Fans, alumni receive hint of what’s to come at Tech

Aug 18, 2011 | General News

The Happening XXX, Louisiana Tech’s annual alumni gathering held at the Monroe Civic Center Tuesday night, was a sold-out event, and those who attended received a full dose of the school’s past, present and future:

  • Kix Brooks, of the country music band Brooks & Dunn, serenaded the crowd and donated memorabilia;
  • President Dan Reneau discussed Tech’s many academic and athletic accolades; and
  • Head football coach Sonny Dykes pumped up fans regarding this year’s football season.

Brooks donated many items from his music career, including shirts from music videos, his first guitar, and his Country Music Association and American Country Music awards.
“I hope to inspire some student to think, ‘Wow, this kid went to Tech. There’s no reason why I can’t get these awards,’” Brooks said. “These are symbols that represent meaningful times in my music career.”
Brooks said he was motivated to donate the artifacts by his friend, Tech graduate and football great Terry Bradshaw, as well as others who inspired him during his time at the university.
“The thing I remember most about Louisiana Tech is how I was inspired by people to do something bigger than I dreamed,” he said, adding that the Country Music Hall of Fame had also asked for memorabilia, though he told them he had to ask his alma mater first what Tech wanted.
Reneau also spoke at the Happening, citing many of Tech’s accomplishments over the past year, including a climbing enrollment and new construction, such as the new business building, Tech Pointe and the new intramural center, which are coming along on schedule.
“We’re working with what we’ve got and making the best of it,” Reneau said. “It’s been a great year of advancement for Louisiana Tech.”
He added that many buildings and spaces on campus would receive name changes, such as the Enterprise Center being renamed the Robert H. Rawle Enterprise Center, which will take place at 2 p.m. Sept. 17. Rawle was Tech’s director for economic development and was named Alumnus of the Year in 2004.
Other names changes include:

  • the Visual Arts building, renamed the F.Jay Taylor Visual Arts Center;
  • the bookstore atrium, renamed the Virgil Orr Bookstore Atrium; and
  • Hide-Away Park, renamed the Garland Gregory Hide-Away Park.

“There’s a solid base at Louisiana Tech,” Reneau said. “There’s a solid group of alumni. We’re moving forward and looking toward the future. We survived cuts and are thriving.”
Dykes encouraged alumni to attend football games and support the Bulldogs as they take on their foes this fall.
“We’re growing this program, bringing in quality people,” Dykes said. “We recruited good football players, and I love this group we signed. This team has a renewed sense of purpose.”
Dykes added that this team was focused on the prize of winning.
“They’re really performing at a high level,” he said. “There’s a lot of great things in store for Louisiana Tech. I couldn’t be more pleased with what I’ve seen so far.
“There’s so much excitement. Keep coming to the games.”