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Fall Commencement to be held Dec. 14
By David West
12/07/2012

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will hold its Fall Commencement Exercises Friday, Dec. 14 in Prather Coliseum.

Undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Education and Human Development and undergraduate students from the Louisiana Scholars’ College will receive diplomas at 10 a.m. Undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Nursing and Allied Health and undergraduate students from the College of Science, Technology and Business will graduate at 3 p.m. The ceremonies will be streamed online at nsula.edu.

Those wishing to get the best available seating should plan to arrive at least an hour prior to the ceremony. Seating on the arena floor is available for those who are mobility impaired.

Prather Coliseum is located at 350 S. Jefferson St. at the corner of S. Jefferson St. and Caspari St. on the Northwestern State campus.

Paul Rainwater, chief of staff for Gov. Bobby Jindal, will be the commencement speaker. Rainwater was named chief of staff in October. He served as commissioner of administration, the chief financial advisor to the Governor and chief administrative officer for the state. He served as commissioner from June 2010 to Oct. 2012.

Rainwater has also served as Jindal’s deputy chief of staff. Prior to that, he served as executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. Previously, Rainwater served as legislative director and chief of operations for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. From June 2006 to January 2007, he served as director of hazard mitigation and intergovernmental affairs at the LRA, where he managed program policies, served as team leader and coordinated with state and federal agencies to set mitigation priorities.  From July 2000 to June 2006, Rainwater served as chief administrative officer for the city of Lake Charles.

Rainwater also formerly served as manager of governmental affairs for Conoco, Inc., Gulf Coast Business Unit in Baton Rouge from 1998 to July 2000; as manager of public affairs for ARCO Chemical in Lake Charles from 1995 to May 1998; and as administrative aide to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury in Lake Charles from 1988 to 1996.

In addition to his public service duties, Rainwater also serves as a colonel with the Louisiana Army National Guard in the Joint Director of Military Support for Disaster Response Unit. He previously served as a lieutenant colonel in the Congressional Liaison Office of the Louisiana Army National Guard and as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserves’ 336th Finance Command. For his military service, Rainwater has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Badge.


Rainwater earned a bachelor’s degree in government from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, a master’s degree in international relations from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island, and is certified as a local government manager by Louisiana State University.