Music has always been a core component of alumnus Gerald Guilbeaux’s life.
One of the best ways for UL Lafayette alumni to stay connected with their alma mater is to get involved with the Alumni Association. John Pere '79 is a proud alumnus of the University and volunteers his time with the Alumni Association as one way to give back. Pere is a retired petroleum engineer and is currently a member of the Alumni Association’s Executive Board. Throughout his time volunteering with the Alumni Association, Pere has made a significant impact on the community and the University.
Originally from Abbeville, Pere decided to attend the University based on its location and affordability. He always knew that he wanted to study petroleum engineering and dove headfirst into his studies as an undergraduate student. Pere was the vice president of the Student Society of Petroleum Engineers and even got to attend an engineering conference with the organization. Besides his schoolwork, Pere fully immersed himself in the culture at the University by going to football games, basketball games, and participating in a classic Ragin’ Cajun tradition: Lagniappe Day. Most importantly, Pere met his wife as a student on campus, and the two have been together ever since.
After graduation, Pere began working at Hess Corporation, where he mainly worked land-based operations. Later, he ended up moving to Houston, where he got the opportunity to work on international projects in places like West Africa and Australia. “It was a challenging but enjoyable experience,” said Pere. While living in Houston, Pere began to get involved with the Alumni Association more. The former Senior Director of Planned Giving for the University, the late David Comeaux, visited Pere and his wife in Houston. Comeaux connected Pere to John Blohm, who, at the time, was the newly hired vice president for University Advancement. Blohm and Pere discussed how they both thought that there could be more engagement with alumni in the Houston area. A few months later, Pere received a letter from the Alumni Association asking him to be the out-of-state liaison for the Alumni Association. From there, Pere then moved over to the Alumni Association Executive Board, where he has served for the past three years.
Some of Pere’s favorite events that the Alumni Association puts on include tailgating before home football games and the annual Spring Gala. He also got the chance to participate in the new Alumni Student Retention Program this year. The purpose of this program is to have UL Lafayette alumni write personalized letters to potential students who are considering attending the University. “I felt like it was a great program to get involved with,” said Pere. Since he studied petroleum engineering, he got the chance to write personalized letters to potential students who were interested in pursuing that same field. Not only does he give back to the University through the Alumni Association, but Pere is also a member of the UL Lafayette Petroleum Engineering Advisory Board. As a member of this board, Pere can provide input on the curriculum to make sure that it is up-to-date with current trends in the industry.
Throughout his time volunteering with the Alumni Association, Pere has realized the importance of staying connected to your alma mater. His passion for the institution is palpable, and his excitement for the future of the University and the Alumni Association is contagious. The Alumni Association is extremely grateful for all of the time and dedication that Pere has given to his alma mater. Because of people like him, the Alumni Association can fulfill its mission and help Ragin’ Cajuns across the country stay connected to the University.
Photo: Headshot of John Pere