Dr. Robert Alost, a 1990 N-Club Hall of Fame inductee and former Northwestern State University president, died Friday at age 85 after battling a long illness.
Alost was a two-year football letterman in the 1954 and 1955 seasons for the Demons, playing tackle. Following his playing career, he began a decorated academic career that culminated with his 10-year role as the president of his alma mater.
Alost’s tenure at the helm of Northwestern State was characterized by tremendous growth in all facets of the university, including the athletic program.
During Alost’s time as the head of the university, the Demon football team captured the 1988 Southland Conference championship and produced seven NFL draftees. Northwestern State collected four SLC baseball championships and reached two NCAA regionals in Alost’s tenure while the Lady Demon basketball program notched conference championships in the Gulf Star and Southland conferences while reaching the semifinals of the 1995 WNIT.
Individual student-athletes also enjoyed success during Alost’s tenure with high jumper Brian Brown winning the 1989 title at the USA Outdoor Championships and added the 1990 NCAA Indoor high jump crown to his resume.
“Dr. Alost inspired countless initiatives that elevated the profile of his beloved alma mater during his tenure as NSU’s president, including many that impacted the university’s athletic department,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke, who was an Assistant Athletic Director at NSU from 1986-92.
“As a Demon football alumnus and N-Club Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Alost had an understanding of and appreciation for the value of an athletic program to its campus and community. He loved supporting our student-athletes. In fact, the same drive that motivated him to excel on the gridiron was without a doubt the foundation for the exceptional career path that he carved on so many levels. The NSU family, past and present, offers its condolences to the family of Dr. Alost at this difficult time.”
In the middle of his term as university president, Alost was named to the 46-member NCAA Council Board of Directors in 1992.
Alost’s administrative resume included a key role in the development of the Louisiana Scholars College at NSU and a 1975 appointment as the dean of NSU’s College of Education, a position he held until co-founding and becoming the director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in 1982.
He returned to Northwestern State as university president in 1986, serving in that role for a decade in which the university’s enrollment grew from 5,272 to more than 9,000 students.
A two-time Northwestern State graduate (1957 undergraduate, 1958 master’s), Alost is survived by his wife, Yvonne, sons Michael, Stan and Wesley S. Alost, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In addition to his N-Club Hall of Fame credentials, Alost is a member of NSU’s Long Purple Line, the Northwestern Alumni Hall of Distinction and was named a Natchitoches Treasure in 2018.
Photo: Nortnwestern State University