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 WorldReport’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