Music has always been a core component of alumnus Gerald Guilbeaux’s life.
One of the main focuses of the Alumni Association is to provide quality engagement for our alumni locally and across the country. None of these activities would be possible if it weren't for the help of our volunteers. Each year, the Alumni Association president names one of these volunteers as the Volunteer of the Year. The 2019 Alumni President's Volunteer of the Year Award recipient is Kathleen Prochaska Guedry.
Originally from Baton Rouge, Guedry '91 studied elementary education. She has been a teacher for 25 years and currently teaches physical education at Dutchtown Primary School. We sat down with Kathleen to learn more about her time as a volunteer with the UL Lafayette Alumni Association.
Alumni: Congratulations on being named the 2019 Volunteer of the Year! Can you tell us about your time as a student at UL Lafayette? What were some of your fondest memories?
Kathleen Guedry: I loved [the University] because it always felt like my home away from home. I think that's why I stayed in the residence halls and wanted to be on staff. Later, I became a residence hall counselor and even the house director of Harris Hall.
I also loved being a part of the intramural sports program. I played on the women's volleyball, co-rec softball, and co-rec volleyball teams. I met so many friends, including my husband, Todd.
Finally, I think my fondest memories are just of the campus itself. They include looking at the beautiful azaleas blooming on St. Mary Boulevard, sitting on the wall of Cypress Lake watching the alligators, and going to church at Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel. The scenery will forever be etched in my mind. [UL Lafayette] was and always will be my happy place.
A: When did you get involved with the Alumni Association?
KG: I have always been a member of the Alumni Association as well as a Loyalty Fund donor. However, I never truly got involved until I was selected to the Alumni Association Council in 2017.
A: Do you have a favorite memory from volunteering?
KG: When I volunteered to help with tailgating this past season, I was able to watch my dad and his brother, both alumni, reminisce about their college days. They shared stories with my daughters, who are now both attending UL Lafayette. As I watched from afar, I could see other people all around the tent laughing and probably sharing stories about their beloved days on campus. The [Alumni Association] tailgate tent is more than just a place for food and drinks. It is a place for memories to be shared with family and friends. I'm so glad I get to witness this each time I volunteer.
A: What would you tell someone who is hesitant about coming to an Alumni Association event?
KG: I would tell them to grab their spouse, family member, or a friend and come! Our Alumni Association events are really held everywhere. You can look at the Alumni Association's website to find events that are even local to you.
A: Finally, do you have any life advice for recent graduates?
KG: My life advice is to simply be positive. I truly believe that if you look at life through positive glasses, good things will come. And remember, you are a Ragin' Cajun, and you will forever be a Ragin' Cajun. You got this!
Learn more about volunteering for the Alumni Association and our current volunteer leadership.
Photo: 2019 Volunteer of the Year recipient, Kathleen Prochaska Guedry, with Chantelle Aaron, 2018-2019 Alumni Association President, and Jennifer LeMeunier, Executive Director.