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by Norm Miller

PINEVILLE, La. (LCNews)--Louisiana College honored Simon W. Tudor during its annual Founders Day celebration March 6 that included the unveiling of a historical marker at Tudor Hall that houses male students.

A generous benefactor to Louisiana College, who served as president of the trustees, Simon Tudor was recruited in 1910 to initiate the athletic program at LC.

While attending LC, Simon Tudor was athletic director and coached the football, basketball and baseball teams. Following in Simon’s footsteps, grandsons John Tudor of Alexandria, Louisiana, played for a Final Four LSU Tiger basketball team in 1981; and energy investment banker and CEO of Tudor, Pickering & Co., Houston resident Bobby Tudor was a basketball standout at Rice University, where he graduated in 1982.

He also married LC student Ollie Beall, the daughter of one of the college's founders.

Several other notable members of the Tudor family traveled from across Louisiana and Texas to attend the celebration, where grandson Attorney Mike Tudor shared a life sketch of Simon.

At age five, Simon worked the tobacco fields of Kentucky. As a young adult, he rode a horse to Georgetown College, where his athletic prowess ultimately led him to LC.

“With all of his belongings in a paper sack, he took the train from Kentucky to Alexandria and at Louisiana College quickly assumed the role of athletic director,” Mike Tudor said.

In 1946 Simon began Tudor Construction with his son, Bob, who was returning from World War II. Simon also was a Baptist deacon, a Rotarian, and a Pineville City councilman.

Mike Tudor said his “Papaw” was a “remarkable man, and it is with gratitude that we remember Simon Tudor and his contributions to this college, which has impacted the lives of so many, including our family.”

“Our family is pleased that it is just the first of several such markers, which will memorialize those who founded and have sustained Louisiana College for more than a century,” he said.

Noting that most colleges and universities established in the U.S. before the 20th century “had a strongly religious, usually Protestant Christian, character,” Mike Tudor said that almost all of them “have no significant religious identity today. The reasons for this are many and too complex to discuss today, but this fact alone should be a poignant reminder to all of us of the unique role of Louisiana College as a Christian college and call us to be as faithful as her founders to her mission of achieving academic excellence while maintaining integrity with the Christian principles on which she was founded.”

LC President Dr. Rick Brewer said in an interview that “Simon Tudor and his progeny understand and appreciate the importance of higher education built upon a Christian worldview, and have made the sacrifices necessary to help establish and sustain Louisiana College. Multiplied thousands of lives have been touched by the stalwart commitment of one man, Simon Tudor, who could not have fully realized that his investment would continue to pay dividends of both temporal and eternal consequence. The Louisiana College family remains deeply grateful to the Tudor Family, and especially Simon.”