Dear Alumni and Friends,
I am honored to serve as Alumni Association president for the coming year.
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1979, back when we were known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana. My wife of 40 years, Sheryl, graduated from USL in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in health information management.
2020 was a very trying year for individuals and for organizations such as the Alumni Association. However, I am proud to say that the Association was able to turn adversity into opportunity. Under the leadership of Beverly Black, our immediate past president, a task force made recommendations that will enable us to develop a strategic plan for growth and sustainability.
I am confident we have a team in place that will make this vision a reality. I look forward to working with Beverly, our executive board and Alumni Council members, alumni committees and volunteers, the leadership of our various clubs and chapters, the Alumni Association staff, and the University administration to develop and implement this plan.
I also anticipate increased collaboration with various departments and units across the campus community to further our engagement efforts. Our Athletics Department is known as the front porch of the University, but I would like the Alumni Association to be its path, leading our alumni back home.
With the lifting of restrictions that were in place to mitigate the pandemic, I am excited that we are once again planning to have in-person functions such as tailgating, Homecoming, Spring Gala, and club and chapter events. Be on the lookout for announcements about upcoming alumni events like the one just held in Austin, Texas, in conjunction with the game between our Ragin' Cajuns and the University of Texas Longhorns, an exciting and fun weekend on the road.
The theme of my tenure is "A Call to Action." We want to grow the Association so we can better serve alumni across the globe. It is now time for us to act! To that end, the Association is planning to:
- develop a strategic plan that will serve as a blueprint to create an even more robust Association.
- increase engagement with our alumni by staff or board members attending club and chapter events,
- participate in community outreach projects; and
- increase our Loyalty Fund Membership.
The Alumni Association will need everyone's help to accomplish these goals. You can answer our "Call to Action" by participating in events, volunteering, encouraging friends and family with children who will be entering college to consider attending the University, and donating to the Alumni Loyalty Fund.
It is an exciting time to be a UL Lafayette alumnus and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Together, we can grow the Alumni Association and support our beloved alma mater.
All the Best and GEAUX CAJUNS!
John Pere – '79
Photo Caption: John Pere' Photo Credit: Courtney Bergeron/UL Lafayette