University Park, IL ,
16:08 PM

GSU Bids Adieu to Provost Bordelon

Jaguars packed into the E-Lounge to bid Provost Deborah Bordelon a fond farewell and thank her for her contributions to the university’s transformation to a four-year institution while weathering an unprecedented budget impasse.

“With clear eyes, you guided us through some of the toughest times we’ve experienced,’’ said GSU Trustee Bruce Friefeld, the first in a string of VIP speakers including students, administrators, and nearby village officials.

Colleagues recounted the wisdom, dedication, and vision Bordelon first brought to the university in 2008 as Dean of the College of Education and Graduate Studies.

In that role, Bordelon led the structure and implementation of new programs at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral levels, including the implementation of Interdisciplinary Leadership, Ed.D—the institution’s fifth doctorate offering.

In 2013, Bordelon was appointed to the Provost position where she helped navigate the creation of the university’s lower division, related curriculum, and programs. Bordelon served as one of the principal authors of The Kresge Foundation grant, which funded creation of the university’s award-winning Dual Degree Program (DDP) and later expansion to focus on men of color in the Male Success Initiative (DDP-MSI). The program is now a national model.

In 2015, Bordelon’s alma mater University of New Orleans recognized her impressive body of work with an induction into its Hall of Fame at the College of Education and Human Development.

Bordelon led scores of strategic initiatives on campus and served on boards throughout the region to position the university for excellence. Still, she stayed connected to GSU faculty and students —always offering a kind word and a listening ear.

“You didn’t know this, but we called you Auntie Deb,” said Justin Smith, President of the Student Senate.

“Provost Bordelon is forever a part of the GSU legacy,” said GSU President Elaine P. Maimon.

“In May when our first freshman walk across the stage, you’ll be there, Deb. You will be there when all of our graduates walk across the stage—our Dual Degree students, our doctoral students. You will always be here at Governors State University.”