By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
PINEVILLE, La. (LBM) – Louisiana Christian University honored the legacy of Norman and Lorraine Martin with the unveiling of a historical marker, Nov. 9, in front of the center named after the couple.
During a special ceremony in front of the Martin Performing Arts Center, LCU President Rick Brewer thanked the Martins, and Robert Lynn, who was president of Louisiana College (now LCU) from 1977-1997, for the vision to make the building possible. The Martins donated funds in 1992 to build the facility that contains a theatre, television studio, radio station, and media lab, in addition to classrooms and office space.
“It is just a highlight of your year, knowing the vision they had along with President Lynn in the early 90s lives on and is producing tremendous fruit,” Brewer said. “It’s another reminder of what Jesus said about the treasures that we plant and invest in here for the Kingdom will bear fruit here and through eternity. And for them to include Colossians 3:17, as the focal passage on this marker, just reinforces what we believe is really the heart and soul of Louisiana Christian University.”
The Martins were married for 69 years, until Norman’s death in 2020. They spent their lives giving back to a community they so deeply loved, and became the generous contributors to charitable causes across central Louisiana.
Norman served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and headed the forestry division of the Roy O. Martin Company. His cutting-edge timber-stand improvement practices and reforestation efforts positioned the family’s business for a long sustainable future.
“Well, getting to see this marker dedicated means everything to me and I wish my husband lived long enough to see this,” Lorraine Martin said. “He was about the best Christian I’ve ever known. It’s a memory that will go on and hopefully inspire students.”
The celebration coincided with the annual Founders’ Day week. Eric Turner, president of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, shared with students during the annual Founders’ Day chapel, Nov. 7, how a Christian liberal arts education informs and empowers young men and women to make a difference – and how important it is for young people to strive to make a positive difference in their world.