From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Kicking off 2015-16 at Louisiana Tech as No. 1 in the nation
Louisiana Tech always convenes the Fall Quarter right after Labor Day. The timing of the holiday this year pushed our first day of classes to September 10th. Everyone was eager to get started and I was pleased to see so many of our students showing up on campus well before Labor Day to begin planning student organization activities, to renew friendships, and to attend our home opening football game against Southern University. It was great that we had over 4,000 of our students attend that game. All our students along with a great turnout from Tech and Southern fans pushed game attendance to the 2nd highest of all time – and they enjoyed seeing the Bulldogs start the season with a big win. The students invited me to attend some of their events before the start of classes this week and I really enjoyed getting out to welcome them. Monday evening, the Union Board had movie night at the TAC and almost 1,000 students showed up to see Jurassic World. Then on Tuesday night, I attended the BCM Luau that was co-hosted by several of our local churches. I am not sure of the final count, but it must have been well over 1,000 students there. I know these kinds of activities play a major role in student retention and success, so I appreciate everyone’s efforts to make our students feel welcome to campus. On Tuesday, we also had our Fall Faculty and Staff Convocation where we take care of some official university business and welcome our faculty and staff. My address to the faculty and staff focused on thanking them for their loyal and committed service, some significant happenings over the past year, and some expectations for the coming year. We also introduced all new faculty and staff and followed the convocation with a reception in University Hall. Later Tuesday, I held a number of meetings with my administrative team. Wednesday was also jam-packed with meetings and conference calls. I enjoyed meeting with some of our major donors to discuss new projects and had a long session with our architects who are designing the next phase of student housing. I am confident that everyone will be pleased to see these great additions to our campus, and it will certainly help us in achieving our enrollment goals. Late Wednesday, we had Freshmen Convocation in Howard Auditorium where we welcomed approximately 1,500 of our new freshmen to campus. The event closed with one of my favorite activities of the year as our freshmen parade out of Howard while being saluted by alumni, faculty and staff, and then deposit their new Tenet Medallions in the Lady of the Mist as a symbol of their commitment to uphold those values and traditions defined as our Tenets. If you have not participated in that event, I encourage you to put it on your calendar next Fall and be there. We had alumni drive for quite some distance to attend, and it was inspiring to me to see them there. Early Thursday morning, Kathy and I flew out of Shreveport to attend the Tech vs Western Kentucky football game. We enjoyed meeting with many of our Tech alumni and friends before and during the game. I also had the opportunity to visit before the game with my Conference USA colleague President Gary Ransdell of WKU. Before I close, I want to mention the latest US News and World Report rankings that placed Tech in the Top Tier of National Universities for the 5th consecutive year. USN&WR also had a ranking of the universities that graduate students with least average debt upon graduation. I was so pleased to see that Tech ranked No. 1 for all public national universities in the nation. The private universities that were just ahead of Tech in the rankings are some of the most prestigious universities in the world. I thank all of our alumni and friends who have been so helpful with scholarship support and I thank all of our faculty staff who have recruited excellent students to our campus. The two graphics below tell a positive story about the value and Return on Investment of a Louisiana Tech education.