• 52°

Former cheer duo Lamar’s Homecoming grand marshals

Special to The News

Lamar University alumni Janey Phelan and Larry Lawson know how to root for the Cardinals. It will be a reunion of sorts for the pair as they serve as Lamar University’s grand marshals for the Homecoming celebrations Sept. 22.  Phelan and Lawson were cheer partners from 1964 to 1967.

Phelan, owner of Deco Designs in Beaumont, is a Texas registered interior designer and member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Her husband, Michael, is a 1967 graduate of LU. Their seven children and 12 grandchildren are the joys of her life.

At Lamar, she was an active member of Zeta Tau Alpha and the Lamar Tech cheerleaders. Phelan continues to give back to the university through her design and decorating talent. Working with her daughter Michelle, who owns It’s All ‘N The Presentation, she has created decorations and floral designs for many major Lamar University events in recent years including the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner, several concerts and Le Grand Bal.

She was a member of the Lamar University Alumni Advisory Board from 2004 to 2007 and served again from 2010 to 2015. She was also on reunion committees for the 2011 Cheerleader Reunion, and 50th Anniversary Greek Reunion in 2006. She has participated in many other homecoming events and reunions, including the Alumni Class of 1967 Reunion in September 2017.

HeartcoR Solutions founder and CEO Larry Lawson, received the honorary doctor of humane letters from LU in 2012, and is a recent recipient of the prestigious Horatio Alger Award. At Lamar, he was elected cheerleader, played trumpet with jazz and marching bands, and performed in his own bands throughout Southeast Texas.

He became so active in the music scene that he left the university to begin a career in music, including touring in The Clique, which opened for most of the top bands of the era and sold more than 5 million records.

Following his success in music, he pivoted to healthcare, first as a sales representative at Johnson & Johnson. Having learned the industry, he started his first company in 1983. From there, he continued to establish other medical companies, eventually focusing on cardiology. Today, his latest project is HeartcoR Solutions, providing research and clinical trial management services to pharma, medical device, and biotech companies worldwide.

The university’s homecoming celebration will take place Sept. 22. The public is invited to a number of events beginning with Cardinal FanFest at noon and ending with the football game in Provost Umphrey Stadium with a 6 p.m. kickoff against Southeastern Louisiana. A pre-game show at 5:45 p.m. will feature the LU Dance Team and Showcase of Southeast Texas and Halftime will feature the presentation of the Homecoming Court and winning entries from the Homecoming Parade, along with a massed band production as area high school bands join the Showcase of Southeast Texas.

Cardinal FanFest, will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on the lawn near the Plummer Building at the corner of MLK and Rolfe Christopher, featuring music by Champagne Room and Curse and the Cure. The afternoon will include free craft beer samples, offerings from food trucks, booths from area museums and university departments, as well as children’s activities, lawn games and other tailgating activities. LU engineering will let participants “walk on water” in a demonstration of fluid dynamics.

FanFest is the perfect spot to view the Homecoming Parade which steps off at 2 p.m. Parking is available in lots off Rolfe Christopher.

At 2 p.m., grand marshals Phelan and Lawson will join the Showcase of Southeast Texas, the Lamar Cheer and Dance Teams, and the university’s mascots Big Red and Lu as they lead off the Homecoming Parade. The parade will feature entries from student organizations, university and community dignitaries, award-winning area high school bands, and community entries competing for great prizes. Great viewing of the parade is available along the route and from viewing areas on Lavaca Street or at Cardinal FanFest on the Plummer Lawn at the corner of MLK and Rolfe Christopher.

For more information on Homecoming 2018, visit lamar.edu/homecoming.