(Courtesy Photo: Back Row: Valsin Marmillion, Thomas Whitehead, Paul Mainieri, Dr. Stephen McGuire; Front Row: Art Favre, Beth Courtney, Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire)

Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting welcomed over 200 guests to the 32nd Annual Louisiana Legends Awards Gala on April 28 at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol to honor Louisiana’s best and brightest as Louisiana Legends. The celebration included a champagne cocktail reception and four-course dinner, followed by a live televised awards ceremony broadcast statewide. During the ceremony, videos were presented about each Legend’s life. Prior to the gala, Honorary Co-Chairs, Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards, hosted a private reception at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion. The reception included a champagne toast in honor of the 2022 Legends inductees, who were joined by their special guests and major sponsors of the Gala.

The 2022 honorees have distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as broadcasting, philanthropy, science, sports, environmental conservation, and the humanities. In honor of this year’s Legends, Governor John Bel Edwards proclaimed April 28, 2022 as Louisiana Legends Day in the State of Louisiana.

The 2022 Louisiana Legends are:

Beth Courtney – Retired President of Louisiana’s only statewide public television network who is one of the first women to achieve national leadership in broadcasting, Vice Chair of PBS (1988), Presidential appointee and Vice Chair of CPB (2003), Broadcaster of the Year (Louisiana Association of Broadcasters, 2020)

Art Favre – CEO and Founder of Performance Contractors and philanthropist making extraordinary impacts to health care, medical research, and education

Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire – Retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor Emerita of Chemistry at LSU and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring

Dr. Stephen McGuire – James and Ruth Smith Endowed Emeritus Professor of Physics at Southern University and A&M College and Southern University’s Principal Investigator to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

Paul Mainieri – Retired LSU Head Baseball Coach, NCBWA National Coach of the Year (2015), American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee (2014), Collegiate Baseball Coach of the Year (2009), 2× SEC Coach of the Year (2009, 2015) and 2009 NCAA Champions

Valsin Marmillion – CEO and Founder of Marmillion & Company and former Managing Director of America’s WETLAND Foundation
Thomas Whitehead – Professor Emeritus at Northwestern State University, Expert and Preservationist of the Clementine Hunter Collection and Clementine Hunter Biographer

They join a prestigious list of 149 past Louisiana Legends that includes Academy and Grammy Award winners, star athletes, Pulitzer Prize winners, esteemed dignitaries, including the current United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

The Louisiana Legends Awards Ceremony may be streamed at www.lpb.org/legendslive. The ceremony includes remarks from each Legend, as well as Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, and was co-hosted by John Denison, past Friends of LPB Board Member and Robyn Merrick, Vice President of External Affairs for the Southern University System, and past Friends of LPB Board Chair.

The Louisiana Legends Auction featuring more than 50 items donated by the honorees is open until Sunday, May 8 at midnight at auction.lpb.org. The auction includes original works of art, unique experiences, extraordinary travel destinations, and more. Also available in the auction are portraits of each 2022 Louisiana Legend by artist Caroline Youngblood of Monroe.

Major sponsors for the event, known Gala Benefactors, include: Bank of Montgomery; Brown Eagle Group, Inc.; ExxonMobil Baton Rouge; Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting; The J.K. Meek Group at Graystone Consulting; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Haddad; Laura: Louisiana’s Creole Heritage Site; Louisiana Lottery; LSU, RoyOMartin; Southern Strategy Group; and Tiger Athletic Foundation.

Gala Stars include: The Doré Family Foundation; The Newtron Group; and D. Martin Phillips. Gala Patrons include: Acadian Companies; Newt Dorsett; Mr. and Mrs. James Elrod; Goss Wealth Advisors; Rannah Gray Communications; Bo Harris Wealth Management; Jones Walker LLP; Lamar Advertising Company; LWCC; and Northwestern State University Foundation.

Begun in 1990, the Louisiana Legends Gala & Auction is a fundraising and public awareness project that draws support and participation from citizens across the state who appreciate the quality educational and cultural programs offered by Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The Louisiana Legends are selected each year by the Friends of LPB Louisiana Legends Board Committee, comprised of volunteer representatives from around the state.

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