Natchitoches Times Logo
Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Natives, NSU grads continue tradition of excellence
Mar 28, 2014 | 298 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State University will honor five graduates by inducting them into the University’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line.  The 2014 inductees are Dr. Hayward W. “Sonny” Hargrove of Black Mountain, N.C.; Carroll Long and Sen. Gerald Long, both of Natchitoches; Denise Lewis Patrick of Montclair, N.J., and Greg Vesey of Houston.   Honorees will be honored with a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 4 in the Sylvan Friedman Student Union.  Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased online at or by calling (318) 357-4414.  Dress is Business Casual.

 Hargrove graduated from Northwestern State in 1964 with a degree in education. He earned a master’s degree at Louisiana State University and a doctorate at the University of Mississippi. Hargrove was a college and university administrator for 25 years and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in education and university administration.  He was active in many professional organizations and served as a consultant at many national and international conferences, developed an international studies program and was involved in student personnel services, public relations and fund raising during years at Baylor University, Linfield College, the University of Mississippi and Montreat College.

 Hargrove has been an ordained minister since 1986. He is a volunteer chaplain with the Mountain Area Hospice in Asheville, N.C. and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department and has worked with chaplain volunteers in hospitals, nursing homes and the Mountain Area Hospice. He also worked with inmates in a Recovery Venture program to help them transition back into private life and led mission trips to China, Japan, Switzerland and Korea. 

 Active in student government as an undergraduate, Hargrove’s continued relationship with Northwestern State has included service with Alumni Association board of directors.  He has also been involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Rotary Club of Black Mountain, the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity and many other professional and service organizations. 

 Carroll Long earned a bachelor’s degree in education at NSU in 1967 and a master’s degree in 1970. He and his twin brother Gerald were the youngest of his parents’ eight children, all boys, who grew up in Winnfield, hunting, fishing and playing ball.  Long and his twin attended Northwestern State on football scholarships and Long was elected president of the freshman class. As an athlete, he was presented the Coaches Award for demonstrating leadership, character and an example to his teammates and was one of three permanent captains for the undefeated 1966 football team. After graduation, he returned to Winnfield where he taught American history and coached football and basketball and was the first high school coach in north Louisiana to play African American athletes at a public school. 

 Long later embarked on a long, successful career with State Farm, earning a lifetime membership in the President’s club, the highest honor for an agent.

  For the last 40 years, Long has been a devoted supporter of Northwestern State.  He and his wife have hosted more than 100 events for NSU athletes and prospective students and he served on the board of the Alumni Association for many years, as well as a volunteer chaplain for the football team.

 Sen. Gerald Long is the elected state senator for District 31 that includes Natchitoches, Winn, Grant, Sabine and parts of Red River and Rapides parishes. In that capacity, he is chairman of the natural resources committee and serves on committees that oversee agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, rural development, finance insurance and retirement. He is also a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the Louisiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Legislative Advisory Board for the Southern Regional Education Board and the Legislative Rural Caucus.

 Long graduated from Northwestern State in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in English.  He taught at the junior high and high school level before beginning a career in insurance and retired from State Farm in 1999.  Along with his wife, he has served as a representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 10 parishes, comprised of 80 junior high and high schools and two universities.

 Long has been active in his community as a past president of the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club, a member of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northwestern State Athletic Board of Directors, a deacon at First Baptist Church and Professional Business and Professional Women’s 2005 Man of the Year. He was elected Legislator of the Year by Rural Hospital Association in 2008, and awarded the Tourism Louey Award in 2012.

 Patrick is a freelance writer, editor, instructor and literary consultant who has authored books of poetry, short stories, picture and board books for children, non-fiction biographies, middle grade novels and a young adult novel. Her historical fiction series focusing on the American Girl character Cecile Rey exposed the Creole culture of Louisiana to a broad audience through the popular doll and accompanying books.  

 A Natchitoches native, Patrick earned a degree in journalism at Northwestern State in 1977 and is pursuing a master’s in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. She has written narratives for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center exhibition, published a review in the New York Times and has written sections for Fodor’s Travel Guides to New York City. She has also worked as an editor for Scholastic, Inc., as well as several other publishing companies and teaches intermediate writing at Nyack College.

 Patrick was lauded by the African American Academy of Arts and Letters for Children’s Book of the Year, was a runner-up for the Lamplighter Award by the National Christian School Association and has had two books listed as Best Books for the Teenager by the New York Public Library.  She has served on the advisory board for the Books for Kids Foundation, as a mentor for an afterschool writing club, as a writer’s coach and as an elementary school reading volunteer.

 Vesey has since 2011 been vice president of Chevron Gas Supply and Trading with responsibility for marketing natural gas to customers throughout North America and contributing to the growth of Chevron’s European gas business.  His group is also responsible for Chevron’s Global LNG trading activity, as well as Global NGL trading activity. 

 In 2006 Vesey was named President of Chevron Global Power Company, which manages Chevron’s portfolio of commercial power plants and projects in the U.S., Asia, Middle East and Europe and identifies new growth opportunities for power worldwide.  Prior to that assignment, he served as President of Chevron Technology Ventures for five years, responsible for creating a portfolio of new opportunities in Chevron’s business activities in hydrogen, emerging energy and nanotechnology and Chevron’s venture capital investing. 

 Vesey is Chevron’s Board-level representative to the Natural Gas Supply Association, where he is chairman.  He is a past chairman and member of the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas and is a Board member and vice president of Development for the Alley Theatre.

 A native of Amityville, N.Y., Vesey graduated from Northwestern State in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business and began his career in the energy industry in December of that  year.






Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Postings are not edited and are the responsibility of the author. You agree not to post comments that are abusive, threatening or obscene. Postings may be removed at the discretion of Natchitoches Times.