Dr. Les Guice, recently retired Louisiana Tech president, to keynote Winter ’24 Commencement

Feb 26, 2024 | Alumni, General News

Dr. Les Guice

Dr. Les Guice

Louisiana Tech’s upcoming keynote commencement speaker should be familiar with the ceremony.

For the first time since he was a student 50 years ago, Dr. Les Guice will attend commencement without being a student, on faculty, or on staff.

He’ll be the speaker.

Guice, a Morehouse Parish native and for 10 years the 14th president of the University, will serve as the keynote speaker for the University’s Winter Commencement ceremony Saturday, March 2 at 10 a.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center on the Tech campus.

“Dr. Guice was remarkably effective at building authentic connections with students, and there is no better person to pour into these graduates one more time than the president who served them during their academic journey,” Louisiana Tech President Jim Henderson said.

Justin and Jeanette Hinckley

Justin and Jeanette Hinckley

In addition, Jeanette and Justin Hinckley, longtime loyal supporters of everything Louisiana Tech, will become the University’s newest Tower Medallion recipients and be inducted by the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

The Tower Medallion Award signifies membership in the Hall and is awarded to Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service, and humanitarian activities.

Justin, a 1978 graduate in computer science, was named Tech’s Alumnus of the Year in 2010. Wife Jeanette was the University’s Distinguished Alumna for the College of Education in 2016.

Guice assumed office on July 1, 2013, succeeding Dr. Daniel D. Reneau’s presidency. He entered office with a rich personal and familial history with Louisiana Tech; his wife Kathy (’76 and ’77) and sons Chad (’01), Kyle (’04), and Bret (’11) are all Tech graduates.

His journey to the President’s Office began as a Tech student, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in architecture in 1976. His passion for engineering led him to complete a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1978. Subsequently, he served as an assistant professor of civil engineering, earning promotion to associate professor in 1981. After obtaining his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University, Guice assumed the role of interim department head of civil engineering in 1988, attaining a full professorship and becoming the permanent department head the following year.

Guice’s dedication to the University was unwavering over the next decade. He served as academic director, executive associate dean, and dean, all within the College of Engineering and Science. It was his time in these administrative roles that paved the way to his appointment as Tech’s vice president for research and development in 2004. In 2012, he was named executive vice president.

Guice retired at the end of 2023; Tech and the Ruston community have plans to continue to celebrate his legacy.

Dr. Henderson, most recently the University of Louisiana System president and CEO, has served as a Tech commencement speaker in the past and will enjoy his first commencement as the University’s president March 2.