Longtime Louisiana Tech University President Dan Reneau received one of the highest honors awarded in academia Monday when the University of Louisiana System board named him president emeritus of the school he led for 26 years.
Reneau retired in June after a 50-year association with Louisiana Tech as a student, educator and administrator. Under Reneau’s leadership, Louisiana Tech first entered U.S. News & World Report’s list of top-tier academic institutions. Also during his tenure, Louisiana Tech posted its highest graduation and retention rates and its shortest time to graduation rate.
Current Louisiana Tech President Les Guice called Reneau a legend and a mentor to Louisiana’s higher education community.
“Under his leadership, he has transformed Louisiana Tech into a top-tier academic and research institution, and a university that the entire state of Louisiana can be proud of,” Guice said.
Originally from Woodville, Miss., Reneau graduated from Louisiana Tech with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1963 before earning a master’s degree in the same field a year later.
After living in South Carolina for a few years, he and his wife, Linda, returned to Louisiana Tech in 1967 after Reneau accepted a teaching position.
Five years later he established the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. Reneau became Louisiana Tech’s 13th president in 1987.
Reflecting on Reneau’s long tenure with Louisiana Tech, UL System President Sandra Woodley said a lot of people stay on a job for years, but what matters is “what you pack into those years.”
“This is not just a chance to honor his many years of service, but an opportunity to reward his visionary leadership,” Woodley said.
Reneau, upon accepting the award, called the current UL System Board of Supervisors one of the finest higher education panels the state has ever had.
“Education is in my heart, and Louisiana Tech is too,” Reneau said. “I’m a proud alum.”