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.”