Dear Faculty and Staff,
On Monday, we will welcome UL students back to campus. Our freshman class promises to be the largest in our history and also one of the most academically prepared classes to enter the university. The excellent work of our faculty is improving the university’s reputation and the outstanding efforts of those who worked to recruit these students have had a tremendous impact on both the quantity and quality of our student body. This summer, faculty, staff and student volunteers dedicated many hours to preparing these young people through multiple orientation sessions, and a select group of these new freshmen are guaranteed to have SOUL.
SOUL stands for: Service, Outreach, Unity and Leadership. SOUL Camp is a new initiative designed to assist incoming students with their transition to university life. The camp is structured to develop mentoring relationships, to convey the university spirit and tradition, to teach leadership skills, to encourage a commitment to service, civic engagement, awareness of multiculturalism, academic and career planning, and other skills important to new students. These are also fundamental goals of our strategic plan.
Twenty-four student mentors, along with four lead student staff members and 30-plus volunteer faculty and staff partners, guided 144 students through the four-day camp program. SOUL Camp participants reflected the great diversity of our incoming student body, representing every part of our state, and including several out-of-state students. We fully expect the students who attended SOUL Camp to be the next generation of student leaders on our campus.
Additionally, the university continues to implement its First Year Seminar, a part of our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). This mandatory one-semester course will help first-time freshmen achieve greater success, again a goal of our university’s strategic plan.
Thanks to everyone who has supported these efforts to aggressively recruit outstanding students and properly prepare them for a meaningful college career. Please join me in providing a warm welcome to our new and returning students.
E. Joseph Savoie