Dwight Vines

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Dwight Delbert Vines​​

President of the University of Louisiana at Monroe​​
In office
1976​​ – 1990​​
Preceded by George T. Walker​​
Succeeded by Lawson Swearingen​​

Born September 27, 1931​​
Jackson Parish, Louisiana, USA​​
Died October 25, 2019 (aged 88)
Spouse(s) Jean Varnado Vines​​
Children Michael, Timothy, and David Vines​​

Bessie Culpepper and Dwight N. Vines

Residence Calhoun, Ouachita Parish​​
Occupation Professor, businessman​​

Former university president​​

Religion Southern Baptist​​

​​ Dwight Delbert Vines, known as Del Vines (September 27, 1931 – October 25, 2019), was the president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe from 1976 until 1990, when he was succeeded by Lawson Swearingen, who vacated his seat in the state Senate to take the university presidency.


A native of Jackson Parish, Vines was the son of Bessie Culpepper and Dwight N. Vines.[1] After serving in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1954, Vines earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, and his Master of Business Administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and his Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.[2]


In 1958, the 27-year-old Vines joined the faculty of ULM, then known as Northeast Louisiana State University, as an instructor of management. He became a full professor and the dean of the College of Business from 1964 until he became ULM president. Current ULM President Nick J. Bruno, Jr., described Vines as a progressive leader who was dedicated to the university.. On retiring as president, Vines became a businessman and was the economic development officer for the city of Monroe.[2]

Bruno added that Vines was "always complimentary of our efforts and provided historical perspectives when requested that only an individual with his extensive experience with ULM could provide." Vines' nephew, James Henderson, the president of the University of Louisiana System, said of his uncle: "all of us in higher education can learn from the example of Dwight Vines. He was peerless in managing the business of a university. His tireless advocacy of ULM and higher education was courageous and inspiring."[2]

Vines worked for numerous building projects on the campus: athletic fields, Malone Stadium, the Heard Tennis Stadium, the Lake C. Oxford Natatorium, and the buildings for the schools of Construction, Nursing, and Chemistry-Natural Science. He also established the band building, modern bookstore, University Police building, and Spyker Theater. Vines worked for the establishment of forty new degree programs, including Community Health, Marriage and Family Counseling, Agri-Aviation, Mild/Moderate Special Education, and Computer Science. The Institute of Gerontology was established during his presidency. The campus became home to National Public Radio and the Small Business Incubation Center. He created the University Foundation, a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation that raises millions of dollars to advance ULM. Vines was an avid tennis player, and he built the Heard Tennis Stadium and launched the men’s and women’s tennis teams. During the years Vines was president, the university won the National 1-AA Football Championship in 1987, ten national water ski championships and the NCAA championships in six track and field events. [2]

Bruno added: "The progress made to higher education during Dr. Vines’ presidency is truly remarkable. He laid the foundation for ULM to be the national university it is today. He is remembered as a man of honor, integrity, and extraordinary vision.”[2]


Vines and his wife, the former Jean Varnado, had three sons, Michael, Timothy, and David. Vines died in the fall of 2019 at the age of eighty-eight. After services at the First Baptist Church of Calhoun in west Ouachita Parish, he was interred at the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Rayville in Richland Parish.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dwight D. Vines obituary. The Monroe News-Star (October 27, 2019). Retrieved on October 28, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 James Selby (October 26, 2019). Former ULM President Dwight D. Vines Passed Away. Myarklamiss. Retrieved on October 28, 2019.