LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences Announces Largest Endowed Chair in University History

Edwin K. Hunter Chair in the Traditionals of Rhetoric and Argument

Stephen Moret, LSU Foundation President/CEO; Edwin Foster Hunter; Edwin K. Hunter; F. King Alexander, LSU President; Ferdinand Leonard; Stacia Haynie, College of Humanities & Social Sciences DeanEddy Perez

BATON ROUGE—The LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences has announced the largest endowed chair in university history. The Edwin K. Hunter Chair in the Traditions of Rhetoric and Argument in Communication Studies was made possible by a $1.8 million gift honoring LSU alumnus Edwin K. Hunter. The transformational investment in LSU’s Department of Communication Studies was matched, in part, through the Louisiana Board of Regents Endowed Chairs for Eminent Scholars Program, creating LSU’s largest ever endowed chair established through a single gift.
“It is important that people continue to recognize the value in investing in higher education and our students’ futures,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “This type of philanthropic investment funds excellence at a level that might not otherwise be possible.”
The gift was presented to the university in the spring during a ceremony held at the LSU Student Union.
The new chair in communication studies is named for Edwin K. Hunter, president of the law firm Hunter, Hunter & Sonnier in Lake Charles, La. In addition to Hunter’s law practice, he is also a successful businessman with ventures in the development of medical devices, the oil and gas industry, and a water-bottling company in Kentwood, La.
While at LSU, Hunter was a member of the debate team, writer for The Daily Reveille and key player in the organization of Free Speech Alley, now known as Free Speech Plaza. He went on to graduate from the LSU Law Center.
A stalwart supporter of the Department of Communication Studies, Hunter understands that the ability to create and present arguments is essential for workplace success and a fundamental component of good communication skills.
“Through the Board of Regents Endowed Chairs for Eminent Scholars Program, private individuals, such as I, have the opportunity to partner with higher education institutions to maximize support in key areas that have a positive influence on Louisiana’s graduates and our economy,” said Hunter.
“The Edwin K. Hunter Chair represents a landmark gift for LSU. As dean, I am honored to witness the impact this gift will have on the College of Humanities & Social Sciences,” said Stacia Haynie, dean and J.W. Annison, Jr. Family Alumni Professor, College of Humanities & Social Sciences. “The Hunter Chair will elevate the instruction of communication skills for all LSU students, regardless of their major.”
The LSU Department of Communication Studies is one of the oldest communication departments in the nation, known for its scholarship and teaching in the areas of rhetoric, performance studies and interpersonal communication. The department plays a central role in the state by annually preparing approximately 6,000 undergraduate students across the entire campus to make strong contributions to Louisiana’s economic development. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s 2012-22 Occupational Forecast, the annual demand for workers with at least a bachelor’s degree to fill vacancies or newly created positions is 12,410. Communication is an essential skill, and workers are expected to be successful communicators and active participants in the creative information flow that undergirds not only the Louisiana economy, but also the global economy.
“The Hunter Chair will be the premier endowed chair for communications scholars in the country and probably the world. The Hunters’ gift allows us to recruit an eminent scholar in rhetoric, and their generosity will have an extraordinary impact on our students,” said Renee Edwards, chair of the Department of Communication Studies. “This gift allows us to make a dynamic program even stronger.”
College of Humanities & Social Sciences
The LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences offers a diverse range of courses and majors that provide students with a foundational base of skills that are critical to success in today’s global market. The college consists of 11 departments and 13 programs, with 16 major fields of study and more than 30 concentrations available to LSU students. To learn more, visit
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LSU Media Relations
Sarah Gaar Keller
College of Humanities & Social Sciences