For many of the faculty and students, their testimonials speak to blossoming professional and personal relationships with other bankers across the US and Mexico, to the power of laser-focused banking education, and to the implementation of learned methodologies once back at their home banks.

Jesús González Melo

Subdirector Banca Transaccional Mercados

Dirección Ejecutiva Banca Transaccional
Class of 2023

“As a Mexican student from a Mexican bank, you might consider the Graduate School of Banking at LSU because it offers a unique opportunity to gain insights into international banking practices while strengthening your knowledge of the Mexican banking industry. The program’s diverse faculty and student body can provide valuable perspectives on global financial trends, which could benefit your career in the Mexican banking sector. GSB at LSU offers a rigorous curriculum tailored to the financial industry, providing in-depth knowledge and practical skills for career advancement in the banking sector.  Additionally, the school’s emphasis on practical skills and industry connections might help you establish meaningful relationships with professionals from around the world, enhancing your network within and beyond Mexico.”

Barry Winford

Executive Chief Credit Officer
PriorityOne Bank
Ridgeland, MS
Class of 2025

“I attended one year of graduate banking school with another program in 2022 and, then, enrolled as a first-year student at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU in 2023.  It was all “first class.”  Check-in could not have gone more smoothly and the dorm rooms were extremely nice, clean, and well-designed.  Even the food and the staff at the dining hall were exceptional. They went out of their way to make sure we had an enjoyable dining experience – going so far as saying “Thank you, have a great day and study hard!”  All of the professors were excellent and seemed to really enjoy teaching at the school, which made going to class each day a fantastic experience.  After spending two weeks with 180 other freshman students on campus, I now realize more than ever why GSBLSU is hands-down the best graduate school of banking program in the country.”

Jeff Dannelly

Senior Vice President
Emerald Coast/Bay  | Private Wealth Management
Hancock Whitney
Class of 2022

“I was looking for ways to become a more well-rounded, proficient banker – and found the perfect fit with the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.   And while it was a significant investment of time and other valuable resources, it was the best investment I could make in developing my skill sets.   The case studies, amazing professors and guest lectures, combined with the bank simulation – created the perfect learning environment for me to absorb and take that knowledge back to my bank. Above all of that, the  people I was able to form meaningful and enriching relationships with will last my entire career. I have contacts all over the country (and Mexico) that I can turn to for advice.  I couldn’t say that 3 years ago.   This program was the best decision I, and my bank, could have made for my personal and professional development.”

Doug Haehl

Vice President & Marketing Coordinator
Citizens Bank of Lafayette
Advisory Council, Class of 2018

“The Graduate School of Banking at LSU really prepares oneself for the everchanging financial world. The wide variety of class topics, along with the flexible electives, and popular bank simulation gives a great overall understanding that can be tailored to any bank setting throughout our country.

A degree from GSBLSU also accompanies with it a prestige that others in our industry welcome and acknowledge. The friendships I have made during the last three years will last me a lifetime. My time on campus has truly been and always will be a cherished chapter of my life and career.”

Jonathan Kruckow

Virginia State President
Skyline National Bank
Class of 2019

“The Graduate School of Banking at LSU provided an invaluable opportunity to expand my knowledge of bank management.  More importantly, it gave me a much broader prospective of the banking industry.  The ability to attend classes, share meals, and enjoy social functions with bankers with vastly different backgrounds from all over the United States and Mexico, gave me a perspective I could never experience anywhere else. It was truly humbling and motivating to learn from top tier instructors and from my proven, successful classmates within the industry.  My time at LSU was priceless and it was an opportunity that I will always be grateful for. ”

Chase Schmidt

Senior Vice President
Community Bank
Class of 2019

“The Graduate School of Banking at LSU has rightly earned its reputation as a premier provider of advanced banking education, and has proven to be an essential component of my banking career.   The faculty and administration of GSBSLU do a fantastic job with presenting course content that is both relevant to present-day topics and challenges, while also infused with those same, time-honored concepts of business and banking that were relevant decades ago, and remain so today.  Outside of the classes, my favorite memories of my time at GSBLSU are centered within the camaraderie and friendships made over those three years.  Within the first week, I had connected with bankers from all over the southern region of the US (and outside the US!) and still maintain those relationships today.  It is an honor to be a graduate of GSBLSU!”

Brett Ballard

Senior Vice President
Southern Independent Bank
Class of 2021

“Making the commitment to attend GSB at LSU was a very wise choice for me, and one that I would recommend anyone in the banking industry to make. It truly is a commitment. Going into my freshmen year I really did not know what to expect, even though I spoke with several graduates of the school. But nothing I can say here will prepare you for the level of instruction GSB offers! I must say I was surprised by the intensity, and the amount of information given to us in each class. The content of the classes are very broad, I came away with a much higher understanding of the banking industry as a whole. I heard on numerous occasions fellow classmates expressing how they now understand why management makes the decisions they do, and to me, this makes a huge difference with many things within an organization. The knowledge gained during my four (it took our class four years instead of three, because of Covid) years is irreplaceable, and is hard to obtain doing your every day job. For those with a little grey in your hair like mine, do not feel like it is too late! My three roommates and I are in our 50’s, we made it, and actually did pretty well. Last, but certainly not the least, is the friendships and the connections you will make. This part cannot be taught, is not listed in the curriculum, but might be the most important aspect of the experience. I do not know how they do it, but the GSB staff seems to place students in the best possible situations, I hear it over and over from graduates of the class! So from an individual standpoint, this commitment is a great investment, and from an organizational standpoint, an outstanding investment in your employees.”

Detra Cleven

Executive Vice President
Bank of Tennessee
Class of 2019

“Why Graduate School of Banking at LSU?   Graduate School of Banking at LSU is a unique program that offers exposure to multiple areas of banking.  The program gave me hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of banking.  The class lectures, case studies, and bank simulation taught me skills for practical use in the workplace.  It’s an investment in yourself.  Sure, it’s a commitment and takes effort and dedication, but the reward is great.  The completion of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU gave me new opportunities at work and impacted my future in ways that are more than the diploma.  For me, GSB at LSU gave me so many benefits.

  • I met and networked with bankers, regulators, educators and industry specialists.
  • My employer saw my commitment to my career.
  • My family was proud of the achievement.
  • My children were exposed to a view of lifelong learning.
  • My resume reflects graduate studies.
  • I made new friends.”

Don Hillbish

Loan Review Officer
Atlantic Union Bank
President, Class of 2018

“The first week of my first year at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU confirmed I had made an excellent choice to attend. I had wrestled with several options upon graduating from my state banking school. That first week, I made so many wonderful relationships across the country with other bankers, received immediately applicable of knowledge from our instructors who are practitioners as well as professors, and was immersed in the school’s culture of activism. The school stressed knowledge, competence, relationships, community involvement, and humble leadership. The remaining two years further solidified my relationships with professors and students, continued to deepen my theoretical and practical knowledge of banking, and culminated in applying all we learned in a two-week bank simulation. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The knowledge, experience, and relationships I gained will last my lifetime.”

Keri Gawrych

Keri Gawrych

Senior Vice President
Higher Education Credit Officer
Class of 2000

“Attending LSU’s Graduate School of Banking was one of the best professional experiences I have had in banking over my 34 year career. Not only was the academic content best in class in terms of teaching a broad range of topics from banking market dynamics, asset/liability management approaches, financial hedging strategies, risk management disciplines, to ultimately running a bank simulation capstone your senior year, but what stood out most was the fact that the professors who taught and led the school did it with the upmost passion and love for teaching the next generation of bankers- they “passed it on”- what a gift! The professors saw the full potential in the students and pushed all of us to learn, take chances, and grow ahead of our time. I am forever grateful for the experience and the people and will always remember to “seize the day” as Dr. Don Woodland profoundly voiced “Carpe Diem”! ”

Angela Dudik

Vice President/ Loan Officer/ Compliance Officer/ Branch Manager
Security Bank
Class of 2019

“The Graduate School of Banking at LSU was recommended to me by my bank President Mr. Terry Whitley (Class of 2009). This program really prepares oneself by the various topics to take on the ever-changing financial world. Since graduation I have eagerly used the knowledge taught at GSBLSU to further my banking career and recently been promoted as Branch Manager.

The friendships made over the three years while attending are everlasting. The last year of GSBLSU was bittersweet but also the hardest knowing our class would not be back together again for the following year. This degree is crucial in progressing through the banking industry.”

José Julián Sánchez Serrano

Subdirector de Promocion

“I must confess that I’m really sad because this year will be the last that I’ll be visiting the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.  The time went so fast… I’m proud to have been selected by my Banorte to attend the course.  It meant a lot to myself and I’ll always have in my heart all of you.  Thank you for your help and support.”

Casey Christopher

Chief Empowerment Officer
Quontic Bank
Advisory Council, Class of 2015

“The Bank Simulation is just as much about a bank simulation as it is a lesson in group dynamics. I was pleasantly surprised and excited to see that aspect of the simulation.

The school has far surpassed what I thought it was going to give me.  Lasting relationships. The incredible network of bankers and vendors to bankers. If you have any questions, your network is like having a banking rolodex that you couldn’t compile in 100 years.

You are exposed to so many different areas of the bank at school that you may have thought you knew how those areas worked until you get into the class.”

Ashley Yancey

Vice President, Team Leader, Southern First Bank
President, Class of 2017

“I appreciate that there are a wide variety of topics that students are exposed to at GSBLSU.  The curriculum offers access to different parts of the bank that you don’t usually have access to in your everyday responsibilities.

I believe graduating from GSBLSU is a vital component in progressing through my banking career.  This is where I want to be.  The caliber, prestige and expectations of the program are something I am proud to embrace and be a part of.”