Dear Friends in the LeTourneau Nation,
A severe and global economic downturn will challenge all of us in this new year. Data point to the most severe downturn in 25 years or more. It is a downturn that is widespread, impacting nearly all families, industries, and regions of the world. What began as a crisis in the credit markets has become a larger crisis of confidence on both Wall Street and Main Street.
I want you to know that LeTourneau University is NOT in financial crisis. Fall 2008 enrollment was the largest ever in Longview. LeTourneau Engineering and Aeronautical Science remain widely regarded, and the future need for these professionals remains strong. Our adult education program is still one of the largest in Christian higher education. We have satisfied all our remaining obligations from the Belcher Center construction, and our history of conservative financial practices has left us in a more sound position than many organizations.
Yet, LeTourneau University cannot avoid being impacted by this economic downturn. Many of our students, parents, alumni, ministry partners, and employees will be affected. A number of prospective and continuing students might find it more difficult to pay tuition. Donors might have less to share with us, and investment losses could force many foundations to reduce their grants.
With God’s guidance and help, the University will use the following approaches and others along the way to weather these challenging times:
God’s people can look up in such challenging times and view these circumstances with an eternal perspective. Our God loves us too much to allow us to put our trust in the shifting sands of our home equity or stock market investments. Instead, He calls us anew to put our trust in the solid rock of God’s unfailing love. When the world looks at LeTourneau University, I pray they will see the peace of God promised in Matthew 6:33 – especially in trying times like this new year.