000, and in 2016, he was honored as one of the state’s outstanding Louisianans at the Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s Louisiana Legends Gala.
“Kay and Bill understand and value the discipline, hard work, dedication and determination required especially by the student-athlete and the graduate student,” said Hemphill. “We are recognizing their commitment to education, McNeese State University and McNeese athletics.”