(May 19, 2008)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary Awards Trustees to Lifetime Status

Trustee Lifers
The newest Life Members of the Board of Trustees are (left to right) Robert Goodwin, Miriam Sklar, Dr. C. Vernon Sanders, Patsy O'Brien and Rev. William Hutchinson.
—Photo by Donna Bartholomew

SHREVEPORT, La.—Five members of the Centenary College Board of Trustees were awarded Lifetime status during the Annual Board of Trustees meeting May 9. The new Lifetime members include Robert Goodwin, the Very Reverend William Hutchinson, Patsy O’Brien, Vernon Sanders and Miriam Sklar.

Noting their resolve and commitment for Centenary College, the group was inducted into Lifetime membership by College President Dr. Kenneth L. Schwab and Chairman of the Board of Trustees William Anderson. "Today you join many distinguished colleagues who have already received this prestigious designation," said Dr. Schwab. "We honor you with life membership on the Board, but we also need your continued wise counsel and your other valuable contributions to the life and health of Centenary College."

Robert Goodwin was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1996. He is the retired chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the Great River Oil and Gas Corp. of New Orleans, having served in that position from 1986 to 1994. He was former chairman of the board and president of Exchange Oil and Gas Corp of New Orleans and former manager of the Land Department for Shoreline Exploration Inc. of New Orleans and district manager for Seaboard Oil Co. of New Orleans.

A native of Dublin, Texas, he earned the B.S. degree in economics from Centenary in 1950. He is a former director of Hibernia National Bank, New Orleans, and Hibernia Corp., New Orleans; a trustee of the Booth-Bricker Fund, a charitable foundation in New Orleans, and is a former director of International House, New Orleans. He helped establish the Robert and Jessica Goodwin Endowed Scholarship with his late wife, Jessica, also a graduate of Centenary College.

Very Reverend Hutchison William W. Hutchinson has served as the Bishop of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church for the past eight years. In 2003 he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity in recognition of "exemplary service to the United Methodist Church – at the local, regional and national level" from Centenary College.

The Rev. Mr. Hutchinson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1964, a Master of Divinity from Duke University in 1966 and an honorary Doctorate in Divinity from McMurry University in 1987. The Rev. Hutchinson and his wife Kay, are both active in supporting Centenary College.

Patsy O’Brien was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1998. She was born in Shreveport and attended St. Vincent's Academy before graduating from Villa Duchesne Academy in St. Louis, Mo. She attended Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, and Centenary College. Mrs. O’Brien is member of the Women’s Endowment Quorum, a group devoted to raising money for improvements to the Centenary campus. She has one daughter and two granddaughters.

Dr. C. Vernon Sanders has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1999. He has practiced internal medicine in Atlanta, Ga. since 1963. A native of Monroe, he earned both B.A. and B.S. degrees at Centenary, attending from 1949 to 1953, before completing the M.D. at Duke University in 1957. He served an internship at Duke University Medical Center in 1957-58 and residency/fellowships at Georgetown University Medical Center from 1958-63.

Among his special projects are the Clyde and Estelle Sanders Scholarship Fund at Centenary and the completion of his fifth volume of poetry and his second novel. He has also donated two paintings to the Meadows Museum of Centenary College and four books of his own poetry to the Magale Library.

Miriam Sklar was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1997, following her late husband, Albert, on the Board. She is also a member of the Women’s Endowment Quorum, a group devoted to raising money for improvements to the Centenary campus, and the Family Owned Business Center. The Albert Sklar Eminent Scholars Chair in Chemistry was established in 2001 through an endowment provided by the Sklar family and an award for the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund Endowed Chairs Program. The Sklar Chair honors the memory of Albert Sklar, a member of the Board of Trustees from 1964 until his death in 1996.

Mrs. Sklar has been a Shreveport civic leader and community volunteer for many years. She has been an active supporter and benefactor of the Shreveport Symphony and Shreveport Opera for many years. Her memberships include the Shreveport Country Club, Shreveport Club, Cambridge Club, Demoiselle Club, Cotillion Club, B'nai Zion Congregation, Agudath Achim Congregation and the Shreveport Jewish Federation.


About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.

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