Tech reaches 100-episode milestone of Beyond 1894 podcast

Jun 26, 2024 | Faculty/Staff, General News, Partnerships

Louisiana Tech celebrated the 100th episode of the University’s Beyond 1894 podcast. Episode 100 features Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker as the guest, interviewed by Tech President Jim Henderson. Walker was selected for the episode because of Tech’s notable relationship with the City of Ruston and his dedication to the University.

“Whether we’re celebrating the arrival of the first Buc-ee’s in Louisiana or the expansion of the nation’s premier producer of secure semiconductors and microchips, we know that we can rely on the City of Ruston as a partner,” said Henderson of Walker’s leadership on the podcast.

The Beyond 1894 podcast began in March of 2020, published by the Office of University Communications. Since then, the hosts have welcomed over 120 guests to share their stories, from faculty and staff to students and alumni. Topics range from the personal journeys of the Tech Family to details on achievements and goings-on of the campus community.

The podcast also served as the farewell interview for President Emeritus Les Guice, who retired in December of 2023 and spent nearly a full hour detailing his rich history with the University and optimism for the future. Just three episodes later, Dr. Jim Henderson joined the podcast to discuss his reasons for pursuing the Tech presidency and the University’s potential for growth.

Now, both of those presidents join a short list of guest hosts that includes ANS Associate Dean Dr. Jamie Newman, Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Davy Norris, and recently graduated communication student Madeline Kalmbach, to name a few. The podcast has hosted students like Jayden Johnson, Joseph Johnson, and Da’Voznik Armstrong—some of Tech’s prestigious Reginald F. Lewis scholars; Walker Pearson, Connor Smith, and Elizabeth McKinney—the last three SGA presidents; and Chanley Patterson and Jordan Smith—two of the most recent Miss Louisiana Tech pageant winners. Distinguished alumni like Tim Brandon of TBA Studio and Marlon Watts and Nicholas Clark of WRLDINVSN have shared how Tech helped set them up for success. Faculty like Brad Deal (the architecture design build program) and Mark Murphey (the science of barbecue) have discussed a wide spectrum of ideas, events, and accomplishments unique to Tech.

Across all 100 episodes, some very common themes emerge: loyalty, family, passion, and pride. More than a few guests use the phrase “felt like home” to describe their first time setting foot on campus. Guests who have made it to Ruston after several career pit stops in different corners of the world express that Louisiana Tech has been an ideal place for them to elevate their careers and raise their families. Students from all backgrounds say they pursue their education with motivation, confident in the value of earning a Louisiana Tech degree.

Even after over 120 guests and 100 episodes, the vastness of the Tech Family means the already-impressive guest list of the Beyond 1894 podcast is just getting started.

Listen to the 100th episode in full here, and view a list of all episodes of Beyond 1894 here. Watch the interview between Henderson and Walker on YouTube.