Commencing with the Happening
Yesterday was a big day for the Tech Family. We began the day with Summer Commencement and wrapped it up with family and friends at Happening 2017 in Monroe. I was able to schedule a meeting in between those two events as we welcomed a University President from Bangalore India who was on campus to explore a partnership.
Summer Commencement was very special as one of my long-time friends and one of Tech’s most loyal, honorable, brilliant and impactful faculty/administrators, Dr. Stan Napper, served as our commencement speaker. Stan has played pivotal roles in the establishment and development of so many of our programs, facilities and partnerships over the years including biomedical, nanosystems and cyber engineering; the integrated engineering curriculum; doctoral programs; partnerships with CenturyLink, IBM and CSRA; the Biomedical Engineering Building; the soon-to-be-built Engineering and Science Education Building; and so much more. Stan retired earlier this week and I will certainly miss him and will be forever grateful for his friendship, leadership and the impacts he has had on our alma mater.
The Happening in Monroe last night was great as we brought together many of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, public and elected officials and corporate partners to celebrate Louisiana Tech. The Happening always signals the beginning of the academic year and football season. Skip Holtz gave a great overview of our team and the season and guaranteed the audience that his wins would be in double digits this year! (not really what he said, but that is how I interpreted it….. Right?) Seriously, I am pleased with the way that Skip has built our program with excellent talent and a winning mindset. And our alumni Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson brought the Fabulous Equinox Quintet back home from Savannah to provide entertainment for the Happening audience. What a day!
Earlier in the week, I took a trip to Baton Rouge where I chaired two major state-wide research committee meetings. We were pleased to have Senator Bill Cassidy attend one of those meetings. He was there to learn more about our institutions and how we collaborate to advance Louisiana’s research agenda, and he reiterated his continued support for these initiatives.
Tuesday was a day in the office for me, and then I went to Bossier City on Wednesday morning to discuss plans for future development with the Cyber Innovation Center. While there, I stopped by to see progress on our new Academic Success Center in the National Cyber Research Park. I made it back to Ruston in time to speak to the Rotary Club about recent happenings at Louisiana Tech.
Here are a few of my favorite pics for the week: