Centenary College of Louisiana

The President's Report, 1997-98

From Kenneth L. Schwab, President
Centenary College of Louisiana

Selected Accomplishments


Choir Sings at White House. The Choir sang on December 5, 1997 at a reception hosted by President and Mrs. Bill Clinton.

National Publications Recognize Centenary:

  • No. 1 "Best College Value" among the South's regional colleges and universities, U.S. News and World Report, September, 1998
  • ("7th among the 'Best College Values' in the South, "U.S. News and World Report,September, 1997)

  • "8th among the South's Top 15 regional colleges and universities," U.S. News and World Report, August, 1998
  • ("6th among the South's Top 15 regional colleges and universities," U.S. News and World Report, August, 1997)

  • "Among the nation's 150 Best College Values," Money Magazine, 1997

  • "12th among Best Buys in the Southwest," Money Magazine, 1997

  • "One of 92 colleges in the nation selected," The Student Guide to America's Best Scholarships,1998-99

  • "One of 87 colleges in the nation chosen," America's Best Christian Colleges, 1999

  • Peterson's Four Year Colleges, 1997

  • Peterson's Competitive Colleges: Top Colleges and Universities in the U.S. for the World's
  • Best Students
    , 1997-98

Chemistry Club Among Nation's Top 8%. The Centenary Chemistry Club received a citation from the American Chemical Society that placed it in the top 8 percent of ACS recognized chemistry clubs in the nation.


Largest Contribution Ever: $10 Million. $2 Million Gift Made.The largest contribution ever to Centenary College -- $10 million -- was announced Oct. 16, 1997. The sum is to be doubled when it is matched by future gifts to Centenary's comprehensive campaign. The College also announced a $2 million anonymous gift in December 1997.

Three New Endowed Chairs. Three families who are longtime supporters of Centenary made gifts that will result in Eminent Scholars Chairs at the College. When matched with Louisiana Board of Regents funds, they will form the College's first "super chair," the $2 million R. Z. Biedenharn Chair in Communication, and two $1 million chairs, the Bill and Sarah James Chair in Psychology and the Albert Sklar Chair in Geophysics.

Eminent Scholars Chair in Neurobiology. The Louisiana Board of Regents completed its $400,000 funding to match the $600,000 gift from Edwin Frost Whited to establish the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Eminent Scholars Chair in Neurobiology.

Magale Endowed Professorship. The Regents also completed the $100,000 Joanna G. Magale Endowed Professorship.

TOPS Scholarships Arrive. Centenary became the first private college in Louisiana to combine the State of Louisiana's innovative "TOPS" grants with sufficient funds to offer full-tuition to top freshmen entering in 1998-99. Louisiana's Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), effective for 1998 college freshmen, offers scholarships to students who meet certain requirements and attend any college or university in the state. Freshmen enrollment for fall 1998 increased by 30 percent over the previous year.

Financial Support. Over $26.3 million were raised in 1996-97, including over $3.0 million in annual giving. As of May 31, 1998, over $18.0 million were raised in 1997-98, including $2.4 million in annual giving.

Endowment Investment Policy. The investment policy was revised to establish a spending policy, asset allocation and selection of new investment managers.

National Prepaid Tuition Plan. Centenary joined a select group of private colleges and universities seeking to launch a national prepaid tuition program that will help reduce families' future college costs while bolstering enrollments. The Tuition Plan, Inc. (TPI), now being refined, will allow the prepayment of up to 100 percent of a child's future college tuition and room-and-board costs via purchasing contracts that lock-in costs at today's prices or even lower.


New Rotary Hall Suites. Centenary dedicated its newest residence hall during festivities October 16, 1997 on the terrace of Rotary Hall Suites. The $2.4 million renovation project was part of an overall $7 million bond project that is funding a number of campus projects.

And Other Improvements. The College has also added heating and air conditioning improvements, new residence hall furniture, a bus, various lighting projects, and a library networking system. A state-of-the-art biology lab and other new equipment for the sciences were added. New windows and carpeting were placed in the Meadows Museum of Art. Major changes were made to the Magale Library, which now features new classrooms, carpet and an Internet Computer Café. New computer equipment and an extended network were placed on line. Haynes Gymnasium received a new aerobics and fitness center and a weight room.


SACS Accreditation and Certification. Centenary was reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, following an 18-month Self Study. In addition, the NCAA team, which visited Centenary in connection with the accreditation visit of SACS, issued its report and certified Centenary's athletic programs without conditions.

First-year Advising. A new first-year advising program was developed and a common first-year course prepared for the fall of 1998.

Student Leadership Institute. A new Centenary Leadership Institute was piloted and passed by the faculty. This institute was developed from Centenary's work with the American Council on Education/Kellogg Foundation's national program focused on transformational change.

9th Annual Leadership Conference. The conference continued to seek out and nurture those in leadership roles in Shreveport-Bossier.

11th Annual Book Bazaar. The Friends of Centenary announced an all-time record profit of over $28,000 from the 11th annual Book Bazaar.

Danish Visitors. For the second year, the Office of Intercultural Affairs coordinated and hosted a 10-day visit by members of the Danish Association of Teachers of English in a program that highlighted Southern literature and culture.

Curtis Garden Added. The Wayne Curtis Memorial Garden, Centenary's newest garden, was dedicated Oct. 4, 1997. The garden honors the late Mr. Curtis (BA '69, MBA '87), a Shreveport business and civic leader and former president of the Centenary Alumni Association.

TAAC Resignation / Southland Application. The College gave the necessary two years' notice for its withdrawal from the Trans American Athletic Conference (TAAC) and applied for membership in the Southland Conference.

Study Series. The spring Literary Study Series took an in-depth look at works by Elizabeth Spencer, who spoke at a spring luncheon.

Honorary Doctorates. Honored with the College's highest recognition, the honorary doctorate, during 1998 commencement exercises were: Bishop Dan E. Solomon of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church; Dr. Charles Black, a Shreveport physician and medical missionary; and Mr. Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition/Saturday on National Public Radio.

Globefest. The College held its first Globefest: A Celebration of International Food, Fun and Friendship. During a two-week period, a variety of events related to travel and the world's many cultures were held both on and off campus. The capstone event was an International Food and Culture Fest held at the Barnwell Center. Globefest also celebrated the College's new International Travel Scholarship Program, which helps provide a round-trip airline ticket for every Centenary junior or senior who wishes to study in an approved academic program in any country.

Hurley Library Honors Three. A reception and celebration were held in the Hurley Music Library in honor of three special friends: David Redwine, Robert Murray and the late Wayne Sanders. Each has contributed special music collections to the Music Library.


  • Jimmy Van Doren, a senior from Jonesboro, Ark., was a regional finalist in the Rhodes Scholar competition.

  • Dr. Dana Kress, associate professor of French, was selected for a Special Achievement Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities for his groundbreaking research on the artist Jean Despujols.

  • Chemistry Professor Tom Ticich and junior chemistry and environmental science major Joseph West Jr. conducted research at the NASA-Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Their research used laser techniques to detect and characterize small metal clusters and to analyze trace metals in solutions. Part of their study laid the groundwork for applying the technique to the analysis of Martian soil.

  • Herbert Lang, Centenary basketball player and a senior from Brinkley, Ark., won the NCAA's national Slam Dunk competition during a nationally broadcast event March 26, 1998 on ESPN.

  • Softball player Michelle Reeve was drafted by the Tampa Bay Firestix of the Women's Professional Fastpitch League.

  • Dr. Earle Labor, Wilson Professor of American Literature, was cited as "undoubtedly the most distinguished and prolific Jack London scholar" in the latest issue of Resources for American Literary Study. He also won recognition as a Robert Frost authority and participated in an international Frost conference.

  • Biology Professor Ed Leuck received a special award for his dedication and success in the development of the Centenary Arboretum, which has more species of native plants than any other arboretum in the state.

  • Financial Aid Director Mary Sue Rix was named "Woman of the Year" by the Louisiana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

  • Science faculty members and students made good use of the largest science grant Centenary has ever received -- the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Award. Faculty and students were engaged in summer research both at Centenary and at the LSU Medical Center.

  • Dr. Mark Fisch, chairman of the Department of Sociology, edited the book Criminology 98/99 for the McGraw-Hill publishing firm.

  • Dr. Mark Gruettner, assistant professor of German, was the author of Intertextuality and Social Criticism in Guenter Grass's Headbirths and The Rat.

  • Professor Emeritus Lee Morgan, was the author of the book Dr. Johnson's 'Own Dear Master': The Life of Henry Thrale, published in the spring of 1998 by the University Press of America.

  • Dr. Mary Barrett, associate professor of geology, presented a paper in August 1998 at Oil Spill 98, an international oil spill conference held in Southampton, England. Her paper was entitled "The Oil Spill of the Century: Massive Spillage in Early 20th Century United States."

  • Founders' Day, April 2, and Alumni and Family Weekend, April 2-5, included special awards to Dr. Bettina Hilman, Alumni Hall of Fame; Judge Carl E. Stewart and Mr. Fletcher Thorne-Thomsen, Honorary Alumni; and Katherine Turner Cheesman, Alumni Loyalty Award.

  • Inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame were Mitch Ashmore, Ken Babcock, Jill Brown Hirsch, Larry Little, Joe Prather, Albert Thomas, and Bob F. Wright.

  • Because of his role as co-editor of Centenary's French-language newspaper Le Tintamarre, French student Clint Bruce was invited to meet with Pierre Cassan, the secretary general of the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie.

  • Junior Jennifer Phifer won the top honor at the Alpha Chi National Honor Society regional meeting for her paper, which was an analysis of the musical composition in T.S. Eliot's poem "East Coker."

  • Biology professors Beth and Ed Leuck were nationally featured on the cover and in the lead of an article about faculty couples. The article appeared in the April 17, 1998 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

  • President Schwab was elected to serve on the board of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church. He was also selected to serve as secretary of the Associated Colleges of the South, Chairman of the Louisiana Independent College Foundation, and a member of the Education Cabinet of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.

  • Centenary's Outstanding Teaching Award went to Dr. Rodney Grunes, chairman of the Department of History and Political Science, and the Alumni Research Grant was awarded to Dr. Mark Fisch, chairman of the Department of Sociology.

  • John Hyatt, a senior chemistry major, presented "Photophysics of Unimolecular Dissociation of Trimethyldioxetane" at the 11th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) held at the University of Texas in Austin.

  • A new work by Dr. Thomas Stone, assistant professor of music, was premiered by the University of North Texas Wind Symphony. Entitled "Carnevale," the piece is a compilation and arrangement of music introduced by Igor Stravinsky. It was orchestrated for a chamber wind ensemble of 11 players.

  • Senior Jimmy Jones, a physics and geology major, was one of seven students nationally to receive $1,000 scholarships from the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (SIPES) Foundation.

  • Michael Farris, who graduated from Centenary College in May 1997, was chosen to receive a national Undergraduate Polymer Research Award. Nominees for the award were required to be seniors and had to present their findings or have had them published. Farris was one of ten national recipients, who were selected based upon their knowledge of Polymer chemistry.


    Corrington Award for Excellence in Literature. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anthony Hecht received the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence from Centenary.

    Dr. Brian Levin and Thomas Halpern, experts on hate and extremist groups, kicked off the 1997-98 academic year at the President's Convocation. Their appearance was the first event in a year-long series of programs related to the year's theme of "Tolerance/Intolerance." All first-time students received a copy of their book, The Limits of Dissent: The Constitutional Status of Armed Civilian Militias.

    Centenary Leadership Institute Speaker. Former governor and congressman Charles "Buddy" Roemer discussed "Ethics in Politics" at the first public lecture sponsored by Centenary's new Leadership Institute.

    NPR's Scott Simon at Commencement. Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition/Saturday on National Public Radio spoke at commencement on May 9, 1998 in the Gold Dome.

    A Wealth of Speakers, Lecturers:

  • Convocation speakers included Andrei Codrescu of New Orleans, commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered; Dr. Charles Kegley Jr. of the University of South Carolina, on American foreign policy and international relations; Rachel Gaunt, on "BADvertising;" Teja Arboleda on "Ethnic Man," Brenda Marie Osby, poet; Federal Judge Carl Stewart, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership; and Mariah Burton Nelson, whose topic was "The Stronger Women Get, the More Men Love Football."

  • Attorney-Author Frank-Dieter Freiling of Hamburg, Germany spent a week on campus as a German Marshall Fund Fellow.

  • Curtis Meadows of the Meadows Foundation spoke at the fall luncheon of the Paul Brown Society.

  • Dr. Ron Chesser of the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory spoke during the Science Division Colloquium series.

  • George W. Hester Jr. of the Hester Advisory Group spoke on "Preserving Family Wealth."

  • Louise Cort, curator of the Freer Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution; Leedom Lefferts, a Southeast Asian specialist and cultural anthropologist from Drew University; and John Stubbs, vice president of programs for the World Monuments Funds, spoke at the Meadows Museum during a program connected with the historic Despujols Photographs exhibition.

  • Dr. Hum Dac Dui, a representative of the CaoDai faith, spoke at an event sponsored by the School of Church Careers.

  • Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Margaret Gibson and David McKain, authors, spent a week on campus this spring.

  • Chemist and poet Peppino Vlannes spoke during National Poetry Month.

  • Dr. Jeanne Campbell Reesman of the University of Texas in San Antonio spoke on " 'Tramps Abroad': the Literary Careers of Mark Twain and Jack London."

  • Lighthouse Director Ron Anderson spoke during a Centenary breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Outside performers included Grammy award-winning singer Barbara Bailey Hutchinson; "Humorous Hypnotist" Dan LaRosa; illusionists Kevin and Cindy Spencer; acoustic guitarist Michael Gulezian; Comedian Mark Britten; and actors Julie Oliver and Sean Duffey of the cast of MTV's The Real World, who discussed a range of issues related to "tolerance and intolerance." Bands included Domestic Problems and Ragedy Ann.


    The Meadows Museum of Art held the exhibits "French Colonial Realism: Indochina in the Camera's Eye," "Please Touch," "The Hargrove Collection of Tribal Art," "Ultra Realistic Sculpture" by Marc Sijan, "Christmas Tree Ornaments from the Bush White House," "All Stars: American Sporting Prints from the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," and "Inuit Art from the Collection of Jack and Jean Stein." Turner Art Center exhibited works by Don Thornton, the Hoover Watercolor Society, Margarete Monsour, Robert St. John, Deborah Howard and Mike Dean.

    The Marjorie Lyons Playhouse presented Angels in America, Part I and Part II; God's Country; Lost in Yonkers; and Grand Hotel.

    Internationally renowned pianist Mark Zeltser joined the Centenary faculty in January as professor of music and artist-in-residence. Professor Zeltser spoke and performed during the annual Founders' Day Convocation. He has performed with some of the world's greatest orchestras and has won several international piano competitions. During the summer, he was a guest artist with the Dallas Symphony, receiving critical acclaim and standing ovations.

    The Centenary Opera Workshop, directed by Dr. Horace English, presented a fully staged and costumed version of Act II of Johann Strauss Jr.'s comic masterpiece Die Fledermaus.

    Music and dance events included the Centenary Choir's Rhapsody in View and numerous other appearances, faculty and student recitals, the Wind and Jazz Ensemble concerts, Friends of Music series, Camerata Christmas Concert, annual Wideman piano competition, the annual Candlelight Christmas service and campus lighting ceremony.

    The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, a professional touring company, presented The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure and Richard III during a week of performances.

    The Centenary Film Society hosted a visit by award-winning Louisiana filmmaker Pat Mire and the North Louisiana premiere of his film Dirty Rice. The Society also hosted a visit by Louisiana filmmaker Beverly Lewis, who spoke on campus and introduced her documentary film American Utopia.

    The Centenary Dance Program sponsored an appearance and workshop by Gracey Tune, internationally known tap dancer. Ms. Tune, the founding artistic director of Arts on Tap, took part in Centenary's "Master Dance Teachers Series," a program made possible by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts Decentralized Arts Funding Program.

    See also:

    The President's Report 1997-98: Vision and Plan:
    "Our Vision"

    For further information, contact:
    Centenary News Service, Centenary College of Louisiana,
    2911 Centenary Boulevard, Shreveport, LA 71134-1188

    Email: Centenary News Service lstewart@centenary.edu

    318-869-5120 or 869-5709
    Fax: 318-869-5026