During the 1980’s, San Diego became a part of a small migration of Louisiana students, who graduated from LSU and upon graduation, headed West for greater job opportunities.
Pete Terrebonne, class of 1983, was among those looking for new opportunities. By December of 1987, he had moved from Baton Rouge, to Dallas and then on to San Diego. While living in Dallas, he kept his LSU ties alive by attending various events and getting back to LSU for games, as time permitted. But once he made the move to San Diego, there was no active alumni association, no West coast broadcasts that featured his beloved Tigers and very few people who had ever heard of a crawfish. Pete placed the first call to Dr. Charlie Roberts, President of the LSU Alumni Center in Baton Rouge, in 1988. He and his new California bride, Pam, flew back to meet with Dr. Roberts and his staff, to inquire about forming an LSU chapter in San Diego. Once the idea was started, the rest became a part of legendary history of the San Diego chapter.A tremendous amount of thanks goes back to the LSU Alumni Association for its active support and assistance in getting the chapter started in the early years. Lists were made available to contact those alumni who had registered with the alumni and were living in the San Diego area. Phone calls were made and a small band of people met for the first time in the community room of the Pete and Pam’s condo complex.
Jim Sneed, class of 1983, became the first vice-president, Donna Thomas, became the first secretary and Ray Neck became the first treasurer for the fledgling club.
The first LSU Alumni San Diego Crawfish Boil was held in San Diego, at Hospitality Point in Mission Bay Park. Guest attendance was just over 200 guests, most of whom were curious San Diegans, who fell in love with “mudbugs” – as they learned how to “pinch the tails and suck the heads”. They were fast learners and word spread.
By 1998, more than 2,000 guests attended the Crawfish Boil. In 2012, the group attained a Guinness World Record for the "largest crayfish (sic) party at a single venue." The official total for that event was 3399 participants. In 2013, we held our 25th Annual Crawfish Boil, chaired by founder Pete Terrebonne, with over 4000 people and 20,000 pounds of crawfish.
The 2019 event raised more than $115,000, which was added to the San Diego sponsorship fund at LSU, all from proceeds from the 2019 San Diego Crawfish Boil. This brings the total donations from this event to over ONE MILLION DOLLARS!
In 2023, we will celebrate our 34th anniversary, with the biggest Crawfish Boil in the World back at Waterfront Park on Saturday, May 20, 2023.