RoyOMartin, Roy O. Martin III and Kathy Martin Give $3.5 Million to Achieve Top Capital Priorities on Three LSU Campuses
December 09, 2021
Gift to fund LSU of Alexandria Student Success Center, LSU Interdisciplinary Science Building and LSU Health Shreveport Center for Medical Education
BATON ROUGE – Martin Sustainable Resources L.L.C. and Martco L.L.C. d.b.a. RoyOMartin and LSU alumni Roy O. Martin III and Kathy Kilpatrick Martin have committed $3.5 million to advance top capital priorities on three LSU campuses: LSU of Alexandria’s Student Success Center, the LSU Interdisciplinary Science Building on the flagship campus in Baton Rouge and LSU Health Shreveport’s Center for Medical Education.
“This gift will provide foundational support for three of our top capital priorities,” said LSU President William F. Tate IV. “The LSU of Alexandria Student Success Center, LSU Interdisciplinary Science Building and LSU Health Shreveport Center for Medical Education are critical to closing infrastructure gaps, positioning LSU to achieve ambitious goals in the areas of student and faculty recruitment, research and community impact. The Martins’ support of LSU is longstanding and broad, and we are grateful for their exemplary commitment to advancing LSU as a family of interconnected campuses.”
Martin Sustainable Resources L.L.C. and Martco L.L.C. d.b.a. RoyOMartin, the premier manufacturer of wood products in the Gulf South, has committed $2 million to complete funding for the LSUA Student Success Center, which is the campus’s top Fierce for the Future Campaign priority. The $10 million center, slated to break ground in spring 2022, will be a central hub for student services that will serve as a front door to the university while ensuring that each LSUA student receives the level of individual support needed for success.
Construction of this dedicated student space, which is a public-private partnership with the State of Louisiana, responds to the ongoing expansion of LSUA’s student body and pool of academic offerings – growth that has accelerated a need to make improvements to the campus’s overall appearance and add new facilities. Further, the services offered within the Student Success Center – spanning Admissions & Recruiting, Financial Aid, Advising, First Year Experience and a Career Development Center – will bolster LSUA’s retention efforts and connect students with career placement opportunities upon graduation.
Roy and Kathy Martin have personally committed $1 million to the LSU Interdisciplinary Science Building and $500,000 to LSU Health Shreveport’s Center for Medical Education. They each earned two degrees from LSU’s flagship campus. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA, and she holds a bachelor's degree in music education and an MBA. The couple lives in Alexandria, La., where RoyOMartin is headquartered.
Roy O. Martin III said, “The Martin and Kilpatrick families have been educated by the entire LSU System, from New Orleans to Shreveport and every campus in between. We have a deep appreciation for LSU as one of Louisiana’s most important, impactful assets. We are also deeply appreciative of LSU’s impact on our lives and, in turn, on the success of our business. That gratitude and our commitment to Louisiana’s future catalyzed our decision to make a system-wide gift this year. We are proud to support the entire family of LSU campuses now and in the future.”
The Interdisciplinary Science Building – LSU’s top capital priority – will be the central home to a new campus district focused on scientific discovery. The $101 million project, a public-private partnership with the State of Louisiana, will create an epicenter for academics, research and industry collaboration and a hub for collaborating on nearly $35 million in annual research awards.
The LSU College of Science is the springboard for more than half of Louisiana’s physicians and advances quality of life for every Louisianan through research that drives the economy and shapes healthcare, programs that improve children’s access to stellar STEM education and preparation of Louisiana communities’ future doctors and health professionals. The Interdisciplinary Science Building, scheduled to begin construction in fall 2022 with a project opening of fall 2024, will support five focus disciplines: biological sciences, chemistry, geology and geophysics, mathematics and physics and astronomy.
The Martins’ gift in support of LSU Health Shreveport’s Center for Medical Education will be directed to the Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats. The CEVT, created in March 2020 in rapid response to the effects of COVID-19, quickly became a fundamental part of North Louisiana’s pandemic mitigation efforts. It will be relocated to the top floor of the Center for Medical Education to address current space constraints, allowing the lab to become a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Lab – a critical advancement toward enhancing research capability to respond to future viral threats.
The Kathy and Roy O. Martin III CEVT Training Lab will be a specially equipped facility that will allow students to work alongside LSU Health Shreveport scientists to conduct the crucial research required to address current and future viral threats, serving as a surveillance lab for the entire state and region. The Martins’ investment in this lab will be central to establishing the Shreveport-Bossier region as an attractive location for biotech investment long-term.
Construction of the building, a $74 million public-private partnership with the State of Louisiana, began in summer 2021 and is slated to conclude by 2023. The Center for Medical Education will also allow LSU Health Shreveport to expand its medical school class size, graduating an additional 50 MDs each year to address the physician shortage in North Louisiana and throughout the state. Ultimately, the teaching, healing and discovery that takes place in the building will improve the health of Louisianans, drive lasting economic growth, foster research innovation and reimagine the student experience.
In keeping with the Martin family’s and RoyOMartin’s commitment to Louisiana’s future and the vitality of its economy, the company’s recent generosity extends to support of a forestry management program led by LSU AgCenter Professor Richard Vlosky, director of the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, in collaboration with another Louisiana higher education institution. On LSU’s flagship campus, the Martins are engaged in the E. J. Ourso College of Business’ and College of Engineering’s efforts to meet industry needs for graduates in the fields of finance and engineering, respectively.
RoyOMartin is one of several wholly owned subsidiaries of Martin Sustainable Resources L.L.C., a privately held equity investment company. The name RoyOMartin honors the business pioneer and Martin family patriarch, Roy O. Martin Sr., who began the family’s first business with a small sawmill in Alexandria, Louisiana, in 1923 and soon thereafter bought a few acres of timberland. Martin Sustainable Resources L.L.C. is owned by several generations of Roy Sr.’s descendants. Its holdings are broad but focus primarily on land, timber and mineral resources, with special emphasis on sustainable forests and forest-products manufacturing businesses. These holdings include the plywood and oriented strand board manufacturing facilities owned and operated in Louisiana by RoyOMartin and by RoyOMartin’s wholly owned Texas subsidiary, Corrigan OSB, L.L.C. Martin Timberlands L.L.C. is one of the largest private landowners in the southern United States.
The Martins’ and RoyOMartin’s most recent investments in LSU are part of the university’s $1.5 billion Fierce for the Future Campaign, the largest campaign for higher education in the history of Louisiana. Fierce for the Future unites LSU’s campuses statewide in pursuit of a common goal: to generate solutions for the people in Louisiana that hold the promise of making profoundly positive impacts around the world. To learn more, please visit fierceforthefuturecampaign.org.