Fountain memorializes LSMSA alumni

LSMSA Alumni Memorial Fountain (1).jpg
A key part of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’ landscaping plan is now in place. A new fountain now adorns the school’s Quad and memorializes LSMSA alumni who have passed away.

“As our LSMSA family grows, we also inevitably lose members as well,” said Nolan Huguet, one of the donors for the fountain. “For the past eight years, I have been trying to make sure we have a meaningful and acceptable way to memorialize those that we have lost. The new memorial fountain is a beautiful and serene way for us to reflect on those past friendships that have ended way too soon.”

The fountain was paid for by the school’s Foundation.

“The Alumni Memorial Fountain is a beautiful place for quiet reflection. Our students, faculty and staff spend a lot of time in the Quad, and the sound of cascading water provides a sense of calmness for all of us who are so busy with day-to-day work and classes,” said Angela Robinson, executive director of the Foundation and an alumni of the school. “And for alumni who return to campus for reunions and other events, it will be a peaceful place to gather with classmates to remember friends who are no longer with us.”

Thorn LaCaze, now LSMSA’s senior external affairs director, was head of the school’s Foundation when the fountain idea was first floated.

“The memorial fountain is a place for alumni classes to reminisce about their LSMSA experiences and share stories about their beloved classmates, but it’s also a place that supports future alumni by providing a tranquil study space and outdoor meeting area,” LaCaze said. “It has been several years in the making, but I feel it is a very meaningful addition to an already beautiful and historic campus.”

It is situated on the side of the Music and Arts Building, which was originally built as the Natchitoches Trade School and is familiar to some LSMSA alumni as the Annex. That building is on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the school’s High School Building and Gymnasium, and the fountain’s design had to take that into account.

Sharon Gahagan, a member of the LSMSA School Board since the school’s inception, called the fountain “an exceptional addition to the quad” and hopes it will be enjoyed for years to come. She also noted that the building, completed in 1938, was designed by the same architects that built the State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, and that the fountain and renovations to the building have been sensitive to its history and to the building’s place on the National Register.

“The fountain was installed the week of graduation, so many of our students were already gone,” said LSMSA Executive Director Steve Horton. “So I believe it will be pleasant surprise for everyone when we return in August. It was nice to see those who were here for Reunion Weekend in May naturally gravitate around the fountain for photographs.

The school will continue working on the landscaping plan over the next several years.

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is a public, residential high school for high-performing, highly motivated sophomores, juniors and seniors. Located on the campus of Northwestern State University, the school offers a unique living-learning environment for more than 300 students. It is regularly recognized as one of the top high schools in the country.