From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Trailblazers and Legends

Aug 10, 2018 | Weekly Update

After being out most of last week, I was glad to get back in the office on Monday to catch up with things like graduation planning, Conference USA activities, and meetings with project developers, United Way, and ERP implementation – a typical day in my life…

Tuesday was a highlight of the week though as I hopped on a plane to Baton Rouge for a meeting of the Louisiana Cyber Commission. I am chairing the Workforce and Education committee for the Commission, and we had planned to have a meeting of  that committee in addition to the Commission meeting. Our Committee and Commission are making good progress and will have some exciting things coming out soon that will be positive for our State. 

Tuesday evening was the big event of the week, Happening 2018, at the Monroe Civic Center. The Civic Center was full of blue-clad alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends. This is a highlight event for so many, signifying the beginning of a new academic year and an informal kick-off for the football season.  Kathy and I loved the opportunity to reconnect with so many of our friends. We also took one of our new freshmen, Kylie Kalinowski, with us to Monroe and introduced her to many in attendance. Kylie is an outstanding in-coming student from Michigan who came to Tech to get involved in our cyber programs, and I am confident that she will be a strong leader for us. Her initial connection to Tech came at a cyber camp that our faculty hosted in Michigan four years ago. Our faculty maintained connections with her over that period of time, and she made the decision early that Tech is where she wants to get her education. I am thankful to have such engaged and dedicated faculty!

Our good friends and alumni, Jeremy Davis, Clay Johnson and the Fabulous Equinox Quintet entertained the Happening audience with their great music. I chose to focus my remarks on some of our students, alumni and faculty who are blazing trails in their respective fields and in their personal activities. As President, I get to see so many of our people who do amazing things and I love to share their stories with others:  like James Davison & Jacob Brister who kayaked 2000 miles down the Mississippi River this summer, Chance Allen who is hiking 2,700 miles down the rugged Pacific Crest Trail, and Mason Andrews who is solo piloting a single-engine plane in a world record setting circumnavigation of the globe.  All true trailblazers!  And I gave several other examples of students, faculty and alumni in our academic activities that are blazing trails also.  Coach Skip Holtz closed out the Happening with exciting updates on the upcoming football season. I am ready for some football!

This week, I enjoyed three big meetings with corporate partners and prospective partners. This is an area in which Tech excels, and it is exciting to see the opportunities for partnerships continue to expand, creating new impacts for educational, workforce and innovation advancement in our region and state

I also enjoyed several meetings with prospective students this week. I always enjoy helping them learn about academic and career opportunities. Kathy and I also welcomed Champ, cheerleaders and Regal Blues to the house for an early morning breakfast and photo-shoot.

And a major highlight of the week was a luncheon honoring one of Tech’s greatest legends, Leo Sanford. Leo joined a few of his special friends and many of his family members in our Joe Aillet Stadium Suites for a luncheon. We honored Leo for a most generous scholarship endowment that he established in honor of his wife Myrna. Leo and Myrna enjoyed 70 years of life together before her passing last year. They have been two of the most loyal and committed alumni in Tech’s history, and certainly impactful for our institution in so many ways.

This was a full and exciting week with many trailblazers and legends!