Northwestern State University will hold its Fall Commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 15 in Prather Coliseum.
At 10 a.m., graduates from the Gallaspy Family College of Education and Human Development, the Louisiana Scholars’ College and the College of Arts and Sciences except for those in general studies will receive diplomas. At 3 p.m., graduates in general studies along with graduates from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology will be recognized.
The commencement speaker will be attorney Alejandro “Al” Perkins, chairman of the Board of Supervisors the University of Louisiana System.
Perkins was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to the Board of Supervisors in July 2016. Six months later, he was selected by his fellow board members to serve as chair. The System consists of over 90,000 students and nine universities including Northwestern State along with: Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Louisiana at Monroe and University of New Orleans.
A native of Dallas, Perkins earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1999 and his Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center (SULC) in 2004. After a two-year judicial law clerkship for Judge Wilson Fields at the 19th Judicial District Court, he joined the law firm of Hammonds, Sills, Adkins and Guice. Perkins is a litigator specializing in complex litigation, general liability, workers’ compensation, labor and employment, education law and insurance defense. Perkins is also an adjunct professor at Southern University Law Center.
He was recently appointed by the National Bar Association as deputy general counsel. He served two terms as president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society – Greater Baton Rouge Chapter and is the current president of the Statewide Chapter of Martinet. Perkins has partnered with the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, served as National Bar Association Director of Region V, which includes Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi and served on the Board of Governors for the National Bar Association.
Perkins has been recognized by both of his alma maters, Xavier University and Southern University Law Center. Xavier University recently recognized him as one of its top 40 under 40 for his vast accomplishments and service to his community. Southern University Law Center awarded Perkins the honor of 2013 Distinguished Alumnus in recognition of his many accomplishments to the legal profession and unwavering commitment towards ensuring others have access to education. He has received the President’s Leadership Award from the National Bar Association in 2016 and 2012.