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LSU Law Celebrates Historic Gift of John P. Laborde (’49)

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John P. Laborde (’49)

The LSU Law Center community, along with family and friends, honored alumnus John P. Laborde (’49) on Thursday, May 2, 2013, for his historic gift to the Law Center. Mr. Laborde has made a $2 Million gift to LSU Law, creating a Double Endowed Chair in Energy Law and a programmatic support fund to establish the LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center.  Mr. Laborde’s gift is the largest gift in the history of the Law Center.  LSU Law Center Chancellor Jack M. Weiss presented Mr. Laborde with the Law Center’s Distinguished Service Award during ceremonies held at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans.

View photos of the dinner.

Biography of John P. Laborde

Mr. Laborde has made a $2 Million gift to the Law Center to create a $1.2 Million Double Endowed Chair in Energy Law and an $800,000 programmatic support fund to establish the LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center. Mr. Laborde’s gift is the largest gift in the history of the Law Center.

Mr. Laborde graduated from Louisiana State University 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.

Now, more than 55 years and many vessels later, Tidewater remains the leader of the industry it created, following the search for oil and gas into increasingly deeper waters globally and extending its proven record of service to installations closer to land. In the process, the company has earned 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 is a well-known and respected civic leader in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. In 2000, Louisiana Public Broadcasting honored him as a “Legend of Louisiana” and in 2003, Junior Achievement honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. He was recognized by LSU A&M as the Peoples Health “Illustrious Alumnus of the Game” during the LSU-Kentucky game in 2011, and has also recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Corporate Growth.

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.

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.

The Laborde family is deeply committed to the success of LSU. Mr. Laborde’s son, Cliffe (’76), has a long record of service to and support of LSU Law. Mr. Laborde’s son, Gary, received his undergraduate degree from LSU and is the current Chair of the LSU Foundation. Mr. Laborde’s son, John Tracy Laborde, received a Business degree from LSU and Mr. Laborde’s granddaughter, Celeste Claire Laborde McNulty, is a 2008 LSU Law graduate. Mr. Laborde is married to Sylvia Laborde, and they reside in New Orleans.