LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The family of the late Billy Navarre accepted his posthumous honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at McNeese State University's spring commencement ceremony on Saturday.
"This is the highest honor that the university can bestow upon an individual," said Dr. Daryl Burckel, McNeese president. "Billy Navarre is deserving of this honor and for his considerable support of McNeese. Mr. Navarre greatly valued educational attainment and lifelong learning and he was an exceptionally generous individual who strived to improve our community."
Navarre supported McNeese athletics, Cowgirl Kickers, established an academic endowed scholarship for first-generation students in Southwest Louisiana, was a founding member of the Golden Saddle Club that supports the McNeese rodeo team, and helped establish the McNeese Rotaract Club. He was also a donor to private and public schools in the parish as well as SOWELA Technical Community College.
Upon Navarre's death in 2016, his dealership Billy Navarre Chevrolet, Cadillac, Honda, Hyundai, and Equus was the second largest locally owned business in Southwest Louisiana with more than 300 employees.