2016 Presidential Forum Features Jesuit Alums in State Politics

Posted October 21, 2016 / Last updated October 26, 2016

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The guest speakers are joined by Jesuit's president and members of the student council executive board: (from left) Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J., William Fine, Jandon Briscoe, Representative Cameron Henry '92, Representative Walt Leger '92, Jacob Marshall, and Guy Cresson.

The guest speakers are joined by Jesuit’s president and members of the student council executive board: (from left) Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J., William Fine, Jandon Briscoe, Representative Cameron Henry ’92, Representative Walt Leger ’92, Jacob Marshall, and Guy Cresson.

With Election Day just a few short weeks away, Jesuit students took part in their own presidential forum on Thursday, Oct. 20. Put on by the Student Council, the event was laden with fanfare for the red, white, and blue. Patriotic music wafted from the Birdcage and onto Banks Street, while streamers, Democratic and Republican party symbols, and the American flag decorated the gym. Opening the ceremony, Jesuit’s MCJROTC color guard processed down the gym’s center aisle, and the Blue Jay Band played the National Anthem.

The forum’s success was due in large part to participation from Louisiana House members – and Jesuit alumni – Rep. Walt Leger III ’96 and Rep. Cameron Henry ’92. Rep. Leger spoke on behalf of the Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine ticket, while Rep. Henry represented the Republican Party’s nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence.

Rep. Walt Leger

Rep. Walt Leger ’96 speaks on behalf of the Democratic platform at the Presidential Forum.

Rep. Leger is the Louisiana State Representative for District 91. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Jesuit High School in 1996 and earned a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science from LSU in 2000. Leger then attended Tulane Law School, earning a certificate of specialization in Admiralty & Maritime Law. After law school, Leger served as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans. Leger is now an attorney at the law firm of Leger & Shaw in New Orleans where he practices in Admiralty & Maritime law and commercial, insurance, and complex civil litigation.

Leger was first elected to the Louisiana House in the fall of 2007, and re-elected without opposition in 2011 and 2015 to represent parts of Uptown, Central City, the Lower Garden District, the Irish Channel, Broadmoor, Marleyville and Hollygrove in New Orleans. He was elected unanimously by his colleagues to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2011, the youngest member to ever hold the position, and re-elected to a second term in 2015. He has served on the Appropriations Committee since his first day in the Legislature, serves in various other leadership capacities, and has passed over 100 pieces of legislation over the course of his 9 years of service.



Rep. Cameron Henry ’92 returns to Carrollton and Banks to speak on behalf of the Republican platform in the presidential contest.

State Representative Cameron Henry, represents  District 82, which includes Old Metairie, Old Jefferson and Airline Park.  He graduated from Jesuit High School in 1992, earned a Bachelor of  Arts Degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 1997 and received a Masters of Business Administration  from the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University in Finance and Management in 2004.  In 2006, he completed the Executives in State and Local Government Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  In September of 2009, Rep. Henry was selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders to serve as a delegate on a diplomatic trip to New Zealand.  Last year Representative Henry was named top 40 under 40 by the Washington Post.

He has served in the LA House of Representatives since 2008, and currently serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.  Prior to serving in the Louisiana Legislature Representative Henry spent 1 year as member of the Jefferson Parish School Board. Representative Henry works for ThinkNola LLC and Henry Industrial Supplies.

After relaying their respective party platforms, Student Council Vice President Guy Cresson opened a Q&A session with questions prepared by students in the audience. Representatives responded on behalf of their candidates prior to delivering closing remarks.

While not all Blue Jays will be of voting age on Nov. 8, all students will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for president in Friday morning’s mock election in homeroom.