From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Spanning 60 years of Miss Louisiana Tech

Oct 27, 2016 | Weekly Update

My week began in Dallas where I attended a Conference USA Board meeting. The topics covered in our meetings were diverse and complex, but the staff do an excellent job in organizing the information in digestible form so we can make good decisions. I appreciate these opportunities to meet with our C-USA presidents and staff members.  Following the meeting, I was ready to get back home Monday evening after a round-robin flight from Monroe to Miami to Dallas and back.

Coach Barmore presents me with a special gift

On Tuesday, I had a most enjoyable meeting with Coach Leon Barmore. Coach Barmore and I first met in Bastrop when I was in high school and he was our basketball coach. I have a deep appreciation for what he has done to elevate our institution through his leadership in building a nationally-prominent Lady Techsters basketball program, and I am most grateful for his friendship and support. I enjoyed several visits from students and staff on Tuesday as well as a visit from Dr. Claude Bouchard of Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Dr. Bouchard is an eminent scholar of genetics and nutrition at LSU who was visiting our campus to give a presentation about his research and to meet with our faculty and students.

Julianne Tippen (2013), Meagan Lee (2014), Louann Mayfield (1958), Leu Wilder (1957), Patricia Tippit (1960), Lauren Vizza (2012) and Rachel Vizza (2016)

Late Tuesday afternoon, Kathy and I went to the Marbury Alumni Center to visit with several of our former Miss Louisiana Techs who had returned back to campus for a reception and to attend this year’s Miss Louisiana Tech pageant. We were so pleased to have 3 of the first 4 Miss Techs in attendance including Mrs. Leu Strange Wilder, the first Miss Tech from 1957. Leu and her husband Billy continue to be active and loyal supporters of Louisiana Tech. Kathy and I also enjoyed visiting with Joan Marie Burt Edinger (Miss Tech 1975) and her daughter Eva Edinger (Miss Tech 2015). Joan Marie actually sang at our wedding in 1975, so we have been friends for a long time. Another Tech trivia fact is that Eva was crowned as Miss Tech 40 years to the day after her mother was crowned. Later Tuesday night, we enjoyed watching the pageant and celebrated the crowning of Miss Tech 2017, Anna Blake. Anna is a very talented student and Ruston native, and will do an outstanding job of representing our university. I am particularly thankful for the tremendous leadership that Rachel Vizza provided over the past year as Miss Tech 2016. What a special evening with these special ladies!

Anna Parker interviewed me for her Comm 101 presentation

Wednesday was spent in the office meeting with students and administrators. I enjoyed having several of our freshmen stop by to talk and let me know how things are going for them. Our First Year Experience program is having a positive impact in getting these students connected, engaged and comfortable with our campus, and I am confident that this activity is a key for their success at Tech. Thursday, I headed to Baton Rouge for a University of Louisiana System Board meeting. I was joined on this trip by Mayor Ronny Walker who was invited to serve on a panel to talk about the important relationships between our campus and the community. We had an excellent turnout of mayors from across the state, and all were vocal in their recognition of the importance that universities play in their economic and cultural prosperity. Special thanks to Mayor Ronny Walker who joined me on the trip, participating in this and other UL System meetings. Here’s a few of my favorite pics for the week:

Emma Spencer popped in to ask me some questions about campus projects


Future Techsters Elizabeth, Everly and Christopher


Congratulations Miss Tech 2017 Anna Blake!


Thanks to Rachel and Lauren Vizza


Anna Blake with Tytiana Browder, Samantha Hawthorne, Courtney Hammons and Ana Deloache


Anna and Leu: Spanning 60 years of Miss Louisiana Tech


Mayors and presidents in roundtable discussions in Baton Rouge