John Hainkel - Southeastern Louisiana University

Southeastern Louisiana University

Hainkel, although a graduate of Tulane University, also took a special interest in Southeastern Louisiana University, which, as a public institution, he represented as state senator. His Senate District 6 straddled Lake Pontchartrain, causing Hainkel to quip that he represented more fish than people. Hainkel originated the Pontchartrain Cup, a trophy traded between Tulane and Southeastern on the basis of which team wins the annual baseball game.

Hainkel, more than anyone else, was responsible for gaining over $5 million of state funding for renovation of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in the Historic District of Hammond and the Columbia's acquisition by Southeastern Louisiana University. The operatic performance room within the spacious theatre is named Hainkel Hall, and a plaque commemorating Senator Hainkel appears prominently in the lobby.

Hainkel was honored in 1996 in Hammond with Southeastern Louisiana University's "Golden Ambassador Award," a prestigious designation given for "outstanding service, achievement, and/or humanitarian efforts."

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