Support LSU Law Energy Center
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About John P. Laborde: Supporting the LSU Law Energy Law Program
In October 2012, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved naming of the new Energy Law Center of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in honor of John P. Laborde. Mr. Laborde’s $2 Million gift has provided for a $1.2 Million Endowed Chair in Energy Law and an $800,000 programmatic support fund to establish the Center. Mr. Laborde’s gift is the largest gift in the history of the Law Center.
Mr. Laborde graduated from LSU with B.A. and J.D. degrees. After his graduation from LSU Law in 1949, Mr. Laborde spent 5 years with Richardson & Bass, an independent oil and gas exploration company and then 40 years leading Tidewater Marine, an international marine service company that he co-founded. Tidewater’s story began in 1955, when a group of investors led by the Laborde family of New Orleans pioneered the development of the first offshore service vessel tailor-made to support the new and growing offshore oil and gas industry. A year later, Tidewater Marine Service, Inc. commenced operations as a publicly owned company with John P. Laborde at the helm.
More than 55 years and many vessels later, Tidewater remains a leader of the industry it created, with a reputation for anticipating and responding to the changing worldwide needs of energy exploration and production. Mr. Laborde has also served on the Boards of several major corporations, including BellSouth Corp., American Bankers Insurance Group, United Gas Pipeline Co., Stewart Enterprises, Inc., and VT Halter Marine, Inc. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Laborde Marine Lifts, Inc., Laborde Products, Inc., Lab-More Properties LLC, and Laborde Integrated Services, Inc., and currently serves on the Board of Stone Energy Corporation. He retired from Tidewater in 1994.
Mr. Laborde has served in multiple leadership roles with the Law Center and was honored as the LSU Law Center’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 1993. He is a longtime member of the Law Center’s Chancellor’s Council, a former member of the Law Center’s Alumni Board of Trustees, and a member of the Law Center’s Forever LSU Campaign Steering Committee. Mr. Laborde served as Chair of the Law Center’s Annual Fund Campaign from 1999 – 2003.
His dedication and ties to LSU span many years. He was named to the LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction in 1983 and is a former Alumnus of the Year and past president of the Association. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the university in 1995 and was inducted into the Cadets of the Ole War Skule in 1998. His philanthropy has extended to all parts of the campus, including the Law Center’s endowed professorship and scholarship programs; the LSU War Memorial Fund, Cadets of the Ole War Skule and the Military Endowment; the Alumni Fund; the Flagship Fund; the LSU Foundation; and, the Louisiana Sea Grant program endowed chair program, among many others.
In 2000, Louisiana Public Broadcasting honored Mr. Laborde as a “Legend of Louisiana” and in 2003, Junior Achievement honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. He was recognized by LSU as the Peoples Health “Illustrious Alumnus of the Game” in 2011, and has also recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Corporate Growth.
Upon entering LSU as an undergraduate student, Mr. Laborde was an active participant in the ROTC program until he was called to active duty in 1943. Before leaving LSU, he successfully acquired the rank of Cadet Colonel, Infantry Regiment of the LSU ROTC. Mr. Laborde served in the United States Army (Infantry) in the Pacific in World War II, where he attained the rank of captain. He also served on the Adjutant General’s staff of General Douglas MacArthur.
Mr. Laborde is married to Sylvia Laborde, and they reside in New Orleans. Mr. Laborde has five children: J. Tracy, Cliffe, Gary, J. Peter, and Adrienne. The entire Laborde family is deeply committed to the success of LSU. Cliffe (’76), has a long record of service to and support of LSU Law. His son, Gary, received his undergraduate degree from LSU and is the current Chair of the LSU Foundation. John Tracy received a Business degree from LSU and Mr. Laborde’s granddaughter, Celeste Claire Laborde McNulty, is a 2008 LSU Law graduate.