Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why LETU? Trust.

Last weekend during new student orientation, I met with several parents who are entrusting their new students to LeTourneau University. I am humbled at the trust they have placed in us. As Karl Payton reminded us at our university communion last week, parents have placed in our care their most precious possessions.

At the core of every reason why they chose LETU was "trust." Trust in LETU's reputation and the quality of our education experience; trust in the relationships that define the LETU community; and trust that God will bless their sons and daughters for choosing LETU as their university.

It takes many hands and many hearts working together to get the new semester off to a great start. Our Enrollment Services team has done a great job this year, despite difficult external factors such as the slowed economy and reductions in the state-funded Tuition Equalization Grant, a need-based program that helps offset tuition costs of students attending private universities. While our numbers this semester may not hit record levels, the quality of this incoming class is as good as ever.

Student Affairs has worked diligently to prepare for the new and returning students and made significant changes in our housing program. New student orientation activities gave new students opportunity to get to know each other and begin the transition to college life on the right foot.

Faculty members were ready for classes Tuesday as the new fall semester officially got under way. In the midst of the lingering heat, it was wonderful to see their enthusiasm to return to the privileged process of learning together with our students.

Our University Chaplain has planned a dynamic year of chapel services intended to build and strengthen faith and commitment to follow God's call. Yesterday's Convocation chapel was a wonderful time of worship together and was a great start to a great new year in chapel.

Today I'm off to Pennsylvania where I look forward to sharing with others some of the events of this week and the message that LETU is a place worthy of their trust also.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome Back, LeTourneau Nation

In a week filled with special events, I again participated in one Tuesday that is most meaningful to me: the faculty commissioning service.

Led in responsive reading by Chaplain Carl, the faculty again affirmed their agreement with our university statement of faith.

It is our shared confession of faith that unites us and differentiates us from other universities. It is a simple, intimate event in historic Speer Chapel and I am encouraged by it every year.

Last weekend I was back in my hometown of Tulsa, Okla. to visit with LETU friends and trustees. We talked about many of the great things we are looking forward to in the future as LETU continues to meet needs of students seeking Christian higher education. Some of the things we discussed were among those I shared Monday at the State of the University address. I'm scheduled to be on campus until late next week when I will travel to Pennsylvania to meet with trustees and other friends of the university there.

As you may have already noticed when you opened your email this week, the LeTourNews is getting a facelift.

Communication is important. With this new school year, you'll notice this new look and my intentional effort to regularly communicate my travels, insights and activities that affect the university.

This academic year brings many new faces to campus, and I know you will join me to welcome our new faculty and staff members to the "LeTourneau Nation."