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Josh Blakesley Wins LSUA Alma Mater Contest

Released: 12/07/2009

A composition by Josh Blakesley has been chosen LSU Alexandria’s alma mater, announced Dr. David Manuel, chancellor. Blakesley, a former LSUA student, won an open competition sponsored by the university’s 50th Anniversary Committee.

The alma mater will be heard publicly for the first time at faculty convocation next month in preparation for the spring semester. “The new alma mater will serve as a centerpiece for our commencement ceremonies and many other functions as we celebrate the golden anniversary in 2010,” said Manuel. “It speaks to the university’s legacy, to learning and to the aspirations of our students and alumni.”

Blakesley, 33, is associate music director at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Alexandria. He also is a member of a four-piece touring band that plays nationally at Catholic youth conferences and other church functions, and he writes and records for Oregon Catholic Press. A 1994 graduate of Menard High School, Blakesley attended LSUA for two years before graduating with a degree in social science from Northwestern State University.

Blakesley earned $2,500 for the winning entry. A committee of faculty, staff, students and members of the community selected the winner in blind judging.

“I wrote the alma mater in traditional style, which is apart from what I typically compose,” Blakesley said. “It deals with the physical setting of the university, motivation, wisdom and the student’s perspective.” Blakesley, who plays piano in church and guitar with his band, said he wrote the alma mater to be sung primarily with a piano or organ.

The LSUA alma mater contains two verses and a refrain.

The path of life enduring lies with stately grace, Under oaks and pines securing, our home LSUA.

As we journey onward, the knowledge we obtain, And the lessons here imparted eternally remain.

To thee our source of wisdom our hope and future shine, To thee our Alma Mater we’ll be forever thine