Saturday, April 20, 2024

LA Tech Aspire Plaza to be named in honor of Les and Kathy Guice

by BIZ Magazine

The home of Louisiana Tech University’s latest major campus art installation, Aspire, will be named Guice Plaza in honor of the 14th president and first lady.

The plaza’s dedication to the Guices was announced during the president’s retirement dinner in November, hosted by the Louisiana Tech Foundation Board of Directors. A full guestbook of family, friends, and University partners gathered in the Davison Athletics Complex to socialize and reminisce on Guice’s legacy as he prepared to work the final weeks of his lengthy Tech career.

The dinner was marked throughout by a theme of three key words: Achieve, Innovate, Aspire. These words were repeated by the night’s guest speakers—Corre Stegall, Tim Cutt, and Mayor Ronny Walker—as the concepts most indicative of the successes during Guice’s presidency. It was during the Aspire phase of the evening’s proceedings, punctuated by a piano performance of the original “Aspire” piece composed by Shayla Blake, that the plaza’s new name was revealed. The Guices were visibly moved at the unveiling of the rendering and received a standing ovation.

“As we contemplated opportunities to recognize your great service, we were continually impressed with the impact you have in connecting with the students and community,” said Louisiana Tech Foundation Board President Tim Cutt at the event. “Your vision of Aspire as a physical representation of ‘the convergence of the disciplines and people who foster creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and partnerships in interdisciplinary and collaborative environments’ motivated us when selecting an opportunity to recognize your collective service.”

Aspire was installed on Tech’s campus in late 2021, commissioned via funds from the State of Louisiana’s Percent for Art Program that matched a portion of the University’s new construction costs at the time. The plaza quickly became one of Guice’s many favorite spots on campus. After he founded the Tech Family Walking Group, a weekly walking session where Guice is joined by students, faculty, staff, and community members for a healthy dose of exercise and camaraderie, it was not long before he decided that the Aspire sculpture was the perfect place to begin those Saturday walks.

Aspire at Guice Plaza will be partially renovated with landscape and lighting improvements and signage bearing the space’s new name. Installed on that naming feature will be a bronze plaque detailing the impact the Guices have made on Louisiana Tech.

To learn more about Aspire and how to honor the Guices’ legacy of service to the University, visit LATechAlumni.org/Aspire or contact the Division of University Advancement at 318.255.7950.

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