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Contact: Christine Payton Month Day, Year
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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association will honor Congressman Charles Boustany, Congressman Charlie Melancon and photographer Denis Reggie as Outstanding Alumni during Homecoming 2009 festivities.

The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor that a former student can achieve. It recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the university. To be eligible for his award, one must be a graduate or former student having attended no less than ten years ago. Recipients will participate in a number of Homecoming activities.

Charles Boustany

Charles Boustany Boustany, a cardiovascular surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, was first elected to Congress in December 2004. Serving his third term in office, Boustany represents Louisiana’s Seventh Congressional District, which covers Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana. Boustany has championed healthcare reform, sound energy policy and hurricane recovery with time-proven solutions for all Americans.

As a physician, Boustany understands the importance of healthcare and is at the forefront of healthcare policy in Congress. Increased access to tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs) represent one opportunity for patients to strengthen their control over their healthcare decisions, and Boustany introduced legislation allowing seniors and veterans to participate.

Much of America’s energy flows through Southwest Louisiana, and Congressman Boustany promotes responsible American energy production to help the American economy prosper. He is a member of House Ways and Means Committee with jurisdiction over tax, trade, healthcare and entitlement policy. He is currently the only Republican doctor on the committee.

Boustany was raised in Lafayette and graduated from UL Lafayette in 1978. He graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1982. He returned to Lafayette in 1990 and began a successful medical practice. For 14 years, he ran a small business and committed to helping others by providing the highest quality healthcare to his patients and the community. He and his wife Bridget reside in Lafayette and have two adult children.

Charlie Melancon

Charlie Melancon Melancon is currently serving his third term in Congress representing the 3rd District of Louisiana. The district covers much of South Louisiana, stretching from St. Bernard Parish in the east, going through the river parishes and along the coast, and extending all the way to Iberia and St. Martin parishes in the west.

His top priority is helping South Louisiana recover from the devastation caused by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Since the storms, he has worked both at home in Louisiana and in Congress to bring much-needed federal disaster recovery money to the 3rd District. In Washington, Melancon has introduced or co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation to help solve problems with insurance, rebuilding schools, SBA loans, FEMA, affordable housing, and many other issues resulting from Rita and Katrina.

As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he has an impact on a broad range of issues affecting south Louisianians including the oil and gas industry, health care, and telecommunications. Melancon serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Environment and the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. He is also a member of the Committee on Budget.

Prior to his election to Congress in 2004, Charlie spent 11 years as the president and general manger of the American Sugar Cane.

He is also a former successful small businessman and entrepreneur, having run several Baskin Robbins franchises and his own insurance agency during the 1980s and early 1990s. From 1987 to 1993 Melancon served in the Louisiana Legislature as a State Representative from Napoleonville. During the 1970's, Charlie served as executive director of South Central Planning and Development Commission where he worked to build infrastructure and lay the groundwork for important economic development initiatives like Port Fourchon and the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP).

A graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in Agri-Business, Charlie has served as chair of the LSU Ag Development Council and as vice chair of the South Louisiana Economic Council based in Thibodaux. He is a member of the Assumption Parish Farm Bureau, the Assumption Chamber of Commerce, the UL Lafayette Alumni Association, Ducks Unlimited, Kappa Sigma Alumni Association, as well as many other civic and professional groups.

Melancon still lives in his hometown of Napoleonville with his wife, the former Peachy Clark. The couple has been married for over 37 years and have two children, Charles Joseph (Seph), and Claire, and a grandson, Jackson. Their daughter-in-law is Cheraine Blanchard Melancon and their son-in-law is Rudy Simoneaux.

Denis Reggie

Denis Reggie Reggie is the world acclaimed wedding photographer who transformed the look of staid bridal imagery to the truly natural, editorial style he termed "wedding photojournalism." Town & Country lauds him as "the great wedding photographer of our day” and Oprah Winfrey acclaims him “best in the business."

He is a second generation graduate of UL Lafayette where he studied photography and business. He followed the path of his parents, Judge Edmund and Doris (Boustany) Reggie who also hold degrees from the university.

Reggie's interest in photography began in high school, blossomed at UL Lafayette and flourished into a stellar 30 year career. In a 2007 cover story, "The Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World," American Photo magazine listed Reggie first among them. In a documentary series featuring "the world's greatest wedding photographers," a BBC documentary crew traveled from the U.K. to Reggie's home base in Atlanta to produce a 22-minute feature devoted to him and his celebrated photography approach. Reggie was the subject of an episode of Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s popular series Louisiana Legends.

His distinctive, spontaneous images have been featured on the cover of LIFE, and named in "Photographs of the Year" by People, LIFE, Time, and Newsweek among other publications. He has been interviewed numerous times as a guest on NBC's Today show as well as on Oprah! He has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, VH-1, E! Entertainment Television, CNN and Fox in national and international broadcasts.

The New York Times anointed him the "hottest wedding photographer of the moment" in a Style section profile, and The Wall Street Journal recognized his famous photograph of John Kennedy, Jr. kissing the hand of his bride Carolyn Bessette as the watershed image that changed the look of wedding photography forever. His photographs are frequently used in books on weddings, etiquette, and photography including those by Vera Wang, Letitia Baldridge and Town and Country. Reggie’s warm and captivating portrait of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (his brother-in-law) is featured on the cover of his autobiography and New York Times best seller True Compass.

Reggie was the first wedding photographer recognized by leading camera maker Canon to be a part of their prestigious "Explorers of Light" program. He was also first to be named to the elite team of top photographers in the world as an "Icon of Imaging," by Microsoft. Reggie is sponsored by, and featured on websites of, both companies.

His celebrity client lists includes Vera Wang, John Kennedy, Jr., Susan Lucci, James Taylor, Mariah Carey, Rudy Giuliani, Peter Jennings, James Garner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Campbell Brown, Alan Greenspan, Ted Turner, and Don Henley among others.

In coming weeks Reggie will deliver a series of his photographs requested by the Smithsonian Institute for the permanent collection at the National Museum of American History.

Reggie is the proud father of Katie, 22, pursuing her doctorate in psychology, and Drew, 19, a college sophomore.


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.

Document last revised Friday, October 23, 2009 12:12 PM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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