A total of 1,786 degrees were awarded during the UL Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns student-athletes have a new place to hit the books.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s 5,431-square-foot Student-Athlete Academic Services Center replaces the previous learning center in Agnes Edwards Hall.
The new state-of-the-art center on the third floor of Edith Garland Dupré Library houses a 25-desk classroom, a 48-seat computer lab, tutoring spaces with computers, connections for laptops, offices and other amenities.
“It’s designed to give student-athletes tools to succeed in the classroom and in their respective sports,” said Christy Alford, assistant director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Academics Services.
In addition to academic support, UL Lafayette’s more than 400 student-athletes are instructed about NCAA, Sun Belt Conference and University regulations and standards.
Beyond keeping Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on the playing field, the center helps prepare them for life after the last whistle blows, Alford said.
“It provides resources that will help student-athletes reach their personal and professional goals. That starts with academic accomplishment,” she explained.
The strategy is working.
Over the last five years, student-athletes at the University have consistently graduated at rates higher than their peers at the Sun Belt Conference’s 12 institutions and the state’s 11 Division 1 schools.
"The success is a testament to our student-athletes. They work very hard to achieve their goals,” Alford said.
Photo caption: The University’s new Student-Athlete Academic Services Center provides tutoring and academic counseling for its more than 400 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns who play 16 sports. (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette).