RoyOMartin Pledges $2 Million to LSU College of Engineering Expansion

July 16, 2013 | LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Alumni announce private support for “Breaking New Ground” campaign

Jonathan E. Martin, chairman and CEO and Roy O. Martin III, president and CFO of Martin Companies, L.L.C. have announced a $2 million gift commitment to support the renovation of Patrick F. Taylor Hall and engineering expansion for LSU’s College of Engineering. RoyOMartin’s gift bolsters the private funding in support of the college’s “Breaking New Ground” campaign, to which donors have generously committed more than $30 million.

Roy receiving check

“It is important for our family to carry on my grandfather’s values of integrity, commitment, and stewardship,” said Jonathan E. Martin. “The Martin family is honored to support both Louisiana and LSU through this contribution.”

As part of a state-led initiative to grow the number of engineering, computer science and construction management professionals in Louisiana, LSU’s College of Engineering is committed to expanding its facilities to accommodate existing student demand and future growth. This announcement supports the private portion of the $100 million public/private partnership to renovate and expand LSU’s College of Engineering facilities and infrastructure.

“LSU has served our family for three generations, and we are thrilled to be a part of the success of the LSU College of Engineering,” said Roy O. Martin III. “As our company celebrates its 90th year in business, we reflect on the positive impact LSU has had on our family, employees, and community. We trust that others will join us in this effort of support. This is a great day for the future of LSU.”

Launched publicly on April 20, 2013, with a $15 million gift commitment from Phyllis M. Taylor to honor the legacy of Patrick F. Taylor, the “Breaking New Ground” campaign will support the next generation of engineering education at LSU and holds great promise for a stronger College of Engineering. The campaign website,, offers information on elevating the level of engineering excellence in Louisiana.

“We thank the Martin family for their generous commitment to the LSU College of Engineering, as well as their years of support to LSU in so many ways,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “Meeting the demand for high-quality engineers is a priority for our state and for LSU. This expansion will provide a first-class facility for our students and will ensure continued success.”

On Oct. 2, 2012, Gov. Bobby Jindal committed that his administration will support $50 million in capital outlay funding for the project and the remaining funds will be covered by private donations.

“I’m proud to be back at LSU to highlight this $2 million gift from RoyOMartin and the Martin family for the new Engineering Complex,” said Jindal. “This complex will go a long way in continuing Louisiana’s economic momentum and further strengthening our workforce. For more than five years, Louisiana’s economy has continued to grow and we have repeatedly been ranked at the top of national rankings for business climate. These are signs of incredible progress. But, we cannot rest on our laurels. We cannot become complacent if we truly want to make Louisiana the best place in the world to raise a family and find a job. That’s why we need to build on our progress and make sure Louisiana remains competitive and attractive to companies looking to invest and create jobs. That means having a workforce with world-class skills.”

The new and renovated engineering complex will include expanded, modern laboratory space for teaching and research, enhanced and expanded space for student services, updated graduate student space, an academic support center, dedicated capstone project space and other multi-disciplinary space for student projects. The architectural design phase will start in December 2013; construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2014, with an estimated completion scheduled for fall 2017.

"With this gift, I thank the Martin family for answering the governor's challenge to transform LSU's College of Engineering into one of the most competitive engineering programs in the country," said Rick Koubek, dean, College of Engineering. "It is innovative public/private partnerships, such as ones with IBM, the state of Louisiana and our generous donors that enable us to continually improve lives, transform Louisiana, and change the world."

Martin family posing together

The LSU College of Engineering currently confers approximately 625 bachelor’s degrees per year, ranking it in the top 10 percent nationally for graduates. LSU is the largest degree-granting engineering program in Louisiana, accounting for more than 50 percent of all the state’s engineering and construction management graduates.

RoyOMartin supports education through workforce development, scholarships for employees and their children, support of local schools and colleges, and timber industry related programs.

“This donation is a contribution to the educational infrastructure to benefit our children’s education, their future, and ultimately their contributions to the State of Louisiana,” said Carole Martin Baxter, Martin Family Foundation chair.

RoyOMartin is the brand name of Martin Companies LLC, a group of family-owned, professionally managed forest-products and forestland-management companies based in Alexandria, La. Founded in 1923 as Roy O. Martin Lumber Co., the company operates three manufacturing facilities in Central Louisiana and Alabama. RoyOMartin also owns 582,000 acres of timberland in Louisiana, making it one of the largest private landowners in the South. RoyOMartin's family-owned forestlands are certified as well-managed according to the principles and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC®, an independent, nonprofit conservation organization. RoyOMartin's wood products are also available FSC®-certified.

Learn more about RoyOMartin.


For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, or 225-439-5633.