'Guns up' for Texas Tech president's visit

Nellis shows that higher education expansion a priority for university’s Hill Country sites

By Ken Esten Cooke— Marking his one-month anniversary on the job, new Texas Tech President Dr. Duane Nellis toured Fredericksburg on Monday, saying he was impressed with the local facilities at Hill Country University Center and instilled confidence that the Texas Tech-HCUC partnership will continue to thrive.

Nellis spoke with members of the Fredericksburg Rotary Club, took a tour of the Hill Country University Center facilities, and, with wife Ruthie, served as guests of honor at a reception in the Cherry Spring community.

Though an investment in higher education has risen substantially in price, nothing pays more dividends to one’s future than earning a college degree (or two).

According to U.S. News & World Report, those who stop their education after high school earn an average $1.3 million throughout their lifetime. That may sound like a lot, but that amount nearly doubles to $2.27 million with a bachelor’s degree. Lifetime earnings continue toward $3 million with masters, doctoral and professional degrees.             (Those who earn a bachelor’s degree in management or a STEM-related field — science, technology, engineering and math — earn more than those with advanced degrees in other fields.)

Most of Texas Tech’s goals outlined by Nellis are, understandably, centered around its main Lubbock campus. From its current student enrollment of 32,000, Nellis wants to reach 40,000 by 2020. The president understands that even our enrollment of just over 100 here in Fredericksburg will rise and be a part of reaching that goal.

As Texas Tech increases its offerings, we look forward to the Hill Country University Center being used more. Opened in 2010, the HCUC has seen slow, steady enrollment growth at both Tech and Austin Community College throughout its infancy. We hope that locals will continue to support these institutions and the center, which Nellis called “a first-class facility."

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