A total of 1,786 degrees were awarded during the UL Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.
The state Board of Regents presented UL Lafayette officials with $520,000 in state matching funds for endowed professorships Thursday.
The money will complete 13 endowed professorships at UL Lafayette. These endowments are part of the Regents' Endowed Chair and Eminent Scholars and Endowed Professorships program.
“ This program provides an opportunity for the university to attract top faculty who in turn bring their expertise to the classroom,” said UL Lafayette President Ray Authement. “We thank our donors for their contributions to this program. They are directly responsible for establishing these professorships.”
To create endowed professorships and chairs, universities must raise 60 percent of the cost from private donations. For example, the university must first raise $60,000 for endowed professorships from private sources which are then combined with $40,00 from the Regents. Likewise for chairs, universities must first raise $600,000 in private funds, which are then matched with $400,000 from the state.
Funding for the endowment matching funds program is generated through a permanent trust fund approved by voters in a 1986 constitutional amendment. The original $540 million payment was part of a settlement between the state and federal governments over disputed off-shore oil and gas royalty funds.
By 2005, the trust fund - sometimes referred to as 8(g) - had risen to approximately $976 million. Each year, 25 percent of the interest earned is reinvested in the fund. The Legislature appropriates half of the remaining interest to the Board of Regents for higher education and the other half to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for grades K-12.
“ The Support Fund is a great way for Louisiana's colleges and universities to attract new scholars and researchers,” said E. Joseph Savoie, state commissioner of higher education. “It also helps retain valuable faculty who might otherwise be lured away to out-of-state institutions. This is even more important as many of our institutions work to recover from last year's disasters.”
UL Lafayette endowments which were matched include:
• The Coca-Cola/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Performing Arts
• The Coca-Cola/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Architecture
• Philip and Jean Piccione/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Statistics II
• Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Nalley/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Business Administration 2005
• Lee and Ken Matherne/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Engineering
• Lafayette General Medical Center/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Health Sciences
• Kathy Authement Prouet/BORSF Memorial Endowed Professorship in Education I
• Kathy Authement Prouet/BORSF Memorial Endowed Professorship in Education II
• Harold J. Calais/BORSF Memorial Endowed Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering II
• George and Adelaide Trahan Abraham/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Education
• Florence Mauboules/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Education
• Elmo J. Laborde Jr./BORSF Memorial Endowed Professorship in Accounting
• Dr. Tommy Comeaux/BORSF Memorial Endowed Professorship in Traditional Music VII