LeTourneau University is named for our founder - R.G. LeTourneau. World famous inventor, engineering genius, designer of heavy duty earth moving equipment, huge off-shore drilling platforms, and the electric drive wheel, he was first and foremost a Christian. He acknowledged his responsibility to God by investing millions of dollars in missionary development projects in Liberia, West Africa and Peru, South America, bringing the Gospel, education, and medical aid to thousands. When he died he held the second highest number of patents in the U.S. patent office -- second only to Thomas Edison.
For over thirty years he traveled across the U.S., Canada, and other foreign countries sharing his testimony about the satisfaction and joy of serving Jesus Christ. Each time he spoke, he began by saying, "I'm just a mechanic that God has blessed, and it seems He wants me to go around telling how He will bless you too."
Probably his most significant ministry will prove to be the school he and his wife, Evelyn LeTourneau, established in Longview, Texas. While flying over the area in 1946 to select a manufacturing site, Mrs. LeTourneau saw the sprawling complex of a vacated Army hospital consisting of over two hundred frame buildings. When told that it was no longer in use, she asked about establishing a school to serve the many GI's returning from World War II.
The site was secured, and LeTourneau Technical Institute was established. From 1946 to 1961, more than 7,000 men received technical training in the new school. By 1961, the institution had outgrown the tech school mold. LeTourneau Tech became LeTourneau College as the school became a four year college, broadened its curriculum to include many technical and non-technical majors, and became co-educational. In 1989, LeTourneau College became LeTourneau University, reflecting the quality and diversity of academic programs, the aptitude and international flavor of the student body, the service orientation, the research capabilities, and the professional nature of the curriculum.
The LeTourneau University of today is an accredited, interdenominational Christian university, offering four-year and two-year degrees in engineering, technology, the liberal arts, business, aeronautical science, education, and the sciences, plus masters degree programs in business, counseling, education, engineering, and psychology. LETU students represent all 50 states, about 25 foreign countries and over 40 denominations.