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Chantelle Aaron begins year as Alumni Association President

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Dear Fellow Alumni,

I am truly excited about being this year’s president of your Alumni Association. I am a huge fan of the University and also a fan of Marvel Comics, so I’d like to think of myself as this year’s Nick Fury of UL Lafayette.

That fictional character works for S.H.I.E.L.D, an espionage agency in Marvel Comics. S.H.I.E.L.D.  gathers a group of superheroes who are capable of defending Earth from impending threats. It calls its efforts the Avenger Initiative. Along with the Alumni Association staff, the Board is assembling a team of individuals with special abilities, too. I refer to it as the Alumni Initiative.

All of our alumni volunteers are superheroes at heart, giving much of their time, talents and efforts to ensure that fellow alums feel welcome and have a place to build on relationships and cultivate new ones. Their superhuman efforts are definitely appreciated by the staff and by me.

In the world of DC Comics, most superheroes have unassuming alter egos. Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, for example, don’t want to be identified. Here at the Alumni Initiative, we sincerely discourage hiding true talents, abilities and identities. We want to know the special abilities you possess, help you refine and develop those abilities and celebrate you when you accomplish great feats. Our work may not save lives or prevent world destruction, but what we do makes the world better, one crawfish boil at a time.

How can you help us make this year spectacular? Attend events and do or say one thing to make someone else smile while you are there. Introduce yourself to at least one person you have not already met. Get to really know the leadership of every chapter or regional club you may be affiliated with and offer to use your superpowers to help out before, during or after events.

Be sure to tell middle and high school students how wonderful UL is and how the University impacted your life. Promote your college or department by spreading the word about new programs and facilities on campus.

Finally, in this time of uncertain funding for higher education, assist with fundraising efforts to provide scholarships, especially for seniors who have exhausted TOPS funding; improve facilities; and help the Association provide engagement opportunities for all of our alumni family.

I am proud to report that for the coming academic year, the Alumni Association will award a record number of 35 $2,000 scholarships to UL Lafayette upperclassmen. The Houston Ragin’ Cajun Club offers scholarships to students from its geographic area and the Christiana Smith African-American Alumni Chapter will award $4,500 in scholarships to UL Lafayette students this academic year. Also, children of UL Lafayette alumni receive a waiver of out-of-state fees through its Louisiana Legacy Program.

It is a great time to get involved and unleash the superhero in you. We look forward to having you join our Alumni Initiative.

Chantelle Aaron, ’95
College of Education, Exercise Science


Photo: Chantelle Aaron '95 addresses the Alumni Council at Leadership Weekend, the council's annual fall meeting.