This report highlights aspects of our focal impetus, which remains the transformation of Louisiana College academically, administratively and aesthetically. The first wave of transformation began in late May, when Campers on Mission refurbished our iconic fountain near Alexandria Hall. They also formed concrete steps close to a dormitory, painted numerous curbs, refinished doors and repainted a residence hall.
Tudor Lounge is slated for new flooring, ceiling and paint throughout, several flat screens with Bluetooth technology, charging ports for mobile devices, a movie room with theater seating, and state-of-the-art security cameras for the lobby and other entry/exit points.
Information Technology upgrades include significant infrastructure improvements. New generators at Alexandria Hall and Church Hall Data Center will keep core communication equipment working during primary power loss events.
The GuideOne insurance claim is a blessing that impacts the entire campus with 18 roof replacements, several interior repairs and the refurbishment of Guinn Auditorium. Indeed, this work accelerates the significant deferred maintenance still facing the college. We continue to pray for prospective donors to step up and meet the numerous campus needs. Current campus improvements coupled with an uptick in new student enrollment illustrates God’s faithfulness to the College as we pursue LC’s vision for Preparing Graduates and Transforming Lives.
In addition to the work covered in the insurance claim, we are pursuing external support for approximately $10 million of refurbishment/replacement work still needed in Cavanaugh Hall, Tudor Hall, H.O. West and English Village. We are praying for prospective donors to step up and meet this need while the projects covered by GuideOne insurance are completed. The financial savings of work being completed concurrent with these other projects would produce significant economies of scale for the College.
The President’s travel schedule includes continuing visits to churches, schools, alumni and donors across Louisiana and in neighboring states.
Epitomizing our efforts in the Integration of Faith and Learning, LC commissioned 12 students last spring for summer missions and ministry trips that spanned Louisiana, the US, and the world. In our 160th commencement exercises we conferred 95 undergraduate and six master’s degrees upon the Class of 2016, whose members will, with their relevant, relational and rigorous, Christ-centered liberal arts education, integrate their faith in the marketplaces of the world.
Strengthening our intentionality to build a culture committed to a clear Christian worldview, our incoming freshmen will read “Why College Matters to God” and our faculty will read “Renewing Minds: Serving Church and Society through Christian Higher Education” and interact through monthly study groups.
LC’s chapel experience continues to foster transformation and spiritual renewal in a family atmosphere. This fall’s chapel schedule features dynamic preachers, former students, alums, Christian business leaders, and speakers from Christian organizations.
Recently announced administrative changes by President Brewer include Dr. Jerry Pounds as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Cheryl Clark as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, CFO Randall Hargis as Executive Vice President, and Dr. Amy Craig as Dean of our School of Education. LC’s head basketball coaches — Patrece Carter, women; and Reni Mason, men — were promoted to Associate Athletic Directors. Carter will manage program operations and Mason will oversee external relations and donor development.
Dr. Brewer also announced the appointment of Rev. Vincent Smith, who will serve as Dean of Students with a focus on student life, retention, service learning, and international student services. Rev. Smith will continue serving as the lead pastor for The Circle Church, a recent LBC church plant in Alexandria.
Launching this fall is our new BA in Leadership with concentrations in Business, Communications, and Christian Studies. Also offered this fall is our Bi-vocational Pastor Certificates: one in Pastoral Ministry, the other in Missiology. Thanks to a generous donor, tuition, books and fees have been waived for the Certificate program. Part of this program includes regional “Great Commission” seminars. The first is on Oct. 1 at FBC West Monroe. Dr. David Uth, pastor of FBC Orlando and former pastor of FBC West Monroe, will serve as the keynote presenter for this inaugural seminar.
LC is hosting University Academy students in dual enrollment courses taught by our professors. Qualified students may earn high school and college credit simultaneously in a college environment.
Student Honors Convocation 2015-16
The Division of Humanities recognizes students who have distinguished themselves through superior scholastic achievements. The scholarships and awards are from endowments created to honor individuals who have been instrumental in creating an environment of academic excellence in the Division of Humanities:
George Amos English Scholarship, Morgan Carlock; Mary Kate Bailes Freshmen Essay, Katherine Boswell; Freshman Composition Honorable Mention, Trace Constant; Honors Composition Essay Award, Erin Grissom; English Faculty Scholarship, Annie Champagne; Ellander Ridge Award, Haley Brown; Mayme Hamlett English Scholarship, Kaitlyn McQuillin; Inez Parker English Education Scholarship, Jade Johnson; Ada Osborne Scholarship, Erin White; Council for the Development of French in Louisiana Scholarship, which covers educational costs, room and board for study of French abroad, as well as the Addie B. Choate Scholarship to Caitlin Sellers and to Stephen Marsalis; Alpha Mu Gamma — National Foreign Language Honor Society — awards to Santana Flores and Gina Arnold.
Faculty Awards 2015-16
Near the end of the spring semester, 13 faculty were honored with endowed chairs and professorships for their exemplary academic prowess and student-centric practice:
Edith Kilgore Kirkpatrick Professorship in Music: Dr. Paul DeBoer, Chair, Division of Fine Arts; Claude & Lois Colvin Endowed Professorship in Theatre: Tabitha Huffman, MFA, Associate Professor of Theatre; Coughlin-Saunders Foundation Chair in Nursing: Dr. Marilyn Cooksey, Dean/Professor, LC School of Nursing; BellSouth Professorship in Liberal Arts: Dr. Nancy Whitlock, Associate Professor of Spanish; J. E. Hixson Professorship in English: Dr. Lillian Purdy, Professor of English; McCormick-Huie Professorship in English: Ms. Jill Reid, MFA, Assistant Professor of English; E. O. Wood Professorship in Communication Arts: Dr. Elizabeth Christian; Chair/Associate Professor, Division of Communication Studies; William Peterson Carter, Jr. Professorship in Biblical Studies: Dr. Justin Langford, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies; Lyndon E. Dawson Professorship in Religion: Dr. Philip Caples, Vice President for Integration of Faith and Learning, and Assistant Professor of Preaching/Pastoral Ministry; James A. Young Professorship in Religion: Dr. Tylitha Whatley, Professor, Christian Education; Richard L. Crowell Professorship in Pre-Law: Dr. Christine Reese, Chair, Div. of History and Political Science and Assistant Professor of History; L. P. Dawson Professorship in History: Dr. Scott Pickard, Assistant Professor of History; and, Durham Family Professorship in Business: Dr. Adena LeJeune, Associate Professor of Business.
ADMISSIONS / STUDENT LIFE / FINANCIAL AID
Last fall we energized our recruiting efforts, and those efforts are bearing fruit. More than 100 prospective students from four states attended our March 19 preview day — one of the best-attended in our history. This tripled the event’s attendance from a year previous.
The culmination of two pre-registration events required additional classes to accommodate enrollment. Though still too early to release concrete figures, we are encouraged about fall registration and continue working diligently toward enrolling 300 first-time freshmen.
Student Life personnel led a student/alumni team to Uganda to serve at Acres of Hope; scheduled fall events for posting to the college calendar; planned for Welcome Week 2016; researched mobile platforms for student engagement; and contacted our summer missionaries to encourage them.
Head men’s basketball coach Reni Mason led the Wildcats to LC’s first-ever NCAA Div. III, ASC championship game. Team member AJ Gaines was selected as an All-American. Carter was selected by NCAA to attend the Division III Institute for Administrative Advancement.
The late Janice Joseph Richard, former head women’s basketball coach, was inducted into Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Senior softball player Jade Johnson was selected by the ASC to receive conference Community Service Award. Jake Dunbar(football) and Jessica Johnson(softball) were chosen as ASC Medal of Honor winners for academic achievement.
By adding volleyball and men’s and women’s indoor/outdoor track and field, Wildcats have 18 sports sanctioned by the NCAA, Division III and the American Southwest Conference.
Sports Information Director Brad Welborn joined the Wildcats publicity team and has written several articles of interest published by our local paper and others. Brad oversees the Wildcats’ recently updated athletics website.
Thanks to the gifts from Wildcats fans, we have artificial turf for our baseball infield, and the same is slated for our softball field.
Dove-tailing into our Integration of Faith and Learning, our coaches and student-athletes will read “Habitudes,” a faith-based book series about the art of self-leadership. “Habitudes” is used by colleges, universities, corporations and professional sports organizations across the US.
Wildcat Football has six home games this fall, two of them at night. Be sure to attend our Homecoming game the weekend of Oct. 27-29.
Our Board of Visitors continues to grow. To date, 95 people have committed to the BOV scholarship fund that wholly and solely aids qualified students. This year, more than 125 students are receiving much-needed scholarship support via BOV financial gifts. With commitments from several others, we expect to reach our goal of 100 BOV members by August 31. We look forward to our Oct. 28 BOV meeting during our annual Homecoming weekend.
The Campaign for Cavanaugh Hall is in its initial phase as we seek to fund a comprehensive refurbishment of a facility that has launched the careers of scores of healthcare professionals. We continue to meet with physicians, nurses, healthcare professionals, and business leaders regarding the Campaign for Cavanaugh and many other capital needs at LC.
Looking ahead, our first annual Values and Ethics conference is Oct 10-11. This event, open to all, will highlight the intersection of theology and science regarding humanity’s origin, and how this worldview is shaping significant change in business, higher education, healthcare and other societal categories.
We are always grateful for our Louisiana Baptist church family, whose members sacrificially support the Cooperative Program and enable the College to prepare graduates and transform lives. Of significant note are the men from the First Baptist Churches of Pineville and Bossier City who invested a hot July Saturday in landscaping on the campus. The donation of sweat equity in LC’s efforts is always welcome, and we appreciate the men’s example in servant leadership.
Cathy and I are constantly reminded of God’s blessings for us through Louisiana College, and we consider it a humble privilege to serve God and you as we minister for the sake of the College and the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Keep Pressing On!
Rick Brewer, PhD