A Message from E. Joseph Savoie
President, The University of Louisiana

As we begin the new year, I would like to thank you for all you have done to keep the University of Louisiana a special place. The university’s alumni are inextricably bound by shared experiences on campus, which range from cramming for end-of-the semester finals at Dupré Library to enjoying Cypress Lake’s kaleidoscope of colors when winter turns to spring.

UL’s supporters and friends embody our Ragin’ Cajun spirit. Through their involvement and interest in university activities and events, they keep our connection with the Acadiana community strong.

There is so much to be proud of and to celebrate about UL. It’s not uncommon to find news about our faculty in publications and broadcasts with statewide and national audiences. And the Fall 2010 first-time freshmen collectively had the highest ACT scores and grade point averages in the university’s history. That data is a good predictor of the likelihood of their academic success here.

Despite the most challenging budget environment that higher education has faced in several decades, UL continues to advance as an institution. Everywhere on campus, knowledge is transferred, discoveries are made and students’ lives are transformed by what they learn.

We have spent the past two years developing and starting to implement a strategic plan that will guide the university over the next decade. This multi-faceted plan calls for enhanced support for students, faculty and research. It also fosters economic and community development.

If you visit campus, you’ll see that we’ve made some major improvements. Extensive renovations of three academic buildings – Girard, Fletcher and Burke-Hawthorne Halls ­– have just been completed or are under way.

Work has already begun on a project that will provide new student residence halls, upgrade existing student housing and add a parking garage on campus. The Student Union will also be renovated and expanded to better meet the needs of students. These improvements will be funded through self-assessed student fees and Ragin’ Cajun Facilities, Inc., a separately incorporated nonprofit organization established to assist the university with its building plans.

In the years ahead, we will stay focused on the university’s core mission and principles to ensure that UL will be able to make advances regardless of Louisiana’s financial situation.

Our university, and every other state-supported higher education institution, is in the midst of one of the most powerful economic storms in Louisiana’s history. Unprecedented budget reductions have affected the university over the past 20 months and we fully expect to face more funding cuts in the next few months. The pace of progress will depend on several factors, such as stable enrollment and belt-tightening measures.

But progress will also depend on you and many other proud UL alumni, donors and friends. That’s because the university needs private support to maintain its momentum. Behind every great university are passionate and dedicated alumni and friends like you, who understand the vital role higher education plays in their community and state, the nation and the world.

Your past support has helped build this great university. It has made a positive difference for thousands of students, especially those who are the first in their families to attend a university.

I invite you now to invest in higher education. It’s an investment that never loses its value. Whether you choose to support the University Fund for 2011 with an unrestricted gift, support an academic scholarship, or contribute to a capital project, your gift will be used wisely.

Thank you for your consideration of this important request. You can make your gift to the The University Annual Fund 2011 today by clicking here. Donations to other university causes can be made to to the UL Foundation by clicking here. To donate enter the amount you would like to give and click on the "add to cart" button. When you click the "checkout" button, if you are a new contributor to the website, you will need to establish an account. If you are a returning user to the Foundation’s website, you can simply login with your user name and password.

Or, you can make a gift by contacting our Office of Development at (337) 482-0922.

I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

Thank you,

Joseph Savoie

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