Choosing the perfect place to attend college can be a tough decision. There are several factors to consider, such as location, curriculum, and just the overall feel of the campus. This year, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette decided to show future Ragin' Cajuns what makes the University so special using a new approach.
Over the summer, the UL Lafayette Alumni Association partnered with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment to pioneer the Alumni Student Recruitment Program. The purpose of this program is to have UL Lafayette alumni write personalized letters to potential students who are considering attending the University. Alumni and students are matched based on similarities such as their area of study or geographic region. Therefore, if a student is from the New Orleans area and wants to study nursing, they would be matched with an alumnus who has one or both of those characteristics.
Jonathan Adams currently serves as the student coordinator for the program. His primary responsibility is facilitating the matching process. "I'm in charge of matching prospective students who haven't registered for orientation yet with alumni from the University," said Adams. In this first year of the program, Adams said that they focused on recruiting alumni who were already involved with the University or Alumni Association. In the future, they look forward to expanding the program to alumni all across the country. "If we can get our alumni connected, we can make [our] Ragin' Cajun family a whole lot bigger," said Adams.
With the commitment of our alumni, 179 letter recipients enrolled in the University for the fall semester. Bridget Meaux is an alumna who wrote letters. Meaux '10 is a proud graduate of the University with a degree in chemical engineering. She currently lives in New Orleans and is an account manager for SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions. Meaux is a member of the Alumni Association Council and heard about the program during the council's spring meeting. After hearing about the program, she immediately knew that she wanted to get involved. She wrote a total of 75 letters to potential students. As a first-generation college student, Meaux tried to impart some words of wisdom in her letters, including tips for how to succeed in college. "I wanted to let them know that [they] had to come and experience this because [UL Lafayette] becomes your home," said Meaux.
Bladyn Breaux was one of the students that received a letter through the program. At first, he was surprised to receive a letter in the mail. Breaux thought that it was just something generic that they sent to all incoming freshmen. However, after reading the letter, he was shocked. "After reading the letter, I felt that I was cared about and that I was not just another student," said Breaux. Lauren Bainter had a similar reaction when she received her letter in the mail. "This letter definitely showed how the University is constantly trying to help its students," said Bainter.
With 2020 quickly approaching, the Alumni Association is excited to bring the Alumni Student Recruitment Program back for another year. Our alumni all have unique experiences during their time at UL Lafayette, and this program gives them a chance to share their knowledge with the next generation of Ragin' Cajuns.
If you would like more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please fill out the form online, and an Alumni Association representative will contact you.