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Walk of Honor replica brick honors mother’s University legacy

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From an early age, alumna Sarah Lopez can remember the first sights and sounds of UL Lafayette’s campus she experienced with her mother, Anita Hazelwood, by her side. “We would always go to Cypress Lake as kids and see the alligators,” Lopez said.

Hazelwood, who has worked at the University since 1976, instilled its culture and traditions in her children, including visiting the Walk of Honor with them. The Walk of Honor winds through campus, featuring bricks with the names of more than 120,000 alumni.

Several of those bricks feature the names of many in Hazelwood’s family tree. “I would always take my kids to find my brick, their dad’s brick and the bricks of their grandparents and aunts. I had a lot of bricks to find,” Hazelwood said.

All of of Hazelwood’s children ended up attending UL Lafayette. They witnessed first-hand how their mother grew as a professor and leader within the University over the past 40 years. “Everyone that I talk to loves my mom. I don’t know that I’ve met anyone that doesn’t love her,” Lopez said.

This past holiday season, Lopez wanted to get her mom a special gift to honor her journey as a Ragin’ Cajun. She knew the perfect gift — a Walk of Honor commemorative brick. As the co-owner of Awardmaster, Lopez has been able to provide replica bricks to alumni across the country. Graduates from any year can purchase one for their home or office. A portion of the proceeds also goes back to supporting the UL Lafayette Alumni Association.

When Hazelwood, a two-time UL Lafayette graduate, opened her daughter’s gift on Christmas morning, she couldn’t believe she could hold a piece of her treasured memories in her hands.

Picture of the Walk of Honor Commemorative Bricks.“The replica bricks make such special gifts for yourself or someone else,” Hazelwood said. “Just looking at my bricks brings back wonderful memories of my time at UL Lafayette as a student and faculty member. The replica bricks are also lovely reminders to be proud of what you’ve accomplished in obtaining a degree from this outstanding institution.”

Lopez cherishes the fact she can share this special UL Lafayette connection with her mom and can’t imagine anyone more deserving of a replica brick. “My mom does everything for everyone but herself. So, this one time, it was nice to give back to her. We see all the things she does for the community, and there is truly not a better role model for me out there,” Lopez said.

Hazelwood said she’s proud to display her replica bricks in her office on campus. Most importantly, she loves that she can now show her grandchildren her actual bricks on the Walk of Honor and pass down her Ragin’ Cajuns spirit to the next generation.

For more information about the Walk of Honor or purchasing a replica brick, visit the UL Lafayette Alumni Association website.


Photo Captions: Main: Sarah Lopez and her mother, Anita Hazelwood, smile for a family photo with her husband Adam Lopez and son Grey. (Submitted) In-Story: A Walk of Honor Commemorative Brick with optional stand. (Photo Credit: UL Lafayette)