Northwestern State University will name its Student Services Center in honor of former state representative and member of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System Jimmy D. Long Sr. The Board of Supervisors approved the designation Thursday.
The Jimmy D. Long Student Services Center was completed in 2012. The 34,451 square foot facility is on the former site of West Caspari Hall. The $8.5 million Student Services Center was the first state-funded new building constructed on the Northwestern State campus in more than 30 years.
“Jimmy Long’s contributions to Northwestern State are immeasurable,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Jim Henderson. “His support of the university during his tenure in the state legislature and his service on the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors benefitted nearly a quarter of a million students who attended the university during that time. It is fitting that all future students will enter a building dedicated to serving them that is named for Jimmy Long.”
The Student Services Center is home to the Offices of University Recruiting, First Year Experience and Leadership Development, Financial Aid, Student Employment Scholarships, Admissions, Veteran’s Affairs and the Vice President for the Student Experience as well as the Registrar’s Office and Cashier’s Office.
Long served eight consecutive terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1968 to 2000. He was appointed to Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System in 2001. Long passed away in August.
He served two terms as chairman of the Board of Supervisors, which is the governing board for Northwestern State University and eight other universities across the state. It is the largest higher education system in Louisiana with more than 90,000 students.
Long’s 32-year tenure in the legislature was one of the longest in the state’s history, and colleagues recognized him with a resolution during his last term designating him as “Dean of the Legislature.”
Chairman of the House Education Committee for 16 years and a long-time member of the Southern Regional Education Board, Long was recognized as a leading authority in Louisiana and throughout the South on education-related legislation.
He introduced legislation to establish the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern and was also an author of the bill to create the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches.
Long, who attended Northwestern State, helped obtain millions of dollars over the years for construction and renovation projects at the school and for highways, bridges and other major improvements in his legislative district.
Cited by The Times of Shreveport as one of the “100 Most Influential People of the Century in Northwest Louisiana, Long is a member of the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame and the Northwestern Alumni Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line.
He was a lifelong business leader and cattleman in Natchitoches who received numerous other honors for his leadership in civic, professional and church activities.