William Dailey’s deep roots in Southern Louisiana culture and language enamored his connection with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He decided to study at UL Lafayette for many reasons.
“I love the city of Lafayette. I knew that studying here at UL Lafayette meant being able to take my French beyond the classroom and into this wonderful city, with all of its native speakers, tourists, festivals, and more! I also had two older siblings who both attended, and they were able to vouch for all the great things to expect here,” he said. "I love the culture at UL Lafayette. So many people on campus are genuinely kind, including those who work here. It feels like there is a shared sense of school pride, especially when it comes to sports.”
William’s passion for French ensued when his high school French teacher encouraged him to apply for a scholarship to a five-week French immersion program in Nova Scotia, Canada.
"I had the time of my life there! Going abroad was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Ever since then, I’ve had this desire to share my love for the French language with others, especially as it is part of our cultural DNA here in south Louisiana."
He chose to double major in public relations, which has helped him improve in speaking well, writing meaningfully, and developing relationships. William’s favorite public relations course is Principles of Public Relations taught by Dr. Auverset.
He said, “I took this class as a junior, where we learned about all the different hats you juggle as a PR professional. I enjoyed how the course was very discussion-based, and we were able to get into some very interesting conversations about the media landscape of today.”
“We spent a lot of time learning phonetic transcription, or how to break down a word into each of its phonemes. We then learned the how and why of all the sounds you can form with the French alphabet. Being able to approach words so scientifically opened my eyes to just how much I love language! After learning the ‘mechanics’ of the French language in this class, I feel like I can pronounce any word with ease.”
Leadership and community engagement matters a great deal to William. He is currently an Assistant Director to the John 15 ministry program with the Ragin’ Cajun Catholics, where freshmen can find community and spiritual formation in small groups led by upperclassmen volunteers.
He said, “My role is to serve behind the scenes with the rest of the Executive Board, seeing to the needs of our group leaders so they can do their part stress-free. This experience has taught me relationship management in an organization, as well as developing some of my closest friendships on campus.”
William is also the president of Francofus, UL Lafayette’s official French club. The club meets every second Saturday of the month at the Lafayette farmers market where they have a French table for people of all skill levels and backgrounds come and practice French.
After graduation, William plans to work in tourism.
"This is already a huge industry for Louisiana, and I would like to dedicate my energy toward further connecting French Louisiana with the rest of the Francophone world. Traveling abroad has been incredibly formative to the way I see the world. I want to offer that kind of experience to other people.”