COLLEGE STATION, TX, OCT 17 - -Loupot’s Bookstore (http://www.loupots.com), one of Texas A&M University’s most revered institutions, is turning 75 with a Texas size celebration October 25, 2007 . A long list of dignitaries including A&M graduate, Governor Rick Perry, are expected to attend as the faithful journey back to College Station to pay tribute to the famed Aggieland institution started by the beloved Judson E. Loupot, better known as, Ol’ Army Lou ’32.
In its 75 years, Loupot’s has gained a larger than life reputation thanks to its colorful founder Ol’ Army Lou.
The business Loupot founded, which serves Texas Aggies and Blinn college students, officially opened in 1932 in an area called Northgate on the immediate North side of the A&M campus after then A&M student Judson Loupot had been booted off campus. It seems the University frowned on Loupot’s growing enterprise of selling used books, clothing, sandwiches and chili out of his dorm room.
Not to be deterred, Loupot went across the street, set up a card table in an area of Northgate now occupied by another A&M institution the Dixie Chicken, and resumed business officially marking the start of Loupot’s in Northgate.
Loupot’s business thrived and soon he could be seen building a small structure with the help of classmates to house his growing entrepreneural ambitions.
Loupot soon became known not only for his business acumen, but his generosity and love of Texas A&M and A&M students. Many close to him feel it was Loupot’s memories of his family’s delicate financial situation following the death of Loupot’s father and the Great Depression that helped shape Loupot’s generous and loving nature.
Somewhere along the way, friends affectionately started using the nickname Ol’ Army Lou for Loupot and it stuck.
Loupot and his wife Evelyn, befriended everyone they encountered and soon came to be known as A&M’s biggest boosters, singing the university’s praises and encouraging young adults to attend the institution they loved so dearly.
Stories abound of Ol’ Army Lou giving a “helping hand to Ags”—lending money, books, Senior boots, etc. –and all on the basis of an Aggie’s word. Loupot’s generosity extended beyond the campus to countless community charities. Always high-spirited, the stories of Loupot’s hi-jinks have become legendary.
Loupot loved assisting students in the capture of an arch rival’s mascot, delivering ice to football practices and was known for occasionally posting bail for wayward students!
Ol’ Army Lou was honored many times in life for his dedication to A&M and is the sole local businessman to have a complete issue of the Texas Aggie magazine dedicated to his honor. In 1995, Loupot’s funeral service was attended by students, former students, faculty, TAMU administrators, townspeople and Reveille (A&M’s collie dog mascot). Texas Governor Rick Perry (in his former position as Commissioner of Agriculture) delivered the eulogy and along with the Texas A&M Singing Cadets and the Ross Volunteers, was given a 21 gun salute.
Today, Loupot’s lives on with Loupot’s family operating stores in 3 locations, including the original Northgate location. A scholarship fund entitled ‘Ol’ Army Lou ’32 Assistance Fund’, continues the good works Loupot started and is administered through the Texas A&M Foundation.
Gifts can be made payable to: Texas A&M Foundation, 401 Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840. Please indicate the “Ol’ Army Lou ’32 Assistance Fund (57265)”.
Texas A&M Foundation