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A fond farewell to Mary Manhein

On Friday, April 17, 2015 a retirement reception was held at the Lod Cook Alumni Center in honor of Mary Manhein.  It was attended by friends, family, University administrators, colleagues, members of the archaeological, legal, and law enforcement communities – all who have worked with Mary over the last 30 years.   Dr. Fahui Wang, Chair of Geography and Anthropology was Master of Ceremonies.  A speech was given by Malcolm Richardson, Associate Dean of LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  Special guests were:  The Honorable Buddy Caldwell, Attorney General of Louisiana, Captain James McGuane, Louisiana State Police, Jeremy Dubois, Louisiana Association of Forensic Scientists.

Mary began her career at LSU in 1986 as a part-time instructor/Research Associate and over the years became the Director of the LSU FACES Laboratory.  During her career she handled hundreds of forensic cases requiring positive identification and/or trauma analysis for agencies from across the State and the U.S.. Mary was the advisor for 60 students seeking a Master’s in Anthropology, and honored with four University teaching awards.  One of those awarded in 2005 is the coveted George H. Deer Award, which is presented to only one person annually.   She established the FACES Lab; helped to write a bill that passed in the State Legislature and established the Louisiana Repository for Unidentified and Missing Persons Information Program.  She has given hundreds and hundreds of presentations across the country and in Europe on forensic anthropology; and was a deputy coroner for many years and a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Mary was presented with a gift from the Department, and received acknowledgement and certificates of appreciation for her many years of service from the Louisiana State Police, the State Attorney General’s office, and the Louisiana Association of Forensic Science.  During the reception, a slideshow of photographs of Mary throughout the years in professional and personal situations played continuously on a screen; music played in the background, and there was lots of good food and refreshments.

Many, many thanks to Nedda Taylor for her talent of organizing such a grand reception, Linda Strain and Betty Wall for their contributions of the beautiful flower arrangements from their personal gardens, Larry Livaudais for putting together the slideshow.  

And of course, many thanks to you, Mary.  For your hard work, contributions to the department and LSU, mentorship, and friendship.  Embrace your retirement, enjoy your new-found hobbies.  We look forward to the continuing story of Maggie Andrepont!

And from some of your many friends:

“All of the FACES staff are indebted to Mary;  none of us would be here if not for her dedication and commitment to educating students and to helping law enforcement resolve their cases of missing and unidentified persons. Mary will always be remembered as the founder of the FACES Lab, and she will be missed as a mentor and friend. Mary leaves behind her a well-trained staff committed to carrying out the FACES lab mission of service, education, and research.” - Dr. Ginesse Listi

“The FACES Lab will never be the same without you, Mary.  You will be missed.  I wish you the very best that life has to offer in all of your future endeavors.” – Larry Livaudais

“Mary is a great anthropologist and a powerful voice in the field.  Mary, you have taught me so much, and I wish you many adventures during your retirement.” – Charlana McQuinn