René Bienvenu

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René Joseph Bienvenu, Jr.

(Scientist and President
of Northwestern State University)

Rene Bienvenu of LA.jpg

Born March 19, 1923
Colfax, Grant Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died January 27,(1983) (aged 59)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Spouse Catherine Nelken Bienvenu (married 1948-1983, his death)

Patricia Renee Bienvenu Franklin
Elizabeth Bienvenu
Steven Nelken Bienvenu
René, Sr., and Corinne Wells Bienvenu
Louisiana State University
University of Texas at Austin

René Joseph Bienvenu, Jr. (March 19, 1923 – January 27, 1983), was an American scientist and academic who wound up his career from 1977 until his death as the president of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.[1][2]

Bienvenu was born in Colfax] (pronounced COLL FAX), the seat of rural Grant Parish, Louisiana, to Rene J. Bienvenu, Sr., and the former Oak Ridge, Tennessee. On January 28, 1948, he wed the former Catherine Nelken of Natchitoches, the daughter of Lennie D. and Sylvan W. Nelken, who was then the dean of administration at NSU. There are three Bienvenu children: Patricia Renee Bienvenu Franklin (born 1957), Elizabeth Bienvenu, and Steven Nelken Bienvenu (born 1950) of Shreveport.[2]

In 1950, he joined the NSU faculty and served the institution for twenty-seven before he assumed the presidency. As president, he named the historian Donald Rawson as Dean of the Graduate School. He chaired the Department of Microbiology from 1960 to 1967 and was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Science and Technology from 1967 to 1977. He wrote numerous articles for scientific and scholarly journals.[2]

Bienvenu died in Shreveport and is interred at the Colfax Cemetery in Colfax.


  1. Past Presidents. Northwestern State University. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 BiBenvenu, Rene. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.