Tech to celebrate Homecoming 2018, distinguished alumni at luncheon

The Louisiana Tech Alumni Association will honor its 2018 Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Alumni of the Colleges Oct. 19 at its annual Alumni Awards Luncheon.

The luncheon is set for noon in the Club Lounge of the Davison Athletics Complex. Tickets are $30 per person and $300 for a reserved table of eight. For tickets, contact Marbury Alumni House coordinator Barbara Swart at 318.497.7985 or, or visit, click on “Events” and register online.

Lo Walker, a 1956 graduate of Louisiana Tech, is the recipient of the 2018 Alumnus of the Year, and Kimberly M. McDaniel, a 2003 graduate, is the 2018 Young Alumna of the Year.

Walker has been the mayor of Bossier City since 2005. He graduated Tech as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force (USAF) and served in the USAF for 30 years. He was both a command pilot and master parachutist and, in 1986, retired as a colonel. He received many decorations, including two Legions of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 13 Air Medals, the Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service medal. He has one daughter, Linda, and two grandsons, Wes and Will, and is engaged to Constance Westergaard Cash.

McDaniel is the state manager for Cobb, Fendley & Associates, Inc., a local, regional, and nationally top-ranked firm that provides professional civil engineering and land surveying services. She was named American Council of Engineering Companies/Louisiana Young Engineer of the Year in 2016 and Louisiana Member of the Year by Women in Transportation in 2017. McDaniel is director of the Louisiana Tech University Engineering and Science Foundation Board, a member of the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association National Board of Directors, and Chair of Tech’s Chapter Development Committee. She serves as a founding member and chapter treasurer of the Louisiana Tech Alumni Chapter in Baton Rouge, where she lives with her husband and Tech alumnus Jeremy McDaniel and their two children and future Tech Bulldogs, William and Madeleine.

Leu Strange Wilder is the 2018 College of Applied and Natural Sciences Alumna of the Year. Before graduating from Tech in 1957, Wilder was active on campus as a Phi Mu, a cheerleader for four years, a member of the Homecoming Court, State Fair Court, and Military Ball Court, and was the University’s first Miss Louisiana Tech. For years she taught home economics in New Orleans and even authored a popular cookbook which led to national television appearances and many regional presentations. Wilder serves as a director on the Louisiana Tech University Foundation Board of Directors, is a founding member of Lagniappe Ladies, and lives in Shreveport with her husband, Dr. William Wilder, also a Tech graduate. Two of their three children and one granddaughter are Tech graduates as well.

Joe Psalmonds, founder and president of JPJ Investments, is the 2018 College of Business Alumnus of the Year and a 1973 Tech graduate. Before coming to Tech, he flew 300 missions in Vietnam as an aerial gunner on an AC119G gunship, and after Tech, he graduated U.S. Air Force Pilot School in 1975 and flew B-52’s at Barksdale Air Force Base. He graduated from the College of Financial Planning in Denver in 1989. He has served Tech in many roles, including president of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation Board of Directors, and he is a founding member of the Louisiana Tech College of Business Advisory Board. He resides in Shreveport with his wife, Angela. Together they have three children and nine grandchildren.

Doug Boulware is the 2018 College of Education Alumnus of the Year. A graduate of Tech in 1980 and again in 1993, Boulware is founder and CEO of Priority Management Services, which since 2005 has owned and operated 13 skilled nursing facilities and four hospitals in Louisiana and Texas. Before forming his own company, he taught and coached at Airline High in Bossier City and worked in sales and then nursing home administration. He also played offensive guard for the Bulldogs when Tech won the Independence Bowl in 1977. Boulware lives in Bossier City his wife Sandra. They have three grown children.

A.C. Hollins is the 2018 College of Engineering and Science Alumnus of the Year. A 1972 Tech graduate, he is Principle Consultant for the Delphi Groupe, Senior Consultant with VisX Corporation, and former Director of Operations and Infrastructure at the Nevada National Security Site. He has 46 years of experience supporting nuclear and non-nuclear operations at the Y-12 National Security Complex, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada National Security Site, Tonapah Test Range, and DOE/DOD classified locations and programs. Hollins serves on Louisiana Tech University’s Advisory Board for Construction Engineering Technology and the University of Nevada’s Senior Executive Advisory Team for the Office of Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Evelyn.

Zack Blanchard is the 2018 College of Liberal Arts Alumnus of the Year. He graduated from Tech in 1975 and today maintains the solo practice he established of general, civil, and criminal law. Before coming to Tech, he served in the U.S. Air Force and retired in 1977 as a major. He graduated from LSU Law School in 1981 and from LSU School of Library and Information Sciences in 1998. Today he serves as a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association House of Delegates and Chairman of the LSBA Section Insurance, Tort, Workers’ Compensation and Admiralty Law. He lives in Shreveport with his wife, the former Cynthia Wild. They have four children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.