Day 1 Tour Dispatches: Exceeding All Expectations, a Record Economic Impact Report

March 13, 2023

Day One of the Scholarship First Tour exceeded all expectations, covering nearly 250 miles, including visits with more than 200 people and stops in six cities. At every stop, LSU President William F. Tate IV celebrated Louisiana culture, dined with friends, and discussed ways to make our state an even better place to live.  


6 a.m. 

Bright and early Monday, President Tate met up with Coach Kim Mulkey, Mike the Tiger, and a few of his colleagues for a rousing sendoff to take Scholarship First on the Geaux.  

musicians play at the bus tour sendoff


10 a.m. 

Today, President Tate stood on hallowed ground — the very spot where LSU began, its original campus in Pineville, La. — and took the opportunity to announce LSU’s economic impact on Louisiana. 

LSU President William F. Tate IV views the site of LSU's first campus March 13 during a bus tour stop in Pineville, La.


“It was honestly even more moving than I’d anticipated,” Tate said. “When I was selected as President, I started reading Professor Paul Hoffman’s history of LSU. It was really quite inspiring to learn about the work that went into making our university a reality.” 

And he celebrated the $105,000 investment made by the state in 1860 to build and staff the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. That investment multiplied into the eight-campus constellation of campuses with a footprint in every single parish of the state and an annual economic impact of $6.1 billion. 

President Tate speaking at lectern

11 a.m.   

In the RoyOMartin plywood factory, President Tate noted the need for exceptional science and engineering to build automation that doesn’t take jobs but rather enhances skill sets of existing employees.

large equipment moving logs at lumber factory

1 p.m. 

While enjoying some of the best meat pies anywhere, at Lasyone’s in Natchitoches, President Tate discussing ways to increase the number of LSMSA students who come to LSU for their degree. Afterward, the tour bus drove around a bit just enjoying the charm of the City of Lights. 

6:30 p.m.

In Shreveport, President Tate welcomed Chancellor David Guzick to LSU Health Shreveport with more than 100 friends, supporters, faculty, and elected officials, and, in a bittersweet moment, also acknowledged the pending retirement of Chancellor Larry Clark, whose transformational mark on LSUS will not soon be forgotten.  

Larry Clark, Dr. David Guzick, President Tate

“I walked away from the day reflecting on how a small investment made by the state over 150 years ago made such a lasting impact, and how deeply connected LSU is to the people of Louisiana,” Tate said.  

“Being on the ground with so many people who are so important to our LSU family, hearing their stories, and breaking bread with them is beyond inspirational — it’s what we must do to make sure our work is aligned with the needs of our people.”

See more photos from Day 1 of the Tour