| René Joseph Bienvenu, Jr.|
(Scientist and President
|Born|| March 19, 1923 |
Colfax, Grant Parish
|Died|| January 27,(1983) (aged 59) |
|Spouse|| Catherine Nelken Bienvenu (married 1948-1983, his death)|
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.
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.
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.
Bienvenu died in Shreveport and is interred at the Colfax Cemetery in Colfax.