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Contact: Christine Payton MAY 19, 2008
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu

The College of Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will officially become the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences during a 3 p.m. commemencement ceremony at the Cajundome Convention Center on May 24.

The Board of Supervisors of the UL System unanimously approved the change at its regular monthly meeting in April. UL Lafayette Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Steve Landry and UL System Vice President of the Board of Supervisors Winfred Sibille formally requested the naming change in a letter to UL System President Dr. Sally Clausen.

“ We believe that Dr. Authement is very deserving of having the College of Sciences named in his honor,” they stated in the letter.

Authement, the longest serving president of a public university in the country, has ties to the college that date back more than 60 years when he was a student. He announced his retirement last year. Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, will replace Authement.

In addition to the naming recognition, Authement will also award his grandson Philippe Prouet II his bachelor’s degree. Prouet, a Biology major, is the son of Authement’s late daughter Kathy.

At the 5:30 p.m. commencement cermeony for the Graduate School, UL Lafayette’s writer-in-residence emeritus Ernest J. Gaines will receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters for his work as an internationally acclaimed author.

Gaines is one of the most significant American authors of the 20th century and is most widely known for his novels “The Autobiograhy of Miss Jane Pittman,” “A Lesson Before Dying” and “A Gathering of Old Men.”

The author’s relationship with UL Lafayette began in 1981 when he accepted an invitation to serve as a visiting professor of creative writing. In 1984, Gaines became the university’s writer-in-residence; he retired in 2004.

Most recently, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved the creation of the Ernest J. Gaines Center in Dupre Library on campus.

The international center will be built in a now-vacant section of the third floor of the library. The author has already donated some papers, manuscripts and memorabilia, like handwritten drafts of some of his published work and the pens he used to write “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and “Of Love and Dust.”

The schedule for UL Lafayette’s commencement ceremonies on May 24 is:


• 9 a.m. College of General Studies – Tonya Bolden-Ball, president of the Lafayette Commission on the Needs of Women, will give the keynote address. The Commssion’s mission is to serve as a clearinghouse for information and services available to women in this community and to promote programs that improve the role of women in this community.

• noon College of Liberal Arts – Dr. Forrest Byrd is the keynote speaker. Dr. Byrd is an associate professor English. He joined the UL Lafayette faculty in 1972.

• 3 p.m. B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration – Braxton (B.I.) Moody III will deliver the keynote address to students. Moody, for whom the college is named, is a founding partner in the CPA firm of Moody, Broussard, Poche & Guidry. He’s also served as president and CEO of Chart House, chairman of the board for First National Bank of Lafayette and chairman of The Moody Companies and Louisiana State Newspapers. The college was named in his honor in 2002.

• 5:30 p.m. Graduate School – UL Lafayette’s writer-in-residence emeritus Ernest J. Gaines will received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters during this ceremony.

Cajundome Convention Center – Exhibit Hall (first floor)

• 9 a.m. College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions – no keynote address.

• noon College of Education – Jenna Lachney, the college’s Outstanding Graduate, will give the keynote address. Lachney, a 4.0 student majoring in Art Education and Sociology, is the daughter of Roger and Marguerite Lachney of Mansura.

• 3 p.m. College of Engineering – Randy Hanchey, a 1961 Civil Engineering graduate of UL Lafayette, will give the keynote address. Hanchey recently retired after a long and distinguished career which included service with both the Federal and State governments. He worked for the Army Corps of Engineers until 1998 when he retired. He then accepted an appointed position with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, where he served as the Deputy Secretary and as the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Coastal Restoration and Management during his 10 years with the state.

Cajundome Convention Center – Festival Ballroom (second floor)

• noon College of the Arts – Raymond Goodrich, owner of Lafayette Music, will give the keynote address. Goodrich, whose company instituted the Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands, has established a scholarship for music students. All profits from the marching band festival are placed in the Lafayette Music/Raymond Goodrich Scholarship at UL Lafayette. To date, more than $100,000 has been produced by the scholarship.

• 3 p.m. College of Sciences – Retiring President Ray Authement will be recognized during this ceremony. In addition, the college’s Outstanding Graduate Jared LeBlanc will give an address. LeBlanc, son of Brad and Cherrie LeBlanc of Lafayette, is a Physics major.

Document last revised Tuesday, May 20, 2008 1:42 PM

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