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LSU Rainmakers
Photo Gallery: 2008 Rainmakers Gala -- LSU pays tribute to the some of its best faculty.


University Toasts Rainmakers

In appreciation of 100 faculty whose high-profile scholarly activities enhanced prestige and generated greater visibility for LSU this year, the university held its inaugural Rainmakers Gala on Oct. 15.

The faculty honorees, dubbed LSU Rainmakers for the widespread recognition and technical excellence of their work, represented 50 university departments within a dozen broad academic divisions.

The list of LSU Rainmakers for 2008 included both senior and junior faculty in fields spanning the behavioral, life, physical and social sciences; performance and fine arts; and humanities. Each honoree was nominated by a department chair or other administrator with detailed knowledge of his or her work over the preceding year.

Chancellor Michael V. Martin, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Astrid Merget and Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development Brooks Keel officiated at the gala. The formal reception and dinner event was organized by the Office of Research & Economic Development with support from the Office of Academic Affairs.

Addressing over 200 gathered faculty and guests, Merget praised the Rainmakers for “enriching and animating our community of scholars and for amplifying its impact well beyond our campus to reach national and even global audiences ...”

Keel characterized the gala as “a very small gesture of gratitude to those who serve as role models and exemplars of excellence for the entire LSU community.” Newly appointed Chancellor Martin expressed his “great appreciation for the Rainmakers’ leadership and exceptional accomplishment,” and characterized his role as one “supporting faculty efforts to obtain their highest goals in academia.”

Featured at the mid-October event was the performance of an original composition by Stephen David Beck, professor of composition and computer music and interim co-director of the LSU Center for Computation and Technology. Beck, also among this year’s Rainmakers, performed a piece of electronic music composed for the Nintendo Wiimote controller and computer, entitled “A Little Light Saber Rattling.”

The Rainmakers Gala is intended to be an annual event, with nominations open to all LSU faculty whose research or creative scholarship receive national and international recognition and meet the highest standards of excellence as determined by measures germane to each field. LSU will feature the biographies and current work of its Rainmakers in a variety of print and Web publications to debut early in 2009.

For more information on the Rainmakers Gala, its nomination process or its 2008 honorees, contact the Office of Research & Economic Development at 225-578-5833 or email mmullen@lsu.edu. For a complete list of this year’s LSU Rainmakers, see http://www.research.lsu.edu/pdfs/Rainmakers.pdf.

Ashley Berthelot | Media Relations | LSU Office of Public Affairs
Photos by Kevin Duffy, Jason Peak
Fall 2008

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