LSCO introduces Tilley the gator

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

After months of polls, opinions and discussion, Lamar State College Orange has an official mascot, Tilley the gator.

A brave young man from Louisiana was living in Orange joined the U.S. Army in August of 1941. Second Lieutenant William M. ‘Bill’ Tilley, 25, died over a year later during combat in North Africa.

Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Tilley Sr. received a message from the War Department on Dec. 16, 1942. This was the first report of an Orange solider being killed in action since the beginning of the war according to an article on the front page of the December 17, 1942 edition of The Orange Leader.

As one of Orange’s first casualties in War World II, Tilley became a hometown hero and a school building was named after him. Tilley Elementary School served the students of Orange for many years. A picture of Tilley was presented to the school during a Parent-Teacher Association meeting in May of 1949. It replaced a photo destroyed when the school burned 18 months prior.

In 1969, the Tilley school building became home of the first college in Orange, a branch of Lamar affectionately known as ‘Tilley Tech’.

Tilley Tech opened with 362 students. In December 2018, two Commencement Ceremonies were held to accommodate the number of graduating students from Lamar State College Orange.

Now 50 years later, what was known as Tilley Tech has become Lamar State College Orange – a college with national ranked academic and technical programs and a campus spanning three city blocks.

Although Lamar State College Orang is far removed from it’s Tilley Tech days, the educational institute maintains the same spirit of I’s humble beginnings. As Lamar State College Orange continues celebrating 50 years of serving Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, it is fitting the college’s new mascot represents the history of the college, the ties between Texas and Louisiana, and the strength of our communities, according to a press release.