NATCHITOCHES – Funeral services for former Northwestern State University President Dr. Randall J. Webb will be Monday at 10 a.m. in Prather Coliseum on the NSU campus with State Sen. Gerald Long and Rev. Thomas Rush officiating. Visitation will be Sunday from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the Prather Coliseum arena. Arrangements are by Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home of Natchitoches.
Webb, 72, died Wednesday in Shreveport after a lengthy illness. He was the longest-serving president in the history of Northwestern State, holding the position for more than 18 years.
Under Webb’s leadership, Northwestern State received unprecedented national and international attention for its academic programs and student accomplishments. University facilities were renovated to better serve students and two record-setting capital campaigns took place.
He was honored with the title of President Emeritus in May 2015. Northwestern State had the largest graduating classes in the university’s history during Webb’s tenure. Webb expanded the university’s outreach by spearheading the development at NSU of the largest electronic education network of any university in Louisiana and oversaw the first two capital campaigns at NSU, which raised more than $65 million to enhance the university. He was named to the Southland Conference Hall of Honor earlier this year.
He is survived by his wife, Brenda Webb of Shreveport, his daughters, Tamara Gatewood and husband Reggie of McKinney, Texas and Lauren Simokaitis and husband Nick of Crestwood, Missouri, grandchildren, Tyler Joseph Gatewood, Ava Michelle Gatewood, Nicholas Adam Simokaitis, and Benjamin Webb Simokaitis; his mother-in-law, Louise Williams and brother-in-law Joel Williams and wife Sylvia.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Dr. Randall and Brenda Webb Endowed Scholarship, Office of University Advancement, 535 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA 71497.
Northwestern State students will hold a candlelight vigil celebrating Webb’s life today (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. near the Columns.