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DYNAMIC DONORS: Donor pipes in needed funds

January 24, 2014

 

ALLEN

ALLEN

Chad Merritt
Sports Editor

 

This is the first entry of a series about the donors who help fund Tech athletics.

 

The drive from Calhoun to Ruston is under 30 minutes, which is short enough for John Allen to easily visit one of his favorite places.

 

Allen is one of the many people who are donors with the Louisiana Tech Athletic Club. The donations put forward by members of the LTAC go toward the advancement of Tech’s athletics.

 

Allen grew up in West Monroe and attended Tech from 1969-1973 on a track scholarship. He threw javelin for the 1973 Southland Conference champion team and graduated in 1973 with a degree in business.

 

Although Allen does not recall when he became a donor, he knows the importance of being a donor.

 

“Young people should look at it like this; If you can give $10, give $10. If you can give $1,000, give $1,000,” Allen said.

 

Moving to Houston after graduating, Allen became involved in pipeline construction. He traveled a lot while working, visiting Alaska, Canada and much of the continental United States.

 

Having traveled so much, Allen has been able to visit many other college towns, but he says none of them stack up to Ruston.

 

“Ruston is still my favorite college town,” Allen said.

Whenever Allen is in town, there is nothing he would rather do than attend a Tech athletic event.

 

“I attend as many games as I can,” Allen said. “Men’s and women’s basketball, football, baseball, softball and track when it’s here. I enjoy all sports.”

 

Even though baseball, his favorite sport, is not yet in season, Allen is enjoying watching the men’s basketball team play their inaugural season in Conference USA.

 

“You don’t have to be an expert to like these young men Coach Michael White has,” Allen said. “He has brought together a great group of guys.”

 

Assembling a great group of players is not easy, and Allen said with the growing competition in athletics today that Tech cannot fall behind other schools.

 

“Selling our kids on Tech takes stuff,” Allen said.

 

“Quest for Excellence and other projects will help bring more quality kids to Tech. This is a prime example of seeing what donations can bring to Tech.”

 

Allen said that if everybody can give a little it will take the dependency off those people who are large donors.

 

Because only 30 percent of the funding for Tech’s athletic department comes from the state, donors are important to keep the athletic programs competitive and running for Tech.

 

Allen, among others, was directly involved in the recent renovations of the locker room and players’ lounge at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

 

“I was involved in the process, and any donor can be involved if they would like to,” Allen said. “Being able to help with the actual projects is a great perk to being a donor.”

 

Involvement is still the end objective for Allen. Even if someone cannot afford to donate, he believes going to athletic events and cheering on Tech’s athletes is equally important.

 

“Tech fans are connected to Tech,” Allen said. “LSU fans are connected to an event and not the school. Tech doesn’t live with fair weather fans.”

 

The more Tech gets, in both donations and participation, the better off the university’s athletics department will be.

 

Allen believes that being a spectator at the sport of the season can be enjoyable for any fan. He said, the next game, just think about who and what it took for the show to go on.

 

Email comments to cam059@latech.edu.

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