Dear students, faculty and staff members,
Welcome to the fall semester and the new academic year!
The fall semester is a special time in the life of any university. It’s when new students find their footing as they begin their academic journeys, when returning students rejoin old friends and make new ones, and when clubs and organizations and athletic teams again enjoy the camaraderie of events and competition.
We’re entering this fall semester with more energy than in any time in recent memory. Enrollment growth, planning for construction projects, the opening of new learning and teaching spaces, extraordinary research and development expenditures, record numbers of new faculty, a new strategic plan and an intensified focus on student success are providing unprecedented momentum as we begin the new year.
All of this is against the backdrop of the 125th anniversary of our 1898 legislative founding – and I want to invite you to mark your calendars for events where we’ll be celebrating this milestone.
The first is this Friday, Aug. 25 – the Ragin’ Cajuns Downtown Alive! It starts at 5:30 p.m. in Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette. The event features free food and refreshments and great music and will be a fun way to celebrate our birthday in the heart of the city that’s been our home for a century and a quarter.
On Saturday, Sept 2, during the football home opener, we’ll mark the anniversary with an on-field celebration. A few weeks later, on Friday, Sept. 22, starting at 11 a.m. in front of Edith Garland Dupré Library, we’ll hold a University-wide Birthday Bash with cake, party favors and music.
And, beginning in September and throughout the year, individual colleges and the Graduate School will host guest speakers who are renowned leaders in their respective academic disciplines.
I hope to see you at these events and others as we celebrate the incredible 125-year history of our University. You can visit louisiana.edu/125 for a calendar of anniversary happenings.
In the meantime, here’s to an energetic fall semester and academic year filled with continued success.
Dr. Joseph Savoie