Fall is approaching, and so is the upcoming Louisiana football season.
What a great time to be a Ragin’ Cajun! In addition to great success on the athletic fields, our University is making great strides in many areas under President Savoie’s leadership.
Even with tougher enrollment standards, the University reached an all-time record enrollment last year with more than 19,000 students in the fall semester. The Fall 2016 freshman class also had a record number of high school valedictorians and the highest high school cumulative GPA and average ACT score in school history. Over the last decade, graduation rates have risen by more than 49%. The improvements to University facilities over the last decade are simply remarkable. By increasing the prestige and reputation of our University, these successes add value to our own degrees as alumni.
All of this has been accomplished amidst some of the largest financial cuts to higher education in Louisiana history. Only eight years ago, UL Lafayette received approximately 67% of its funding from the state. By last year, that level had fallen to 30%. We should all be proud that our University has continued its long-standing tradition of doing more with less! However, this reduced state funding requires the University to seek funding from other sources, including its alumni.
For so many of us, our time as a student at UL Lafayette or USL (or maybe even SLI) was a crucially formative time in our lives and careers. Whether the education we received opened doors for success, the relationships we made created friendships for life, a professor or administrator gave us the encouragement or confidence we needed to forge ahead, or the institution gave us a sense of place that became part of our identity, our time at this University made it forever a part of who we are, and we a part of it.
The Alumni Association plays an integral role in strengthening the ties and loyalty of our alumni in order to support our University now and for generations to come. Through a multitude of fun engagement opportunities throughout Acadiana, the country, and even the world, the Alumni Association provides a “home base” for our alumni to stay connected to the University and its people.
Of course, it takes a continual source of funding to maintain a successful Alumni Association. Please consider contributing to the Alumni Association’s Loyalty Fund as a way to support the University. Contributions can be made in any amount and are very much appreciated. Those who contribute at the $100 ($50 for graduates within the last five years) or $250 level receive various benefits such as access to the Alumni Association’s hospitality tent at home football games. See the full list of benefits to learn more. Other larger contributions and sponsorships with specialized recognition and benefits are also available and needed. Please contact the Alumni Association office at (337) 482-0900 for more information.
On behalf of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association, thank you for your support. I look forward to seeing you at one of our many events over the next year.
Kyle M. Bacon
UL Lafayette Alumni Association
Caption: Kyle Bacon addresses the Alumni Council at its annual fall meeting during Leadership Weekend.