Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Incredible Heights: LETU's Partnership with American Eagle Airlines

College students can be apprehensive about the competitive job market into which they are plunged after graduation. For LeTourneau University (LETU) aviation students, that fear is significantly dwindling as a result of the LETU School of Aeronautical Science’s new partnership with American Eagle Airlines (AEA).

The agreement, referred to as the Pilot Pipeline Program, is one of only of eight similar agreements with schools in the country. It was extremely well received among students at yesterday’s signing ceremony.

“It’s really exciting,” aviation student Grace Peterson said. “I think it will be an extra incentive for students, knowing that there are very tangible and lucrative careers to be had upon graduating.”

The program allows its graduates to become pipeline instructors at LETU, employed by AEA. Those who are admitted, after signing a two-year commitment, receive a $10,000 scholarship. Upon completing requited flight hours, participants then move on to first officer training with AEA. 

As aviation student Tyler Wilson said, “It provides a path for flight students to look forward to committing after college.”

American Eagle Captain Richard King expressed confidence in LETU aviation graduates.

“We have seen some of our best and brightest come from LeTourneau—We are very excited to continue expanding our relationship with LeTourneau and look forward to seeing many more of you at American Eagle Airlines.”

Friday, October 25, 2013

Incredible Friendship: Happy Birthday Billy Graham

A special friend of Billy Graham, R.G. LeTourneau
designed a portable dome building intended for the
Graham crusades.
During the mid-twentieth century, LeTourneau University's founder, R.G. LeTourneau, had a special friendship with Rev. Graham that began with a simple request for some financial support for the Graham's ministry efforts. According to Rev. Graham's autobiography, "R.G. LeTourneau was the only wealthy man I knew in America who might give us consideration. I told him our predicament...two weeks later, a letter came from him with a cashier's check." 

The friendship between R.G. LeTourneau and Billy Graham lasted for years. R.G. LeTourneau even invented a new portable, collapsable building design for Billy to use during his crusades. Billy's son, Franklin, attended LeTourneau College for several years during the 1970s. 

The driving heart and passion of our university's founder was to see the lost come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ while he used his world-changing ingenuity to engineer solutions to problems. That heart remains in the body and actions of LeTourneau University to this day. As with our founder, our students, alumni,  and employees have all been touched in some way by the ministry of Billy Graham. It is with humility and sincerity that we send our birthday wishes. It is our great honor that our founder helped to change the world by investing in you, Rev. Graham. Thank you for your life of service and inspiration that you were not only to our founder, but to our entire university family. 

Join us in celebrating the legendary Billy Graham by viewing the My Hope America broadcast this Thursday, November 7, at 10 PM ET/9 PM CT on Fox News Channel. To learn more about Graham's exciting, ongoing ministry efforts, click here

"Mom" and "Pop" R.G. LeTourneau with Billy Graham, December 1968

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Incredible Survivor: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Cheryle Barnes was happy and healthy – until Valentine’s Day 2011, when she discovered she had breast cancer.

“You never want that diagnosis, and when you get it, you’re in shock,” Barnes said.

As we come to the close of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's important to be reminded of the impact of this disease. As of 2013, there were 2.8 million women in the U.S. with a history of breast cancer. Nearly everyone is affected – either directly or through a family member or friend. While many patients make a full recovery, tens of thousands do not.

Thankfully, Barnes is cancer-free today, but it is the gracious manner in which she speaks of her cancer experience that is just as inspiring. She expresses more gratitude of support than fear of the disease.

A long-time staff member of LeTourneau University Student Accounts, Barnes recalls her reaction when she was first diagnosed: “The amount of cards and letters I got was overwhelming. I had people who I didn’t even know knew me come up to say they were praying for me.”

Barnes said, even on her worst days, her faith and the support of her family and LeTourneau coworkers helped her through the toughest hours: “There were times when I didn’t want to see anyone, but I still knew people were praying. It’s what got my husband and me through this. That’s the thing about LeTourneau – you have that support in prayer.”

A particular impact for Barnes was colleagues who had been through the same experience. She spoke of one coworker who accompanied her to her first chemotherapy appointment, took notes of pertinent information and all the doctor’s and nurse’s names. Barnes said she didn’t have the wherewithal at the time to think of those details at the time. She also said her family received many visitors and meals from her LeTourneau family.

When asked what advice she would give to other survivors or those close to patients, Barnes stressed the importance of yearly mammograms and informing doctors of cancer in family history.

Barnes was also emphatic about the need for close support for patients: “It’s not contagious, and it’s not an alone disease. You need people to surround you.” 

Most encouraging is Barnes’ unflinching faith.

“I always felt like God led me to LeTourneau for a reason, and I think that may be why – to have that support system. I believe God had a purpose for it.”

If you would like to join the fight to find a cure of breast cancer, check out the following resources: www.cancer.org, www.relayforlife.org, ww5.komen.org, or www.armyofwomen.org.