The start of the fall semester is among the high points of any academic year.
Enthusiasm and moments of anxiety fill the air. We warmly greet returning students and welcome first-time freshmen who are finding their way to classes and learning about all that UL Lafayette offers. Old and new friends are at every turn. And, we look forward to fun activities and celebrating fall traditions.
The addition of four new student residence halls this past year and the growing numbers of students living on campus bring added energy to our vibrant living-learning environment.
Two student residences – Bonin Hall and Coronna Hall – just opened in the Rose Garden area on the eastern portion of campus. There are other projects underway. Harris and Randolph Hall are renovated. Previously a dorm for students, Randolph has been converted to a student activities and learning center. Buchanan Hall will be renovated to provide general campus offices.
The expansion and renovation of the Student Union will begin next month. Please be aware of the new locations of offices [http://www.louisiana.edu/Advancement/PRNS/news/2011/406.html] that were previously housed there. I would also like to share with you our latest campus map [http://www.louisiana.edu/AboutUs/CampusMap.pdf] that will be changing along with our master plan developments.
So far this week, UL Lafayette has conducted its second annual convocation for new students. Campus leaders gathered on Rex Street Monday to hand out doughnuts and fruit to students on the first day of class. Our annual Get on Board Day was attended by students learning about numerous extracurricular activities. I encourage each of you to get involved, learn from a diversity of perspectives and help enrich our sense of community.
There’s more to come during Welcome Week. Be sure to join us for breakfast in the Quad tomorrow, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The annual block party, to be held this year on St. Mary Street, starts at 11:00 a.m. and lasts until 12:30 p.m. There will be more music and games at the Fall Fest from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Blackham Coliseum on Friday.
And, be sure to attend Fan Day at the Cajundome on Sunday. It’s like a giant pep rally for fall sports – football, volleyball and soccer. Ragin’ Cajun student-athletes and coaches for other sports, our cheerleaders and our Ragin’ Jazz dance team will be there, too. Doors open at 5 p.m.
The Fall 2012 semester is off to a great start. Geaux Cajuns!