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College Deans: Roy T. Sessums

1894-1901: Professor Herget
1901-1903: Harry Gwinner
1903-1907: R.W. Selvidge
1907-1910: William B. Hamilton
1910-1918: Frank Bogard
1918-1923: W. L. Mitchell 
1923-1937: Frank Bogard
1937-1938: J. T. Folk
1938-1940: E. C. Barrett
1940-1942: Roy T. Sessums
1942-1945: Harley J. Nethken
1945-1952: Roy T. Sessums
1952-1976: Ben Bogard
1976-1982: Jack Thigpen
1982-1987: C. Ray Wimberly
1987-1988: R. Michael Harnett
1988-1998: Barry Benedict
1998-2004: Leslie K. Guice
2004-2013: Stanley A. Napper

Major General Roy T. Sessums was the dean of engineering at Louisiana Tech from 1940 until 1950. He became dean due to the resignation of the previous dean, Edmund C. Barrett. In 1942, he was called to military service. In his absence, Professor H. J. Nethken of electrical engineering became acting dean.

Before becoming dean, Major General Sessums was an outstanding civil engineering student in the early 1930’s. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech, he received his master’s degree in civil engineering at Louisiana State University.

Dean Sessums was responsible for many significant contributions during his tenure here at Louisiana Tech. He obtained the first national accreditation of Tech’s engineering program. He also helped in getting the Tech Air Force ROTC detachment. Sessums and other interested faculty members laid the groundwork necessary for the formations the Louisiana Tech chapter of the ASCE, the American Society of Civil Engineers. Most of the national engineering student organizations here at Louisiana were installed during the time Dean Sessums was the head of engineering. After leaving Tech, he contributed nearly $100,000 to the college for scholarships.

Besides his work here at Tech, Major General Sessums was also active in many other projects throughout his life. He was the director of the Louisiana Department of Public Works from 1952 until 1955. He was the vice president of Freeport Sulpher and the president of the National Council of Engineering Examiners. The president of the United States appointed him to the Mississippi River Commission. He spent sixteen years on the Louisiana Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. Major General Sessums was a member of the National Offshore Operations advisory Board and chairman of the Louisiana Expressway Authority.

Major General Sessums was also very active in the war effort during his tenure at Tech. In June of 1942, he was the sponsor and ground school instructor for the Civilian’s Pilot’s Training. Louisiana Tech’s CPT turned out over one hundred pilots. Many of these pilots became part of the active service for the United States Arm and Navy air corps. In the time surrounding November 1950, he was on leave to serve a tour of special duty as a consultant to the armed services overseas.

In May of 1983, Major General Roy T. Sessums made his last visit to the campus of Louisiana Tech. He was recognized by the National Civil Engineering Honor Society, Chi Epsilon, as an honorary chapter member. On March 10, 1984 Major General Sessums passed away. He is interred in the Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston. He demonstrated that one could rise from poverty of the Great Depression by grasping the opportunities that were available and moving with great determination to higher things.