Introduction, Foundation Programs and Operations, and Future
Effective Date: 8/26/2000
Responsible Office: Vice President for University Advancement
The Louisiana Tech University Foundation has enjoyed a distinguished history since its founding on October 1, 1962. The first name of the Foundation was “The Louisiana Tech Alumni Foundation,” and on August 31, 1987, the Board of Directors adopted a resolution that changed the name to “The Louisiana Tech University Foundation.”
The first Board of Directors included: Milton Williams, Shreveport; T.C. Beasley, Ruston; John D. Caruthers, Jr., Shreveport; Donald E. Hathaway, Shreveport; Nick Medica, Ruston; Luther N. Moore, Minden; Pat Strother, Coushatta; Cecil L. Harris, Mobile, Alabama; C.A. Marvin, Minden; Scott Weathersby, Ruston (ex-officio); and Vicki Albritton, Ruston (ex-officio). John D. Caruthers, Jr., was the first president, and Donald Hathaway served as the Foundation’s first Secretary-Treasurer.
The Foundation was first formed “To promote the educational and cultural welfare of Louisiana Polytechnic Institute and all departments thereof, and to develop, expand, and improve the College’s facilities so as to provide broader educational advantages and opportunities, encourage research and increase the College’s usefulness to the citizens of Louisiana and the United States of America.” The original purpose of the Foundation continues into the 21st Century and has been expanded into the Foundation’s mission statement and operating practices.
The Louisiana Tech University Foundation serves a large number of objectives in support of the university, and five purposes shape its core values and missions. These basic values and purposes are the following:
- to secure private gifts as a resource distinct from state and institutional resources;
- to enlist and use key volunteers in development endeavors on behalf of the institution;
- to engage prospective donors in the university’s dreams and aspirations, and steward their investments of time and money;
- to provide a vehicle for important university activities, ventures, and service, such as acquiring real estate by gift or purchase that the university cannot pursue (at least not in a timely manner) because of statutory or regulatory restrictions; and
- to strengthen the university’s public image and create an environment conducive to financial support.
From its modest beginning, the 1962 assets of the Foundation had grown to $1.5 million in 1987. The net assets of the Foundation at the end of the 2000 fiscal year approached $40 million. This includes the management of 8 Eminent Scholar Chairs and 68 Endowed Professorships. (As of 7/00)
The Engineering and Science Foundation, which actually pre-dated the formation of the University Foundation, functions under the umbrella of the University Foundation but retains its own Board of Directors; assets of the Engineering and Science Foundation are included in the assets of Foundation but are accounted for and invested separately.
In 1999, the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation approved the formation of the Research Foundation which will also have a Board of Directors of its own but will function under the broader umbrella of the University Foundation.
Foundation Programs and Operations
The activities of the Foundation are divided into four general categories: solicitation of funds for the qualified activities of the Foundation and for support of appropriate areas of Louisiana Tech University; management and administration of the Foundation’s university related accounts, funds, scholarships, and programs; asset management and investment oversight responsibilities; and the internal operations of the Foundation itself.
The Foundation currently manages more than 800 active funds on behalf of the University and its related constituent groups. The Endowed Professorships and Eminent Scholar Chairs are also under the management of the Foundation. These management activities by the Foundation staff result in the issuance of thousands of checks during each fiscal year. In fiscal year 1999, over $700,000 in scholarship funds for the students of Louisiana Tech University resulted from the management of endowed and other scholarship funds.
The Foundation serves as the repository for a great majority of all gifts and donations from alumni and friends for the support of the programs and mission of Louisiana Tech University. In this capacity, its staff receives, records, receipts, and processes thousands of donations on an annual basis. The Foundation administers numerous annuities, life insurance policies, trusts, real estate holdings, and other special donations. The most advanced software program available to not-for-profit organizations is utilized by the staff of the Foundation for both data base and accounting applications.
As the world of public higher education undergoes extensive and rapid change, the role of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation must also change and grow. In a time of decreasing state financial support, the maintenance and growth of the quality of the educational experience now provided by Louisiana Tech University will require additional private support and commitment. As public scrutiny and demand for accountability with regard to educational foundations grows, the established and scrupulously maintained prudent practices exhibited within the Foundation’s stewardship of donated resources will need to be communicated to an ever increasing audience.
The formation of the Division of University Advancement at Louisiana Tech University on January 1, 2000, signifies the university administration’s commitment to the activities of the division: alumni relations, development of private financial resources, and relationships with the external constituencies of the university. This Division’s staff is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the services provided by all departments within the division and to providing the highest quality in carrying out the business of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation.