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The Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) has named Major General Hunt Downer, Jr. as the recipient of its 2019 James J. Buquet Jr. Award of Distinction.
The award is given annually to a Terrebonne Parish public high school graduate who is recognized for vision and excellence in their chosen field or other areas of personal endeavor.
In a news release issued by TFAE, they said that Downer was chosen because he has provided service unselfishly to his community, state and nation.
Downer has been in service for decades – a long, dedicated career in the National Guard, as well as a career in politics in addition to his job as an attorney.
He began his military career as an enlisted soldier in 1968 in the United States Army Reserve. He then joined the Louisiana Army National Guard where he ascended to become Major General.
Downer also served seven terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives, holding the positions of Speaker Pro Temp and Speaker of the House.
Today, Downer is an attorney at the firm Waitz and Downer.
“I am humbled to be recognized with this award, especially one named for Mr. Jimmy Buquet, who’s wife Mrs. Glenny with her service on the BESE board, has done more for public education and its reform than one can imagine,” Downer said. “She was an inspiration to me in my work to improve public education in Louisiana.
“My public education from Honduras Elementary, Houma Elementary, Houma Junior High, and culminating in my graduation from Terrebonne High School in 1964 provided me with the building blocks for my future.” •

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