News Releases 2009

Dr. Austin Named President Emeritus

New President Emeritus Dr. Alvin O. Austin with current LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford from Lunsford's 2007 inauguration.

Thu, Jul 2 2009

Dr. Alvin O. Austin, former president of LeTourneau University, was bestowed the honorary title of president emeritus July 1 by the university Board of Trustees.  
“This appointment is made in recognition of Dr. Austin’s long and faithful service to LeTourneau University,” said LETU Chair of the Board Wayne Trull. The announcement ends Austin’s two-year term as chancellor of LETU.
“Bud Austin is worthy of this unique honor,” said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford. “His tenure of transformational leadership is one of the most notable chapters in the university’s history.”
Austin served as president of LETU from 1986 to 2007, leading the school through remarkable changes as the university’s fifth president. During his tenure, enrollment grew dramatically as academic programs expanded and the campus experienced substantial new construction. Austin’s leadership was credited for moving the school from college to university in 1989 and adding its first graduate program, as well as establishing education centers in Austin, Bedford, Dallas, Houston and Tyler. Also under Austin’s leadership, LETU was named repeatedly in the top tier of U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of “America’s Best Colleges.” Austin served in a leadership role in higher education for more than 30 years.
Austin earned his undergraduate degree in 1964 from Westmont College, his master’s degree in 1967 from California State University, and his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Mississippi in 1971. He became one of the youngest vice presidents in America in 1970 when, at the age of 28, he was named a vice president for student affairs at Hardin-Simmons University. His higher education career also included service as vice president for advancement at North Park College and Theological Seminary in Chicago, vice president for student affairs at Seattle Pacific University and dean of student programs at California State University.
Austin Drive on the LETU campus bears his name in recognition of his many accomplishments in developing the university as an outstanding Christ-centered institution that equips students to serve worldwide. LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered university offering academic majors in the aeronautical sciences, business, education, engineering, the humanities and sciences.  LeTourneau University also offers undergraduate degree programs in business, education and psychology and graduate programs in business and education and at education centers in Austin, Bedford, Dallas, Houston and Tyler and online.