From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Before turning our focus to celebrating Louisiana Tech’s Quasquicentennial year, it’s good to reflect briefly on this past year. And we did get it off to a great start by welcoming Tech XXII to campus. He has certainly been a star anywhere he has gone, and is the most lovable bulldog mascot that I can recall.
2018 was a busy year in terms of campus construction projects. VP Jim King and his team finished new Aswell and Dudley residential units as well as several major new parking lots. All of these came with new LED lighting, sidewalks, treescaping and landscaping, and we continued that work to extend into the Quad and Keeny Circle with Noble tree planting. Some of our older dorms (Jenkins, MacFarland & Hutheson) were demolished to clean up the campus and make space for intramural fields and other future projects. We also kicked off construction of the new Integrated Engineering and Science building. And a big thanks to Sam Wallace for managing so many of these projects as well as a myriad of deferred maintenance and smaller improvement projects. One new project that was started in 2018 is a replacement of all campus street signs, with a special thanks to alumnus Phillip Parker for making this happen. Also, thanks to Brooks Hull and the University Foundation for supporting land acquisition and other financing that made many of these projects possible. And special thanks to Lisa Cole and her team for beginning the huge transition to a new cloud-based ERP system for our campus. More projects are being planned for 2019.
We also completed construction of our 30,000 sf Academic Success Center space in Bossier City in partnership with the Cyber Innovation Center and Bossier Parish Community College. Tech and BPCC have enhanced our partnership with numerous joint activities and articulation agreements, with more coming in the future. We also expanded activities with the Louisiana Tech Research Institute in support of BAFB and other defense-related organizations.
We had our largest Spring Quarter graduating class ever in May and welcomed the largest freshman class ever to campus in September. Our students comprise the best overall academically prepared student body that we have ever had. And they are leading many exciting projects and activities across campus. I am so impressed with their leadership as well as their commitment to make the Tech experience even greater for our student body. Kathy and I enjoyed attending many events all across campus to see the talents of our students, faculty and staff.
Personally, I was glad that I was able to be with my family and Mom when she went to her heavenly home this summer. And I was glad that I could be with my family when we welcomed the newest member of our family, Evangeline “Evie” just a couple of weeks ago.
In November, we gathered on the Quad just in front of Keeny Hall to celebrate the announcement of a $125M capital campaign called “Forever Loyal”, a campaign inspired by the achievements of Louisiana Tech over its first 125 years and the potential for growth in the future. I am pleased with the financial support that we have already received for the campaign and remain optimistic that we will see that campaign achieve a successful completion in Tech’s quasquicentennial year thanks to our remarkably loyal alumni and friends.