June 21, 2005

A former Wildcat, Tiger and chairman, president and chief executive officer of Newmont Mining Corporation/Newmont Gold Company, Ronald “Ron’ Cambre, “gave back” to LSU in a big way by donating $1.25 million to the College of Engineering. His $1 million contribution was followed by a $250,000 donation from Newmont Mining Corp.

Cambre, a native of New Orleans and a graduate from Destrehan High School in 1956 and LSU in 1960, with a degree in chemical engineering, went on to obtain his master’s degree in business management from Harvard University in 1976. Cambre and his wife, also an LSU alum, were pleased to aid in the funding for the new chemical engineering building. Through their many travels and experiences, LSU, they say, is where it all began. “We have been everywhere and done everything, and it all emanates back toward the education we received here.” In his four years at LSU, the “most formative of any period” in his life, he was, “fortunate to develop the foundation for what has turned out to be a challenging and rewarding career,” he said.

When he was not in a classroom, Cambre was involving himself in technical and business development, operations, marketing and general management. He has dabbled in the pulp and paper, sulphur, phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers, nickel, cobalt, uranium, gold and copper industries; while serving on a number of grass roots developments including the largest phosphate fertilizer complex at the time in the US, a nickel-cobalt mining/processing operation in Queensland, Australia, and an elemental sulphur – oil/gas facility in the Gulf of Mexico. Before he joined Newmont, he served as senior executive for Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. for 30 years. He was responsible for many of the business units of the corporation and served as president and chief executive officer of Freeport McMoRan Resource Partners, a NYSE entity. Only after retiring from Freeport McMoRan in 1993 did Cambre join Newmont as vice chairman. A year later, he was named president of Newmont Mining and Newmont Gold. Cambre recently retired from a career in engineering spanning four decades and is recognized as one of the College of Engineering’s most distinguished alumni.

Thanks to his Cambre’s donation, the new chemical engineering building will be built where the forestry building is located now. The plans for the building have been drawn; however, the University is currently working toward obtaining state funding to begin construction on the new building. “Mr. Cambre’s generosity will have a lasting impact on Louisiana State University and the College of Engineering,” says Major General, USMC (Ret.) William G. Bowdon, president of the LSU Foundation. “It is inspiring to see people who are so accomplished in their fields return to LSU and create a better educational environment for our young people. Without question, Mr. Cambre will be a key figure in keeping LSU’s College of Engineering among the top programs in the United States,” says Bowdon.

Dean Zaki Bassiouni echoed Bowden’s comments by saying, “The Cambre’s gracious contribution is a testament to their dedication toward aiding LSU’s College of Engineering in its effort to further establish itself as a leading flagship institution among the engineering industry.”

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