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Contact: Christine Payton Feb. 15, 2008
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Spring Event set for March 15 at Cajundome Convention Center
Dr. and Mrs. Ray AuthementUL Lafayette’s Alumni Association’s annual Spring Gala will hold special meaning this year. Not only will this event serve as a fundraiser for the Alumni Association, it will also be the community’s opportunity to formally acknowledge retiring President Ray Authement and his wife Barbara.

Both will serve as honorees for the 12th annual gala on March 15 at the Cajundome Convention Center at 6:30 p.m.

“ Dr. and Mrs. Authement have dedicated their lives to our university and the betterment of our community. As his retirement draws near, selecting this special couple as our Spring Gala honorees was most appropriate this year and we are proud to host this opportunity for the community to enjoy this celebration with them,” said Dan Hare, executive director of Louisiana’s Alumni Association.

Authement – the nation’s longest serving president of a public university – announced his retirement April 27. The couple have been married for 56 years and have two daughters. Most recently, the association honored Authement with its Outstanding Alumni Award and surprised Barbara with the Honorary Alumni Award - an award rarely given.

Under Authement’s guidance, UL Lafayette has become a major economic force in Acadiana. The university earned a national reputation in the fields of computer science, environmental and biological research and Francophone studies.

During his administration, the university became a selective admissions institution sand designated as a “research university with high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation. He was a major force in successfully changing the name of the university from the University of Southwestern Louisiana to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. And since becoming UL Lafayette’s fifth president, Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns have competed in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate athletic competition.

He is also responsible for the development of University Research Park, which houses numerous national research centers, the LITE facility and a hotel.

Authement earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from UL Lafayette in 1950. He later earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from LSU in mathematics. He began teaching at UL Lafayette in 1962. He was named president in 1974.

The Spring Gala offers fine food, entertainment and both silent and live auctions, including original artwork, travel packages and Ragin’ Cajun merchandise. Mary Galyean, president-elect of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association, serves as chair of the Spring Gala and Melanie Martin, Alumni Council member, serves as auction chair.

Tickets are $200 per couple or $100 per individual. Corporate sponsor tables may be purchased for $5,000 or patron sponsor tables are available for $2,000. Cox Communications will be the Gala’s first presenting sponsor. Proceeds from the Gala are used for Alumni Center improvements.

To donate auction items or for more information, call 337-482-0900 or visit www.louisianaalumni.org.

Document last revised Monday, February 25, 2008 10:07 AM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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