Louisiana Tech's College of Engineering and Science Foundation recently celebrated its 50th anniversary at a luncheon where a plaque honoring the incorporators was unveiled.

The surviving original incorporators were present for the luncheon and were honored along with the foundation's current officers. The event was held Saturday, November 8 on the Louisiana Tech campus.

Dr. Stan Napper, dean of COES, said the foundation has played a key role in the success of the college.

“The commitment to excellence and service to our students that the original incorporators demonstrated 50 years ago inspires and motivates the college today,” Napper said. “We are grateful for their active engagement and generous contributions, and we are committed to see the tradition continue in the faculty and foundation board members of today.”

The foundation was founded in 1958 when then engineering dean, Ben Bogard met several times during the year with a group of 65 engineering graduates. They decided there was a need to provide a means for alumni to support and maintain contact with the then College of Engineering and the university. Bogard was assisted by a young chemical engineering faculty member, Dr. Virgil Orr.

As a result of these meetings, the Engineering Foundation was incorporated Nov. 8, 1958. The name was changed in 1997 to the Engineering and Science Foundation when chemistry, mathematics and physics were added to the college's curriculum.

The foundation manages assets of about $20 million and has funded endowed scholarships, professorships and chairs.

COES is one of 12 colleges nationwide to become affiliated with the prestigious Center for Advancement on Scholarship in Engineering Education (CASEE), a unit of the National Academy of Engineering.

The foundation board currently consists of 68 members, directors, associate directors, program advisory board leaders and life directors. It is currently led by president Ron Harrell, a 1957 petroleum engineering alumnus and chairman of Kerogen Resources in Houston.

Written by Reginald Owens