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Wednesday, October 01, 2014
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Editorial: These indeed are heady days at McNeese

Last Modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:49 PM

McNeese State University is fast gaining a reputation for a respectable bang for students’ bucks.

The institution recently ranked third in Louisiana among all public and private institutions with the greatest lifetime return on investment for its graduates, according to www.AffordableCollegesOnline.org.

AC Online, a web-based news site that provides students and parents with data about affordable higher education options, put McNeese graduates lifetime return on investment at $596,200. That ranked behind Louisiana Tech at $804,100 and LSU at $749,400.

The University of New Orleans ranked fourth ($556,500), followed by Xavier University ($535,900), the University of Louisiana-Monroe ($469,700), Southern ($404,800), Northwestern State University ($388,100), Southeastern Louisiana ($385,000), the University of Louisiana-Lafayette ($361,000), Nicholls State ($349,500), Dillard ($287,400) and Grambling ($65,350).

AC online factored universities’ tuition and fees and graduates’ average starting salaries to determine the rankings.

“I congratulate our faculty and staff for their work and dedication and for their commitment to our core values of academic excellence, student success, fiscal responsibility and university-community alliances,” said McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams in a news release from the university.

Williams said McNeese is quickly becoming the university of innovation.

Previously AC Online ranked McNeese 32nd out of the top 58 public institutions nationwide for offering affordable tuition and high average salary earnings for its graduates.

McNeese recently had the lowest tuition of all eight institutions in the University of Louisiana System at $5,099.

U.S. News & World Report named McNeese one of the best regional universities in the South in its 2014 Best Colleges edition.

These indeed are heady days at McNeese. Adam Johnson, a graduate of the university’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, won the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for Fiction. And earlier this week it was announced that Michael Shewmaker, a 2010 graduate of the MFA program, was one of five writers to receive a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry to Stanford University.

This enviable portfolio should once and for all bury the ill-deserved ‘‘Ryan Street High’’ put-down. Anyone who still mutters it should be labeled as a fountain of misinformation.

Instead, the university’s motto, ‘‘Excellence with a Personal Touch,'' registers clear and true daily with its students, faculty and proud alumni.

• • •

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

Posted By: Jim Hebert On: 8/3/2013

Title: Class of 71

I graduated from McNeese with BS in business administration 1971
I still remember caring and helpful instructors who
propelled me to 17 years of self employment
In Dallas I now enjoy my small farm in north
Texas . Upon graduation, I was offered the highest salary ever given
By Texaco oil company in Morgan city LA at $750 month.

Posted By: Jan Russell, Class of '72 and '76 On: 8/1/2013

Title: These Indeed Are Heady Days at McNeese

I am so proud of the growth of McNeese through the years. McNeese alumni are making an impact all over the world. I am a 1972 graduate of McNeese with a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a 1976 Master of Music Ed. also from McNeese. The Music Department at McNeese is world class. When I moved to Houston I auditioned for and was accepted for the Houston Symphony Chorus. I sang with this group for 25 years. I have also taught in the public schools for 41 years. I have no doubt that the training and individual attention from McNeese professors contributed to my success. At the school where I am currently employed in suburban Houston, my principal is also a McNeese graduate. We both proudly display our McNeese banners outside our doors. Students, professors, and alumni have good reason to be proud of McNeese.

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