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Contact: Christine Payton May 22, 2008
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Dr. Authement will also award bachelor’s degree to grandson Philippe Prouet II
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. commencement ceremony at the Cajundome Convention Center on May 24.

Dr. Ray Authement 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, announced his retirement last year. Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, will replace Authement.

Authement has ties to the college that date back more than 60 years when he was a student studying physics and mathematics.

“ It makes sense to name the College of Sciences after Ray P. Authement,” said Dr. Bradd Clark, dean of Sciences. “It’s where he came from and he’s never lost touch with the college. He cares very much about where it’s going and how it’s going to get there, and has provided the means to do that.”

The naming will be a hallmark of Authement’s retirement recognition “because it honors – permanently – a great man, a visionary and a leader,’ said Julie Simon-Dronet, director of Public Relations and News Services.

“ I remember that as a student, I was intrigued by names like Harry L. Griffin, Edwin L. Stephens and Edith Garland Dupre and I believe that future students will be equally intrigued by the name Ray P. Authement,” said Simon-Dronet, who first proposed the naming idea. “For his name to be tied to the College of Sciences is perfect because of his long history with that college, as a student for four years, then as a professor for eight years, as an administrator for eight years, and as university president for 34 years. He led the college to national and international recognition.”

The college has continually received funding via grants from renowned organizations like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health. Funding awards such as these directly contribute to the university’s designation as a “Research University with High Research Activity” from the prestigious Carnegie Foundation.

“ Dr. Authement has helped the university community to gain a lot of pride through its national recognition,” said Simon-Dronet. “That pride is also very evident in his family life.”

Both of Authement’s daughters are graduates of UL Lafayette and on Saturday, he will award his first grandchild his college degree. Philippe Prouet II, a biology major and son of Authement’s late daughter Kathy, will be the first graduate of the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.

The college offers eight bachelors degrees, five master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees. In Fall 2007, it had 1,706 students and 315 graduate students.

There are about 135 faculty members in the College of Sciences. Many of them have helped create academic and research programs that have earned national recognition.

’ s departments include biology, computer science, chemistry, geology, health information management, mathematics, physics and renewable resources.

About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It's a public institution that awards bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes - Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns - compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition. The campus is located in the heart of Acadiana - a rich cultural area known for its excellent food, music, festivals and quality of life.

Document last revised Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:11 AM

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