From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Impacts of a Change of Command
This week, we continued in our efforts to boost our fund-raising activities. An essential part of those efforts is finding a replacement for our VP for University Advancement, Ms. Corre Stegall, who has been the face and central driver for the growth of our University Foundation over the past two decades. We will certainly miss her in that role. I had an interview with our second candidate for the position early Monday and then the candidate had several other interviews with staff and administrators on our campus as well as with the community. We are eager to move forward in filling this position with a highly qualified candidate as soon as possible. In a related activity, I had another meeting later in the week with our fund-raising consultants who are helping us clearly identify and delineate our needs which will be such an important part of making our fund-raising efforts successful. On Monday, I also had a meeting with a graduate student, a couple of other meetings with my communications and facilities leaders, and took a campus tour with a prospective student. Jack T. Painter ObituaryLate Monday, Kathy and I traveled to Bossier City to participate in events related to the Change of Command for the leadership of Barksdale’s USAF Global Strike Command. On Monday evening, we enjoyed a very special farewell reception for Lt. Gen. ‘Seve’ Wilson and his wife Nancy who are leaving Barksdale and heading to the Vice Commander’s position at STRATCOM in Omaha. General Wilson has been most effective as a leader and as the Commander of GSC, and we have enjoyed numerous opportunities to work with him. We were honored to be invited to the farewell reception that included numerous general officers and leaders at BAFB as well as special guests, the Secretary of the Air Force, Honorable Deborah Lee James, and the USAF Chief of Staff, General Mark Welsh. On Tuesday, we attended the Change of Command ceremony which included the transfer of the GSC flag from Lt. General Wilson to General Robin Rand. General Welsh also presented General Wilson with the Distinguished Service Medal. This ceremony was most significant in that it officially made GSC a 4-star command, which is something very important to the nation and certainly all of Northwest Louisiana and the entire State of Louisiana. The many positive impacts of this transition will surely be felt by our community for years to come. On Wednesday, I held a retreat with my Leadership Team to finalize some planning that we had initiated early in the summer. I am blessed to have such a fine group of leaders, including several new deans, working with me to advance this institution. These leaders are clearly committed to serving our students and other stakeholders while continuing to raise the national stature of Louisiana Tech. I was saddened earlier in the week to learn of the passing of one of Louisiana Tech’s greatest professors, Professor Emeritus Jack T. Painter. Jack was a most amazing man who made every course, every class period, and every student his highest priority. He was my mentor as a student, faculty member and administrator, and I would not be serving as President of Louisiana Tech without his inspiration, encouragement and guidance throughout my life. I was most honored when he returned from his retirement home in New Bern, NC, to attend my Presidential Investiture. His impacts on this institution and the lives of so many of our graduates will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace, the Great Timberlake.