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A message from Gridiron Alumni Chapter President Nathan Thornton

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Greetings Gridiron Members,

I am thrilled to be the new president of the Gridiron Alumni Chapter and can already say we are off to a great start. I wanted to take this time to remind you that even though the football season has come to an end, the chapter is still active year round, and I look forward to hearing from all of you throughout the spring semester.

We had a busy fall semester with our inaugural reunion in September. Many components came together to make our vision a reality and the weekend such a success. I would like to thank Dr. Bryan Maggard and the entire Athletic Department for sponsoring this event. I would also like to thank you, the members of the Gridiron Alumni Chapter.  Over 200 members and their families attended two days of good fun, great food, drinking and story telling. More than seven decades of players were represented from 1940-2015.  Many traveled far distances including California, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Washington, D.C. and all parts of Louisiana. Some even came after enduring the historic flooding of Hurricane Harvey.

I heard stories that I have never heard before. Players from 1944 talked to players from 1987 about how hard practices were when they played.  I found out that at one time you could fold your helmet up and put it in your pocket. Most notably, I heard “This is great! We need to do it again!”  And do it again we will.

Planning is underway for next year.  We anticipate the timing to be similar.  We also intend to move our annual Bill “Black Jack” Golf Scramble to the reunion weekend. You will receive more information as planning is refined.

I encourage you to update your information with the Alumni Association and use the Athletic Network to stay in touch with each other. You can also provide personal updates and inform the chapter, Alumni Association and Athletic Department on things that are important to you.

If you wish to make a gift to the Gridiron Alumni Chapter, you can do so online. You can also designate your gift to specific areas in the comments section:

  • Ragin' Cajun Gridiron Alumni Fund: An operating account for our Girdiron Alumni Chapter.
  • Bill "Black Jack" Landry Scholarship: A scholarship account for a student equipment manager.
  • Ragin' Cajun Gridiron Fallen Teammate Memorial Fund: A scholarship account for a graduate student for Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics. This is our newest account if you wish to donate in memory or in honor of a deceased teammate. If giving to this account, please indicate the teammate's name in the appropriate field.

You can also support our parent organization, The Alumni Association, which can have a direct impact on all engagement activities by the Association.

If you have any questions or comments about the Gridiron Alumni Chapter, please contact me at

Thank you and Geaux Cajuns,
Nathan J. Thornton, Jr.
Gridiron Alumni Chapter President

Photo: Gridiron Alumni Chapter President Nathan Thornton Jr. ’75 (left) and Alumni Association Past President Nelson Schexnayder Jr. ’73 (right) at the Friday night event during the Gridiron Alumni Chapter Reunion Weekend.