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LU President Taylor gives convocation address

LU President Jaime Taylor stands at the podium as he gives a speech at convocation, Aug. 14, in the Montagne Center. Image credit: Keagan Smith, UP sports editor.
LU President Jaime Taylor stands at the podium as he gives a speech at convocation, Aug. 14, in the Montagne Center. Image credit: Keagan Smith, UP sports editor.

Lamar University kicked off the 2023-2024 academic year with the annual faculty and staff convocation, Aug. 14, in the Montagne Center. 

LU President Jaime Taylor headlined the event, delivering a convocation address observing Lamar’s centennial while also looking ahead to serving students and the community in the future.

“Commemorating the Centennial honors generations of students, faculty, staff and supporters who have shaped our university,” Taylor said. “It reminds us that we're part of something bigger, contributing to social progress and individual empowerment across the globe.”

The mission of Lamar University has always been to transform lives through education, Taylor said, adding it is essential to sustain the positive culture that has shaped the institution’s legacy of success since 1923.

“Our strategic plan has always been treated as a living, evolving document,” he said. “Its foundation rests on a set of guiding principles that ground us and direct our path. These principles are the bedrock upon which we stand, guiding our strategic planning as we go to the future.”

The first of these principles is ensuring graduates are well-prepared for their long-term careers, Taylor said. 

“Today, we teach our students practical skills while fostering lifelong learning strategies, which empowers our graduates to navigate their evolving career tasks with confidence,” he said.

Maintaining a team-oriented mindset is another point of focus for the university moving forward, Taylor said.

“A positive culture isn't just about workplace dynamics, its a shared mindset that empowers us to achieve our best by also uplifting one another,” he said, repeating the comment for emphasis. “A positive culture unites us. No matter what anyone tells you about raw individualism, to be truly successful, we must create an environment where every interaction is amplified, because each of us derives value from the success of others.”

“If we can truly embrace this principle, we will collectively nurture this environment, because the success of each unit contributes to the posterity of the entire Lamar University community,” Taylor said. “But the most binding and vital body principle is our student focus. At the core of our university's identity is an unwavering dedication to our students.”

Notably, Taylor said Lamar earned the highest percentage increase in formula funding from the State Legislature among Texas’ 38 colleges and universities. 

“This achievement is a testament to our dedication to Southeast Texas and the students who will one day lead the region,” Taylor said. “Let me be clear — we earned this distinction and the funding that comes with it because we have worked to align our goals with a vision.”

Taylor also recognized university employees’ contributions in making Lamar a center of excellence in higher education and announced that faculty and staff will receive a 3% raise.

Category: News