LSU Community Mourns the Loss of Benefactor Lod Cook
BATON ROUGE – Lodwrick Monroe Cook, LSU alumnus, successful businessman and philanthropist, died Sept. 28 in Sherman Oaks, California. He was 92.
Cook was a native of Grand Cane, Louisiana. He graduated in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and was commissioned through LSU ROTC. He served in the U.S. Army before returning to LSU to earn a second bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1955. While at LSU, he was a member of the Sigma Chi Gamma Iota Chapter. He also held an MBA from Southern Methodist University. LSU awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science in 1990.
Cook’s professional career began in 1956 as an engineering trainee with Atlantic Richfield Company, or ARCO. He quickly ascended the corporate ladder, eventually becoming the CEO and chairman of the board. Under his leadership, ARCO was hailed as the Best-Managed U.S. Company with profit margins approached by few and returns on equity equaled by none. He retired in 1995 and was named chairman emeritus.
Cook was an investor and board member in numerous organizations, among them, Pacific Capital Group, Global Crossing, Global Marine Systems, Asia Global Crossing, Lockheed Corporation, Castle & Cooke, the Kyle Foundation, Litex, Inc. and most recently NeuroSigma, Inc.
Cook’s connection to LSU remained strong. He served on the LSU Alumni Association Board of Directors for 27 years. He made the lead gift for the construction of the Lod Cook Alumni Center, dedicated on May 20, 1994. The LSU community, along with former U.S Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush and Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards celebrated the opening of the new facility, which he envisioned would open doors for many alumni and future graduates.
“Lod was a visionary. He achieved phenomenal success and, remembering his experiences at LSU, used his standing and resources to make a difference at his alma mater,” said LSU Alumni Association President Gordon Monk. “His hope was that his philanthropy would inspire his peers and the next generation of LSU alumni, fans and friends to also give back to the university. Thanks to Lod Cook, LSU alumni and future alumni will chart their paths to successful lives. We extend deepest sympathy to his family.”
Cook and his wife, Carole, who died in 2010, made the lead gift for construction of the Lod & Carole Cook Conference Center, also known as The Cook Hotel. The facility, the only privately owned and operated alumni association hotel in the country, was dedicated on Oct. 21, 2001.
Cook was Trustee of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation and former Chairman and Lifetime Trustee of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. He was a member of the Oxford University Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors, a Life Regent of Pepperdine University and served on the board of advisors of the Carter Center of Emory University Board of Directors.
His financial contributions and work with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles led to the dedication of the Lodwrick Cook Rotunda in the library’s downtown Los Angeles location. Cook received the Golden Plate Award and was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement in 1992. In 1994, upon appointment by Queen Elizabeth II, he was invested by the Prince of Wales with the Insignia of Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or KBE, for his contribution to Anglo-American relations and support for philanthropic projects around the world. Cook was named a Louisiana Legend by Louisiana Public Broadcasting in 1995.
Contact Mignon Kastanos
LSU Alumni Association
LSU Media Relations