Hawthorne to Emcee Governor's Inauguration
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE – Legendary “Voice of the Tigers” Jim Hawthorne will serve as the master of ceremonies for Louisiana Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards’ inauguration on Monday, it was announced on Thursday afternoon.
Hawthorne, who just recently finished his final season broadcasting LSU football games, will retire as the Voice of the Tigers at the conclusion of this year’s men’s basketball season. Hawthorne has served as the play-by-play voice for LSU football, men’s basketball and baseball since 1984.
“It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to be part of this event,” Hawthorne said. “To be personally asked to serve as master of ceremonies by Governor-elect Edwards was a thrill.
“I feel extremely honored to be able to give something back to the state that has given so much to me.”
In December, Hawthorne was recognized by the National Football Foundation as the recipient of the 2015 Lindsey Nelson Award for Excellence in Broadcasting.
Other details of the inauguration according to the Baton Rouge Advocate include retired Lt. Col. Murray Starkel, Edwards’ classmate at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, introducing the incoming governor at the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.
Nancy Armstrong Holmes, Minister of Music at Greater King David Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, will perform the National Anthem. Richard O’Brien, a Purple Heart recipient who served in the U.S. Navy, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Rev. Rodney Wood of The Mission Foundation will lead the invocation, and the Rev. Samuel Tolbert, president of the National Baptist Convention, will lead the inaugural prayer. Father Mark Beard of St. Helena Catholic Church, Edwards’ home church, will give the benediction.
Musical performances will include Tulane Roots of Music, Centenary College Choir, Victory Belles, Livingston Parish Children’s Choir, the Louisiana National Guard Band and an inaugural gospel choir made up of members from five choirs around Baton Rouge.
State Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, and his family will perform Amazing Grace in French.