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Zabala named associate vp, LeBlanc becomes alumni director

Lamar University has promoted two leaders of its alumni office to expanded roles within the University Advancement division, officials announced today. Juan Zabala becomes an associate vice president, while his assistant, Linda LeBlanc, becomes director of Alumni Affairs.

Juan ZabalaJuan Zabala has been named associate vice president of University Advancement, a role he has been filling on an interim basis since Sept. 2011.

As associate vice president, he directs the activities of public relations, marketing, web communications, alumni affairs and advancement services. Zabala joined Lamar University as director of alumni affairs in January 2003 when Lamar created the Office of Alumni Affairs to expand upon the work of the former LU Alumni Association. Through the Office of Alumni Affairs, the institution works to engage alumni in all aspects of the life of the university. Supervision of the Advancement Services department was added to his portfolio in November 2007.

“Lamar University is in a transformational phase in its history and our marketing and external relations efforts are a critical part of the university’s momentum and future success,” Zabala said. “It is a terrific opportunity to work with very talented professionals in our efforts to ensure that our university is a leader in higher education.”

Prior to his appointment at Lamar University, Zabala served as assistant dean of the University of Texas School of Law.

Zabala has a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Lamar University as well as degrees from Sul Ross State University (Alpine, Texas) and BYU Idaho (Rexburg, ID). He has over 20 years experience in administration, university development and alumni relations.

Linda LeBlanc becomes director of the Office of Alumni Affairs. She has been on the university’s advancement staff since 2003 as assistant director of alumni affairs. In that capacity, she worked with alumni to encourage their involvement with the university, organized and attended scores of alumni events, maintained alumni records, and coordinated efforts between the alumni office and university organizations, departments and community groups.

Linda LeBlanc"A university benefits from the strength of its alumni program, just as the value of a person's degree is enhanced by the strength, growth and continued improvement of his or her university,” LeBlanc said. “It is extremely important to Lamar University to have active and strong alumni. They are the university's largest constituency."

LeBlanc graduated from Lamar in 1975 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mass Communication.

LeBlanc also serves as a campus advisor to Lamar Ambassadors and the Delta Sigma Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority.  Prior to coming to Lamar, LeBlanc was employed as secretary/treasurer of RAM Threading, Inc., development coordinator at St. Anne’s Catholic School, and worked as an announcer and weekend weathercaster for KJAC-4 TV.

While attending Lamar University, LeBlanc was a reporter for the University Press and was named to Who’s Who. She was a member of Delta Sigma Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, serving as president, secretary, Panhellenic delegate, and recruitment chair.  As an alumna of ZTA, LeBlanc was membership advisor to Delta Sigma Chapter for four years.  She held the positions of president, secretary, recommendation board chair, and City Panhellenic Delegate for the Beaumont Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae Association and co-chaired the local ZTA Alumnae fundraising luncheon.  For her years of service to the sorority, she received the Alumna Certificate of Merit from the ZTA National Office.

LeBlanc has been active in the community, chairing the Monsignor Kelly High School Centennial Walkway fundraising campaign, organizing a city-wide recycling program as the St. Anne’s School Recycling Program chairman, serving the Art Museum of Southeast Texas as Gift Shop Volunteer Coordinator, publicity chair of the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival and editor of the museum’s newsletter for children. 

She resides in Beaumont with her husband, Antoine.  The couple has two sons living in Houston, Jason, an account executive, and Matt, who practices oil and gas law.