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Celebrating Catholic Higher Ed. Week

Our Lady of the Lake College Holds
‘Celebrating Catholic Higher Education’ Week

Baton Rouge, LA – Our Lady of the Lake College has a reputation as both a top-notch applied liberal arts and healthcare-focused school and as a committed Catholic institution―the only Catholic institution of higher education in the state of Louisiana outside of the New Orleans area (and the only Franciscan college in the southeastern United States.)  As part of this commitment, Our Lady of the Lake College holds an annual 'Celebrating Catholic Higher Education Week,' which sets aside a time to focus on the value of learning within a Catholic Franciscan tradition.  This year the celebration was held March 16-20, 2015.

Events in 2015 featured topics from a student perspective.  Nursing student Jeff Green spoke during the Prayer Breakfast on Monday about his trip to Haiti with others from Our Lady of the Lake College (four nursing students, two pre-med students, one respiratory therapy student, one nursing faculty member and one family member.)   The group traveled to Respire’ Haiti school where they volunteered for seven days painting, cleaning, assessing and treating walk-in patients. On Wednesday, four students gave a thoughtful panel presentation about their experiences related to discerning vocation. 

Other events included a Campus Mass led by Father Matt Lorrain, Director of Vocations and Seminarians for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Our Lady of the Lake College Board Trustee, and later in the week there was a blessing of the College’s new simulation labs and St. Joseph altar attended by the College’s Board of Trustees.   

Pope Francis called Catholic education “one of the most important challenges for the Church, currently committed to new evangelization in an historical and cultural context that is undergoing constant transformation.”  During this week members of the College discussed the challenges and benefits of Catholic higher education; and the responsibilities of meeting the needs of the underserved and underprivileged throughout the world.

“The goal of Celebrating Catholic Higher Education Week is to give us the opportunity to talk about themes essential to our Franciscan roots,” explained Barbara Napoli, Chair of the College’s Mission Effectiveness Committee.  “It is our hope to use this time to strengthen our academic, service-oriented and faith-based community and to build fresh connections between students and our Catholic traditions.”

For additional information, please call Elaine Crowe, Communications Coordinator, 225-490-1637.

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About Our Lady of the Lake College

Offering doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate degrees, Our Lady of the Lake College is a four-year, independent Catholic institution, providing a strong foundation in the liberal arts and continuing its highly-regarded health sciences and nursing programs.  Established in 1923 as a nursing school by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL), Our Lady of the Lake College holds to a Franciscan tradition of service, offering a healing and spiritual presence for the community and especially those most in need.  To learn more about Our Lady of the Lake College, please visit www.ololcollege.edu.


College Holds Inauguration for 4th President

Baton Rouge, LA – On Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm, Our Lady of the Lake College held the inauguration of Tina S. Holland, PhD, the fourth President of Our Lady of the Lake College. 

The inauguration ceremony, which took place at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge, was attended by a broad representation of students, friends and members of the College as well as civic and healthcare leaders including the Honorable Jay Dardenne, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Louisiana, Melvin “Kip” Holden, J.D., Mayor-President of Baton Rouge and Joseph C. Rallo, PhD, Commissioner of Higher Education of the Louisiana Board of Regents.  Civic, religious and educational leaders as well as members of the College and an alumna spoke during the program to express best wishes to the president.

Institutions of higher education use Presidential inaugurations as an opportunity to formally welcome new leadership and to mark a new vision for the future of the institution.  During the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Holland shared aspects her vision for the College:  to grow educational programs to meet both the needs of students and the community, and to further develop the physical campus, and “in so doing we hope to establish a true sense of place for our campus—a place where we build students professionally, personally and spiritually—to be leaders and servants.” 

Earlier in the day an Inaugural Mass was also held at St. Joseph Cathedral.   The Mass was officiated by the Most Reverend Robert W. Muench, Bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. 

With the installation of Dr. Holland, Our Lady of the Lake College begins a new chapter in its nearly 100 year history.  Established in 1923 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, the School of Nursing began as a school of nursing in conjunction with the establishment of Our Lady of the Lake Sanitarium in the Capitol Lake area of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Revising the curriculum over the years to incorporate advances in medical science, nursing practice and nursing education the school transitioned to a degree-granting institution of higher education in 1989.  By July of 1995 the College was officially renamed Our Lady of the Lake College, earning full accreditation to offer associate degrees. 

After serving as an Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs for the LSU System and Chancellor at Louisiana State University at Alexandria, James W. Firnberg EdD served as the College’s first President from 1993 to 1999.  Under his leadership the institution transitioned into an institution accredited to offer baccalaureate degrees.  Michael Smith, PhD served as President from 1999-2006, and was followed by Sandra S. Harper, PhD from 2006-2013.

Currently the College offers a full range of applied arts and science and clinical degrees, now offering associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.  The 25 areas of study include arts and sciences, biology, clinical laboratory sciences, health sciences, liberal studies, nursing, nurse anesthesia, physical therapist assisting, physician assistant studies, radiologic technology and respiratory therapy. 

In addition to an emphasis on academic excellence, Our Lady of the Lake College has continued a promise to serve others begun by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, earning national recognition for its commitment to do service in the community.

For a complete bio for Dr. Holland go to www.ololcollege.edu/office-of-the-president/president-biography

To learn more about Our Lady of the Lake College, please visit www.ololcollege.edu.

For additional information, please call Elaine Crowe, OLOL College Communications, at 225-768-1700.  


New Board of Trustee Leader Named

Baton Rouge, LA – Alden L. Andre, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees since 2010, has been named Board of Trustee Chair for Our Lady of the Lake College.  Mr. Andre, a native and resident of Pointe Coupee Parish in Louisiana, completed his Bachelor of Science at Louisiana State University then served for a number of years in the U.S. Army.  During his fifty year career in plastics manufacturing he held various managerial positions at the Baton Rouge Formosa Plastics corporation and established two sister company plant sites in Pointe Coupee Parish.  Mr. Andre has served on numerous Boards of Directors including the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Chemical Association and the Capital Area United Way.

Other current Board leadership includes Redfield Bryan, M.D. who serves as the Board’s Vice-Chair. 

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About Our Lady of the Lake College

Offering doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate degrees, Our Lady of the Lake College is a four-year, independent Catholic institution, providing a strong foundation in the liberal arts and continuing its highly-regarded health sciences and nursing programs.  Established in 1923 as a nursing school by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL), Our Lady of the Lake College holds to a Franciscan tradition of service, offering a healing and spiritual presence for the community and especially those most in need.  To learn more about Our Lady of the Lake College, please visit www.ololcollege.edu.


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