On May 22, 15 members of the Class of 1958 donned gold robes and walked with the 2008 graduating class at Commencement. Judges Burrell Carter, Fred Godwin, Arthur Planchard, Melvin Shortess and Thomas Tanner joined Bob Donovan, Ed Fetzer, John Gallaspy, Clark Gaudin, Ralph Miller, John Stephens, Ray Talley, Bill Templet, Bill Wray and Professor Frank Maraist in the celebration. John Gallaspy of Bogalusa was selected by his classmates to address the graduates. He reflected on changes in society and the law in the 50 years since “we last wore caps and gowns.” He wanted the graduates to know that their professional careers would pass very quickly. He advised them to “make the most of it in every good and honorable way.”
After the ceremony, Chancellor Weiss invited the Golden Grads to lunch in the Tucker Room—a space that had been a reading room in the library when the Class of 1958 attended LSU Law. Classmates were grateful for the opportunity to catch up on each other’s practices, families and lives.
Classmates were saddened to hear of Judge Tanner’s passing, just a few weeks after the reunion.
51 Years or Better
What comes after 50? Those graduates of 51 years or better—Les Avocats! On May 23, Chancellor Weiss hosted a luncheon for 44 alumni who graduated between 1940 and 1957. In lieu of a formal program, Les Avocats passed a microphone and shared thoughts on the meaning brought to their lives by virtue of their law school experience. We heard not only about their practices and life-long friendships, but children and grandchildren who had made LSU Law a family tradition. Joining the chancellor were: Professor Robert Pascal (’40); Martha Innes (’47); Judge Edward Engolio, George Gibson, Philip Jones, Ed Lancaster, Robert Leake, Bill Meyers and Judge C. Lenton Sartain (’48); Virginia Carmouche Gayle, John Creed, Alvin Gibson, John Laborde, Dave Langford, Joseph Olinde, Judge Tom Stagg, and Woodrow Wilson (’49); Leland Coltharp, Buck Kleinpeter, Judge Glynn Long, Julian Rodrigue, and Henry Sevier (’50); Byrum Teekell and Edwin Ware (’51); Tom Philips, Chapman Sanford, Buck Singletary and Edwin Smith (’52); Stephen Coco (’53); Marc Dupuy and Charles Palmer (’54); Professor Bill Crawford, Walter Krousel, Boris Navratil, and J. Payton Parker (’55); David Ellison, Robert Hodges, Hugh O’Connor, Judge Anne Simon and Leonard Werner (’56); Judge James Clark, John Coleman, Ernest Eldred and Jack Files (’57).
Class of 2003
This is the first year that the five-year class expressed an interest in holding a class reunion. Originally scheduled for May, they elected to change their reunion party to the date initially designated as Homecoming—September 26. The damage caused by early fall hurricanes dictated that the University move Homecoming to November 14, but the Class of 2003 stuck to it’s schedule, welcoming 78 classmates, spouses and friends to DeLaronde Hall. Chancellor Weiss was there to greet the young alumni. Typical Reasons (better known as “Jackie’s Brother’s Band”) played for the party. The group was a staple at law school parties during this class’ time in law school. So their music was suitable background for some not-so-distant “remember whens”.
In honor of their five-year class reunion, classmates are encouraging each other to participate in the Annual Fund. Scott Huffstetler is chairing that effort which has already resulted in a 6 percent increase over last year.
Hats ‘n Canes
Although technically, it is not a reunion, this event resonates with many alumni. On September 27, the Class of 2009 carried on a tradition that (with some interruption in the 1970s) has been a part of LSU Law Center since 1937—Hats ‘n Canes. Early on, Hats ‘n Canes was an affectation of dress and behavior by seniors that some might call hazing today. The more modern version of the tradition is observed as a game-day champagne toast of the 3Ls by the chancellor and a tailgate for students and their families. And of course, there is the 3L party the night before—a harbinger of reunions to come!