Alumni return to LSMSA for Social Service Weekend

LSMSA-Cleanup 2017 (1)


Sixty-eight alumni representing 25 of the graduating classes at LSMSA and their families returned to campus July 7-9 to participate in the annual Social/Service Weekend.

Social/Service Weekend is an annual event coordinated by the Alumni Association that allows LSMSA alumni and their families to return to Natchitoches to perform service projects in and around the LSMSA campus that the school may not otherwise be able to complete. It began in 2008 when about a dozen alumni worked in Caddo reupholstering desk chairs, replacing ceiling tiles, painting and much more.

This year’s coordinators were Laura LeBlanc Bourque (’92) of Scott and Brittany Taraba (’07) of Swartz. Participants paid a small per person fee that covered meals for the weekend, and they had the option of staying in the residence hall at no cost.

Projects included cleaning and re-caulking the showers in Caddo Hall, mulching and landscape clean-up in the quad and courtyard, steam cleaning and reupholstering the chairs in Caddo Hall common areas, power washing, cleanup and reorganization in the book room and file room, general repairs in Caddo Hall, database cleanup, videography and costume shop inventory.

There were also volunteers who handled childcare while the adults worked and crews that prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday.

Rodney Durr, a graduate of the Class of 1986, lives in Falls, Church, Va., and flew to Louisiana to participate in the weekend. He enjoyed the nostalgic indoor camping adventure in Prudhomme Hall.

After spending much of Saturday spreading mulch in the quad and scrubbing and caulking the showers in Caddo, Durr observed that “the Saturday burdens are easier to bear with companionship and chats of coworkers.”

According to Stuart Heinen, a member of the Class of 2015, Social/Service Weekend has two main purposes. The first is to allow alumni to give back to the school in any way they can so current students can have a better experience during their time here.

“The second is for the alumni of this school to truly connect with each other and become more a part of the family that is LSMSA,” said Heinen. “I truly hope that this event becomes a permanent fixture of LSMSA’s and my own life.”

10 thoughts on “Alumni return to LSMSA for Social Service Weekend

  1. I participated a few years ago, and it was a wonderful reunion of many classes. I met a bunch of new friends, and the work was so satisfying, knowing I was preparing the school for students.

    Misty Millen Cole class of 1992

  2. Natchitoches is my second home and feels more like home sometimes than my own hometown because of my time at LSMSA. I got the chance to come back to Natchitoches this past May for my 20 year class reunion and plan to return for Social Service Weekend in the coming years. Thank you for this lovely article. -Caroline Ortego Class of 1997

  3. Hey, that’s my husband in that picture! Thanks for the article. Social Service Weekend has become such an important event for allumni, as it provides a way to give back other than writing a check and it’s so nice to see it getting some press.

  4. Thank you fellow alumni for keeping the school going through thick and thin. We hope to come from New Mexico next year to help. I have already blocked it off on the calendar. I want my kids to see that the Louisiana School doesn’t just foster intellectual abilities but also community spirit and a commitment to service.

  5. I absolutely love coming home to Natchitoches and helping our beloved school! Thank you for always be supportive and welcoming to all of us. Knowing that Natchitoches is so warm and sweet helps/helped us always be less homesick and helps/helped us easily feel that Natchitoches is our home. We can always come home, and it’s a great feeling to know that. I graduated almost 20 years ago, and I still call it “home”.

    Amanda Cox Horn
    Class of 1998

  6. My husband and I look forward to Social Service Weekend all year long. Being back in the arms of Natchitoches and in the halls that I lived in invigorates my soul and being amongst the LSMSA family reminds me why I recommend the school to any family with gifted children.
    -Bethany Hortman Crooks, Class of 2005

  7. I am really proud to be an alumna from the very first graduating class of LSMSA. Going back to donate my time an elbow grease during Social Services Weekend has become the highlight of my summers.

  8. LSMSA alumni still ❤️ Natchitoches, and the Louisiana School will always be our home. Thank you for providing a warm welcome to students from all over our state. As adults, we remember and enjoy spending time (and money) in Natchitoches.

    Catherine Credeur, Class of 1989

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