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Louisiana College’s 2012-2013 Capital Campaign
Louisiana College and the Louisiana Baptist Convention find themselves joining in one of the most monumental opportunities in the history of the lives of each institution. Louisiana College, “The Pride of Louisiana Baptists”, has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years and finds itself in great need of renovating and improving its student housing. Not only has the College outgrown its capacity for student housing, but some of our dormitories like Cottingham Hall haven’t been upgraded for over 70 years. Student housing is the number one need on our campus.
Along with the growth of the College, coupled with the need for updating of these aging facilities, the Convention and College have the opportunity to repeat what they did in 1971 when the two entities came together to fund and build Guinn Auditorium. Louisiana College is challenged in growth and retention of students because of inadequate housing. We have the finest faculty and staff to be found anywhere. The College is graduating young men and women who are truly dedicating their lives to LC’s Mission, “to change the world for Christ.”
We have no choice but to provide a comfortable and decent place for our students to live while receiving the best Christian education to be found anywhere. Our partnership will transform our College and Convention for generations to come and will allow us to remain, “the Pride of Louisiana Baptists.”
Who owns and operates Louisiana College? Louisiana College is a 501-C3 tax exempt organization owned by the Louisiana Baptist Convention. The school is governed by a 35 member Board of Trustees appointed by the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Why are we paying for this? The Louisiana Baptist Convention provides annual funding to Louisiana College through the Cooperative Program. Currently, the cooperative program provides 11.5% of our operating budget. These funds have been utilized in the day to day operations of the college. Additional funding is required to meet the Capital needs of Louisiana College such as the renovations for the student housing facilities. Permission has been granted by the LBC for Louisiana College to approach LBC Churches for financial assistance for this Campaign.
How many students live on campus? Current enrollment is about 1,500 students and approximately 700 students live on campus.
Why is this costing so much? It is easy to forget that Louisiana College is 106 years old. When buildings reach that age much work is required.
Can our money be directed to the building we want to repair? Your contribution will be directed to the project you designate when your donation is made. Please be sure to indicate your preference when making your donation. Memorial and Tribute gifts may also be made.
Is this all for renovation or is there new construction included? The Student Housing Campaign is targeting renovation only of the existing dormitories. If there is a significant pledge above the $12,000,000, Louisiana College would consider building new student housing.
How can I be sure my money is being used for these projects? Louisiana College is required by law, as are all non-profits, to spend donations as specified by the donor.
How were these needs determined? Louisiana College conducted an extensive feasibility study utilizing consultants, architects, engineers and other construction experts to determine the needs and the costs. Annually, LC conducts exit interviews with students. Data from these interviews as well as input from the LC Administration was utilized to contribute to the study.
What are the priorities among the Student Housing needs? Roofing and new HVAC units are the highest priorities. Renovations including new windows and new lighting will help make the dorms more energy efficient.
Can I as an individual give directly to the Campaign instead of through my church? Yes you can give directly to the Student Housing Capital Campaign as an individual. Please contact the Louisiana College Development Office at 318-487-7118.
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN Q&A with Dr. Aguillard
On Nov. 13, 2012, the Louisiana Baptist Convention granted approval to Louisiana College to ask for $12 million from LBC member churches as part of the college’s overall $50 million capital improvement campaign.
In delivering an address to the LBC’s annual convention the night before, LC President Dr. Joe Aguillard told the convention that the college has seen nearly 50-percent growth since 2006 and that the $12 million would go primarily toward immediate improvements in student housing. LC Instructor of Journalism Al Quartemont talked with Dr. Aguillard about the overall campaign and the support being pledged by the LBC.
Quartemont: Take us back to the genesis of what happened at the LBC Convention last week.
Aguillard: As we ponder what Louisiana College has accomplished over the past 106 years, it’s very exciting to look at what God has done since the birth of the college to today. You look at an institution that began with 19 students, four faculty members and tents in 1906.
They had perhaps more than they have today in that they had such a strong vision and a strong faith of what this institution would be. From that, Louisiana Baptists continued over the last 106 years to build upon that vision, the vehicle of which is their faith. I think back to those early Baptists like Brother (Edwin O.) Ware, founders of this institution, the Tudor Family, (Claybrook) Cottingham, (Edgar) Godbold, who had a vision for what this institution should be – more than brick and mortar; but they converted that into a brick and mortar institution that never lost its roots in Biblical truth.
So, as the college began to grow and become formidable, accredited in 1923 with SACS – never lost our accreditation in all these years – there came a time for a need for a new partnership with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. In 1971, Louisiana Baptists came together, locked arms, and for the first time, went to the individual churches in addition to the Cooperative Program giving, and together they built Guinn Auditorium, the most prominent and featured facility on this campus.
Since that day, the college has continued to grow. Just in the last few years, especially since 2006, our enrollment has doubled. And with that exponential growth, we have continued needs – those are not a problem, those are blessings. With those needs, we did a strategic study of our facilities. We found that we have dormitories that are 71 years old like Cottingham that was built in 1941. And we realize that our student housing has deteriorated over these 70-plus years.
So, it’s time that we come together and look at rebuilding this dream, this vision of the brick and mortar aspect of Louisiana College. We have assessed that the number one need on the campus is improved student housing. With that assessment, we have gone to the Louisiana Baptist Convention and said, ‘Here’s the need of Louisiana Baptist College, which is your college. Will you repeat what was done in 1971 – join arms with this college, your college, and allow us church by church to invest in the dorms, do the remodeling, bring them up to standards that students deserve today to live four of their most important years of their lives in.’
Quartemont: This is a $12 million component of the overall $50 million campaign?
Aguillard: There is a $50 million campaign that the college is entering into over the next several years that will address all of the needs of the institution. Within those is a $12 million strategic need, the greatest need. That’s been targeted in student housing and that’s the target for our Baptist churches to give to in order to bring our student housing up to current standards.
Quartemont: How exactly will that $12 million be used?
Aguillard: We have brought in our architects and engineers in our strategic planning and determined exactly to the penny what each dormitory need will be from roofs to plumbing to painting to electrical needs to safety issues to the Internet technology needs, and we have strategically designated those with each existing dormitory. We will now go to the churches, one by one, and ask them to make a five-year pledge, and that each year, over the next five years, they will be faithful to that pledge so that we can begin to put on the new roofs, we can begin strategically to address plumbing, the (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems are so old that the students in summer live in heat and in winter live in cold, and they deserve to be comfortable, and they deserve to be safe. Those are the things we will do as soon as the pledges begin to come in.
Quartemont: Because the mission of the college is so in step with the Convention, this is where their children come, this is where their future pastors come from and other people who comprise the churches of the LBC.
Aguillard: If Louisiana College is not building strong Baptist ties, if Louisiana College is not educating young people to go back into the pews of our Baptist churches, if our divinity school is not raising up pastors to continue pastoral leadership around this state, then we are not utilizing the greatest weapon against Satan, and that’s the church.
While our students go out into all of the world – they’re in Tanzania, they’re in China, they’re in Korea – the most significant number are going back into Louisiana Baptist churches and growing them. We can’t exist on individuals who for generations and generations have been faithful and who are now dying away. We must grow the future of Louisiana Baptists. And what better weapon to grow against Satan and for the Kingdom of Christ, for Louisiana Baptists, than our own college, Louisiana College.
Quartemont: We’ve heard a lot about the medical school and the law school, and we’re excited to see what’s happening with Caskey, but does this change at all the focus to look at the campus first right now, or is this simply part of the overall plan?
Aguillard: This is a part of the long-range planning that the board and the administration, the faculty and staff have been doing for a long time. We are not changing the direction of the institution, we have been given the Vision 20/20, that long-term, we will have a film school, a medical school, a law school. We already have the School of Divinity. We already have the graduate school. We went 104 years without any graduate school status, and then we were approved by SACS to move to Level Three for graduate school. We will move to Level Five to offer terminal degrees in our strong areas. But those things are strategically planned, and they’re not hurriedly done. And, to discuss those is important, but to implement those must be done strategically and within quantified assessment and timelines that match resources to accreditation and opening programs.
Quartemont: To wrap this up, it sounds like the Convention went well, and from a Louisiana College standpoint, the harmony you’re having with the Louisiana Baptist Convention is as strong as ever.
Aguillard: I would say, as a longtime Baptist, that the relationship of Louisiana College and the Louisiana Baptist Convention is as strong as it’s ever been in the history of the college, and I believe that that’s because the core mission of the institution is what it is, and that is reflected in Biblical inerrancy. I believe that as long as the institution stays true to that, keeping the main thing the main thing, and all the other good things that flow out of that – these new projects and programs and growth, hiring more faculty, and updating facilities, those are going to come. But they are only going to come as we are true to the mission of the college. We must stay focused.
My best friend always told me that there are three rules in a storm: Keep your eyes on Jesus, keep your eyes on Jesus, keep your eyes on Jesus. Now, that may sound a little trite, but it’s true. If we stay focused on our mission, all these things will come to pass under the hand of the Lord. We operate in faith, not by sight. And that, I believe, is what has kept the Baptist churches and the Louisiana Baptist Convention tied to, latched with us, to the Cross of Jesus Christ. And we don’t want to be separated.