Our Lady of Holy Cross College will conduct graduation exercises during the weekend of May 10 & 11, 2008. The speaker at the Commencement Exercises will be the Honorable Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State of Louisiana.
Graduation Mass will be held at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, LA in the Father Basil Moreau Center, on Saturday, May 10th, at 4:00 p.m.
Graduation Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 11th, at the Alario Center in Westwego, LA at 2:00 p.m.
The speaker at the Commencement Exercises will be the Honorable Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State of Louisiana. He will also receive an honorary doctorate from Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Honorary doctorates will also be awarded to Ms. Doris Voitier, Superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools, and to Mr. Michael J. Rapier, President and Chief Executive Officer of S.C. Minerals, Inc. as well as owner of Michael J. Rapier Investments.
Bobby Jindal was sworn in as Governor of Louisiana on January 14, 2008. He was elected Governor of Louisiana on October 20, 2007, with 54 percent of the vote in the primary, winning 60 of 64 parishes. Jindal made ethics reform the cornerstone of his platform and vowed to make Louisiana's ethics laws the gold standard for the rest of the nation.Governor Jindal also put forth detailed plans for reforming our state's health care, education, and transportation systems, as well as for encouraging economic development and continuing recovery efforts in those areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Jindal was born in Baton Rouge on June 10, 1971. He graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1987 and went on to attend Brown University where he graduated with honors in biology and public policy. Following his graduation from Brown he attended Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar, having turned down admissions to medical and law schools at both Harvard and Yale.In 1994, Jindal went to work for McKinsey and Company as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies before entering public service. In 1996, he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). There were many issues that needed resolving during his tenure, not the least of which was the growing deficit in Louisiana's Medicaid program. During Jindal's tenure as DHH Secretary, he rescued Louisiana's Medicaid program from bankruptcy, childhood immunizations increased, Louisiana ranked third best nationally in health care screenings for children, and new and expanded services for elderly and disabled persons were offered.
In 1998, Jindal was appointed Executive Director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. As Executive Director, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Commission, whose work continue to be the driving force behind much of the ongoing debate on how to strengthen and improve Medicare.At the conclusion of the Commission's work, Jindal was appointed President of the University of Louisiana System, the 16th largest higher education system in the country. While serving as President, Jindal worked to establish areas of excellence at each individual institution.President George W. Bush appointed Jindal to serve as Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2001. In that position, he served as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He later resigned from the position in 2003 to return to Louisiana and run for elected office for the first time. In that race, Jindal went from being a relatively unknown candidate for Governor, to receiving the most votes in the primary election and eventually 48 percent of the vote in runoff.In 2004 he was elected to the 109th United States Congress representing the First District of Louisiana. In Congress he was elected Freshman Class President and served on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the House Committee on Homeland Security, and the House Committee on Resources. Bobby also served as Assistant Majority Whip. In his first term he passed a number of notable pieces of legislation and played an instrumental role in Louisiana's recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. His noteworthy accomplishments include the passage of legislation to bring significant offshore energy revenues to Louisiana for the first time and legislation that keeps Federal Emergency Management Agency from taxing certain recovery grants as income. Jindal was re-elected to Congress in 2006 with 88 percent of the vote majority. Jindal and his wife Supriya have three young children.
Doris Voitier was appointed Superintendent of St. Bernard Parish Public Schools on August 10, 2004. She became Superintendent after a 33-year career in the St. Bernard school system, following experiences as a high school mathematics teacher, Coordinator of Accounting, Supervisor of Accounting and Instruction, Associate Superintendent for Finance and Support Services, and Assistant Superintendent.
A graduate of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, Ms. Voitier attended the University of Dallas from 1967-1969 and graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics education in 1971. She completed her student teaching at Chalmette High School and remained on staff as a teacher there upon her graduation from UNO. Ms. Voitier earned a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UNO in 1975, and she completed 30 graduate hours beyond her Master's Degree in 1983.
During her tenure in the classroom, Ms. Voitier eventually rose to the ranks of Mathematics Department Chair. She was encouraged to leave her teaching position in order to serve in the capacity of school district accountant and financial manager. In her position as Coordinator, Supervisor, and Associate Superintendent for Finance, she led her department to operational excellence, securing for the St. Bernard Parish School Board numerous awards for exemplary financial accountability from the Governmental Finance Officers Association and the Association of School Business Officers. Also, since securing her earliest position as finance officer, the district has been without audit exception during its annual audits.
After being named Assistant Superintendent in 1999, Ms. Voitier assumed responsibilities that included oversight of the district's instructional program as well as its finances. While serving in that capacity, she led efforts to restructure curriculum at all levels, resulting in improved student test scores, and she initiated an internal system of school accountability that addresses the monthly monitoring of teacher and student performance.
Currently, she is spearheading efforts to rebuild the school district in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed each of the system's 20 buildings and school sites. Despite the district suffering complete and total devastation, she led the drive to reopen school in St. Bernard Parish against all odds. Those efforts have been profiled within numerous television and newspaper stories, with each agreeing that her leadership and determination in returning schools to the parish will be a cornerstone in rebuilding the entire community. Most recently, she was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her courageous leadership in difficult times. She is the first person from Louisiana and the first K-12 educator to receive that award. She was also recently named the Louisiana School Superintendent of the Year.
In selecting Ms. Voitier as its Superintendent of Schools, Board members hailed her selection as "an effort to maintain the forward movement of the school district. Ms. Voitier is an incredibly talented and analytical educator who has positive solutions that will help St. Bernard in its mission to become Louisiana's 'Premier Public School District.'"
Michael Joseph Rapier is the President and Chief Executive Officer of S.C. Minerals, Inc., and the owner of Michael J. Rapier Investments, an investment holding company which operates six companies with interests in oil, gas, and real estate investments, as well as porfolios of investment securities, government and municipal bonds. He founded the company in 1987.
Mr. Rapier is a graduate of De La Salle High School, Tulane University, and the Rutgers University Graduate School of Banking. He is also a former faculty member of the Louisiana State University School of Banking.
In addition, Mr. Rapier serves on numerous business, civic, and community boards. Some of these include the Board of Directors of Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank of New Orleans (Executive Committee and Chairman, Audit and Compliance Committee), Ochsner Clinic Foundation Governing Board (Chairman, Finance Committee), Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia (Chairman, Finance Committee and Investment and Endowment Committee), Board of Trustees of Loyola University New Orleans (Chairman, Finance and Endowment Committee, and Co-Chair, Capital Campaign), Board of Trustees of the Academy of the Sacred Heart (served as Chairman of the Board for eight years), Board of Trustees for Children's Hospital (Treasurer for 10 Years), Board of Trustees for De La Salle High School (Secretary/Treasurer for seven years), Tulane University (President's Council, Business School Council for five years), Archbishop's Community Appeal (former Chairman), Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (Chairman of the Economic Development Council), and the Tulane Athletic Fund Board of Directors.
Mr. Rapier is also a Eucharistic Minister at St. Francis of Assisi Parish.
Our Lady of Holy Cross College, founded in 1916 by the Marianites of Holy Cross, has played a major role in the education of a diverse New Orleans student body. The College is part of the Catholic educational system developed by the Congregation of Holy Cross which includes such institutions as, the University of Notre Dame, Saint Edward's University and the University of Portland. Over fifty percent of the College's students come from the East Bank of the Mississippi River and a majority of the students remain in the area. They teach the children of the community, take care of loved ones when they are ill, operate the businesses citizens depend on, minister in Churches and social agencies, and volunteer their time to the city they call home. In short, the quality of their OLHCC education has an impact on the quality of life in metropolitan New Orleans and Louisiana.