A total of 1,786 degrees were awarded during the UL Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette wants Ragin’ Cajuns to turn out for UL System Day in a big way – and is providing free transportation to and from the State Capitol to ensure it.
The annual gathering of the system’s nine member institutions will be held from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday on the lawn of Louisiana’s skyscraper capitol. The day showcases academic programs from each university, and includes musical and dance performances, and a spirit competition.
Jennifer LeMeunier, executive director of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association, noted that the University is the system’s largest institution. Its fall enrollment was more than 19,000 students.
“ULS Day spotlights our system for legislators and other elected leaders and reminds them of the vital work our universities do. It’s also a fantastic way for individual universities to brag a little about what sets them apart,” she said.
“There’s no doubt that the people and programs at UL Lafayette make it a distinctive place. I want to encourage every member of the Ragin’ Cajuns family – employees, students, alumni and supporters alike – to join us in Baton Rouge on Wednesday.”
UL Lafayette hopes to bring about 200 Ragin' Cajuns to the event. Buses will leave campus at 8:30 a.m. and return by 4:30 p.m. Participants should register at https://ulsystemday.eventbrite.com and indicate whether they’d like to reserve a bus seat.
People traveling to Baton Rouge individually should meet the UL Lafayette group at 10:30 a.m. on the State Capitol lawn. Lunch will be provided.
Patricia Cottonham, UL Lafayette’s vice president for Student Affairs, said students are encouraged to attend, but reminded them to check with professors before registering. Students will be excused from classes as long as their absences do not conflict with tests, study and review sessions, or other obligations.
“ULS Day is important. Participants become ambassadors for their universities. It’s a chance to meet face-to-face with elected leaders and remind them of the economic and social contributions our members institutions make in every section of Louisiana,” Cottonham said.
“It’s about strength in numbers. So please, join us Wednesday and don’t forget to wear red!”
Gov. John Bel Edwards, UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson, and system Board of Supervisors chair Mark Romero are expected to speak starting at 12:30 p.m. A group photo will follow at 1 p.m. on the Capitol steps.
Senators and representatives will recognize UL System Day in their respective chambers at 2 p.m.