Joe D. Waggonner, Jr. (1918-2007), former Member of Congress representing Northwest Louisiana, was a 1941 Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (Louisiana Tech University) graduate.
Currently, the Prescott Memorial Library holds the Waggonner Papers and there are two Joe D. Waggonner Professorships at Louisiana Tech.
Throughout his political career, Waggonner was a bridge builder, a master at bringing leaders from different walks of life and political parties together to solve pressing local, state, and national issues. To honor him and the spirit of bipartisanship that was his trademark, Louisiana Tech University is creating the Joe D. Waggonner Center for Bipartisan Politics and Public Policy.
The Center’s mission will be to foster citizenship, bipartisan understanding, effective public policy, and civic leadership among students and to engage the public at large. The Center will focus on restoring the principles and values of bipartisanship, the hallmark of Waggonner’s career, while developing thoughtful, innovative solutions to local, state, and national issues. The principal focus of the Center is to educate, inform, and inspire students to become more engaged in our democracy, and to help them appreciate the need to establish meaningful connections with those across the political spectrum in doing so.