MSU Remembers Former President - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

MSU Remembers Former President

Students, faculty, and staff are remembering a former president of Midwestern State University who passed away on Friday.  Doctor Louis DJ. Rodriguez wasn't just a president, he was family.

“He was the most dedicated human being I've ever seen,” MSU President Jesse Rogers said.

Dr. Rogers said he was a man he will never forget.

“I believe other than perhaps Ramona, his wife, and his immediate family, I may know Lou as a man and as a president and as a human as well as anyone,” Dr. Rogers said.

He explained how Dr. Rodriguez was the man that took the University to the next level and got the community involved.  He said the most difficult thing Dr. Rodriguez accomplished was bringing football back to MSU. 

Dr. Rogers told his story about how he met him in 1978.  At the time, he was the vice president for academic affairs before Dr. Rodriguez became president in 1981.  He said he was an extremely hard worker.

“I tried to out work him for the first few years.  I found out I couldn't do it, so I just did my job my way,” Dr. Rogers said.

He said, without Dr. Rodriguez, he wouldn't be where he is today.

Dr. Rogers isn't the only one who remembers him.  Robert Clark, the Vice President for Administration, said he was a wonderful man.  Clark said he was actually the one who started the cycling team at MSU.

“We would not of had that program if it had not been for the support from Dr. Rodriguez,” Clark said.

He also said he was very involved and knew about everything that was going on at the University.  Another faculty member had a similar story.

“He was very involved. He knew everything that was going on, one way or the other,” Dr. Magaly Ricon-Zachary, a biology professor said, “I don't know how he did it.”

Dr. Jim Sernoe, Chairman for the Mass Communications Department reflected on a memory he will never forget.  He said he remembers Dr. Rodriguez walking around on campus picking up litter.  He even picked up a cigarette butt off the ground and told him how young kids shouldn't be smoking.

Even though Dr. Rodriguez is gone, he will never be forgotten.

Dr. Rogers said, “Lou meant a lot to me as a friend and as a president of the university and I shall never forget him.”

Dr. Rodriguez was 81-years-old and is survived by his wife Ramona, and three children.  He funeral will be early next week at the 10th and Broad Church of Christ in Wichita Falls.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6
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