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UL Lafayette to award honorary doctorate to James Devin Moncus

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A community leader, businessman and philanthropist will earn an honorary doctorate of nursing practice posthumously from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette during Fall 2021 Commencement ceremonies.

James “Jim” Devin Moncus will be recognized with the honorary degree during the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions’ ceremony on Friday, Dec. 17. It will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center. Moncus died earlier this year at age 81.

Individual Commencement ceremonies for UL Lafayette’s eight academic colleges and its Graduate School will be held over two days – on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Cajundome and Convention Center.

Moncus, who was born in Houston, entered the oil and gas industry after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He came to Lafayette in 1962, after his first oil and gas job in Casper, Wyoming, ended suddenly. Moncus worked for Lamb Oil for over a decade; in 1974, he founded the oilfield equipment company known today as Devin International. Moncus held patents for dozens of oilfield tools and procedures during an almost 50-year career in the industry.

He sold the company in 2008. Moncus shifted his focus and energy to continuing his decades-long commitment to philanthropy, establishing the James Devin Moncus Family Foundation.

In a letter nominating him for the honorary doctorate, Dr. Melinda Oberleitner, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, wrote that Moncus “set a standard for public service that is compatible with the highest ideals of the University.”

That high standard is noticeable across the community. He helped to establish the JD Moncus Cancer Center at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center and the James Devin Moncus Family Theatre at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

He was also a driving force behind Moncus Park, about 100 acres of green space along Johnston Street being developed into a public park.

Among many contributions to UL Lafayette, Moncus established scholarships and endowed professorships. His longstanding support of the University touches many corners of campus, including arts, nursing, sciences and athletics.

Moncus was recognized as a distinguished donor by the UL Lafayette Foundation, and received the Community Foundation of Acadiana Leader in Philanthropy Award.

In 2017, the Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting designated Moncus a “Louisiana Legend.” The honor acknowledges people who have distinguished themselves in arenas such as art, entertainment, politics, public service, writing and athletics.

Moncus’ “widespread contributions to education, health care, community improvement projects, and the arts are unparalleled,” Oberleitner wrote.

Photo caption: James “Jim” Devin Moncus, who died earlier this year at 81, will be recognized with an honorary degree during the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions’ Commencement on Friday, Dec. 17. It will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center. Photo credit: Submitted photo / University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

 

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