Dr. Steven Conrad and Walter Imahara are the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s 2020 Outstanding Alumni.
Many University of Louisiana at Lafayette alumni graciously continue to give back to the institution that gave so much to them. Alumni Brig. Gen. Rob VanHoy ’90 and Dr. Tess VanHoy ’89 decided to take their giving one step further. The VanHoy family has established a planned gift to the University in an endowed professorship for the Department of Biology. Both have fond memories of their time studying and learning in the Department of Biology. Establishing this planned gift felt like the perfect way to give back to an institution that shaped them into who they are today.
The couple both have had outstanding careers since their time as students at UL Lafayette. Brig. Gen. Rob VanHoy has had an illustrious career in the United States Air Force and was recently promoted to Brigadier General. Dr. Tess VanHoy went on to have a distinguished career in emergency medicine. She now is a Utilization Review Medical Director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. Both have had outstanding professional careers, and both credit the connections and relationships they formed at the University for changing their lives for the better. The two met in a biology class, so you can say that their love story started in the Department of Biology as well.
Dr. Raymond Bauer was one of Brig. Gen. VanHoy’s biology professors at the then University of Southwestern Louisiana and remembers him fondly. “He was one of the best,” said Bauer. Brig. Gen. Vanhoy was one of Bauer’s research lab assistants. VanHoy’s work ethic was tremendous, and he even became the co-author of one of Bauer’s publications. Bauer knew that VanHoy would accomplish great things in his lifetime. He even wrote a personalized letter of congratulations to be read at VanHoy’s ceremony when he was promoted to Brigadier General.
What motivated Brig. Gen. Rob VanHoy and Dr. Tess VanHoy to establish this endowed professorship was a desire to give back. “You don’t make it where you are today without where you were in the past. [UL Lafayette] was a very big part of that,” said Dr. Tess VanHoy. For the VanHoys, the University served as a catalyst to their successes. They hope this gift can allow future Ragin’ Cajuns to experience the same excellent opportunities that they got to have as students. “[UL Lafayette] had a significant impact on our lives,” said Brig. Gen. VanHoy. The VanHoy’s generosity is a testament to their character, kindness, and pride for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.