LSU College of Science Announces 2013 Hall of Distinction Class

04/23/2013 10:49 AM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU College of Science will recognize five outstanding alumni for their contributions to their profession, community, and alma mater during its 2013 Hall of Distinction ceremony and banquet on Friday, April 26, at the Lod Cook Alumni Center. The 2013 inductees are Patricia Bodin, George Boudreaux, John Franks, Gary Grest and Michael Griffith.

“The Hall of Distinction gives us an opportunity to celebrate an exemplary group of individuals who have demonstrated sustained excellence in their careers, commitment to the college, and service to their communities,” said Guillermo Ferreyra, interim dean, LSU College of Science. “This year’s inductees are a welcomed addition to such a distinguished group.”

Bodin, a Hammond native and LSU mathematics alumna, retired from ExxonMobil in 2008 as chief information officer and vice president of global information services organization.  In this position, she managed more than 7,000 employees, oversaw the IT aspects of the merger of Exxon and Mobil, and helped to alter the company’s focus toward standardization of business processes and systems.  

Bodin is a member of the College of Science’s Dean Circle and Executive committee, where she is leading efforts to connect alumni with current students. She created the Patricia Hewlett Bodin Distinguished Professorship for the College’s GeauxTeach Program. Bodin is also a 2005 inductee into the E. J. Ourso College of Business Hall of Distinction. She serves on their Dean’s Advisory Council and established the James E. Curtis Professorship of Entrepreneurial Management in honor of her late father.

Boudreaux, creator of “Boudreaux’s Butt Paste” and owner of G.L. Boudreaux Properties, made history with the creation of the popular ointment. Boudreaux sold “Boudreaux’s Butt Paste” in 2005 and now stays busy with his Real Estate Brokerage, G.L. Boudreaux Properties.

Boudreaux is actively involved in the College of Science serving as a member of the Dean’s Circle and Executive Committee. The Covington native was also a founding member of the Tammany Tigers and has assisted LSU for many years cooking for summer football camps. He also contributes to the LSU College of Science summer boot camps offered to incoming freshman and has been instrumental in establishing outreach efforts within the college to bridge the gap between current students and alumni.

Franks, founder of Franks Petroleum Inc., was one of the first oilmen to recognize the benefits of the tighter gas sands in Houston and Cotton Valley trends of north Louisiana. A founding member of the LSU Geology Endowment, he was also a member of the LSU Foundation Board of Directors and the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Franks was inducted into the LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction in 1985. In 2004, his family established the John Franks Chair in Geology. Three years later, the Alta and John Franks Foundation doubled the Franks Chair making it the first super chair in that department. In 2007, the Alta and John Franks Foundation made a substantial commitment to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine to erect the Equine Isolation Unit. This donation garnered a match from the State of Louisiana that allowed LSU to construct a world-class facility that sets a new standard in patient housing and medical care for large animals with a suspected infectious disease.  

Grest, a scientist for the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia National Laboratories, works in the Theory and Simulation of Nanoscale Phenomena research unit that studies the “assembly, interfacial interactions, and emergent properties of nanoscale systems.” Prior to Sandia, Grest worked at Rutgers University, University of Chicago, Purdue University and Exxon Research and Engineering Company. In 2002, he was appointed Editor of Physical Review E, a journal produced by the American Physical Society. His published works total 12 reviews and more than 360 journal articles.

Grest has earned many awards including the Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics, the Award for Excellence in Laboratory Research and Development, the Alexander Humboldt Senior Research Fellow, and First Place in the Sandia Computational Science Prize, among others. He is also a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and is affiliated with the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, the American Chemical Society, and the Executive Committee of the Division of Condensed Matter Physics with the American Physical Society. In addition to his work at Sandia, he is currently an adjunct professor in the chemistry department at Clemson University.

Griffith, a 30-year veteran of industrial research and development, began his career with DuPont working on textile fibers. In 1977, he joined Owens-Corning Fiberglass and by 1989 was vice-president of research, development and engineering. He joined ARCO Chemicals as vice president of R&D worldwide in 1990 where he spearheaded the effort to develop a new process to make polyether polyols. Griffith retired from ARCO in 1998.   

Griffith was a member of the College of Science’s first alumni advisory group, the Development council. He and his wife, Donna, are charter members of the LSU Foundation’s 1860 Society, a membership that recognizes established planned gifts for the benefit of the university. They also created an endowed professorship in Chemistry in honor of Griffith’s major professor and mentor, William A. Pryor. Griffith successfully led efforts to grow this fund into an endowed chair.

For more information about the College of Science Hall of Distinction, visit, or contact Dawn Jenkins, director of communications, at 225-578 2935 or

Dawn  Jenkins 
LSU College of Science

Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013