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A Fond Farewell

June 27, 2013

 

Former SGA presidents reflect on time spent with Reneau

 

GRACE MOORE
Associate Editor

 

For more than 50 years, President Dan Reneau has called Tech his alma mater.

 

He enrolled as a freshman chemical engineering major in 1959, and last fall, he announced his retirement from the Tech presidency, effective next week.

 

President Reneau accomplished many things during his tenure, but many fail to realize the irreplaceable relationships he had with some of Tech’s brightest students.

 

His involvement with organization executives, specifically the Student Government Association, bridged the gap between the student body and the 16th floor of Wyly Tower.

 

Former student body presidents Clint Carlisle and Will Dearmon, as well as Allison East, the 2013-14 president elect, share their stories, showcasing both President Reneau’s dedication to the student body and the impact he had on their individual academic and extracurricular careers.

 

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Clint Carlisle
SGA President 2011-12

Q What did it mean to you to have a student-executive relationship with the president of your university?

A If it were not for my time on SGA, I would not be the person that I am today.  The ability to interact with the administration on a daily basis allowed me to observe and learn from some of Louisiana Tech’s brightest leaders.  Every second I spent with Dr. Reneau was truly a learning experience, and I looked to him as a role model, a colleague and a friend.

 

Q What do you most admire about Dr. Reneau?

A I always admired Dr. Reneau’s ability to face any challenge with an unparalleled determination and resolve.  From budget cuts to athletic conference changes, (for him) there were so many difficult and challenging decisions to make during my tenure as SGA president, but he always did so with unwavering confidence and strength.  I always knew the students were taken care of because their well being was always at the forefront of every decision he made.  He is a truly selfless man and it was an absolute honor to work with him.

 

Q What do you think was his greatest innovation?

A Establishing Tech’s Biomedical Engineering program in 1972, only the fifth undergraduate program of its kind, was one of his greatest accomplishments.  Louisiana Tech now has one of the most prestigious programs in the nation and I think we owe a lot of the department’s success to him.

 

Will Dearmon
SGA President 2012-13

Q What do you most admire about Dr. Reneau?

A I sincerely admire President Reneau’s ability to always see the big picture and take well-calculated risks to advance Tech into the future. Selective admissions and Tier One status are two great achievements that are the result of President Reneau’s bold and innovative leadership.

 

Q What is your most memorable Dr. Reneau moment?

A My most memorable Reneau moment came at the 2013 Spring Commencement this year. As is custom for the SGA President, I was fortunate to present a well deserving faculty member with an award for her outstanding service to her college and university. When the President introduced me, I expected him to simply mention my name and title; however, Dr Reneau went a little further.

While I was approaching the podium Dr Reneau concluded my introduction with the statement that I would one day serve as governor of the state of Louisiana. The moment was candid and truly funny. I don’t have any major campaign plans at the moment.

 

Allison East
SGA President 2013-14

Q What do you most admire about Dr. Reneau?

A I admire his people skills more than anything. He has the ability to make every person he meets feel important, and no matter what anyone is saying, he seems to be listening intently. He doesn’t seem like a far-off business man running our university. He seems like another grandparent sitting in his office watching us all play and trying to secure the best for us. He’s funny and engaging in meetings and he’s just really great to be around.

 

Q What is your most memorable Dr. Reneau moment?

A My most memorable moment with Dr. Reneau was hearing him speak at the Big Event I planned. I put so much work into it, and to have him there supporting me really meant the world to me. When he talked to me afterward and congratulated me, I felt absolutely amazing.

 

Q Do you have any parting words for President Reneau?

A It’s been great to work with him, and I know this isn’t the end. I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for the Tech family in his new role.

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