From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Invested for the Future

Apr 13, 2014 | Weekly Update

Les Mom & Gary 2

With my mother Marguerite and brother Gary prior to the Investiture

There was an activity on Tuesday that has not occurred on the Tech campus in over 50 years: the investiture of the president.  The presidential investiture was a great opportunity to bring together faculty, staff, students, alumni, community and colleagues from across the state to celebrate Louisiana Tech University. It was a time to pay tribute to those who have made Tech a great institution, and a time to look forward to the future. The ROTC Valkyrie Honor Guard, Symphonic Band, Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, Student Advancement Teams, and SGA President showcased the tremendous student talents that we have on this campus through their spectacular and inspirational performances. So many people contributed to making this a great day, but I particularly appreciate the Investiture Planning Committee including Corre Stegall, Bob Vento, Reggie Hanchey, Dave Guerin and Carrie Flournoy for their efforts to make the day so special for all. I appreciate all of the Board members, university presidents and officers, and distinguished visitors who spent the whole day with us, honoring us with their presence.
Christopher & Walkway 2

Christopher on Alumni Walkway near brick of his gr-grandfather

Having my family in attendance made this an extra special day. My mother, brother, sons, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and their families were there with me and Kathy for the day.  Christopher, my grandson, even got in on the special tree-planting ceremony. Each of Tech’s 14 presidents has had a tree planted in their honor along the entrance to the alumni walkway. As we planted the tree just prior to the investiture ceremony, we noticed that the tree is located very near Kathy’s father’s brick (Cecil May, Class of 1950.) Christopher posed for a few photos while we were there.
Christopher & Les Tree Planting 2

Bret & son Christopher helping plant the president’s tree

Christopher & Tree

Christopher catching a little shade

Tech Day at BPCC 2 w mascots

Tech & BPCC leaders and mascots

On Wednesday, I traveled over to Bossier Parish Community College for Tech Day at BPCC. This event was organized by the Division of Student Affairs under the coordination of Melanie Peel.  We had a great turnout of Tech faculty, staff and students to talk to the BPCC students who might have interests in investing in their future success by attending Tech for their bachelor’s degree. Over 400 BPCC students participated in the event.  A great job by Dr. Jim King and the Division of Student Affairs! We also appreciate Dr. Jim Henderson, Dr. Stan Wilkins, and the BPCC administration and staff for helping us to make this a successful event. We have worked with BPCC on numerous programs in the past and look forward to building stronger partnerships for the future.
Jazz Breakfast at ULS Day

Jazz Breakfast at ULS Day at the Capitol

On Thursday, I attended University of Louisiana System Day at the Capitol. I joined President Sandra Woodley and other ULS institution Presidents to visit with the legislature to inform them about the important activities led by our institutions in support of the state’s needs for workforce and innovation.  We were able to thank the House members for their unanimous passage of the WISE bill on Tuesday. There is more work to be done to get funding for this bill, but we are pleased that there has been such broad-based positive support for the legislation thus far. The House welcomed us to their chamber and recognized the ULS with a resolution. I was most pleased to be joined for the day by my guests, Craig Spohn, Director of the Cyber Innovation Center, and John Dancy, Director of Computer Sciences Corporation’s North American Public Sector.  John was able to talk to our legislators about the importance of Louisiana Tech in their decision to invest in Louisiana for the future success of their company by bringing 800 high-tech jobs to Bossier City.
Cael and Family 2

Cael & Kris Carmichael with my family

On Friday, we had a conference call with our campus master planners to discuss questions raised in their most recent visit.  I also had a visit from Cael Carmichael and his mother Kris. Cael is one of Tech’s football team’s most loyal fans, joining the Bulldogs during their last Poinsettia Bowl appearance and staying connected ever since.  He lifts our spirits every time that we see him. Cael and his mother drove from San Diego to attend Tech’s Spring Game on Saturday. Check out his journey at: https://www.facebook.com/CaelsJourney or follow him at: https://twitter.com/CaellanC. Saturday was a full day, beginning with an early send-off for over 1000 students who came to Joe Aillet Stadium to participate in the Big Event. I am so proud of our students and the leadership that they demonstrate every year through their service to the community through this program. Later in the morning, I met with the Alumni Association and gave them an update on activities. Kathy and I welcomed major Quest for Excellence benefactors to the president’s house for a luncheon. These benefactors and supporters, as well as our students, are responsible for investing approximately $25 million to enhance our athletics and student life facilities, including the South End Zone project, that are a part of the Q4E program.
SEZ Groundbreaking

Benefactors, students, administration, architect & contractor break ground

At half-time of the Spring Game, we had the groundbreaking for the South End Zone facility. The three-story athletic facility is an investment in all future Tech students and student-athletes. It includes a new state-of-the-art strength and conditioning complex utilized by all 16 of the University’s athletic programs and will also house football coaches’ offices, football locker room, team and position meeting rooms, club seating and a multi-functional dining space that can be utilized for athletic and campus events. The second story of the facility will include the football coaches’ offices as well as team and position meeting rooms. The 143-seat capacity, theatre-style meeting room will feature state-of-the-art sound and video equipment and will be used for team meetings as well as athletic department press conferences and other events. The club level will include luxury premium seating options with 302 chair back seats, multi-functional dining space seating up to 360, a private dining room with field view, and a full service commercial kitchen. This area will be utilized for campus, student and community events. Additional information on the ground-breaking event can be found at: http://www.latechsports.com/genrel/041214aaa.html
Bobby Brasher, Stewart Cathey & Seth Brasher2

With classmates Bobby Brasher, Stewart Cathey & Seth Brasher

I had a special surprise after half-time when I ran into two of my former Bastrop High classmates, Bobby Brasher and Stewart Cathey. Bobby is also a former great Tech baseball player. He brought his son Seth to the game. Right after the game, I had two great Tech football legends, Leo Sanford and Red Aucoin, stop by the president’s house for a visit. They and their wives, Myrna and Beverly, are most loyal fans and supporters of the university. This visit capped off another great week for me and my family!              

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