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Welcome Students — August 22, 2011

Dr. Joseph Savoie -- Thu, 08/11/2011 - 2:28pm

Dear Students,

It is my privilege to welcome you back to campus today and wish you all good luck as you begin this new academic year. I hope that you are ready for and excited about the promise of a new semester and all of the successes, growth, and memories it will bring.  As you begin the semester, it is important that you get organized and get to know your professors and classmates.  Most importantly, go to class.  Attending class is your best guarantee for a successful semester.

Now is the best time to get involved in campus organizations and to participate in student activities, so take advantage of the many opportunities UL Lafayette has to offer. Visit the Student Life website to find the best fit for you. (

The UL Lafayette community welcomed approximately 2,500 first-time freshmen yesterday during the Class of 2015 New Student Convocation held at the Cajundome Convention Center. Dr. Ryan Teten, Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, shared the following 3 tips for a successful college experience in his speech that I believe apply to every student.

1) DON’T EVER QUIT. You will read more, write more, study more, and complain more than you ever have in your entire life, so apply yourself!  Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  Will it be hard?  Absolutely!  Will you have problems?  Absolutely!  Embrace the challenge and never give up!  Thomas Edison also said, “If we did all the things that we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”  So, go! Astound yourself!

2) ENJOY THE COLLEGE EXPERIENCE. How many of you know what you will be when you graduate? There is no possible way to know exactly what you will become. But, not knowing is incredibly exciting! Ask yourself the million-dollar question: If I had a million dollars, what job would I do? Once you know the answer to that question, and you know the job that you want to do for the pure happiness of it, go study to become it! Also, break out of your comfort zone!  Picasso once said, “I am always doing that which I cannot do in order that I may learn how to do it.”  We have the most incredible collection of faculty at UL Lafayette in every possible subject. So, take classes outside of your major to explore all of the things you never thought you could know!

3) BE YOURSELF!!!  e.e. cummings once said, “To be yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; NEVER STOP FIGHTING!!”  Let’s get one thing straight: you will need to get over the high school mentality; you will never be cool or popular with everyone.  So, just be yourself.

Campus leaders, including your Student Government Association, have had a busy and productive summer making preparations for your return. To learn more about the plans your SGA president, vice president and treasurer have been working on, take a moment to read the article in today’s newspaper.

Be sure to show your Ragin’ Cajun spirit by attending sporting events this Fall and by participating in WEAR Red every Friday!

Best wishes for a terrific semester,

E. Joseph Savoie