College of Engineering Graduate Stewart Lockett Awarded Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award

Lockett, a New Iberia native, served as LSU student body president and the student member of the LSU Board of Supervisors

F. King Alexander and Stewart Lockett

LSU President F. King Alexander presents Stewart Lockett with the Sean O'Keefe Leadership Award during the College of Engineering graduation ceremony on May 11. Photo: College of Engineering

BATON ROUGE – During the College of Engineering graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 11, the Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award was presented to Stewart Lockett, a biological engineering major from New Iberia, La. Lockett served as LSU student body president and student member of the LSU Board of Supervisors for the last year.

“We are pleased to honor Stewart Lockett with the Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award and could not think of a more deserving recipient for it,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “We want to thank Stewart for his leadership, both as student body president and as the student representative on the Board of Supervisors. We appreciate everything he has done on behalf of our students and for LSU.”

The Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award was created by LSU donors who recognized the leadership in former LSU Chancellor Sean O’Keefe during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The award is designed to recognize and reward the outstanding LSU undergraduate student leader who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the past and possesses the character, capability, vision and motivation to be a leader in the future.

The Sean O’Keefe Leadership award is an annual award of $10,000 to be used at the discretion of the recipient. The nominees were selected from the elected presidential posts from various student leadership positions. Criteria for the award also included a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.75.

Nominees submitted two essays – a biographical summary of their leadership positions with any relevant activities in their life since high school graduation and an essay on the subject, “My Leadership Philosophy,” which articulates the nominee’s leadership principles and how the candidate has tried to live up to those ideals.

Lockett has served on LSU Ambassadors, the Black Male Leadership Initiative, and S.T.R.I.P.E.S. And, having a completed a medical fellowship in 2017 in Budapest, Hungary, Lockett plans to attend medical school after graduation.

In one of his first acts as student body president, Lockett hosted the TOPS rally, where we unified students from across the state to demand reinvesting in education and fully funding TOPS. During his time as as president, he helped implement a number of programs including Jiggaerobics, Public Safety Day, Hazing Prevention Week, SG Meet and Greet, Presidential Symposium, Secretary of State Debate Watch Party, Ole War Skule Week, Groovin, Bus Trips, Bike Auction, Seaux Live and more. He was also able to discuss high impacting initiatives such as Opioid Prevention on campus, Legal Aid, and a new library.

While serving as student body president, Lockett was selected student member of the LSU Board of Supervisors. As a member of the board, he participated in votes and discussions on important projects such as housing for the medical schools and the diversity supplier programs.

A five-member selection panel made up of members of the business and LSU communities conducted personal interviews with each nominee to get to know them better and learn more about each nominee’s past and future leadership experience.

About Sean O’Keefe
O’Keefe is a longtime public administrator, national security expert and aerospace industry executive who has served in several top leadership positions in the U.S. government, higher education and industry. 

O’Keefe is the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Airbus Group Inc. Immediately prior to joining Airbus, O’Keefe served as a vice president of the General Electric Company, following his service as chancellor of LSU. 

O’Keefe has been credited for establishing the university’s first campus-wide fundraising campaign “Forever LSU Campaign,” raising $798 million. He became popular among students for interacting with them, especially during periodic “Chats with the Chancellor” across the campus throughout the semesters and because of his encouraging emails. 

O’Keefe led LSU during its response to Hurricane Katrina in August and September 2005, when the campus was transformed into what has been called “the largest acute-care field hospital established in a contingency in the nation’s history.”

On four separate occasions, O’Keefe served as a presidential appointee. Prior to leading LSU, he was administrator of NASA. Earlier, he was deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. He also served as secretary of the Navy, following service as comptroller and CFO of the Defense Department. 

O’Keefe began his career after graduate studies at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University as a member of the inaugural class of the Presidential Management Fellowship program, and later joined the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee staff. Between public service appointments, O’Keefe has held faculty posts at LSU, Penn State University and the Maxwell School, where he served as director of the National Security Studies Program and as Louis A. Bantle Chair of Business and Government.

In 1993, President Bush and Secretary Cheney presented O’Keefe with the Distinguished Public Service Award. He was the 1999 faculty recipient of the Syracuse University Chancellor’s Award for Public Service; recipient of the Department of Navy’s Public Service Award in December 2000 and has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from several prestigious educational institutions. In March 2003 and 2004, he was recognized and honored by Irish America Magazine as one of the Top 100 Irish Americans.




Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations