LSU faculty, students and scholars have had leading roles in the development of several generations of gravitational wave detectors, in their commissioning and operation as well as the collaborations formed. Today's achievement is in part an outcome of LSU's long-term vision and commitment to high-risk, high-potential gain scientific research. Gabriela González, LSU professor of physics and astronomy, is the elected spokesperson and leads the LIGO Science Collaboration. "This detection is the beginning of a new era. The field of gravitational wave astronomy is now a reality," González said.