LSU’s Pershing Rifles named best in nation

The National Society of Pershing Rifles, a military honor society for college-level students, recognized the Pershing Rifles of LSU as the “Best Company” nationwide at its annual national convention in March.

The distinction recognizes the chapter that displays exceptional performance in service to the local community and outstanding commitment to military excellence and leadership development.

Members of the LSU organization traveled to Washington, D.C., to compete alongside more than 400 ROTC cadets and midshipmen representing more than 55 colleges and universities. The awards presentation took place at the society’s formal dinner, which featured dignitaries including Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Cadet Command Brig. Gen. Sean Gainey and former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs retired Gen. Colin Powell. Powell is a Pershing Rifles alumnus.

LSU members include:

Dimitri Bush, first-year mechanical engineering major from Lebeau; Antonio Diaz, first-year kinesiology major from Metairie; Todd Dixon, political science senior from New Orleans; Roberto Duran, political science senior from Fort Worth, Texas; Logan Futrell, first-year philosophy major from Colfax; Elijah Jones, construction management sophomore from Franklinton; Thomas Landreneau, general business sophomore from Spring, Texas; Evan Mc-Michael, political science junior from Bossier City; Sam Nelson, mechanical engineering sophomore from The Woodlands, Texas; Jacob Pikul, first-year mechanical engineering major from Warwick, Rhode Island; Blake Stewart, kinesiology junior from Baton Rouge; and Chris Scheuermann, LSU Class of 2015 in information systems and decision sciences from Alexandria.

Founded in 1940, Pershing Rifles is a student organization that serves as the official honor guard for LSU and the Baton Rouge community. They can be seen on the field of Tiger Stadium at every home football game presenting the U.S. flag.

The National Society of Pershing Rifles was founded in 1894 as a drill unit at the University of Nebraska.

Fast holiday foods topic for Reflections meeting

Chef Kevin Foil, of the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, spoke about fast holiday foods March 7 to the Burden Horticulture Society’s “Reflections in the Garden” program.

Foil has 18 years of culinary experience and was the second graduate from the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University. He demonstrated cooking Beef Wellington while his students cooked enough for everyone to sample.

For information about BHS, visit

Sternberg addresses LSU retirees meeting

Mary Ann Sternberg spoke about her writings on the communities and cultures along the Mississippi River between Orleans and Pointe Coupee parishes to the LSU Faculty and Staff Retirees Club on March 14.

Sternberg said she was inspired to write when she learned that books on this area limited themselves to antebellum homes. She wrote a tour guide, a collection of unusual stories and a book on historic Bayou Manchac.

On the club’s field trip to Whole Foods grocery March 21, members were introduced to novel health foods, like chia seeds and sweet potato “spaghetti” along with familiar produce. Chief demo specialist Matthew Downey prepared samples, including an oil-free stir fry. Kathy Bosworth, Barbara Brown, Pat Lee, Libby Paxton and Pat Triche provided meeting refreshments.

For club details, contact

Civil War Round Table hears historian Bearss

Ed Bearss, of Arlington, Virginia, spoke on the lifting of the Union ironclad Cairo from the Yazoo River in the 1960s to the Baton Rouge Civil War Round Table on March 17.

Bearss and his associates were directly involved in locating, planning and executing the lift. Bearss is a military historian, author and tour guide for the National Park Service at many of the major Civil War battlefields. He was a consultant and appeared in Ken Burns’ “Civil War” documentary.

Jim Hogg and his son, James Linden Hogg, performed period music before Bearss’ talk.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. Submit items to “Community,” The Advocate EatPlayLive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or email to Photos may be used in The Advocate’s print or digital publications.