Congrats, grads! UL holds Fall 2019 commencement ceremony

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UL Lafayette awards record number of master’s degrees during Commencement

LAFAYETTE, La. (UL)-The University of Louisiana at Lafayette awarded 1,358 degrees during its Fall 2019 Commencement on Friday.

Bachelor’s degrees were presented to 1,077 graduates. Master’s degrees were awarded to 255 graduates, the largest number in UL Lafayette history.

Twenty-four graduates received doctoral degrees. One graduate certificate and one post-baccalaureate certificate were bestowed.

The 805 degrees conferred on women are the second-most ever. Fall 2019 graduates represented 50 Louisiana parishes, 30 states and 30 countries. The youngest graduate was 20; the oldest was 61.

At the General Assembly, Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, told graduates that higher education is a “self-perpetuating, intergenerational enterprise. Your college degree increases the likelihood that your children will pursue one as well.”

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That’s significant, he added, because “communities where a high percentage of residents have college degrees have vibrant public education systems, better infrastructure, more opportunities for social mobility, and stronger overall economies.”

University alum and Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot was the Commencement speaker. Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. It is nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and second-largest U.S. charity.

Babineaux-Fontenot told graduates they are among “the largest, most diverse, most educated generation the world has ever known. We need you to use your heads, your hands, your hearts, your feet and your voices to make this world – our world – better.”

Victoria Furka was named UL Lafayette’s Outstanding Graduate. A biology major who minored in chemistry, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.

Tina Billberry was recognized with the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award. She received a master’s degree in nursing, with a family nurse practitioner focus, from the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

Eleven undergraduates were recognized as summa cum laude graduates for achieving perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

  •          Katelyn Grace Clay, who majored in marketing, received a bachelor’s degree from the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
  •          Joni Beatrice-Louise Watson, who majored in hospitality management, received a bachelor’s degree from the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
  •          Emily Claire Delcambre, who majored in elementary education, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
  •          Bryce James Hargis, who majored in kinesiology, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
  •          Mohammed Hamood Khalfan Al Jahmani, who majored in petroleum engineering, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Engineering.
  •          Abigail Renee Guidry, who majored in English, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
  •          Lindsey Louise Held, who majored in psychology, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
  •          Mary Jean Rosato, who majored in strategic communication, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts.
  •          Kristen Marie Meche, who majored in nursing, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.
  •          Victoria Marie Furka, who majored in biology, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
  •          Kaleb Jude Robin, who majored in biology, received a bachelor’s degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.

See a list of Fall 2019 graduates.

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