Tell us about the Alumni Association.

We serve the alumni of UL. In doing so, we're gong to reach out to all aspects of the University, athletics, academics, clubs throughout the country.  We're going to become a more involved Alumni Association. It won't happen today, but it will happen tomorrow.

I have met with a number of the University leaders in athletics and academics, and our footprint will become much larger in the days to come. Our membership is increasing, enthusiasm is at an all-time high, and the future is bleeding vermilion and white.

Dr. Savoie has set a very aggressive agenda. How will the Alumni Association fit into that?

Dr. Savoie has actually been a great resource for me at the University. Dr. Savoie and his Executive Assistant Liz Landry both held this position, and they have been a great source for ideas and past history of the organization.  They're a a wealth of knowledge.

We'll support Dr. Savoie's efforts by reaching out to all alumni. We develop friendships, that's our main thing, whether through social media, eMail, traditional mail and print, and meetings and events, to grow our membership which will ultimately result in stronger bonds between the University and its alumni.

That will help grow the University through increased donations to various University facets, through greater attendance at sporting and other events, and through move visibility for the University around the state and nation.

Tell us about the Alumni Association today.

We have over 8,000 members right now, and that's growing.  We have 30+ alumni clubs and chapters, 7 full-time staff members, and 10 to 12 part-time student workers. There are 89K UL alumni out there, and something like 113K opportunities among alumni, alumni by choice, local businesses, and businesses owned by alumni elsewhere.

Your offices sit on one of the prettiest settings in South Louisiana.

Maurice Heymann commissioned UL alumnus A. Hays Town to design this home, which is still known as the Heymann Home. It was designed as a fireproof house, because it's made of poured concrete. At one time, the property was a nursery which went all the way to Pinhook.

That nursery is now the Oil Center.

The home is a beautiful asset, and my predecessor Dan Hare and the Council have done a great job of maintaining and upgrading the property. I have plans to continue in that path, and have met with people to continue the beautification progress.

Talk about the connection between UL and Lafayette.

You know, we have a local economic impact of over $725 million. We are a huge employer and we bring in students who spend a lot of money on tuition, room, board, and entertainment, and who contribute heavily to the thriving cultural life around out University as performers and artists, as workers, and as consumers.

The University is also heavily involved in the civic life of the community, and our alumni constantly take leadership roles in civic clubs, cultural organizations, professional organizations, the Chamber, in elected and appointed positions, and everywhere throughout Acadiana.

What makes UL different from other universities?

Our culture. Our people. Our lifestyle.  Everyone talks about how friendly we are, and we are. We are vary passionate about the things we believe in, and we believe in people. You may be a stranger when you arrive, but you will leave with friends.

Everyone here is approachable, from the President, to the faculty, to the coaches, everybody. UL is officially a university, but it's really a family.

And we have a beautiful cypress swamp in the middle of campus.


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