By Sarah Brackin
Students hurry along Louisiana Tech’s Centennial Plaza, criss-crossing paths and weaving between tables, all heading to individual destinations. Only one area is unbothered by the crowd; the Louisiana state symbol with the letter T plastered to the ground.
Students walk a wide berth around it to avoid any accidents until suddenly a foot lands on the blue tile.
10 seconds on the clock.
Students who touched the emblem waste no time to race to the center of the Quad where the Lady of the Mist rests. They kick their shoes off and plunge their feet into the cool water of the fountain.
Students begin the 30 seconds of washing; their graduation is saved.
As a representation of the original bulldog, this is the sacred ground of Louisiana Tech’s Centennial Plaza. The seal that was there was created in 1994 in celebration of Tech’s 100 year anniversary.
The legend of the bulldog did not come until 2003 when student tour groups told the incoming freshman that the seal was meant to honor the hero bulldog buried somewhere on campus. Over the years, the seal began to wear away, tiles popping up or cracking, and students took notice.
Around 2018 vice president of student advancement Dickie Crawford met with student focus groups to see what was to be done, and The Campus Core Project was birthed.
Now the Louisiana Tech seal has been raised from the ground to create a fountain.
Faculty member Jimmy Washingtion said, “The seal symbolizes unity with students where students are all on one accord. Where they believe in the university itself and the seal brings everybody together because they have that one goal in mind to say that we are Louisiana Tech.”
Students now spend their time around the fountain on the stone columns talking with one another or working on homework.
Student Evan Roden said, “It’s better to look at now, and improve on the area so people can actually hang out there.”
The new fountain has emphasized the importance of the seal and raised it for all of Tech’s glory, but some students still miss the threat that came with the old seal.
“The tradition and unity the old seal brought I felt was more significant. Like when we had the freshman convocation, the upperclassmen would mess with first years who stepped on the old seal and it felt like family,” said student Michael Berrigan.
As a solution, Louisiana Tech provided a new seal in the area. Between the clock tower and the fountain is a mark, quoting, “We are Bulldogs; Unity,” where the tradition continues among the students.
Louisiana Tech is growing, and with it, the traditions. As Washington said, “It’s just another change in what we do here: progress.”
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