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Lafayette businessman and local humanitarian Robert Trahan received an award of a different kind during graduation ceremonies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on May 15.
Trahan was awarded an Honorary Degree in Humanities from UL Lafayette President Ray Authement during Graduate School ceremonies at the Cajundome.
“ I know no one person who deserves the title of humanitarian better than Robert does,” said Authement. “I look at him and see a man that is a part of the fabric of this university and part of the fabric of this community.”
Trahan, president and chairman of the board for Lafayette Motors, is a 1968 graduate of then-USL. His accomplishments and community involvement fill pages. He’s served as president of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association as well as Ragin’ Cajun Facilities Inc. - a non profit organization which brought apartment-style housing to the university.
He’s chaired campaigns that have raised funds for St. Thomas More High School as well as Cathedral-Carmel Elementary School and the UL Lafayette Alumni Association. With United Way of Acadiana, Trahan has served 17 years in various capacities including campaign chairman, board president and vice president for major gifts.
He’s also a founding member of the UL Lafayette Louisiana Classics Inc., the Miles Perret Cancer Center and the Games of Acadiana Inc.
“ When I think of Robert Trahan, I always think of the word generosity,” said Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a 1964 graduate of then-USL. “I’ve seen him in many settings and he’s always the one who wants to take care of everyone else. Robert is concerned about everyone in the community and he’s always looking to help other people.
“ I don’t know a soul as generous of spirit as Robert Trahan,” said Blanco.
With the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Trahan has served as president, first vice president, vice chairman for finance and vice president for governmental affairs.
He’s the recipient of numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Award from the UL Lafayette Alumni Association, The Heymann Foundation Participation Award, the Lafayette Civic Cup Award, the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boys Scouts of America and Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Planned Giving Council of Acadiana.
Trahan is married to the former Coni Roy and they have five children and eight grandchildren.