‘Mr. LSUS’ Hardy Foreman wants to help the university grow

Hardy Foreman and his wife, Alyson (center), met at LSU Shreveport and remained in Shreveport to raise their three children (from left) Benjamin, Kate and Sarah Margaret.

LSU Shreveport Alum Hardy Foreman is equally at home balancing his clients’ books and juggling dad duty for three busy teenagers.

Hardy (class of 1999) says his experiences at LSUS  — from the professors who helped him find his niche in accounting to the social activities where he met his wife, Alyson D. Foreman – shaped his life. He remains connected and committed to the university. He’s active in the LSUS Alumni Association and this year became president of the LSUS Foundation board of directors. His involvement earned him the nickname “Mr. LSUS.”

He’s encouraging more alumni to become involved in the LSUS Foundation as well as the Alumni Association. He’s also working to bring the foundation and university together to promote LSU Shreveport’s degree programs.

“It’s time to let the secret out,” Hardy says. “You can stay here, live at home and get the college degree you always wanted. I would like to see more students on campus. You get so much better instruction from being in a classroom. I understand people want online learning, but I think honestly you lose something when classes are only online.”

Hardy says he benefitted from the in-person experience and relationships he found at LSUS.

“Dr. Carl Smolenski was one of my main accounting professors,” Hardy says. “I had a good aptitude for math, and he told me, ‘If you get an accounting degree, you can do anything. You’re not pigeonholed into being an accountant.’”

Hardy looked for a college education close to his home in the Sabine Parish community of Converse. He attended a small high school with a close-knit group of classmates and wanted the same experience as he pursued a bachelor’s degree.

“Out of the 27 people in my high school graduating class, I think 19 started in kindergarten together,” he says. “I was looking for a college that had more hands-on teaching. I had been to LSU in Baton Rouge for literary rallies, and that was just too big. My parents were overjoyed that I chose LSUS.”

Like many LSUS students, he worked while attending college.

Hardy shows his purple and gold pride in several ways, including his distinctive socks.

“I was in a management training program with Bank One, and I worked at their supermarket branches. You started as a teller and worked in all aspects of the bank,” Hardy says. “I would go to classes, then go to work.”

After earning a bachelor’sdegree he entered the LSUS MBA program to earn enough hours to the certified public accountant licensing exam. Hardy notes that the MBA program was all in-person night classes in the late 1990s, so he would rush from work to the classes on weeknights, then go home and do homework before getting up to do it all over again the next day.

He says his parents modeled that kind of work ethic and encouraged him to be ambitious.

“When I graduated from high school, my parents looked at me and said, ‘What’s next?’,” he recalls. “My dad was a Vietnam veteran. He worked 31 years at Riley Beaird. He was a licensed plumber, so he did that, too. My mom is 75 years old now, and she’s in constant motion.”

After earning his CPA license in 2002, he joined Carr, Riggs and Ingram, a national accounting firm with 60 offices around the United States. Hardy is now a Senior Tax Officer and works with a variety of clients, including many of the friends he grew up with in Converse.

“People come to me all the time with problems, and I help them solve the problems,” he says. “I’m not here with a green visor just filling out forms.”

He’s also a problem-solver at home, helping Alyson make sure their three kids – Benjamin, Kate and Sarah Margaret – get to school and a host of activities.

“They’re all attending different high schools because that was the best fit for each of their talents and interests,” Hardy says. “Mornings are chaos. By the time I get to work in the morning, I’m exhausted.”