Viewpoint: November 2, 2012

As excitement grows to a near fever pitch for the LSU-Alabama showdown in Tiger Stadium Saturday, there is plenty to get excited about as it relates to LSU's most important mission – academics.

LSU recently announced its 6-year graduation rate has increased to nearly 67 percent, an all-time high. To put that number in a better context, it stood at a paltry 39 percent 20 years ago. Interim Chancellor William Jenkins said the 67 percent graduation rate also represents another milestone – it's the first time LSU's graduation rate will surpass the average of its Southern region peers.

Topping off the good news from the classroom this was announced that for the second year in a row, LSU football has achieved the second highest graduation rate in the SEC among its players. The 77 percent graduation rate trails only Vanderbilt and means LSU has already scored one victory over Alabama.

So, as more than 90,000 of you create the unforgettable experience that is "Saturday night in Tiger Stadium," remember that some of LSU's greatest achievements are occurring off the field these days...and that is something we can all be proud of.