As part of the Guinn Auditorium rededication, President Rick Brewer read these remarks that were printed on the event’s program.
Homage to Dr. G. Earl Guinn
Deemed an icon and an American treasure, Dr. George Earl Guinn was but 39 years-old when elected as Louisiana College’s fifth president. The LC alumnus served in that role for 23 years, from 1951 to 1974.
Known as an exacting academician, superlative preacher, prolific writer, and insistent motivator, Guinn expected the best efforts from everyone. He did not tolerate mediocrity.
As a transformational leader, Dr. Guinn’s commitment to academic excellence immediately upgraded the number of terminally degreed faculty from one to seven in his first year as president.
Reflecting his desire to provide adequate facilities, the campus grew with the constructions of Tudor Hall, H.O. West Physical Education Building, Morgan W. Walker Student Center, Norton Memorial Library, Weathersby Fine Arts Building, Cavanaugh Hall of Science, an addition to Cottingham Hall, married student apartments, the president’s home, and Guinn Auditorium.
The book “House Upon a Rock” says of Dr. Guinn: “His vision has been matched only by the responsiveness of the convention to the challenge of his stride.”
Guinn took seriously the task of building a college of high standing — an effort often challenged by those from within and without the college family. Though some objected to Guinn’s administrative methods, few denied changes were needed at Louisiana College.
Peers described Dr. Guinn as completely devoted to Christianity and religious scholarship in carrying out duty to God, as one who left a powerful legacy of love and service and led the college to new heights of academic excellence and godly living, and as one who exhibited integrity, knowledge, sincere beliefs, and a willingness to share.
Arguably one of his most significant and controversial transformational actions, Guinn’s commitment to racially integrate LC preceded the 1954 US Supreme Court decision on Brown vs. Board of Education. Though Dr. Guinn knew the repercussions would come — and they did — he would later say: “I have a wonderful conscience” about the matter.
It is befitting that this recently transformed auditorium bears the name of a transformational leader. May this facility along with the rest of us live up to the unswerving standards of a godly academe, Dr. George Earl Guinn.