Day 4 Tour Dispatches: Talking Energy with Shell and a Major Port Announcement in New Orleans

March 16, 2023

The final day of the Scholarship First Tour drove home the interconnectivity of LSU's priorities (Agriculture, Biomed, Coast, Defense, and Energy) with the needs of our state and stakeholders.


10 a.m. 

The day started at the Shell facility in Convent. The plant is undergoing an overhaul to be the company’s energy hub of the future, which is also the centerpiece of the university's partnership with Shell. The Shell team shared details about workforce needs, the engineering curriculum necessary to educate students on the energy transition, and cybersecurity concerns.

President Tate speaks with Shell personnel in Convent



In New Orleans, Interim Vice President of Research & Economic Development Robert Twilley talked about the $300 million dollar oyster economy and our Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery’s work in supporting the industry, all while enjoying Drago’s raw and chargrilled oysters. The Cvitanovich brothers also joined to discuss the importance of the oyster industry.

President Tate is greeted at Drago's restaurant


3:30 p.m.

Down the street at the Port of New Orleans, LSU took part in an exciting announcement with the five major ports in southeast Louisiana, agreeing to partner on a cyber-defense initiative that will better protect Louisiana's nationally important port infrastructure.

Exactly one year ago to the day, LSU had announced its commitment to enhancing cyber and military studies at LSU, and this collaboration demonstrates the progress that's been made so far.

President Tate talks with port officials

6 p.m.

Next stop, Northshore! President Tate and his team piled back into the bus and headed over to Southern Hotel in Covington for an intimate gathering with area elected officials, donors, alumni, and friends.

Joined by Boyd Professor Mark Batzer and his wife, Pam, the team celebrated the strength of LSU’s footprint in the area and began the process of imagining what could be done to make the community even more resilient.

President Tate loads luggage onto the tour bus


When, finally, it was time to get back in the bus and head home, President Tate admitted he wasn’t quite ready for the tour to end.

"I learned so much about the different regions and industries of our state, and heard incredible stories of grit, determination, ingenuity, and utter brilliance," he said. "It was just an exceptional experience all the way around, and I’m so glad you followed along on our journey."