Blanco is the only female to be Louisiana governor. She served from 2004 to 2008, and directed recovery hurricane recovery efforts in 2005.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette conferred 343 degrees during its Summer Commencement ceremony on Friday at the Cajundome Convention Center.
Bachelor’s degrees were awarded to 245 graduates and master’s degrees were awarded to 86 graduates. Twelve graduates earned doctoral degrees.
The University held its first summer ceremony since 1949 in 2014. Summer Commencement was reintroduced to give graduating seniors an opportunity to participate in a ceremony without having to wait until the end of the fall semester.
On Friday, posthumous doctorates in educational leadership were awarded to the families of Sheila Guidry, who died Aug. 20, 2016, and Brad Wedlock, who died April 3.
Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, told Summer 2017 graduates they are part of the largest summer class in University history. The 3,549 total degrees awarded this academic year is also a school record.
“As you move into the next phase of your life, I encourage you to take that same sense of hope, optimism, hard work and tenacity that brought you to this day and carry it with you for the rest of your life in whatever you choose to do,” Savoie said.
“You have the opportunity to use your abilities to solve problems, and to help others.”
Keynote speaker Corey Saft, a University professor and practicing architect, told graduates they have “acquired critical thinking, applied thinking and speculative thinking” skills.
“Your time at the University has been a sort of dry run for work and life … and these are the skills that will underlie everything,” said Saft, who earned the UL Lafayette Foundation’s Distinguished Professor Award in 2017 and the University’s Research Excellence Award last year.
Photo: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette