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University awards degrees to 1,218 graduates during Commencement

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette awarded degrees to 1,218 graduates during Fall 2017 Commencement ceremonies on Friday.

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees were conferred at ceremonies that were held at different campus locations on Friday.

Dr. Joseph Savoie, University president, congratulated graduates for reaching “the finish line. Today is your victory lap,” he said. Savoie also encouraged graduates to, starting tomorrow, “lace up their running shoes and live a life that inspires someone.”

“There may be people who one day will need your help to reach their own finish line. You should be their coach. Motivate them and cheer them on from the sidelines when they take their own victory lap.”

Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco delivered the Commencement address. Blanco, ’64, also received an honorary doctorate in liberal arts. She is the first and only woman to serve as governor of Louisiana. She took office in 2004.

During her term, Blanco directed the largest investment increase in higher education in state history. She expanded the state’s pre-K program and fully funded Louisiana’s colleges and universities for the first time in 25 years.

Blanco told graduates that although one chapter of their education is over, a new one is set to begin.

“Now, you’re just going to begin learning again. Learning never ends. There’s a whole life out there. And Louisiana has a lot of work for you to do. If you end up staying in Louisiana, God bless you,” she said.

Longtime business and community leader B.I. Moody III received an honorary doctorate in business at the General Assembly.

Moody graduated from the University in 1949, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is chairman of The Moody Company and of Louisiana State Newspapers Inc.

Moody earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University in 1949. He is also a longtime supporter of his alma mater. In February, Moody was honored by the academic college that bears his name: the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.

Peace Eze was recognized as the University’s 2017 Outstanding Graduate. Annie B. Briley was recognized as the Outstanding Master’s Graduate. Eze majored in geology major. Briley earned an MBA.

Four undergraduate students were recognized as summa cum laude graduates. Courtney Marie Bergeron, Alyssa Claire Leger, Claire Nicole David and Kayla Renee Garrett were singled out for achieving perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

View a list of Fall 2017 graduates.

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