He will oversee planning and implementation of events, marketing, fundraising and Tri-Centennial logistics for the Celebration year that begins with a kick-off event in November (an unveiling of the Natchitoches Legacy Art Project’s beaded panel by Stephan Wanger).
He works under the direction of the executive committee (appointed by the Historic District Development Commission) and members of the Calendar of Events Committee.
“The Tricentennial Steering Committee is very pleased and excited to welcome Ron as the official Tricentennial Events Manger. His enthusiasm and experience are what we needed to plan a banner year for Natchitoches,” said Cynthia Sutton, executive director of the Cane River National Heritage Area.
McBride is a retired professor of educational technology leadership in the College of Education and Human Development at Northwestern State University. He held the Melba Law Steeg Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Educational Technology Leadership.
During his tenure he directed the first distance learning program at the University, and was department head in Journalism. He returned to Louisiana to work at the Louisiana School For Math, Science and the Arts as part of its original faculty.
He received a grant to expand “Telelearning: Project Outreach,” a project that delivered 13 high school classes to 140 rural schools in Louisiana, the forerunner to the Louisiana Virtual High School.
He began his career at Dalton College in Georgia, a unit of the University of Georgia System. He holds a Ph. D in Communications/ Instructional Media Management from Georgia State University.
When asked his motivation in taking the position, especially after retirement, he replied, “I recognized this as opportunity to not only assist the community that I love, but to help it become better known as a center for culture and history represented through its historic district, the Cane River Lake, the Cane River Heritage Area, the University, and displayed by the charm and beauty that is unique to Natchitoches.” He continued, “The Tri-Centennial is an opportunity to showcase the city and Parish, while expanding tourism that will continue to impact Natchitoches for many years to come.” “We are,” he said, “Louisiana’s first Tri-Centennial city and the oldest in Louisiana including the other states that comprise the Louisiana Purchase. It’s a golden opportunity that will bring thousands to the city during Tri-Centennial year, and long after the celebration has ended.”
McBride is active in the community and is a member and past-president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, the Natchitoches Rotary Club and the Natchitoches Northwestern Symphony Society.
The Tri-Centennial Celebration in Natchitoches begins in January and runs through December 2014.