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Faculty & Staff Focus, General Information, Honors & Awards

LSU Director of University Recreation Named President-Elect of National Professional Organization

06/18/2012 02:57 PM

BATON ROUGE – LSU Director of University Recreation Laurie Braden has been named the president-elect of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, or NIRSA. Braden began the three-year term in April 2012 with the organization of more than 4,000 professional, student and associate members throughout the United States, Canada and other countries who enhance professional and student development, education and research in collegiate recreational sports.


As one of seven members of the NIRSA Board of Directors, Braden will assist in developing the organization’s strategic vision and administering the $4.1 million annual operating budget. In her role as president-elect and in future roles as president-designee and president, Braden will seek to strategically position NIRSA for national and global prominence as the leading expert in higher education health, recreation and wellness.


Braden has been an active member of NIRSA for more than 22 years; served on multiple committees, task forces and work teams, and has presented at the local, regional and national level. She is a certified recreational sports specialist and graduated from the NIRSA National School of Recreational Sports Management. Braden also received outstanding service awards and scholarships from NIRSA for leadership, vision and active engagement for fostering relationships and better student recreation on the campuses where she has worked.


In more than two years at LSU, Braden has led renovations to the interior and exterior of the Student Recreation Complex, or SRC, and championed the initial conceptualization of an overhaul of student recreation at LSU. Braden is the leader of a team of 19 full-time staff members, six graduate assistants and more than 200 student employees that run the 121,000 square foot SRC, an outdoor adventure education series, a full complement of intramural sports, and more.


“Laurie is a leader in her field and LSU University Recreation is positioned to soar with her at the helm,” said Kurt Keppler, LSU vice chancellor for Student Life & Enrollment. “She is most deserving of this milestone career accomplishment, and I am certain NIRSA will benefit from her leadership.”


After receiving her bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from the University of Florida and a master’s in recreation resource management from North Carolina State University, Braden established her career in student recreation at various institutions across the country. Prior to LSU, she led the University of Texas at Brownsville in building a recreation facility and department from the ground up as its first ever director of campus recreation.


Braden also recently helped endow a scholarship with the NIRSA Foundation to assist in addressing the issues of social justice within recreational sports. From 2000-09, she founded and led a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to raise funds to send young girls to summer sports camps. Most recently, Braden was inducted to the University of Florida College of Health & Human Performance Alumni Hall of Fame for her outstanding professional and personal experiences.


Founded in 1950, NIRSA is the leading resource for professional and student development, education and research in collegiate recreational sports. The organization includes more than 4,000 members who serve an estimated 5.5 million students who regularly participate in campus recreational sports programs. Learn more about NIRSA at


LSU University Recreation a department within LSU Student Life & Enrollment that provides exceptional recreation facilities, programs and services that inspire, educate and empower students and the LSU community to cultivate active healthy lives. Learn more about University Recreation at


The mission of LSU Student Life & Enrollment is to recruit, admit, engage, retain and graduate a diverse student population for success at LSU and beyond. Learn more at

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