Louisiana Tech graduates prepare for future

May 19, 2012 | General News

As 836 graduates walked across the stage Saturday to receive their diplomas for Louisiana Tech University, all of them were challenged to remember their alma mater as they fulfill their life goals.
Dr. William Bundrick, 1980 Tech Alumnus of the Year and team physician, served as keynote speaker for Louisiana Tech’s 300th commencement ceremony. He complimented the progress Tech has made since his own graduation in 1960 and told graduates to answer the call if their university needed assistance.

Dr. William Bundrick served as keynote speaker at Louisiana Tech’s spring commencement ceremony

“I loved my years at Tech and love what Tech is doing,” Bundrick said. “Remember Tech. Tech’s what made you.”
He additionally talked about individuals who influenced his own career path and teachers who made subjects come alive.
“It keeps getting better and better,” he said. “We’ve got Tech 2020 going, and we’re going places in athletics. It’s a great educational opportunity.”
Eighteen students were awarded doctoral degrees, including husband and wife Narate Taerat and Nichamon Naksinehaboon, both of Thailand. Both received doctorates of philosophy from the College of Engineering and Science with family attending their ceremony, including Taerat’s father who is the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Interior for the Government of Thailand.
Nishi Mehta, of India, received a bachelor’s degree in three majors during spring commencement –in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering and physics. Mehta, who is also a Grand Challenge Scholar, said attending Tech has allowed her to branch out academically and socially.
“I most certainly believe that my education at Tech will assist me in my future occupations because the intense engineering curriculum at Tech has helped me become an excellent problem solver,” she said. “Moreover, Tech provided me with the opportunity to get involved in various on campus organizations. This helped me become a better leader and greatly improved my interpersonal skills.”

836 graduates received diplomas at Louisiana Tech’s 300th commencement ceremony

Mehta said she received hands-on experiences as well as assistance from the faculty members. She said the experience of working in research at the Institute for Micromanufacturing at Tech was also beneficial.
“I loved the small classroom setting,” she said. “The professors were always ready to help when needed.”
Mehta was not the only one who enjoyed her Tech experience. Jean McConnell, of Shreveport, became a graduate of Louisiana Tech Saturday as well, though her journey to graduation took a few more years longer, as she started in 1959 in Nevada. Due to family health concerns and other various events, McConnell did not start taking classes at Tech’s Barksdale campus until 2006.
“My son Patrick has his master’s degree from Louisiana Tech,” McConnell said. “He was saying how good the instructors were, and I thought maybe I’d like to go out there. I enrolled and I was thoroughly delighted because they have some excellent instructors out there. They all bent over backwards to help me.”
McConnell will turn 80 in July and said her inspiration for returning to college was her father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s. McConnell said she hoped to stay mentally and physically active for her entire life.
“I figured the only way to do that was to go to school and use my brain,” she said. “I’ve studied a little about Alzheimer’s, and they’ve said if you don’t use it, you begin to lose it.”
She said her husband and children all went to college and that one day she had to remind one of her sons that education never ceases.
“He thought he was too old to go to college,” she said. “I said, ‘Son, you’re never too old.’”