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Five alumni named to 2016 Long Purple Line
By David West

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will honor five graduates by inducting them into the University’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line.  The 2016 inductees are Greg Ashlock of Los Angeles, Foster Campbell of Bossier City, Dr. James L. Holly of Beaumont, Texas, Glenn Talbert of Shreveport and the late Dr. Randall J. Webb. Honorees will be honored with a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 18 in the Sylvan Friedman Student Union.  Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased online at or by calling (318) 357-4414. 

Since 1990, 115 NSU alumni have been named to the Long Purple Line.

Ashlock is executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia USA and president of iHeartMedia Southern California, where he is responsible for 500 employees in Los Angeles, the number one radio market in the U.S. Ashlock manages eight radio stations and is responsible for talent management, ratings growth, revenue and expense controls, public affairs, FCC compliance, legal affairs and marketing/promotions.

He was named Clear Channel Communications’ Radio Executive of the Year in 2003, 2004 and 2006 and by Radio Ink as the Top Radio Executive in the country in 2007. Ashlock oversees the number one and three billing stations in the country and the top three rated stations in Los Angeles.

Ashlock earned an undergraduate degree in journalism at Northwestern State in 1991 and a master’s from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication.

Campbell is an elected official, businessman and farmer from Bossier Parish.  He was elected to the North Louisiana seat on the Public Service Commission in November 2002, representing 24 parishes and nearly one million people.  He was re-elected in 2008 and 2014.  Previously he served in the Louisiana Senate representing Northwest Louisiana.

Campbell, a 1969 graduate in business and economics, owns and operates two insurance agencies in Bossier City.

As a state senator Campbell led a three-year campaign to regulate the rates charged by rural electric cooperatives, lowering electric bills for a million state residents.  He created the $1 billion Educational Excellence Fund for local schools from Louisiana's Tobacco Settlement.  In 2001 he coauthored "Do Not Call" legislation protecting consumers from sales calls at home.

An avid sportsman, Campbell passed bills creating special license plates celebrating the Louisiana Black Bear and Bobwhite Quail.  Another Campbell bill established Youth Hunting Days to encourage young people to get involved in hunting.  He was named “Conservationist of the Year” in 1997 by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.

At the PSC Campbell has led efforts to prohibit wining and dining of commissioners and Commission staff by utilities.  He has pushed for lower rates, energy efficiency, renewable power and expansion of high-speed Internet service.  
In 2004 Campbell made national and international news by persuading the PSC to provide telephone service to the Mink community in Natchitoches Parish.  Residents of this small community in Kisatchie National Forest had lobbied for 40 years to get phone service.  

Holly, a 1965 graduate of Northwestern, is founder and chief executive officer of Southeast Texas Medical Associates. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio, where he is an adjunct professor of Family and Community Medicine. Holly is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine.

Holly received the 2015 inaugural National Patient-Centered Medical Home Practice Award from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative and the 2012 National HIMSS Physician IT Leadership Award.

Last year, on the occasion of their 50th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of their graduation from Northwestern State, Holly surprised his wife, Carolyn Bellue Holly, at the NSU Golden Jubilee luncheon by announcing the establishment of Carolyn Bellue Holly Distinguished Professorship in Teaching and Learning.  In addition to the Distinguished Professorship endowment, the Hollys have honored their mothers with the Marie Cobb Bellue Scholarship in Teaching and Learning and the Irene Woodruff Holly Scholarship in Health Care Education.

The Hollys have advanced medical education at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, making financial contributions to the school to establish: The Dr. and Mrs. James L. Holly Distinguished Chair of Patient-Centered Medical Home; The Wirt Everett Bellue, Sr. and William Richmond Holly, Sr. Distinguished Annual Lectureship in Patient-Centered Medical Home; The Veritas Program for the mentoring of the next generations of medical students; The President’s Development Council; The Danny Duke Annual Music and Medicine Lecture at the Center of Medical Humanities & Ethics and the Endowment of the Primary Care Institute for promoting primary care in the United States

James and Carolyn Holly have also received numerous honors at the Health Science Center including the Dr. And Mrs. James L. Holly University Auditorium and membership on The University of Texas Chancellors Council. In 2012, James Holly was named the 2012 Distinguished Alumni of the School of Medicine.

Under Holly’s leadership, Southeast Texas Medical Associates has become a leader in healthcare informatics, winning numerous awards in the field.

Talbert has been a successful agent for State Farm Insurance in Shreveport for 44 years.

He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Talbert has been a continuous supporter of Northwestern since receiving his degree in 1964, serving on the NSU Athletic Council and the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Talbert came to Northwestern after graduating from Gillis High School, where he was All-State in football and track and All-District in basketball. In his senior year at Gillis, Talbert set the Class B State Long Jump Record with a leap of 23 feet 11 ¾ inches, a record that has stood for 57 years.

Talbert played on Northwestern’s1962 Gulf States Conference championship team as the starting halfback. Talbert was named first team All-Gulf States Conference halfback by the coaches and sportswriters in 1962 and 1963. He was elected permanent team captain in 1963 along with fellow teammate Sammy Joe Odom. Talbert signed with the Kansas City Chiefs after his senior year.

He was inducted into the Graduate "N" Club Hall of Fame in 1985 and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Demon players of all time that was announced to kick off NSU's centennial football season in 2007.

Webb, was the longest-serving president in the history of Northwestern State, holding the position from July 1, 1996, to Dec. 31, 2014.  He died in November.

Under Webb’s leadership, Northwestern State received unprecedented national and international attention for its academic programs and student accomplishments. University facilities were renovated to better serve students and two record-setting capital campaigns took place.

Enrollment reached record levels during Webb’s tenure as president and exceeded 10,500 for the first time in history in the fall of 2004.  Webb led NSU toward higher admission standards, which has resulted in students at the university having greater academic potential and aptitude. During Webb’s tenure, Northwestern State had the largest graduating classes in the university’s history.
Webb has also expanded the university’s outreach by spearheading the development at NSU of the largest electronic education network of any university in Louisiana. 
Millions were obtained during Webb’s presidency for new and renovated facilities.  The new facilities include the Wellness, Recreation and Activity Center, Student Services Center and University Place I and II. Morrison Hall, the Family and Consumer Sciences Building, Williamson Hall, Russell Hall and Caspari Hall were completely renovated and restored.
A 1965 graduate of Northwestern in mathematics and business education, Webb earned a master of science degree in mathematics from NSU in 1966.  He received a doctorate in education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1971 with a concentration in mathematics and research.
Webb was a member of the faculty of Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia, and an administrator at the Louisiana Department of Education and Southeastern Louisiana University before returning to NSU in 1989 as Dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies and professor of mathematics.


2016 Long Purple Line inductees, from left, Greg Ashlock of Los Angeles, Foster Campbell of Bossier City, Dr. James L. Holly of Beaumont, Texas, Glenn Talbert of Shreveport and Dr. Randall J. Webb