Music has always been a core component of alumnus Gerald Guilbeaux’s life.
Lifelong friendships, especially those that span several decades, are treasures to hold on to. Three UL Lafayette alumni have maintained a friendship over seven decades and recently reconnected after not seeing each other in person for 72 years.
Claire Hollier, Camille Carmouche, and Dolores Salvo all met as students at then Southwestern Louisiana Institute, where they studied home economics and became roommates. They all graduated from the University in 1952. They did their best to keep in touch as their lives went in different directions. While in school, the three women shared an extraordinary bond and made memories that have lasted a lifetime. One of their fondest memories was being a part of the Red Jackets—the University’s former pep squad. “Those were some of the best memories,” said Hollier.
After being apart for over 70 years, all three former roommates finally connected recently in Lafayette. Dolores Salvo made the most extensive trip by traveling from her home in Massachusetts to make sure that she could be there for the reunion. “It’s so special getting together again,” said Salvo.
Even with the ample time spent apart, Salvo feels like no time has passed. “To be able to feel like you are 17 or 18 again…it’s just awesome,” said Salvo. All three ladies agree that their reunions need to become a more regular occurrence. Next time, they may even explore campus to see all of the new updates and find their bricks on the Walk of Honor.
These three ladies have shown that no matter how much time has passed, friendships last forever. They’re thankful for the University that brought them together. However, most importantly, they’re grateful to have each other still all these years later.
Photo: (Left to right) Dolores Salvo, Camille Carmouche, and Claire Hollier.