A total of 1,786 degrees were awarded during the UL Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette welcomed roughly 3,000 first-time freshmen during its Fall 2018 Convocation ceremony.
Dr. Joseph Savoie, University president, told the Class of 2022 gathered on Tuesday at the Cajundome that they “are here to pursue knowledge and we want you to accept every opportunity to do just that.”
Savoie cited textbooks and laboratories, lectures and service learning activities as several ways new students can learn during their time at UL Lafayette. Yet he challenged students to tap a resource they may not have considered yet: themselves.
Savoie encouraged new students to begin their college careers “with optimism, hard work, and determination.”
“We’ll encourage you to think bigger and challenge you to reach higher. Because when you do, good things will happen,” he said.
Dr. Jaimie Hebert, UL Lafayette’s provost, affirmed Savoie’s message.
Hebert, a native of Abbeville, La., returned home in July to become the University’s provost.
He earned three degrees in statistics from UL Lafayette – a bachelor’s degree in 1986, a master’s degree in 1988, and a doctoral degree in 1990.
“When I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, I knew that within the walls of its buildings, in the shade of its oaks, beneath the arches of its Quadrangle, in its labs and in its library, were extraordinary opportunities,” Hebert said.
“High school taught me to learn. UL Lafayette taught me to think.”
Jaida Abshire, a freshman from Kaplan, La., is already thinking beyond her undergraduate years.
She plans to apply to medical school in about four years.
First, she’ll pursue a biology degree at the University because “I always heard it’s a great program and I’m confident it will prepare me to achieve my goals,” she said.
Convocation is hosted by the University’s Office of First-Year Experience.
Alum Hollis Conway, assistant director for diversity, leadership and education for the University's Department of Athletics, was master of ceremonies for the event.
Watch the Convocation ceremony:
Photo caption: Hollis Conway speaks to first-time freshmen during UL Lafayette's Fall 2018 Convocation at the Cajundome. (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)