Thursday, March 28, 2013

Incredible Automobiles: LETU Auto Society's Annual Car Show

What do classic cars have to do with missions in the Central African Republic? Well, thanks the LETU Automotive Society, a lot! Continuing a 37 year old tradition, the Auto Society held its annual car show this past weekend.

Our gear-heads with a cause packed the Maude Cobb Convention Center with enough race cars, muscle cars, and custom restorations to make any auto-enthusiast drool. This year's proceeds will go to a missionary family working with African Inland Missions to help them buy a 4x4 vehicle needed to give their ministry greater mobility.

The Automotive Society is one of LeTourneau's oldest student organizations. We've added quite a few new ones over the years (the most recent count is seventy-eight!), but even as new organizations grow and develop, our older organizations maintain their strong traditions of brotherhood and sisterhood that have made them such integral parts of the LeTourneau tradition.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Incredible Academia: C.S. Lewis & Inklings Conference

LeTourneau has always been a bit of a haven for nerds, and we embrace it. Who wouldn't want to be known as a university for people who are passionate about what they study!

We take all kinds at LETU - computer nerds, flight nerds, engineering nerds - but book nerds have historically been a minority.

Well, our literature lovers had a chance to shine this weekend, as the LeTourneau Department of Literature and Language Arts hosted the 16th annual C.S. Lewis and Inklings Conference. Students and faculty from over a dozen universities presented papers at the conference, including several of our own students including Dawn Martin and Felipe Vogel.

The C.S. Lewis and Inklings Conference represents just one example of ways we're working to support research opportunities across all disciplines.

"Since we are trying to support research for professors as well as undergrads, it seemed like a great opportunity," said event coordinator Dr. Randy Compton. "We've had courses in the past on C.S. Lewis, the Inklings and Tolkein, so it seemed like a great fit."

Friday, March 15, 2013

Incredible Outreach: Preston, England

Cold weather, drizzling rain and lots of tea… not exactly a vision of a traditional spring break. But that’s exactly what ten LETU business students are experiencing right now in Preston, England, and they’ve been looking forward to this trip for months.

The students, led by Drs. Karen and Wayne Jacobs, were challenged to put their business knowledge to work on this trip. Over the last semester, they prepared three workshops for small business owners, each of which they presented this week. The ailing state of England’s economy means times are tough for small business owners, and many of them have had little professional business training.

In the down time between workshops, they’ve partnered with Preston’s Heritage Church to beautifying the local community by collecting trash (or rubbish, as the Brits call it) from local parks so children have a cleaner place to play.

It can’t be ALL about work, though. The team also took a break from it all to visit a local eatery and chow down on some fish ‘n chips… that counts as an intercultural educational experience, right?

Today is the team’s last official day in England, so they’ll soon be saying their goodbyes to the friends they’ve made and boarding a plane back to Texas. Visit the LETU Schoolof Business facebook page to view more photos or read a recent news release to learn more!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Incredibly Global

LeTourneau University has a long tradition of tearing down borders. From our humble beginnings, R.G. LeTourneau carried the Good News of Jesus Christ out of his home, out of his nation, out of his own comfort zone. Today, LeTourneau students continue this tradition in so many ways that it's hard to keep track of them all.

As we head into Spring Break week, our students are ramping up to serve around the country. They will be working on missionary aircraft in Ohio and North Carolina, doing construction in an extremely poor community on the Texas-Mexico border, using their computer skills to help a ministry in Colorado, and discipling and training teens in Alaska. And this is just what will happen next week.

Every day, LETU students, faculty, and staff are facilitating miracles. In labs. In classrooms. In offices. They are finding new ways of reaching every workplace and every nation for Jesus Christ. Our students are developing incredible inventions and tools that make a difference in our world.

The Office of Global Initiatives oversees LeTourneau University's vision to go into every workplace and every nation. Our Center for Global Service Learning oversees all of the major international student projects that are taking place at LETU. You can read more and watch a short video at the LETU website here. And check out just a small sample of the exciting projects that our students are doing here.

As you know, changing the world is not a cliche for LETU students. It is a reality.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Incredible Earthmovers as Art

It's not entirely uncommon to walk through the cafeteria at LETU and see young men and women scribbling designs for new inventions on napkins while attempting to enunciate their solution to a problem that non-techy folks (this author included) would scarcely understand. These little works of technical art can be found on and around the tables after the mass exodus from lunch everyday.

On a tour of LeTourneau, Inc., one current LETU student inspecting a big front-end loader for the first time, used the words "My gosh, that's beautiful." Apparently, that sentiment isn't unique, as a well-respected modern sculpture artist has created a series of works inspired by the designs of R.G. LeTourneau.

A British Sculpture Garden has a show of his work this Spring that is going on right now. Artist James Capper's work is highly techy and in his words, "R.G. LeTourneau did not build according to the rules of mechanical engineering. He had to rewrite the rules to make his ideas come alive...He is a huge influence."

You can read more about Mr. Capper's amazing works of art at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park website here or at LETU's Website here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Incredible Engineering: Frontier Wheelchairs


The world is full of people with physical and mental disabilities who struggle daily to have even basic mobility, and children and young adults in low-income countries face an especially daunting set of challenges. They often need wheelchairs made to accommodate their smaller size and the their surrounding’s rough terrain, but very few organizations produce such wheelchairs – even fewer are affordable.

But in times of great need, God shows his great love. LETU’s Frontier Wheelchairs senior design team is working to meet this need in partnership with Hope Haven International, an organization that manufactures specialty pediatric wheelchairs (or KidChairs, as they call them) in Guatemala.

Until now, Hope Haven has only been able to produce wheelchairs equipped for small children, but this year’s Frontier Wheelchairs team is designing a larger version built for older kids and young adults.

Over the last few months, the team has designed, built and tested prototypes of this new chair. Soon the team will be heading to Guatemala to conduct field tests and teach the local manufacturers to build the design themselves. When they return and analyze the data from their field tests, they’ll work on any necessary modifications and send the improvements to the manufacturers. The team leaves on March 9th and will be spending their spring break in Guatemala. Visit the Frontier Wheelchairs page to learn more about how these students are turning their engineering skills into an incredible ministry!