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The Durci family has committed to the Ogden Honors College and its future

While Denise and Michael Durci both attended the University of Texas at Austin, the LSU Ogden Honors College ultimately stole the heart of their daughter Lela as she started her college search. “The Honors College instantly floated to the top as they showed lots of interest in her and really wanted her to attend LSU,” Denise Durci said.

Even after Lela made her decision to attend the Ogden Honors College, the Durcis were impressed by the outstanding academic environment, as well as the staff support she continued to receive throughout her time as an Honors College student.  Their daughter Maggie, now a senior in the Honors College, soon followed her sister to LSU.  “The Honors College staff does a great job in keeping [our daughters] engaged,” Denise said. “Not only does the Honors College staff make each student’s experience personal, but they make it easy for students to succeed.” 

Throughout their time at LSU, Lela and Maggie both found many ways to get involved and enjoyed the Honors College community. Lela is currently a graduate student in Oklahoma State University’s Veterinary Medicine Program and recently received her white coat. Maggie is a star athlete on LSU’s Lacrosse Team and graduates this spring with Honors. Both enjoyed football games and tailgating with their parents on weekends each fall.

“My parents are my number ones and the people I go to with everything,” Maggie said. “They were the biggest supporters of anything I chose to do while I was here at LSU. I am very fortunate to have parents that are proud and support me no matter where I am or what I am doing.”

Denise and Michael also contribute to the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College annually. When asked why they support the College, Denise shared, “I believe donating to where my children have gone to school is incredibly important. I know many educational programs do not get the funding they need, especially in higher education. There are programs that need outside help. By donating to the Honors College, parents would help their children in the Honors College succeed. We know that supporting the College annually is important and plan to continue supporting in the future.” 

Michael also added, “Giving makes us feel good. We know that supporting the College is important and want to help create a better environment for our daughters’ future.” 

Denise believes Lela and Maggie have greatly benefit from the Honors College’s approach as a “campus within a campus”: a small, personal college within a large Research University. “In the Honors College they have an open door policy with advising. I think that because of this my children have functioned at a higher level, and they were challenged by the Honors College to work harder.”

After their experiences with their children at LSU, the Durcis recommend that parents just starting off with children in an undergraduate career stay engaged and communicate often. “Encourage your children to stay involved and find someone they can talk to. Make sure to also encourage them to communicate often with their professors,” Denise explained. On a lighter note, Michael also encouraged parents to “have a dolly that converts to a cart for move-in day!”

As parents, Denise and Michael feel Lela and Maggie received the best education at the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College.  Because they want to continue this tradition of excellence, Denise remarked, “Even after my daughter graduates, I will continue to donate to the Honors College. My children may no longer be there, but we can help every other child that is in the Honors College through our support.” 

As Ogden students find their place in the larger global community, we know the lasting impact that strong parent support can make for generations to come. If you would like to join Denise and Michael in helping make an impact on the Ogden Honors College community and students, contact Danielle Mack at (225) 578-6868 or