By MELISSA WALKER
Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau summarized the 2004-2005 school year at the final faculty and staff luncheon last Monday, highlighting Tech’s recent achievements and plans to accomplish future goals.
“This has been a signature year at Tech,” Reneau said to the faculty. “We have met ambitious goals that were set 15 years ago. I am proud of you, the spirit, the intelligence and the hard work you have done to make this university fine.”
Reneau said the architectural additions to campus have increased the standard of the university.
“A university needs excellent faculty, it needs a qualified student body and it needs facilities in which they can learn and study,” Reneau said.
Reneau said the construction of the new biomedical engineering building, which began yesterday, is the one of the many things that makes this year magnificent.
“The biomedical building will be the most complex building on campus,” Reneau said.
Other things that Tech has enjoyed in the past year include University Park, a $22 million student complex, which Reneau said he believes is to be one of the best in the country.
Reneau said students can also expect to see a $550,000 pedestrian bridge that will connect that area to main campus.
Tech has also purchased $2 million in land, which will be used for parking and expansion room for future growth, Reneau said.
Reneau said he was also excited about this year’s record of enrollment for graduate programs.
“In 1999, there were 1,292 graduate students,” Reneau said. “Since then, there has been a 100% increase.”
He said this year’s graduating seniors will have the opportunity to hear Gov. Kathleen Blanco speak, adding to the year’s unique prestige.
Reneau said he is also pleased with the quality of this year’s academics, which included an average of a 22.5 ACT score.
“This year was the year of academics,” Reneau said. “Seventy-five percent of the first time, full-time students were TOPS students. That is in comparison to 67 percent of TOPS students last year.”
Reneau said this statistic was accompanied by one that stated 85 percent of freshmen were on some form of scholarship.
Accreditations were academic achievements that Tech also acquired this year.
“Teacher’s Education, Barksdale, business, architecture, dietetics, Human Ecology, Forestry and nursing all received accreditations this year,” Reneau said. “Oh, and (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) reaccredidation.”
Reneau attributed the success with the SACS reaccredidation to the university faculty.
“Every one of you played a role in the marvelous review,” Reneau said. “They finished without saying any recommendations.”
Reneau reminded the staff that Tech was one of over 800 colleges that were evaluated.
“That is not bragging,” Reneau said. “That is putting it into perspective.”