Friday, March 9, 2018

Flying High: A Spring of Progress & Excellence

LeTourneau University is flying high this spring! Our LETU Men's Basketball team just finished another year of breaking school records. Their 24-5 record is the most wins by a LETU team. They are for the second year in a row the ASC East Division champions. They made the very first NCAA Championship Tournament appearance for a LeTourneau basketball team. They finished Saturday night only one basket away from the "Sweet 16." Head coach Dan Miller described the players as unselfish, with each contributing to the season like a family. Kudos to head basketball coach Dan Miller and his team.

Our School of Aviation is also flying high with two brand new Piper Seminole twin-engine airplanes. These new aircraft represent a $1.5 million investment in our aviation program. A beautiful LETU paint job that bears part of our globe and cross on the tail insures these planes will certainly stand-out as they fly across our region.

Sometimes we put people in the air with aircraft, and sometimes we put them in the air with a pole! Our new LETU Track and Field athletes are flying high in their inaugural indoor track and field season. Freshman pole vaulter Alex Hindman qualified for the NCAA Division III National Indoor Championships in Alabama this weekend. His qualifying vault of 15 feet-8 ¼ inches, Alex becomes the first track and field athlete in LETU history to compete for an NCAA championship. Another freshman, Austin Parrish, joined Alex in finishing first and second in our region in pole vault and are the first two All-Region honorees in program history. Kudos to Coach Don Hood and his athletes. What a way for LETU Track and Field to begin!

Sometimes the goal is to launch people 15 feet into the air, and sometimes it's launching something into orbit, which is what the LETSAT student satellite project is doing by advancing the future of spacecraft by creating the next generation of smart satellites. A group of about 25 engineering students and Byron Lictenberg from the engineering faculty is working to launch a Cubesat satellite with artificial intelligence hardware into low earth orbit. The hardware and software teams are working on developing a satellite that can use something similar to "facial recognition" software to identify its location in orbit based on artificial intelligence. Satellites aren't new but smart AI satellites are a new technology and it's impressive to see our students doing this work. You can learn more at: www.letsat.org

I'm really proud of these faculty and students.

The wisdom of our faith from Isaiah 40:31 says much about flying: "...but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles..."

It's important to enjoy the flying, but before the flying comes the waiting, hoping, trusting and working. It's something we see every day at LETU.