Dr. Clea Edward Parker, who served as President of Southeastern Louisiana University for over 12 years, died 04/15/2014. He was 87 years of age. Dr. Parker, who made education his life-long career, served as president of Southeastern from January 1968 - June 1980 and was appointed President Emeritus upon his retirement. During his tenure, Southeastern earned University status by changing from Southeastern Louisiana College to Southeastern Louisiana University. Major building additions and renovations were accomplished during Dr. Parker's presidency. He was also instrumental in gaining legislative approval for the construction of the Southeastern University Center, the School of Nursing building in Baton Rouge, the Teacher Education Center, the Humanities Building (now known as D. Vickers Hall), the Health and P.E. Building, the new Sims Memorial Library, and the Athletic Building. A hallmark of the Parker administration was increased student involvement in the University and expansion of the graduate program. He was the first Southeastern president to name students to University-wide committees, promoted an 'open door' policy and was seen regularly visiting with students in the dining halls, classroom buildings, and throughout the campus grounds. Prior to joining Southeastern, Dr. Parker served as the Director of Student Teaching at Nicholls State University and was a visiting Instructor at the University of New Orleans. Upon his retirement from Southeastern in 1980, Dr. Parker served as the Educational Liaison with the Louisiana State Department of Education and as an Educational Evaluator with the Louisiana State Board of Education. Dr. Parker began his career in education as an instructor at Rugby Academy in New Orleans. He spent seventeen years in the St. Tammany Parish School system as a teacher and coach and as Supervisor and Director of Curriculum and Instruction. He served as principal of Mandeville High School where he also taught and coached basketball. He was the first graduate of Mandeville High to serve as its principal. During his many years as an educator, Dr. Parker served on a number of local, state, and national committees and was recognized by many educational organizations as a leader in the field of education. Dr. Parker earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and was the first Alumnus of Southeastern to serve as its President. He earned his Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees from Louisiana State University. He also attended Tulane University, Peabody College, the University of Kansas, and the University of Maryland. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 50 years and served as an usher at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond for over 20 years. Dr. Parker is survived by his wife of 60 years, Peggy Faciane Parker, sons Brian Parker (Michelle) of Covington, LA and Stephen Parker of Charlottesville, VA, and daughters Karen Parker Ellis (Steve) of Hammond, LA and Robin Parker of Madisonville, LA. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren, Parker Ellis (Ashley) and Laken Ellis, Landon Parker, Keri Parker Cannizzarro (Louis), and Allyson Parker, brothers Floyd Parker (Sybil) of Covington, LA and Guy Parker (Ray) of Hammond, LA, and sister Louise Parker Mancino (Pat) of Stockton, NJ. He was preceded in death by his father, William Parker, mother, Lutretia Davis Parker, brother Hezzie Parker, and sisters Myrtie Parker and Rita Parker Cornet. Friends will be received at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond, LA on Monday, April 21st from 10 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. followed by a Mass starting at 12:00 p.m. Donations may be made to the Dr. Clea and Peggy Parker Endowed Scholarship in Education fund at Southeastern Louisiana University through the Southeastern Development Foundation, SLU 10703, Hammond, LA 70402. An on-line guest book is available at www.harrymckneely.com.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Apr. 18 to Apr. 21, 2014