LSU system is a linchpin to success in the state

LSU, including LSUE and all eight campuses of the LSU family, is the linchpin in Louisiana’s success. When I spoke at LSUE’s commencement last semester, I looked out over the sea of excited faces and realized that I was seated within the engine that drives the future of this city.
Many of us have read that earning an associate’s degree can lead to increased lifetime earnings of approximately $300,000 and a bachelor’s degree could yield a return of over $1 million. But as impressive as that statistic is alone, it overlooks the other benefits of having both a college in your backyard, and the entire family of LSU universities committed to bettering life for Louisiana families.
LSU President F. King Alexander spoke alongside Chancellor Kim Russell at LSUE on Tuesday, and I, along with the hundreds of others who attended, left feeling inspired and positive about the future of our state.
Among the many encouraging updates shared at the event was the university’s newest economic impact study. Its results are staggering. Combined, LSU’s statewide economic impact is $5.1 billion – that’s the equivalent of almost $1,100 for every Louisiana man, woman and child. LSUE alone contributes $104.3 million in total economic impact, $22.2 million in total earnings and 655 total jobs. Additionally, LSUE’s Class of 2016 will enjoy a combined increase in lifetime earnings of $82 million.
But it’s not just dollars and cents – its quality of life and strength of community. LSU and LSUE help us to keep our citizens from leaving the state. Right now, more than 2,000 students from this area attend an LSU institution. Approximately 100 LSU-trained teachers serve in area classrooms. And 3,500 children from the region participate in 4-H programs run by the LSU AgCenter.
The only thing left to do with all this news is to celebrate our universities and support LSU as its campuses draw together to leverage their collective strengths toward solving the biggest problems facing our community and our state. And to that, I hope you’ll join me in echoing President Alexander by saying: challenge accepted.
Mary Werner
LSU Board of Supervisors

Letter to the editor

Eunice Today

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