BATON ROUGE—The Honorable Helen “Ginger” Berrigan and Oliver “Rick” Richard III were presented with the LSU Law Center’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year award by Chancellor Jack M. Weiss at the LSU Union on September 23, 2011.
The award is given annually to an alumnus or alumna who exemplifies the highest quality and ethical standards of the legal profession. It also recognizes personal and professional achievements, as well as loyalty to the LSU Law Center. For the first time in the 25-year history of selecting a distinguished alumnus or alumna, the Law Center selected two, rather than one, distinguished alumni this year.
“This is the first time we have had two honorees, and I am delighted to claim Rick and Ginger as our own. It’s a great pair, and they bring honor to our school as the latest in a long line of distinguished alumni to receive this award,” said Chancellor Jack M. Weiss. “Both have distinguished themselves in their diverse professional careers—Rick as a business leader in the energy field and Ginger as a highly respected member of the federal judiciary. Rick and Ginger know that legal education isn’t just about learning rules. . . it has to do with a much broader preparation for service to the community in many different ways. We couldn’t have picked two better people for this award.”
Berrigan, a 1977 graduate of the Law Center, has served with distinction for seventeen years as a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, leading her Court as Chief Judge from 2001 to 2008. Judge Berrigan is a founding member of the Law Center’s Pugh Institute for Justice. She has served on the LSU Law Alumni Board of Trustees since 2002 and is a long-standing member of the Chancellor’s Council. Judge Berrigan is an Adjunct Professor at LSU Law Center and Loyola School of Law. A resident of New Orleans, she is a native of New York.
Richard, also a 1977 graduate of the Law Center, is president and founder of The Empire of the Seed, a private consulting firm in the energy, management, and private investments industries. In addition to his leadership of The Empire of the Seed, he serves as chairman of CleanFUEL USA. From 2005-2009, Richard served as president of the LSU Law Alumni Board of Trustees and received the Law Center’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010. Richard has strongly supported the Law Center’s Clinical Legal Education Program and for many years has been a member of the Chancellor’s Council. Richard currently resides in his native Lake Charles.
Mr. James Boren (Class of 1975) and Mr. H. Alston Johnson III (Class of 1970) were guest speakers during the event.
Berrigan and Richard were recognized on the football field during the LSU vs. Northwestern State University game on Saturday, September 10.