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Dear Tech Family,
Good Friday morning.
Last night, our University celebrated the achievements of a very special group of students – our 2021 Who’s Who class. Congratulations to Abigail Morgan, Andrew Schoonmaker, Ashlynn Taylor, Caitlin Courtright, Carli Raupp, Courtney Wessels, Danai Fury, Danai Metoyer, Emily Theriot, Haley Hemmings, Heather Vogel, Holly Chaisson, Jon Michael Judice, Logan Rogers, Madison Humphries, Mary Grace Dupuy, Rachel Norton, Skylar Dean, Thomas Strebeck and Zac Little.
These 20 seniors have shown incredible leadership in the past couple of years. From a tornado and a pandemic to social unrest and a hurricane, these students have persevered and helped our campus community weather crisis after crisis with grace. I cannot wait to see what they accomplish in their future careers and communities.
Aspire for a 21st Century Campus
Today, I am pleased to announce that soon we’ll be complementing our noble trees and pleasant walks with a striking new addition. In the center of a new grove of noble oak trees planted between Keeny Hall and the College of Business, an inspiring new piece of art is planned that will honor the spirit of transformation and innovation that is a core part of Louisiana Tech University.
Aspire is designed to be the newest addition to Louisiana Tech’s 21st Century Campus and a perfect accompaniment to the new trees planted at the beginning of the Forever Loyal Campaign. These noble trees were planted with assistance from many across campus and beyond who are invested in the natural beauty of the campus.
We started this portion of our 21st Century Campus project with the goal of creating art and intentionally designed landscaping features across campus that would enhance the educational experience and mental and physical health of our students, faculty, staff, and anyone who visits this beautiful campus. Aspire is being constructed by Portland, Oregon artist Curtis Pittman as a part of the Percent for Art program.
Buildings constructed with more than $2 million in public funds in the state of Louisiana must be a part of the Percent for Art program, which requires 1 percent of the construction cost be reserved “to acquire, conserve, or restore and install works of art for display in, on, or on the grounds of the state building.” Louisiana Tech reserved a portion of the costs from the construction at the College of Business Building, Tech Pointe, and the Integrated Engineering and Science Building (IESB) as well as the renovation of University Hall, to fund the creation of a sculpture that is worthy of the vision for the University’s next 125 years.
A committee of individuals selected Curtis to complete this project, and I believe his vision truly captures the spirit of the transformational power of higher education. Aspire will be a symbol of celebration toward increased inclusivity in higher education. Please take a look at some images of the vision for the finished plaza:
Construction is expected to begin on the plaza this summer; I look forward to being able to update you all on the project as it progresses.
Finally, I hope you all have a restful weekend in preparation for the final few days of the Winter Quarter. Next Saturday, March 6, we will hold two commencement ceremonies for our newest graduates:
- 9 a.m. – College of Business and College of Liberal Arts
- Noon – College of Applied and Natural Sciences, College of Education, and the College of Engineering and Science
We will be restricting the number of guests for each graduate, so I encourage you to watch the ceremonies on Facebook Live. Be sure to share a shoutout for your students, friends, or colleagues on social media!