From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
From Baton Rouge to Colombia
Kathy and I have been enjoying having our son Bret and his family here for part of this week. They arrived from Jacksonville, FL late last Friday, shortly after Kathy and I returned home from the Benefactors Dinner at the DAC. Saturday, I went out to The Joe to welcome 1,400 students who were on-hand to participate in the Big Event, a community service project. I am so proud of our students who make it a priority to serve those in need throughout our community. Following the Big Event, we were able to enjoy the Bulldogs’ Spring Game on Saturday afternoon. We took the grandkids to the DAC for Saturday’s game so they could have a place to play and get out of the drizzle. It was good to see former Tech greats Terry Bradshaw and Mike Barber there for the game, and Fred Dean and Tramon Williams helping coach from the sidelines. After some family time over the weekend, I departed for Baton Rouge on Sunday evening for a couple of Monday meetings. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber hosted a state-wide Economic Development Summit on Monday and I decided to attend since several of our industry partners were featured. I was particularly pleased that Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker was invited to speak about economic development activities in the Ruston community. Ronny, who was the only mayor invited to speak, told the story about Monster Moto and also talked about the great things that Ruston has to offer, including Louisiana Tech, in the recruitment and retention of companies. Doug Cheek, VP for CSRA, was also invited to serve on a panel with other representatives from Louisiana’s newest IT companies including GE Capital, IBM and CGI. Doug stressed the important role that Louisiana Tech has played in their decision to locate and expand in North Louisiana. Governor Edwards was the featured speaker for the Summit’s luncheon. I used the trip south to stop by to visit with one of our CEO alumni in Baton Rouge before heading back to meet with another alumni group at Squire Creek in Choudrant on Monday evening. On Tuesday morning, I enjoyed visiting with Wes and Lanie Gregory who have volunteered to oversee our Champ program for the past year. They have done a great job in raising funds and supporting Champ including significantly expanding Champ’s participation in events on campus and throughout the community. Later Tuesday morning, I welcomed national and regional representatives of the Tri Delta sorority who have just recently committed to establish a chapter at Tech. I am so pleased with this new relationship as there is a significant need for an additional sorority to support our rapidly increasing student population. Later Tuesday morning, I met with deans and faculty from three different colleges who were discussing a possible academic initiative in scientific illustration, an outgrowth of the recent collaboration between the arts and sciences. I love the idea! Tuesday afternoon, we had a press conference to name our new head coach for the Lady Techsters, Brooke Lassiter Stoehrs. Brooke is no stranger to Tech and is one of our fans’ all-time favorite Techsters who proved her skills on the basketball court in the early 2000s and as a coach over the past several years. Brooke and her husband, Scott, and children Aubrey and Cooper, will be great additions to the Ruston community. Welcome Home, Brooke! After the press conference, I went to the Tonk to participate in the International Student Day food fair. This annual event attracts many of our international students as well as our domestic students and faculty who enjoy sampling the featured cuisines from all around the world. This is a fantastic event organized by Dan Erickson, Director of our International Student Program, and his staff. Tuesday evening, I spoke to students of Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity. I was impressed with the turnout of business students and faculty on a stormy night. And I was impressed with their professional dress for this activity – just another reflection on the quality of our student body! It’s been quite a week, and it has just begun…..