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KFDM 6 :: News - Top Stories - LU invites you to honor Susan and Jimmy Simmons
Thursday, February 21 2013, 10:43 AM CST
LU invites you to honor Susan and Jimmy Simmons

BEAUMONT - by Lamar University


It's a "Standing Ovation" for a bravura performance.


When alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of Lamar University pack the Montagne Center Saturday, March 2, they will be extending applause and appreciation for Lamar University President Jimmy Simmons and First Lady Susan Simmons, who have brought a new era - and a new attitude - to the university.


As Lamar prepares to commemorate its 90th anniversary this year, the "Standing Ovation" will be the opportunity to publicly recognize the couple for their leadership roles in the growth and success of the university. Dr. Simmons is returning to the faculty this year after more than 14 years of service as president and 44 years with the university.


"This is a celebration of the success of Jimmy Simmons' presidency and also an appreciation for the 44 years he's given to Lamar, with Susan being a very essential part of that,"


said Camille Mouton, vice president for university advancement.


"Dr. Simmons has been not only wonderful a leader of the university - an entrepreneurial leader, a visionary leader - but he has also been a great mentor to everyone who works for him and with him - not just the students he has taught and directed, but faculty, staff and administrators. He is a true consensus-builder," Mouton said. "He believes in being a team player, and that is one of the main reasons he has been such a successful president.


Because of his experience as a businessman, he has also run the university as a business, which is one of the many reasons for his success."


"A Standing Ovation for Jimmy and Susan Simmons" will begin with the Lady Cardinals' basketball game at 4 p.m. and continue with the Cardinals' game at 6 p.m., special presentations during halftime of the men's game and a reception on the arena floor afterward that will give guests an opportunity to personally thank the couple.


"While Dr. Simmons has been our president, we have had the opportunity to engage many more alumni and friends of this university than ever before in our history," Mouton said. "We planned this to give our community of alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends an opportunity to show their appreciation to Jimmy and Susan for how far they have brought this university forward during their tenure."


Susan and Jimmy Simmons have shared the spotlight for more than four decades, orchestrating a bright future for the university while contributing their time, talents and spirit of excellence to Southeast Texas and achieving professional success in the arts, education and business.


"Jimmy Simmons has been an outstanding educational and cultural icon for the community, and Susan has been there right along with him," said their lifelong friend Ellen Rienstra, president of the Lamar University Alumni Advisory Board. "I knew he was going to be wonderful. I just didn't know how wonderful. It is astounding what he and Susan have done.


"I have known both of them for nearly all of my life - since we all were in high school," said Rienstra, a violinist who has performed with Simmons over the years. "He was an outstanding musician then and has consistently maintained his music, which is impressive because of everything else he has had to do."


Simmons is admired as a band director, musician, educator and mentor, while Susan is a community leader who has achieved excellence as a Realtor, teacher and business owner. They are known for their accessibility to students - who both say will be their greatest legacy.


"I can't say enough about what Jimmy and Susan have done over the last several years," said Joe Domino, president of the Lamar University Foundation. "He has been at Lamar for a very long time, and his term as president has made a tremendous difference to the community. When Jimmy became president, we were very fortunate to have Susan as a part of the team. The two of them together have made Lamar something the entire community is proud of. The transformation under their leadership has been remarkable."


Mouton agreed. "One of the things he has done during his presidency is help Southeast Texas see what an asset Lamar is to the region," she said. "He has brought Lamar to the forefront - not only in education but in economic development. And the fact that enrollment has doubled during his tenure is just amazing."


The atmosphere at the "Standing Ovation" will be festive, with banners, yard signs and balloons adorning the concourse level, where a gigantic timeline of milestones will chronicle the couple's lives and contributions. Students will don "Thank you, Dr. Simmons" T-shirts, a slide presentation will capture Lamar and personal highlights, and Simmons will guest-conduct the Pep Band during the games.


"He and Susan, together, have, literally and figuratively, transformed this institution and impacted our entire region," said Juan Zabala, associate vice president for university advancement. "There are so many people who have been influenced by them over the years, and this provides the opportunity celebrate Dr. and Mrs. Simmons."


Several officials of The Texas State University System will participate in the halftime ceremony, including Chancellor Brian McCall, joined by Donna Williams of Arlington, chair of the TSUS board of regents, and regents Charlie Amato of San Antonio; Trisha Pollard of Bellaire and local regents David Montagne of Beaumont and Bill Scott of Nederland. Rienstra and Domino will make a special presentation. Alumni from as far away as California, as well as Dallas, Houston, Austin, Baton Rouge and points in between will join in the celebration.


"Jimmy and Susan have helped us to engage alumni and friends from all over the United States. And Susan has this campus looking so much better than it did 14 years ago that it is a true pleasure to be able to show it off to visitors," Mouton said.


This is a celebration of the Simmons presidency, not a retirement party, Mouton stressed. "We wanted to do something fun and at a venue that would allow as many people as possible to come. We didn't want something that would limit the crowd. We want students, faculty, staff alumni, friends. Everyone's invited."


In Domino's view, the event "will let Jimmy and Susan see how much the community appreciates what they have done."



"There is nothing we could do that would be enough for them, so this is the very least we could do, and I think it's going to be a wonderful day of celebration," Rienstra said. "My heart is full, and it is just going to burst that day. I am so pleased to be a part of it."


Guests are being asked to wear rubber-soled shoes to the post-game reception on the arena floor. Admission will be by season tickets or single-game tickets for March 2 only, available for $1 on a first-come, first-served basis at LamarCardinals.com or (409) 880-1715. The tickets are also available at Golden Triangle locations of Rao's Bakery & Coffee Café.


Applause from alumni, colleagues and friends "How fortunate we all have been to be blessed with Jimmy and the great legacy he has helped foster and grow for Lamar. Jimmy is the first to give credit to others for what he has been and is being accomplished. His can-do attitude, vision, leadership, mentoring and devotion have encouraged so many to do so much." - Alan Sampson, 1968 Lamar graduate


"Lamar is well positioned for the future in a large part because of the leadership of Dr. Simmons." - Matt Underwood, 1984 graduate


"Jimmy Simmons did what he did the way he did it for the right reasons, with a good result affecting so many lives in a positive way." - Chancellor Brian McCall


"We call him a turnaround specialist. He's really done a super job at Lamar, and he's laid the groundwork for continued growth." - Regent Bill Scott


"Jimmy has been a phenomenal, transformational leader here at Lamar University. " - Greg Thompson, co-chair, Investing in the Future campaign.


"Watching Lamar University grow and flourish under Simmons' presidency is a true pleasure. Looking back at my years as Jimmy's student is like looking back at my father. The older I got, the smarter he seems." - Don Rollins, saxophonist and Grammy winning composer-arranger "He taught us a lot more than just music. We who experienced Lamar through him agree that his leadership and encouragement helped not only to launch our careers but our lives as successful teachers, musicians and human beings." - Donnie Todd, veteran educator and trombonist


"How rare is it to find a university president who is completely, totally hip?" - Sharon Montgomery, Houston vocalist and former Lamar student


"A lot of people have seen him performing - and he's a great performer. But he is also a master teacher. And, of course, it's very rare to be a band director and end up a university president. What he's done for Lamar is fantastic." - Val Rose, friend and colleague more than 50 years and retired Nederland band director.


"What does not show up on any resume is the way Jimmy helps talented students overcome obstacles. He takes them under his wing, gives them encouragement and the resources they need to succeed." - Gary Wells, retired Hamshire-Fannett band director.


"Dr. Simmons will forever be in my LU memories. Sweet man, fantastic leader." - Josmery (Ramirez) Mulvahill, 2009 music graduate


 


 


 

LU invites you to honor Susan and Jimmy Simmons

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New BPD officers sworn in

Man taken into custody in connection with warrant, evading arrest

LIVE VIDEO: Crews setting fire to house dangling over Texas lake

Five-year-old honorary BPD officer takes oath

Local priest honored for 70 years of ministry

Hundreds take part in Calder Twilight 5k

Deputies arrest suspects in home invasion with elderly woman victimized

Deputies uncover indoor marijuana operation

Police chase copper theft suspect

Bergdahl arrives in Texas

Jasper's Weatherspoon to miss entire Atlanta season

BISD says it's trying to bring more financial accountability

BISD student movement growing thanks to Twitter

BISD board trustee's son indicted on two counts of attempted capital murder

3 former candidates for BISD board allowed to intervene in election case

Beaumont man sentenced to life without parole in capital murder case

Local 13-year-old on the road to recovery

Vehicles caught fire in Groves; mechanical issue maybe to blame

Scholarships in honor of fallen BPD officer Bryan Hebert

Summer lunch program in Beaumont for BISD students

Fish fry today will help Officer Bryan Hebert Memorial Foundation

PAPD releases name of drowning victim

80-year-old man driving wrong way on Highway 90 killed in collision

5K in Old Town area in Beaumont could affect your driving

9-year-old found in refrigerator died in January, weighed 14 pounds

Symphony gets new Executive Director

Road Trippin' Business Destinations

KFDM Listens: June 12, 2014, Beaumont first gay pride parade

Dad facing charges after toddler accidentally shoots self in Humble-area home

Bush 41 lands 'safely, softly' following 90th birthday parachute jump

BISD administration comes under attack for budget woes

BISD student protests gaining traction

KFDM obtains document that sheds new information on planned cutbacks in BISD

I Have a Dream scholarship program

"Operation Storm Ready" draws Southeast Texans

Restaurant Report: June 13, 2014

18-wheeler accidents tie-up traffic for hours

Preparing for hurricane season

Two vehicles involved in fatal accident

Body found in connection with reported drowning

PAPD investigating possible drowning

Beaumont Art League and local Humane Society team up

Wreck slows I-10 East traffic from Winne into Jefferson County

Car wedged beneath truck

Father of child found dead in refrigerator says he hadn't seen her in two months

Is BISD appointment of Interim Special Education Director nepotism?

Tattoo shop owner fighting fine arts cuts in BISD

Volunteers sworn in to be voice for abused, neglected children

New Groves police and municipal building opens

LIVE: Feature film shot in Southeast Texas about show

Crime Stoppers: June 10, 2014

Lightning sparks fire

Testimony underway in capital murder trial

Coast Guard rescues 12-year-old boy drifting from shore off Bolivar Peninsula

Jefferson County man pleads guilty to federal income tax violations

Gunman tries to rob Walgreens in Port Arthur

Sheriff's Office: Shooting at Oregon high school; suspect confirmed dead

Pictures: Lightning sparks oil storage tank fire

Lightning sparks oil storage tank fire; one firefighter suffers minor burns

BISD board delays vote on job cuts

Bond project starting in Silsbee ISD

Teachers' group issues statement about BISD

Salvation Army offering summer activities

Port Neches changes water park to accomodate visitors

Man run over by tractor in Hardin County

Someone fires shots into PA home; misses occupants

BISD students planning to protest on Monday

Elderly Hardin County couple escapes fire, loses home

Names released in fatal Orange County shooting

BISD worries take back seat for many during graduations

Students, others protest BISD proposed cuts at graduation

Teen crashes into an emergency medical center in Lumberton

Man in Orange County fatally shot after argument

Crash on Neches River Bridge sends two people to hospital

TEA deputy commissioner weighed arguments in BISD record review

KFDM obtains list of positions facing possible reduction in BISD

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 4 from BISD record review

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 3 from BISD record review

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 2 from BISD record review

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 1 from BISD record review

WWII veteran remembers D-Day

Port Neches drowning victim identified

Arrest made in connection with house fire

Click on Watch Newscasts LIVE to watch BISD Record Review

Local construction safety seminar

Record review finished

BISD superintendent to propose more cost-saving measures

RAW VIDEO: Surveillance footage of Wells Fargo bank robber

Dr. Timothy Chargois says he will not identify special education staff involved in the reduction in force

Transgender teacher out of a job again

Property owners protest new appraised values

Mother indicted for injury to a child; cell phone video captured incident involving 8-month-old girl

FBI: Dogs seized after evidence of dog-fighting found at Beaumont home

Former Central HS student turned teacher arrested

Anayat House held ribbon cutting to open new house

Hardin County Rotary Club presents students with books for the summer

Local play about miners trapped in the dark opens Friday, June 5

Neglected animals seized in Liberty County; eating own feces to survive

BISD Superintendent explains decision to pursue Reduction in Force

Harris County deputy shoots suspect behind Family Dollar

Suspected robbers with toddlers in SUV accused of leading police on chase

Beaumont teachers protest job cuts

Human smuggling in SETX

BISD Communications director Jessie Haynes' paid leave amount

BISD's ripple effect on the Beaumont housing market

Ehrhart School breaks ground on new building

Police still searching for Wells Fargo bank robber

Girlfriend recounts final words with boyfriend before he drowned

Two guilty of racketeering in Chinese restaurant referral conspiracy

100 Years of Broadway

Update: I-10 East reopens following wreck at Jefferson/Chambers County line

Traffic Alert

Parents address concerns with special ed program

Justin Hinton reports live on Wells Fargo Bank robbery

Beaumont teachers ask Education Commissioner to block RIF

Reaction to NRA's criticism of TX open carry group

Port Arthur ISD hiring more than 50 teachers

Area districts looking to hire despite looming BISD cuts

Accused robber of the elderly may face additional charges by week's end

Woman's ex-boyfriend charged with Kountze murder

Nederland restaurant burglary focus of Crime Stoppers report

Beaumont PD releases pictures of bank robber

Female inmate killed when prison van crashes en route to Beaumont

Former Newton County youth pastor pleads guilty to child porn

KFDM obtains copy of letter in which BISD announces June 30 as expected final RIF notification date

Person of interest in custody in connection with fatal shooting

Words of warning after Groves robbery

Crystal Boyett released from jail on bond

Aggravated robbery suspect accused of targeting elderly arrested

Judge sentences man to life for killing aunt

Commissioners get update on airport development

One in custody following fatal shooting in Kountze

One in custody following fatal shooting in Kountze

Fatal shooting in Kountze

Driver passes out, wakes up, leads officers on 90 mph chase

Woman robbed, assaulted in store parking lot

Hurricane Season starts June 1

BISD record review scheduled for Friday

Vidor, Beaumont and Port Arthur traffic accidents

Suspicious Port Arthur house fire

Preventing skin cancer

Boat racers flock to Orange for Shoot-Out on the Sabine

Wooden Racquet Classic in Beaumont

KFDM's special investigation into qualifications of BISD teachers

Educators group says it's "appalled" by 300 potential job cuts in BISD

KFDM obtains Dr. Chargois' letter sent Friday to principals, supervisors

Metal thefts rampant in Port Arthur

HFISD elementary grateful for community support

Beaumont-area organ donors remembered

President accepts resignation of VA Secretary

Life Blood Centers prepare during Hurricane Preparedness Week

Deputies searching for son of Katy-area couple found dead

Judge sets $1 million bond for murder suspect

Keyarika Diggles arrested for third time this month

Update: Power restored in Bridge City after pickup hits utility pole

Local teachers union: list already compiled of teachers to be cut even before school board voted

BISD releases preliminary STAAR results; scores drop in most grades and subject areas

LIVE REPORT: Teachers protest looming cuts

New details on BISD communications director Jessie Haynes' probation terms; What you didn't know

Air quality improving in Port Arthur

$68 million I-10 project could impact businesses

Philpott Motors in Nederland donated thousands of dollars Thursday to Southeast Texas non-profit organizations

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office honored those who help educate about dangers of drinking and driving

PAISD students encouraged by public servants

BISD Superintendent: We welcome special grand jury investigation

Murder charge filed against man accused of fatal shooting in Jasper

TEA releases statewide STAAR results

$68 million project begins Thursday to improve I-10 in Orange County

BISD board trustee's son charged with attemped capital murder of a peace officer

Layoffs loom for BISD employees, Board votes Thursday

Teen speaks out about writing hit list

Police questioning three suspects in Jasper shooting that leaves teen dead

Jurors find man guilty of sexually assaulting, kidnapping, and robbing a woman

Twin County Youth Baseball League board member charged with simple assault

Jefferson County property owners have less than a week to contest property appraisals

Pursuit leads to 350 lbs of marijuana

Warrant executed on Byron Earl Bush, charged with attempted capital murder of a peace officer

BISD communications director Jessie Haynes returned to work Wednesday

Robbers take alcohol from Beaumont club

Off duty PAPD officer helps capture suspect, accused of taking items from Wal-mart

Special Olympics competition in Port Arthur

Animal Services captures alligator near a Beaumont restaurant

Chase at more than 100 mph leads to 350 pounds of marijuana

Lightning strike sparks massive fire that displaces dozens

Flash Flood Watch continues in much of Southeast Texas

Storms cause more minor flooding in parts of Southeast Texas

See local and state election results

Jefferson County election results

Orange County election results

Hardin County election results

Tyler County election results

Election results 100 percent reporting

Thief caught on camera stealing donations from Salvation Army

Candidates and voters brave the rain

Fire department working to determine cause of structure fire

Chargois asks for support from teachers' associations in effort to reduce expenses by cutting jobs

Special grand jury empaneled; sources say focus is on BISD

Flash Flood Watch for several counties in Southeast Texas

TCEQ removes Port Arthur from Air Pollutant Watch List

Voters cast ballots in runoff elections

Seaweed invades Bolivar Peninsula beaches

BISD outlines reasons for declaring financial exigency; board agenda released for vote Thursday on cutting 300 jobs as part of $25 million reduction

Election on the horizon

Parents keep children home from school on Memorial Day

Southeast Texans celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Game warden critically injured on Lake Sam Rayburn

Names released of man and woman killed in boat collision

BISD teachers fear for their jobs after superintendent announces eliminating 300 positions

Juror in Jessie Haynes' trial says race wasn't a factor in verdict

BISD superintendent wants to eliminate 300 positions to help save $25 million

Authorities identify body found in burned vehicle in Newton County

Babies learning to survive in water

Man gets automatic life sentence after Orange County jury convicts him of capital murder

BISD superintendent seeks to eliminate hundreds of positions

UPDATE: Suspect injured in officer involved shooting listed in stable condition

Update on BISD appeal of TEA takeover

Police asking for information about reported robbery

Jasper County S.O. investigates church burglaries

Man gets automatic life sentence after Orange County jury convicts him of capital murder

Update on BISD appeal of TEA takeover

Community reacts to Jessie Haynes guilty verdict

Hurricane season prediction

Hurricane season preparations

Breakthrough Hepatitis C treatment

DA's Office issues statement about verdict in Haynes trial

Local veterans react to VA hospital scandal

6-foot snake rescued from car

Child of man killed with wife outside Tyler County church could go to live w/paternal grandmother

Dangers of childhood obesity in Jefferson County

Religious banner case may head to Texas Supreme Court

Board votes to not renew Ruby Gunner's contract

Update: Closing arguments Thursday morning in Jessie Haynes trial

Ride of Silence to remember cyclists injured or killed on roadways

Local farmer wants to improve SETX bee population

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Business News

Federal appeals court deals blow to health law

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's a big decision concerning the big business of health care.

Consumer News

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News

"SONS OF ANARCHY" GUEST STARS FOR FINAL SEASON

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Malcolm-Jamal Warner won't be anything like a Cosby kid in his next role.

Get This

FRANKIE'S BIKINIS

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Nineteen-year-old Francesca Aiello (ah-YEHL'-oh) is making waves with her bikinis.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: U.S. EMBASSY APOLOGIZES FOR STAFFER TWEET

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) -- Whoops!


 

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