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Spring 2020 grads recognized at in-person Commencement ceremony

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette held an in-person Commencement on Saturday to recognize Spring 2020 graduates – and to applaud them as members of a historic, record-setting class.

The ceremony was in addition to virtual celebrations UL Lafayette created in May because of bans on large gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The graduates who attended Saturday’s in-person ceremony at M.L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park celebrated in the traditional manner – in full regalia, among family and friends.

Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, told them the resourcefulness and fortitude they displayed in earning degrees while facing unprecedented obstacles have positioned them for success – and proven they are leaders.

“No matter what degree you have received, you will play a role in the shape of things to come. Our recovery from this pandemic and from other challenges we face as a society will find its strength in your ideas, in your ingenuity, in your passions, your intellect, your helping hand, and the power you discover in yourselves,” Savoie said.

Savoie also reminded Spring 2020 graduates they are a record-setting class. The 1,905 degrees earned by Spring 2020 graduates are the most for a single semester in University history.

“Combined with the fall and summer graduating classes, the University awarded 3,610 degrees in the 2019-2020 academic year. That’s another record.”

“These totals include historic numbers of women, African American, Asian and Hispanic graduates, reflecting our deep and ever-growing commitment to diversity, inclusion and student success,” Savoie added.

“Graduates, you are a part of this history.”

Saturday’s ceremony was the third time the University celebrated its spring graduates. It also helped cap this year’s Homecoming activities. 

In May, virtual ceremonies for the University’s eight academic colleges and the Graduate School were posted online. Graduates heard congratulatory messages from administrators, college deans and student leaders. They were also able to create personalized pages with photos, videos and quotes. A televised Commencement celebration was broadcast locally the next day.

Diplomas, commencement programs, and honor cords and medallions were mailed to graduates the following week.

Spring 2020 graduates can share their story with family and friends by using the #ragingrads hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow the University's @ULLafayette and @RaginGraduation Instagram accounts and Twitter account for photos of the event.

Visit the University’s Commencement website for gifs and gif stickers, desktop and phone wallpapers, and downloadable Instagram story templates.

View a list of Spring 2020 graduates.

Photo caption: University of Louisiana at Lafayette Spring 2020 graduates were recognized during an in-person Commencement ceremony Saturday at M.L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park. In May, they were recognized during a virtual Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony UL Lafayette created because of bans on large gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Rachel Rafati / University of Louisiana at Lafayette