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The recipe for GumboFest is an original that consists of rice, gumbo and usually over 500 Tech students.

That was the case Sept. 22, the day the Louisiana Tech Engineers’ Association hosted its annual event.

“[GumboFest is] a social event we have every fall quarter,” Megan Dagate, president of LTEA, said. “It’s a chance for freshmen to meet [other] engineering students.”

Each year GumboFest provides food and information about each of the social and professional engineering organizations.

Degate said this allows new students to get information on the various types of engineering programs at Tech.

“I’m very pleased with the organization tables,” Degate said.

Rocky Portillo, an American Society of Mechanic Engineers officer and a junior mechanical engineer major, said he worked one of the displays.

“We met a lot of freshmen and many got information on our organization,” Portillo said. 

This was the fifth anniversary for GumboFest, and it got off to a better start than other GumboFests in the past, Dagate said.

“Everything was wonderful,” Dagate said. “This is only the second time it hasn’t rained.”

The only admission to the event was a green T-shirt with a picture of Tony Chachere’s over a steaming pot of gumbo, which was sold by the engineering department.

Five hundred and fifty shirts were printed for the event, Degate said.

“We sold all of the T-shirts on the day of [the event] this year,” Degate said. 

Savoie’s Catering Service of Shreveport provided the food, Dr. David Hall, faculty adviser of LTEA and an associate professor of mechanical engineering, said.

“They do a really good job and bring everything over prepared.”

However, catering was not always an option for the function, Hall said.

The tradition began when Dr. Les Guice, the dean of the College of Engineering and Science, decided to cook the batch of gumbo, Degate said.

Guice had a special gumbo recipe, and that’s how it got started,” Hall said.

Portillo said the event has been a positive thing for students.

“It’s always nice to socialize,” Portillo said. “It’s also good to see other engineering majors outside [of] your own.” 

For an event that measures success on T-shirts and food, GumboFest is unlikely to fade, Hall said.

Dagate said LTEA sold out of shirts the day of GumboFest and ran out of gumbo in less than an hour.

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