Olivia LaHaye is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Outstanding Master’s Graduate.
The Lowry family has been an avid supporter of the University and the community for years. Because of this dedication, the Alumni Association is extremely excited to honor Bill & Betty Lowry & Family as our 2020 Spring Gala honorees. Their family legacy is rooted in service and spirit throughout the past generations, and it all began when Bill met Betty at the University so many years ago.
It all started over 65 years ago when William “Peanuts” Lowry came to Lafayette from Memphis to play college football. It was here he met the former Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Jeanmard, and it’s been a Ragin’ Cajun love affair ever since. “[Bill] was so outgoing,” said Betty Lowry.
They married in 1955 and started their family. Bill and Betty have five children: Mella, Mary Beth, Louie, Claire, and David. Being born and raised in Acadiana, it was natural that they would all attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and follow the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Bill played football for two years and graduated in 1952 with a degree in business administration. After college, Bill spent four years in the US Marines and became a Marine aviator.
During her college days, Betty was a member of the Red Jackets campus spirit group before graduating in 1954 with a degree in chemistry. She was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and was also valedictorian of her graduating class.
In 1981, they opened Lowry’s Printing and Signs. With hard work and a dedicated staff, the business has grown into one of the area’s premier printing and sign companies. They not only support UL Lafayette but also give to numerous non-profits throughout Acadiana. The business now includes over 20 employees, including Lowry siblings, Mella, Mary Beth, Louie, and Claire. Members of the third generation of their family have also joined the Lowry Team.
Bill served several years as president of the “S” Club (now the Ragin’ Cajuns Letterman’s Club), and Betty, meanwhile, helped organize the first Red Jacket reunion. Bill passed away in July 2011, but his memory lives on through his friends, family, and loved ones.
When asked how she felt about receiving this extraordinary honor with her family, Betty Lowry was overjoyed. “I was so surprised,” said Lowry. Lowry says that one of her favorite memories she has with the University is participating in the Paint the Town Red-Businesses competition every year during Homecoming week. Lowry’s Printing and Signs always goes above and beyond by creating elaborate displays that show off their Ragin’ Cajun pride to the community. “We have enjoyed participating with our displays, and our employees enjoy it, too,” said Lowry.
Lowry says that she is looking forward to so many things surrounding the Spring Gala. Most of all, she is excited to see some old friends in attendance.
This year’s Spring Gala will be held at the Alumni Center on Saturday, March 28, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. Tickets are $100 per individual. Sponsor tables are available for $5,000, and patron tables are $2,000.
President-elect of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association, Beverly Black, serves as chairperson of Spring Gala with Mary Galyean serving as auction chair. In the last 23 years, Spring Gala has surpassed the $1 million milestone in net proceeds thanks to the generous contributions of our community and alumni. The Alumni Association greatly appreciates the support received to help our facilities continue to thrive for years to come.
Header Photo: Family photo of Betty Lowry and her and Bill's five children (by Jay Faugot)
Bottom Photo: Left to right: Headshot of the late Bill Lowry, a wedding photo of Bill and Betty Lowry, and a headshot of Betty Lowry