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2014 | Jay Dardenne

Jay Dardenne graduated from LSU in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and earned a J.D. from the LSU Law Center in 1979. While at LSU, he was president of the student body, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Sigma Chi, as well as a student member of the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Dardenne has been Louisiana’s lieutenant governor since November 2010 when he was elected to fill an unexpired term. He was re-elected to a four-year term in 2011 after serving one year. Prior to his election, he served four years as secretary of state and fifteen years as a state senator.

As a legislator, Dardenne chaired the Senate Finance Committee, spearheading efforts to reduce government waste and to create a single State Board of Ethics. He also helped pass constitutional amendments on term limits, coastal erosion, and victims’ right. In 2003 he was named national Republican Legislator of the Year.

During his tenure as secretary of state, Dardenne pushed for election reform, expanded early voting, and established the Heroes and Heritage Trail.

As lieutenant governor, he created Pick your Passion, the state’s award-winning tourism brand. His popular presentation "Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi” is a lively look at the state’s culture, history, music, and politics.

Active in social and civic endeavors throughout the state, Dardenne volunteers with numerous groups and has served as president of ten nonprofit organizations in Greater Baton Rouge. Among his many awards are the Americans for the Arts Leadership Award, the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association Louisiana Tourism Champion Award, and the Louisiana Public Broadcasting President’s Award.

Dardenne is married to the former Catherine "Cathy” McDonald, an LSU alumna, and the couple has two grown sons, John and Matthew.

The opportunities afforded me at LSU shaped my entire career. The University has been center of my social, cultural, political, and family spheres for my entire life.


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