A total of 1,786 degrees were awarded during the UL Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.
Fumilayo De Carvalho Rita, 2004 Homecoming Queen for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and her court will reign over Homecoming activities when Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns take on Arkansas State on Oct. 23.
Rita will be joined by her court – Lauren Deranger, Sarah James, Kela Jones and Ashley Roussel – during UL Lafayette’s Homecoming parade and half-time festivities.
Rita, a graduate student in Francophone Studies, is active with the International Student Council as well as the Student Government Association. In addition, she is a member of the Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority, African Students Association, Portuguese Society, European Students Association, Sao Tome and Principe Club and Up Til Dawn for St. Jude’s Hospital.
Upon graduation, Rita who speaks seven languages plans to work for the United Nations. She was nominated for the court by the International Student Council. She is the daughter of Mateus meira Rita and Maria Gabriela De Carvalho of Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe.
Lauren Deranger, a junior in Apparel Design, is the current president of the Ragin’ Peppers and the Association of Future Alumni. She is also a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, Alpha Lambda Delta and the Pre-Fashion Merchandisers Association. Deranger is also in the Honors Program and a member of the Student Orientation Staff.
She is a model for ABOUTFACES Model and Talent Management and a volunteer for Lady of the Oak Retirement Manor.
Deranger was nominated by Ragin’ Peppers. She is the daughter of Lee and Cindy Deranger of Opelousas.
Sarah James, a senior in Business Marketing and Legal Studies, is president of the University Honors Board and Student Vice President of the Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council. Earlier this year she was named the 2004 Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society “Outstanding Rising Senior” at UL Lafayette.
James is president of the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration with the Student Government Association and the Mu Kappa Tau National Marketing Honors Society. She is treasurer of the Ragin’ Peppers and is a member of Gamma Beta Phi Honors and Service Society. She has served as vice president of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society and has been awarded the U.S. Achievement Academy National Business Merit Award.
James was nominated by the Honors Program. She is the daughter of A. Gordon James III and Madeline James of New Iberia.
Kela Jones, a senior in Speech Pathology and Audiology, is captain of the Ragin’ Cajun cheerleaders. In addition, she is a member of the Ragin’ Peppers and the National Student Speech, Hearing and Language Association. She serves on the Spirit Committee and the Traditions Committee.
Jones was nominated by the Ragin’ Cajun cheerleaders. She is the daughter of Viola Monroe and Keith Jones of Lake Charles.
Ashley Roussel, a senior in Hospitality Management, is president of the College of Applied Life Sciences with the Student Government Association and the Society of Hosteurs. She is a Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity Sweetheart and is a member of the Student Orientation Staff and the UL Lafayette Volleyball team. She is also chairwoman for the UPC Issues and World Culture Committee.
Roussel plans to intern at a resort in the Virgin Islands. She was nominated by the Society of Hosteurs. Roussel is the daughter of Yvonne Hulsey and George Roussel of Slidell.
Nominees for the Homecoming Court are submitted by campus organizations. The court is chosen by the senior football players after being interviewed by student leaders.