From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Week 10 Update: Beginning the 2013-14 Academic Year
This week marks the beginning of the 2013-14 Academic Year for Louisiana Tech. There is always a lot of energy and excitement as students begin to arrive on campus. As I returned from NC on Sunday, the campus was already beginning to fill with students moving into housing, and with parents going through those anxious moments of separation. I noticed the Tech Band beginning to practice in the Aillet Stadium parking lot on Monday morning. And Monday afternoon, Kathy and I were serenaded by the drum corps who was outside the Ropp Center practicing their rhythms. Tuesday was a big day for me. It was my first Fall Convocation of the faculty and staff. We also introduced new faculty and staff, and recognized two faculty with awards. Dr. David Szymanski of Kinesiology won the University Senate Chair Award and Ms. Rhonda Boyd of Kinesiology won the Virgil Orr Undergraduate Teacher Award. A clean sweep for one of our best and fastest growing academic programs. My address, the first to be given by someone other than Dan Reneau over the past 27 years, was focused on our strategic priorities for continuing the advancement of Louisiana Tech in the future. Wednesday was also a very special day, the Academic Convocation for incoming freshmen. Other than Commencement, this may be the most special day of the year. Almost 1100 freshmen students literally filled up Howard Auditorium with overflow going into the student center. Vice President Jim King, Stacy Gilbert, and other Student Affairs staff did a great job of planning a meaningful reflective ceremony for the freshmen. SGA President Allison East gave a motivational speech encouraging students to be involved. Teddy Allen made excellent remarks about how to be successful, and Alumnus of the Year John Allen demonstrated the value of being a Tech graduate. At the end of the ceremony, the students walked through the alumni-lined path to the Lady of the Mist where they deposited their Tenets of Tech medallion signifying their commitment to those tenets as a student. We had many alumni show up lining the walkway and showing our newest students what it means to be associated with Louisiana Tech University. Several students dropped by the office for visits yesterday. It was so good to see them and it reminded me why we are here and why we have an essential obligation to serve each and every student.