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University conferring 1,348 degrees during Commencement ceremonies

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is doubly proud of its Fall 2020 graduates.

It’s celebrating them over two days, during Commencement ceremonies on Tuesday and Wednesday.

UL Lafayette is awarding a total of 1,348 degrees this semester, including 1,038 bachelor’s degrees and 19 doctoral degrees. The 291 master’s degrees being conferred are the most in University history.

Ceremonies for the colleges of the Arts, Business Administration, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and University College were set for Tuesday. Ceremonies for the colleges of Engineering and Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and the Graduate School are Wednesday.

Most semesters, graduates are recognized at ceremonies for their respective colleges and at a General Assembly at the Cajundome. This semester, individual college ceremonies are being held at outdoor venues to ensure the health and safety of attendees; there is no General Assembly.

Cajun Field, Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park and M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park are serving as Commencement venues.

During the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences’ ceremony Tuesday at Russo Park, Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, praised graduates for persevering despite hardships posed by COVID-19 and two hurricanes.

“The difficulties of this year should not obscure the opportunities that remain ahead of us, and all of you will play a role in the shape of things to come,” he said.

“The future is not determined by the uncertainty of today. The future is decided by an unyielding faith in a better tomorrow. Graduates, you give us all faith that the future is in good hands.”

Dr. James Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, was Commencement speaker for the College of Sciences’ ceremony. Nine Louisiana public universities belong to the system, including UL Lafayette.

Henderson commended graduates for staying the course during a year of “disruption and tumult.” He also reminded them that “regardless of what life might throw our way, even the unexpected turns and unpredictable challenges of a pandemic, we can accomplish our goals.”

“You overcame nearly impossible conditions and became a college graduate,” Henderson said.  

In addition to resilience, the Fall 2020 class is remarkable for its diversity.

Two hundred and sixty-one African American graduates have earned degrees – the second-largest number for a single semester in UL Lafayette history. This semester’s 71 Hispanic graduates are the most ever for a fall semester.

Fall 2020 graduates represent 49 Louisiana parishes; 29 states and U.S. territories; and 28 foreign countries.

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David Allen is the University’s Outstanding Master’s Graduate. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from the School of Architecture and Design.

Spencer James Leger is UL Lafayette’s Outstanding Graduate. He earned dual degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry with minors in French and mathematics.

Eleven undergraduates earned summa cum laude honors for achieving perfect 4.0 GPAs.

  • Emily Elise Andries, who majored in elementary education, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
  • Peter J. Bergeaux, who majored in biology, earned a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
  • Paige E. Bourg, who majored in speech pathology and audiology, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
  • Sophia Rose Cefolia, who majored in political science, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
  • Ali K. Faust, who majored in biology and in chemistry, earned bachelor’s degrees from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
  • Kirsten Lee Jackson, who majored in nursing, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.
  • Spencer J. Leger earned dual degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from the College of Engineering and the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
  • Ryan Luquette, who majored in anthropology, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
  • Shelby J. Matt, who majored in speech pathology and audiology, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
  • Alexander Van Nguyen, who majored in informatics, earned a bachelor’s degrees from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
  • Courtney Serigne, who majored in English, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.

View a list of Fall 2020 graduates.

Learn more about Fall 2020 Commencement, including ceremony schedules. View livestreams of individual Fall 2020 Commencement ceremonies.

Photo caption: Fall 2020 graduates from the College of Liberal Arts gather Tuesday at Cajun Field for Commencement. The stadium is one of three venues hosting graduation exercises at UL Lafayette. (Photo credit: Rachel Rafati / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

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