POSTED: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 4:04am
BATON ROUGE, LA — The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday unanimously approved honorary doctorates for a nationally known diabetes researcher, a distinguished dermatologist whosecareer marked the emergence of women in Louisiana’s medical community, and a Baton Rouge advertising executive and civic leader.
The degrees will be awarded at May commencement ceremonies for LSU A&M in Baton Rouge and the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans (LSUHSC).
Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, the Christopher J. Murphy Memorial Professor of Diabetes Research at Columbia University, was nominated for the honor by LSUHSC New Orleans and the LSU System’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center where he has served as a longtime external research advisor.
“Dr. Leibel has made many contributions to our understanding of the molecular genetics and developmental processes related to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and body weightcontrol by initiating the molecular cloning of the leptin gene,” wrote Dr. Steven Heymsfield, Executive Director at Pennington in a letter supporting Dr. Leibel’s nomination for the symbolic accolade.
Baton Rouge Campus officials nominated Dr. Mary Lou Applewhite for an honorary doctorate as a long-time, major supporter of LSU, including service on the LSU Foundation, LSU Alumni Association, and the LSU College of Science Dean’s Circle as well as her memberships on numerous professional boards.
An LSU Medical School graduate, Dr. Applewhite was one of the first women to pursue a medical career in Louisiana during the 1950s, “serving as an inspiration to colleagues and paving the way for future generations of professionals,” the nomination read.
The Baton Rouge Campus is also honoring Sean Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of the Lamar Advertising Company.
Reilly, a former State Representative from Baton Rouge, was nominated by campus leaders for his participation in numerous civic organizations; for his support of the Manship School of Mass Communication; and for being chair of Louisiana’s Flagship Coalition, a private group of business leaders that has lobbied for removing state rules that the group claims costs the Main Campus money and overly restricts its freedom to raise tuition.
“Mr. Reilly is deserving of this prestigious degree based solely on his leadership and love of LSU,” wrote Dr. Jack Hamilton, LSU A&M Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost in his recommendation letter.
Click here  to see copies of nomination letters and support documents for Leibel, Applewhite, and Reilly.