The McNeese State University Alumni Association has announced its 2022 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award recipients: 3rd Judicial District Attorney John Belton; retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy; and Blake McCaskill, senior vice president of commercial lending for First National Bank of Louisiana.
A reception for the recipients and their friends and families will be held in the Kleckley Room of the Legacy Center Friday, Nov. 4. This award recognizes McNeese graduates who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of endeavor on a national or international level and is the highest award presented by the alumni association
Belton, of Ruston, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies in 1986 from McNeese and his Juris Doctor degree from Southern University in 1990.
In 1991, he moved to north Louisiana to practice law, and for over 30 years, Belton has served as a prosecutor in the 3rd Judicial District, which includes Lincoln and Union parishes. He was elected district attorney in 2014 and re-elected in 2020 without opposition.
He is currently vice president of the National District Attorneys Association and past president of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association.
From 1999 to 2005, Belton served on the Southern University Board of Supervisors and served two terms as chairman of the board. He has also served as a board member on the University Medical Center Management Corp., Life Choices North Central Louisiana, Lincoln Health Foundation and Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.
He presently serves on the board of directors of Louisiana National Bank, the Eddie G. Robinson Museum and Teach One to Lead One mentoring program. He is a co-founder and board member of the North Central Louisiana Boys and Girls Club. Belton and his wife, Alana, own the Belton Companies, which have a portfolio that includes restaurants, real estate and timber land holdings.
At McNeese, Belton played football and was active in the Student Government Association. He has been recognized as a Trailblazer by the McNeese Black Alumni Chapter for his significant contributions to his alma mater and the Black community.
Lundy, of Blanco, Texas, received his Bachelor of Science degree in botany in 1987 from McNeese. He served as vice president and president of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, president of Blue Key Honor Fraternity and Student Government Association Executive Assistant. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate from the university’s ROTC program and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in Army Aviation.
He retired from the U.S. Army in 2020 after serving more than 33 years in the military.
During his service, Lundy commanded at every level, with his final assignment as commanding general at the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) from 2016-2019, where he led over 70,000 soldiers and civilians at 57 different global locations in the U.S. Army’s strategic organization. In this capacity, he was responsible for leading the development of the Army’s doctrine (how the Army fights), organizational (unit) designs, collective training requirements and strategy, and the Army’s Leader Development and Education program.
Also head of Army University, Lundy was responsible for providing professional military education annually to over 180,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, as well as thousands of international partners from over 90 different countries.
Previously, Lundy commanded the Army Aviation Center of Excellence and served as deputy commanding general of CAC, the 1st Armored Division and the 25th Infantry Division and as commander of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and the 1-25th Attack Helicopter Battalion. During his various assignments, he deployed on multiple operational and combat assignments, including combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and peace enforcement deployments to Haiti and Bosnia.
Lundy earned a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and he received numerous awards for his service, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Legions of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medals for Valor and for Achievement, the Army Master Aviator, Combat Action and Army Parachutist Badges and the Ranger Tab.
He is currently the owner of MDLundy LLC Defense Consulting Services, serves on the advisory board of a major international aviation company and continues to serve as a Headquarters Department of the Army Senior Mentor, providing mentorship and leader development for U.S. Army senior leaders and their headquarters staffs during major Army wargames.
McCaskill, of Sulphur, received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1987 from McNeese. He was a member of the Blue Key Honor Fraternity and McNeese football team, earning All-Academic Team honors.
He is a past president of the McNeese Alumni Association and is currently on its board of directors. He is also on the board of directors of the McNeese Quarterback Club and is a member of the McNeese Athletic Foundation.
McCaskill is a proven leader with over 30 years of experience in the banking industry. He has also served as a leader on a multitude of boards and various civic organizations including: chairman of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation’s Board of Directors; United Way of Southwest Louisiana; Better Business Bureau; the Calcasieu Community Clinic; the Volunteer Center of SWLA; and the Kiwanis Club of Southwest Louisiana.