March 16, 2015

UNO Holds Renaming Ceremony for Hickey Ballroom

Senator Ted Hickey (from left) George A. Kadair III, Laurie A. Kadair, UNO Vice President for Student Affairs Brett Kemker, UNO President Peter J. Fos
and Sharon Hickey Kadair.

The University of New Orleans held a ceremony to mark the renaming of the University Center’s grand ballroom after the late State Sen. Theodore “Ted” Hickey. UNO President Peter J. Fos and Vice President for Student Affairs Brett Kemker shared their gratitude for Sen. Hickey’s loyalty to UNO with Sharon Hickey Kadair, Sen. Hickey’s daughter; Laurie A. Kadair, Sen. Hickey’s granddaughter; and George A. Kadair III, Sen. Hickey’s grandson.

The University of New Orleans renamed its University Center ballroom after Hickey, who was a champion of the institution and played an instrumental role in establishing UNO as well as changing its name. Hickey (1910-1993) served as a state legislator for nearly 30 years and represented the district in which the UNO is located. In the 1950s, Hickey fought to create a public university in what was then the largest metropolitan area in the United States without one. He helped draft Act 60 of the 1956 Louisiana Legislature, which officially established the new institution.

In 1958, UNO opened as Louisiana State University in New Orleans. In recognition of the University’s need to grow and control its own destiny, Hickey co-authored the 1973 senate resolution in support of changing the University’s name to the University of New Orleans. The change, which was approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors in 1974, was a milestone in UNO’s history.

Throughout his political career, Hickey was an ardent supporter of projects that encouraged UNO's growth, notably the construction of the earliest permanent buildings on campus. Homer Hitt, the founding chancellor of UNO, called Hickey "a tried and proven friend of UNO for many, many years."

The request to change the name of the ballroom was approved by the University of Louisiana System on Oct. 24.