From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
What's Happening XXXIII?
I enjoyed a very full schedule of activities this week after Kathy and I took a few days off last week to get out of town for a break. I spent most of Monday in meetings with our advancement, marketing, and communications team in getting ready for a flurry of events coming up early this fall. I also visited with my administrative team regarding major initiatives and planning for the fall quarter. On Tuesday, I met with SGA President (and Board of Regents member) Maggie Brakeville to discuss student activities for the fall, particularly Homecoming. Maggie is a strong leader and I look forward to working with her this year. I was pleased to spend a few minutes speaking at the Division of Student Affairs’ in-service training retreat. VP Jim King does a great job of getting his staff together at least a couple of times a year to look at some big picture issues that can advance our service to students. On Tuesday, I also had a visit with Bob Walters, News Director at KNOE-TV in Monroe. Later in the day, I met with Senator Bob Kostelka, Representative Jim Fannin, and some industry representatives to discuss potential collaborations. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge issued to me by President Nick Bruno of ULM and President Sandy Woodley of ULS (my boss.) How could I turn that down? I decided to have a little fun and bring some recognition to our football team, so I asked Patrick Walsh to see if I could get a volunteer from the team to show up with a bucket of cold water. Well, he got three of our seniors to come, and they actually brought two coolers full of ice and a little water! Anyway, we had a lot of fun with this and I was also able to pay tribute to Bobby Rawle, one of our Distinguished Alumni who fought a courageous fight against ALS. As a result of this video, I was contacted by the Monroe News-Star regarding a story they intend to run on Bobby in a future edition of the paper. We had Summer Commencement on Thursday, and I was most pleased that Dr. Pauline Leonard, Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, agreed to be our speaker. Pauline and her husband Lawrence, the Dean of the College of Education, are retiring at the end of August after 16 years at Tech. Thursday also happened to be their 33rd wedding anniversary, so it was a very special day for all. Pauline presented an excellent address that related to life’s transitions and her own personal experiences. Pauline and Laurie will be leaving Ruston with all of their belongings in their recreational vehicle next week to spend the next few years traveling across the US and Canada for a well-deserved period of discovery, renewal and growth. Thursday evening, I was invited to a dinner hosted by Lt. Gen. Steve Wilson of the USAF Global Strike Command at Barksdale. We were joined by several of his general officers and senior staff, along with President David Rowe of Centenary, to visit with Professor Kimberly Marten of Columbia University. It was a tremendous experience and I greatly appreciate the hospitality of General Wilson and his staff. I capped off the week (and a full Friday morning of conference calls) with our biggest alumni event of the year, the Happening, in Monroe. Corre Stegall and new Alumni Director Wes Cavin did a great job in organizing the event and setting up the venue. With about 900 alumni and friends in attendance, there was hardly enough time to get around and speak to everyone. But the energy was great and the Tech Family demonstrated what makes Louisiana Tech such a special place. The new format of casual dress, many people in Tech polos, and a networking buffet seems to be going over well. We all enjoyed Teddy Allen as emcee and a Q&A panel of AD Tommy McClelland and head coaches Tyler Summitt, Mike White, Skip Holtz and Greg Goff. We are pleased to have these great coaches, who have such strong character and a total focus on building successful students and graduates through athletics activities, as part of our Tech Family. On my way over to the Happening, I had the opportunity to stop in for an interview with Jarod Floyd of KTVE-TV on their Louisiana Living program. It was great to be able to share some of the good news about Louisiana Tech with a broader audience in the greater Monroe area.I always enjoy stopping and talking to prospective students. On Tuesday, I happened to catch student recruiter Molly Humphries while she was touring a couple of prospective students from Texas, who were brought to campus by Tech alumnae Kimberly Layne. We met in the 16th floor lobby of Wyly Tower, and then I invited them into my office to chat for a while. As we were leaving, they asked me to join them for pictures including one down in the Wyly Tower lobby. I really appreciate the efforts of our alumni to help us in recruiting students to Tech, and we plan to capitalize on the opportunity to expand those connections in the future. I also appreciate the great work of Molly and our student recruiters who always demonstrate a lot of passion for Louisiana Tech. My good friend and former SGA President Will Dearmon stopped by for a visit on Wednesday before heading out to the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Will has had a very positive impact on leadership development activities at Tech and I know that his time at the Bush School will prepare him even better for a most successful professional career. Wednesday morning, we had a stole ceremony for our student-athletes who were graduating this summer. This short ceremony provides a great way to bring special recognition to those student-athletes who commit themselves to completing their degrees. This summer, we recognized Cordarius Johnson (basketball) and Josh Pearce (track). After meetings with a couple of deans and a commencement walk-through, I decided that I would accept the