From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Winter Quarter 2014 Graduation
Saturday was one of Tech’s most special days of the year – Commencement Day. Congratulations to the Winter Quarter 2014 graduating class! The 325 graduates in the Winter class now become part of Tech’s 94,877 alumni who have graduated since Tech’s founding in 1894. It is a tremendous honor to present diplomas to our graduates. Grace Moore was one of the graduates and one of our former Tech Talk editors. I got to know Grace well last summer when both she and I spent some time working in Tech’s greenhouses. Of course, she worked a lot more and a lot harder than I did! Akeem Obe also received his diploma on Saturday. Akeem led the Nigerian Students Association, a group of students that I have had the pleasure to get to know over the past year. Akeem and his colleagues face tremendous challenges in getting their education in the U.S. But thanks to the help of people like Dan Erickson, Director of International Student Services, these students become a vital part of our campus and eventually graduate as proud Louisiana Tech graduates. I am very proud of Akeem, Grace, and the other 323 Winter Quarter 2014 graduates. State Representative Rob Shadoin, a Ruston attorney, Tech alumnus, and good friend, presented the commencement address. Rep. Shadoin used his natural humor, passion, and personal experiences to engage the audience in his address while leaving the students with some great inspiration to guide them in the future. Special thanks to Rep. Shadoin for speaking, and a big thanks to all of the Tech staff and administrators who set up the venue and program to make this a special day for all. Our super Registrar, Bob Vento, was sick on Saturday, but his able Associate Registrar, Susan Elkins, did a great job of organizing things. This was special for Susan too in that it was one of her last assignments before retirement. Thanks, Susan, for your tremendous service at Tech over the past 36 years. Commencement Day ties back to another very special day on our campus and that is Freshmen Convocation. During Freshmen Convocation, students are introduced to the Tenets of Tech and are given a medallion with the tenets inscribed. After Convocation, the incoming freshmen deposit their medallions in the fountain of the Lady of the Mist symbolizing their investment in Tech’s values, culture, and traditions. On Saturday at Commencement, the Tenet medallions came full circle as the students once again received their medallions, this time with their graduation date inscribed. I am confident that the tenets that the students embraced while pursuing their education at Tech will mean as much to them as what they learned from their books.