November 20, 2018
Dear LCU Family:
Louisiana Christian University often enjoys visits from alumni, parents, community members, and more. Many visitors will say they sense a fresh wind blowing across the campus. But late on Wednesday night Oct. 31, the wind was fast and furious.
The EF-2 tornado that churned a diagonal swath across this campus held destructive potential. However, no one was hurt because we followed the safety protocols we have developed and practiced. And only a few buildings sustained minor damage: roof shingles and broken windows. Many beautiful trees did not escape the maelstrom.
When the sun rose on the Hill in Pineville Thursday morning, the campus looked like a war zone. The twister brutally snapped off some trees mid-trunk and cruelly wrenched others into splinters. One could hardly walk without stepping on branches and debris that littered the ground.
The next morning, Missions and Ministries major Brandon Mayo wasted no time in piling up fallen limbs. When our security guard jokingly asked Brandon if he were being paid, he laughed. “Louisiana Christian University is my home, and this is what I’d be doing if I still lived at home,” he said. “I think we should be good stewards and take care of what we have.”
Soon, the buzz of chainsaws and whine of leaf blowers were squeLCUhed by the growl and rumble of heavy equipment and huge trucks removing enough wood to build a house or two. Unlike the students who volunteered to clean-up, these professional services represent an unexpected significant expense. The initial estimate approached six figures.
While this is a thank you letter for your year-long generosity in undergirding our Vision of Preparing Graduates and Transforming Lives, I am trusting that you will especially consider Louisiana College as part of your end-of-year giving plan. In fact, because of you the Lord has smiled upon us in the last three years, and that brings to mind many advancements that would not have been possible with you undergirding our endeavors.
Academically, we have made numerous advantageous strides, including:
- a 3+2 pre-engineering degree partnership with Louisiana Tech University;
- a 3+3 pre-pharmacy doctorate agreement with Union University;
- a BS in Computer Science, BA in Leadership, BA in Missions & Ministries, Masters in Nursing, MS in Social Work, MA in Educational Leadership, and RN to MSN online;
- four new scholarships supporting academic achievement and a biblical worldview;
- a Student Success Center and Bridge Program;
- numerous dual enrollment agreements with public and private schools; and
- classes at Pollock correctional facility.
The previous downward trend in enrollment began tracking upward since 2015 with a 15% increase. Our Fall 2017 to Fall 2018 freshman retention rate is 65%. And attendance to our Preview Days has quadrupled.
We are grateful to the individuals and institutions who have significantly supported our fiscal needs. Here are a few of the many examples:
- Board of Visitors has 186 members contributing nearly $250K annually;
- successful $100K to $200K alumni matching campaign for campus improvements;
- realized $6.5 million in unrestricted donations, including recent gifts exceeding $1M;
- procured over $600,000 from The Rapides Foundation for academic advancement;
- obtained $500K for tennis courts, as well as baseball and softball ????ield resurfacing;
- garnered $100,000 gift to remodel and equip a new engineering classroom; and
- launched $3M Campaign for Cavanaugh to upgrade Cavanaugh Hall of Science.
In marketing the College, we often cite our differentiating value proposition, which is a liberal arts education built upon a Christian worldview. More succinctly, this is the Integration of Faith and learning. We are motivated in several ways in this vein, one of which is that the Bible says in Christ Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The fruit of this practice has garnered several enhancements. One was our launch of the Wayne and Martha Jenkins Center for Evangelism and Missions, which will augment the Missions & Ministries degree. Two others are annual seminars for the campus and community: “God in the Workplace” and the “Values & Ethics Series.”
Although we are grateful for these accomplishments, we are most deeply grati????ied by the more than 130 spiritual decisions made by our students this fall semester. Among those decisions were 70 who placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The spiritual victories far outweigh all the other accomplishments we have attained. In fact, we strive to do the lesser things so we can foster the greater things, which are helping to bring our students into a walk with God or into a closer walk with God.
None of these advancements would be possible without your support. And though you assist us with temporal means, the return yields eternal dividends. The assistance you lend us today continues to assist many others as our students graduate and enter the marketplaces of the world fully equipped for their careers and a life of following Christ.
Of special note are three icons whom we recognized and who symbolize the best of Louisiana College. The recent passing of long-time Coach Billy Allgood gathered the LCU Family to commemorate his influential life. Rededicating the newly remodeled Guinn Auditorium was a celebration of the life and influence of former president, G. Earl Guinn. Our annual Founders Day honored CJ “Prof” Cavanaugh in the placement of a historical marker outside the Cavanaugh Hall of Science. Such retrospective events aided our future perspective as we trek the trails these moguls forged for athletics, academics, and science.
As the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons approach, would you please consider making a year-end, tax deductible gift to the College before Christmas to help underwrite our future plans to academically and spiritually prepare the next generation of leaders? You may scan the QR code below to give securely online. Or, you may click the “GIVE” link on our homepage.
Thank you very much for every expression of support and generosity. We are deeply grateful for your prayers, too.
Simply put, we need you.
Keep Pressing On!
Rick Brewer, PhD, MBA
Professor of Management
Louisiana Christian University