Pay it Forward
LSU Alumni Association President Cliff Vannoy, OHC Advisory Council member Barbara Freiberg, and Anita Warner
When three-time LSU alumnae Anita Warner decided to take an active role in shaping the university’s future, she could have chosen to plug-in almost anywhere on campus. A retired attorney, Warner earned a bachelor’s in history, a master’s in library and information sciences, and a law degree, all at LSU. But a chance meeting with former Ogden Honors College Dean Billy Seay steered her efforts toward Honors and sparked a lifelong commitment to advancing the Ogden Honors mission.
“I had been working with the local alumni chapter but was looking for other ways to get involved,” Warner said. “I told Dean Seay I had enjoyed my Honors classes and he asked if I would be interested in helping the Honors College. I said yes and the rest is history.”
Warner, who was a participant in the then-fledgling Honors division at LSU, appreciated the Honors experience of smaller classes and extra advising, especially as a student at a large state university. She also found that the benefits of the Honors education extended into her professional career.
“Honors taught me the value of analysis and critical thinking, which was invaluable in my professional career,” Warner said. “I achieved professional success because of my LSU education.”
For the past 21 years, Anita Warner has served on the Ogden Honors College Advisory Council, making her the longest-serving member of the body. Members of the Council advise the dean, fundraise, promote the recruitment of top students, network with alumni, and serve as ambassadors for the Ogden Honors College. Warner’s service on the Council is her way of “paying it forward,” she says, “for current and future generations.”
Ogden Honors College Dean Jonathan Earle said working with Council members like Warner was one of the best parts of the job. “As I look across the university and at peer institutions, it’s pretty clear the Ogden Honors College has one of the most engaged, helpful, and generous Advisory Council’s out there. And Anita is one of the people my predecessors and I have relied on the most. She provides a lot of continuity and gravitas.”
“Supporting the university, and particularly Honors, where I started, is the right thing to do and an obligation that all alumni share.” Warner said. “Ogden Honors is still an unappreciated part of the university. Business, engineering, law, education—they’re all schools that are well known and well supported. As a much smaller and newer college, Honors is still struggling for recognition and support.”
Warner says her proudest achievement while in support of the Ogden Honors College is when the Advisory Council obtained the French House as the headquarters for the College and, after relentless lobbying, secured capital outlay funds for the badly needed renovations. The renovations were completed in January.
The Ogden Honors College is more than just a college at LSU—it has an important role to play in improving the state, region, and the country for future generations. That’s why, Warner believes, garnering support for the Ogden Honors College and its mission is so important.
“Today’s students are so bright and ambitious in terms of their aspirations and goals. I am awed by their intellectual curiosity. Helping them attain those goals pays huge benefits for all of us.”
Join Anita in helping make a difference by paying it forward. To learn more about getting involved or investing in LSU’s highest achieving students, visit www.honors.lsu.edu/about/support-ogden or call (225) 578-6868.