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ULM Foundation honors Coach Lou St. Amant, others at annual Evening of Thanks

Published March 18, 2024

Evening of Thanks 2024

CAPTION: (L-R) ULM President Dr. Ronald Berry, Coach Lou St. Amant, Anne Lockhart, Ash Aulds, ULM Foundation Board of Trustees President John Jones 

MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation recognized donors and lifetime benefactors at the annual Evening of Thanks event on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in the Terrace Room on the 7th floor of the ULM Library. Former ULM baseball coach Lou St. Amant received the prestigious Hall of Distinction Award. Anne Lockhart and Ash Aulds were recipients of the 2024 Warhawk Ambassador Award.  

John Jones, president of the ULM Foundation Board of Trustees, welcomed attendees and introduced award winners.  

“Tonight, we honor all special alumni and friends who have generously invested in this university, not only this past year, but over numerous decades,” said Jones.  

Jones recognized donors who reached new lifetime giving levels in the last year. Moving up to the Tower Society, with lifetime donations of over $1,000,000, were Dhu and Mary Ellen Thompson. Moving up to the Bayou Society, with lifetime donations of over $500,000, were Betty and Jay Cummins, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, Roy O. Martin, and Kay and Hugh McDonald. Advancing to the Ouachita Society, with lifetime donations of over $100,000, were the Caridad Foundation, Justice Marcus R. Clark (Retired), The Horrell Family – Chris, Erin, Maddie, and Gavin, and the Doug Pederson family. New Cornerstone Society members, with lifetime donations of over $50,000, included Steve and Denise Gullatt, Dr. Robert and Dr. Sharon Meyer, and the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation.  

ULM Foundation Executive Director Susan Chappell announced that more than $30 million has been raised toward the SOAR Campaign. Established in July 2019 with the goal of raising $100 million by the University’s 100th anniversary in 2031, the SOAR Campaign will fund scholarships, opportunities for faculty, athletics, and renovations. “Each contributor who made this outstanding achievement possible may relish the rewarding feeling knowing they made a positive impact,” said Chappell.  

ULM President Dr. Ronald Berry recognized Coach Lou St. Amant as the newest Hall of Distinction honoree. The University Hall of Distinction Award is presented to an individual, couple, company or foundation who has honored ULM through an exceptional lifetime of distinction and/or exemplary service to, support for, or promotion of the University. 

“With his gifts, the university will benefit greatly from his generosity and unselfish support for many years to come,” said Berry. 

Former ULM Baseball Coach Lou St. Amant first worked for the University in 1968 as a graduate assistant baseball coach. St. Amant later returned to ULM in 1976, where he coached the baseball team for another 18 years. He ended his baseball head coaching career with 414 wins, including a 1982 Trans America Athletic Conference West Division Championship and a 1983 Southland Conference Championship. His 1983 team was also the first baseball team from ULM to participate in the NCAA Regional Playoffs. For another 25 years, St. Amant served as the color analyst for ULM football. 

In 2022, St. Amant was recognized as a Warhawk Ambassador, an elite group of individuals whose interests and loyalty are evident in their deeds and actions, reflecting and recognizing the importance of the University of Louisiana Monroe in our local and global community and demonstrating pride in the University. St. Amant is also a member of the Ouachita Society of the Kitty DeGree Bell Tower Honor Roll. In 2023, to honor Coach Lou’s lifetime of service, ULM named its baseball playing surface “Lou St. Amant Field”, lovingly referred to as “The Lou”.  After more than 54 years of service to the University, he continues to attend and support ULM functions, provide wise counsel to staff members, and serve as an ambassador to the community.

Read more about St. Amant in the Spring 2023 Issue of the ULM Magazine

Jones then recognized Anne Lockhart and Ash Aulds as the 2024 Warhawk Ambassador Award recipients. The Foundation commissioned local craftsman Bill Carroll to create handmade wooden Warhawk awards for each of the recipients.  

Anne Lockhart is a graduate of Neville High School and the University of Louisiana Monroe with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. 

Anne has worked and volunteered in the Monroe community for over 53 years, the first 25 years in the commercial banking industry, working her way from an entry-level teller position in 1971 to Senior Vice President – Commercial Lending, and ultimately to Senior Vice President and Director for Corporate Business Development for Regions Bank. 

In June 1996, Anne accepted the challenge of heading up ULM's Development Office, and professionally fundraised for the university until her retirement in April 2017. 

An important part of Anne's career in banking and higher education is her representative involvement in service for her church, community, and alma mater.  Her valuable engagement with ULM is ongoing as she maintains lifelong friendships with ULM benefactors, advocates for ULM throughout the community, assists with event planning and friend-raising. Anne is an essential and beloved member of the ULM family. 

Ash Aulds is a two-time alumnus of ULM whose passion for the university began during his time here in 2011 where he excelled as a student. He was an SGA Senator, member of CAB, Hometown Hawks, the ULM Honors Program, and worked as the Manager of the ULM Baseball team. As an SGA Senator, Ash won the Melvin Rambin Backbone Award and ULM SGA Senator of the Year in 2013.  After receiving his MBA in 2015, Ash began his career at Lumen Technologies within marketing analytics, and moved to El Dorado in 2019 for a new role with Murphy USA. He currently serves as the Senior Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis and Investor Relations.  
Ash was the ULM Honors Program Alumni of the Year award recipient in 2022. He is currently the Past President of the Alumni Association, after serving 7 years, 4 on the Executive Committee. Once Ash stepped into the Past President role, he didn’t miss a beat and joined the Athletic Foundation Board. Ash has also served on the strategic planning committees for Athletics and the Alumni Association.  

Jones concluded the evening by expressing appreciation for all donors in attendance. “We are grateful, and we appreciate your leadership, commitment, and friendship,” he said.