October 29, 2014
New Orleans, LA –Latter & Blum, Inc. announced today that Chairman and CEO, Robert “Bob” Merrick will be honored at thpye University of New Orleans’ Fall Commencement on December 18th with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The designation is one of the highest honors bestowed by the University.
The honorary doctorate will recognize “a true real estate visionary and one of our region’s greatest humanitarians,” according to University President, Peter J Fos. “[Bob] cares deeply about his community and has given generously to numerous causes…throughout his career,” added Fos.
“The University of New Orleans is educating and graduating vast numbers of our youth who will remain here to lead our community into a bright future,” stated Bob Merrick. “We need to ensure they have the right education and training to help move our region forward,” he explained.
“This recognition reflects Bob’s years of positive influence in Greater New Orleans as well as his business achievements,” stated Latter & Blum, Inc. President, Rick Haase. “We are fortunate to have in Bob’s leadership a brilliant example of what it means to remain steadfast in a principle-centered business philosophy. It has always been Bob’s mission to invest in not only his business and those who work with him, but also to be a champion for the communities that have supported our company for nearly 100 years. Hence, one of our guiding principles is to ‘Build Stronger Communities in the Markets We Serve’,” explained Haase.
Merrick will receive the honor in recognition of his lifelong community leadership and generosity, including a gift of $100,000 this year for UNO’s newly-created Coastal Restoration Certificate programs and student scholarships. Merrick has served as a member of the UNO Foundation Board of Directors, endowed the Merrick Chair in Real Estate and contributed significantly to the creation of the Max Derbes III Professorship in Real Estate. Latter & Blum, Inc. has been the title sponsor for the annual UNO/Latter & Blum Economic Outlook and Real Estate Forecast Seminar, and is an Executive Partner of UNO's Institute of Economic Development and Real Estate Research.
Merrick has received many distinguished awards for his community service and leadership. He has been inducted into the Junior League Hall of Fame, received the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award and the United Way’s Alex de Tocquville Award, and was recently selected by the Southeast Louisiana Council of Boy Scouts to receive its 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award.
LATTER & BLUM Inc., established in 1916, is the largest full-service real estate brokerage in the Gulf South with 30 offices spanning from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Southwest Louisiana. Latter & Blum Inc. operates LATTER & BLUM Inc./REALTORS, C.J. Brown REALTORS Inc., Van Eaton & Romero REALTORS, and Noles Frye Realty (all four owned by Latter & Blum Inc.), while Latter & Blum Classic Homes & Properties, Latter & Blum Shaw Properties and Latter & Blum Hometown operate under franchise agreements. All are networked nationally and globally as ERA Powered Companies. Additionally, LATTER & BLUM Inc. operates NAI Latter & Blum Commercial Real Estate, Latter & Blum Property Management, Latter & Blum Insurance Services, Platinum Title and Essential Mortgage Corporation.