April 15, 2013


The 2012-13 academic year included a number of accomplishments. As it winds down, I would like to share some of them and report on several events and activities that will occur when you return in the fall.

Perhaps the best news for graduates about to enter the workforce is the strong market for placement. Over 250 employers recruited on campus this year, one of the highest in the past 9 years. Three historically large employers of Lawrence Tech graduates, Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, along with many other companies in such diverse sectors as automotive, construction, energy, biomedical, computer and information, and communications, are aggressively recruiting students in technology related areas. Architectural and design firms are also on campus to recruit graduates. The Class of 2012, surveyed at last year’s commencement, reported that 84.4 percent already had jobs, an outstanding accomplishment when compared to the national average of just 55 percent.

Moreover, not only are Lawrence Tech graduates in strong demand, they’re generally paid better, too. In the 2012 BloombergBusinessweek national survey on the increased earning power generated by a college bachelor’s degree, LTU ranked highest in the metro Detroit area and moved up to the top 20 percent of colleges and universities nationwide.
Also this year, Lawrence Tech has again been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This prestigious annual roster annually highlights how colleges and universities solve community problems and civic engagement. This year, over 878 LTU students completed nearly 5,000 community engagement hours in a variety of volunteer and service projects. This shows an amazing culture of service on campus, and university wide.

Other areas of importance include:

Program Quality: LTU continued to rank in the top tier of U.S. News and World Reports’ America’s Best Colleges. Our online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked sixth in the entire nation by the publication, rated on such factors as best practices, graduation rates, student indebtedness, and academic and career support services offered to students. LTU’s online bachelor’s degree programs scored highest in the entire country for student engagement!

Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium: The most prominent improvement of academic facilities this year was the Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium, enhanced with new lighting, seats, carpet, stage, projection, and audio features. The revitalized auditorium has already hosted numerous successful events including meetings of Microsoft’s top professional executives in the region; a special LTU Convocation to honor our alum and donor, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; the LTU Cisler lecture on Science Education; Blue Devil Entrepreneurial Venture Series lectures; a 250-attendee workshop delivered by one of our faculty sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers; SODA productions; the 2nd Annual Broke Student Film Festival; and a CBS-sponsored meet-and-greet of many of November’s candidates for local, state, and federal office.

Additional Facility Enhancements: Among others, the renovation of the Science Building second floor, including several new laboratories; improvements in the Art & Design Building; and the expansion of makeLAB in Architecture which allows CAD fabrication of architectural fixtures and models. New equipment in the engineering and science programs include the new Olympus confocal microscope, the third in the nation to be assembled; a new torsion and axial machine; and new equipment for the audio engineering program. A new lab is being created to test for fire, smoke and toxicity. We also continue to make your campus greener with more energy efficient heat and lighting.

Prominent campus guests: Visitors this past year included Congressmen Gary Peters and Sander Levin; Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson; Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO; former student and prominent retail developer Alfred Taubman; Thomas Mayne, the world famous architect, owner of the firm Morphosis, and designer of LTU’s future Taubman Engineering, Life Sciences and Architecture Complex (TELSA); Sid Forbes, another prominent retail developer; Mike Finney, the CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Brenda Lawrence, mayor of Southfield, Kirk Steudle, BSCE’87, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation; alumni Javad and Mohammed Mokhberi, brothers whose company built the sensors in the robotic arm of the Mars rover. Trustee and alum Larry Lawson, formerly president of Lockheed-Martin Aeronautics and the new CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, also visited several times.

Campus Activities: LTU’s second Homecoming in September included many great events and activities, from a 5k run/walk, a concert, and the first ever Midnight Madness. The energy and enthusiasm was exhilarating! We celebrated Winterfest in February, International Week in March, crowned our fifth Miss Lawrence Tech, and brought many great speakers and entertainers to campus.

Blue Devil Athletics: Nine varsity athletic teams are now active, and two more will launch next year in women’s lacrosse and women’s bowling. Blue Devil athletics are growing stronger every semester we are in competition.

Tuition and Fees and Financial Aid Increase: Lawrence Tech sets tuition rates with the goal of providing students with the best possible learning experiences. We strive to assure that your investment in tuition remains the excellent value that it is, as reflected in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek survey. The cost of attending LTU remains among the lowest of Michigan’s private colleges and universities as well as among the lowest of America’s great technological universities. The size and number of scholarships for students continues to grow. The Offices of Financial Aid and Business Services look forward to working with you to help you access all possible forms of aid available.

Lawrence Tech’s Board of Trustees has approved an increase in tuition and fees for summer and fall 2013 of 3 percent. At the same time, funds available for financial aid have been increased by 18 percent. More graduate scholarships and grants will provide funds to students who lost their tuition reimbursement and/or the Michigan Tuition Grant.

Year after year, your campus community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, donors, and other friends, continues the University’s progress toward its vision of being a pre-eminent private technological university producing leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit and global view. With you at the center of all that we do, we strive to continue to enhance campus life, academic offerings, and career opportunities.

Best wishes for continued success! I look forward to seeing you again this fall.


Maria J. Vaz, PhD

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