Carnival season is already a highlight to most Cajuns living in south Louisiana, but this year’s Mardi Gras festivit
By purchasing a University of Louisiana at Lafayette license plate, vehicle owners accomplish more than expressing their pride.
“Not only are you visually showing your support for and loyalty to the University, you’re also supporting future students’ success through scholarship funds,” said Jennifer LeMeunier, executive director of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association.
Most of the “prestige” plate fee goes to the Association’s Scholarship Fund.
The plate, currently on its third redesign, features the University’s athletics logo against a white field trimmed in red at the top and at the bottom. The word “Louisiana” is across the top of the license plate. “Geaux Cajuns” is across the bottom.
All Louisiana residents may purchase a UL Lafayette plate through the state’s Office of Motor Vehicles. It costs $52 above the regular vehicle registration fee and is valid for two years. Of that $52, $50 is directed to the Association’s Scholarship Fund.
Anyone purchasing a new vehicle can ask to fill out paperwork at auto dealerships to purchase a UL Lafayette plate.
"The latest design replaces a UL Lafayette-themed license plate that debuted in 1994," said John Claude Arceneaux, assistant director of the Alumni Association. The original plate, which features the University’s distinctive red fleur-de-lis against a solid white background, is no longer available for purchase.
“That plate is very attractive and we weren’t displeased with it,” Arceneaux explained. “However, most schools introduce a redesign every four or five years and we’ve had the same one for more than 20 years.”
Supporters who wish to exchange their existing prestige plates for the newest version immediately – or who will do so when their current plate expires – can retain their existing plate numbers. “They can keep their plate numbers by specifying that they would like a ‘remake,’ ” Arceneaux said.
A motorist who buys a new plate before the previous one expires will be given credit for the unexpired registration.
Macy Mitchell, a former student at UL Lafayette, didn’t wait until she arrived on campus to display her Ragin’ Cajun spirit and pride. Her car was already sporting one of UL Lafayette’s newest redesigned “prestige” license plates when she drove onto campus the first day of classes.
“I’ve always been a really big UL fan, and the new design is cool and cute and I just really like it a lot,” Mitchell said.
Members of the Judice family are not shy about their Ragin’ Cajun pride and have always been loyal University supporters, so it came as no surprise that they all don a UL Lafayette license plate on their vehicles too.
Alumni and fans throughout Louisiana and Texas have the opportunity to support the school through a license plate of their own. For more information, visit the Alumni Association webpage.
Photo: Members of the Judice family pose next to their vehciles, all sporting Ragin' Cajuns license plates.