UL Lafayette Summer 2020 Commencement caps historic academic year


University of Louisiana at Lafayette Summer 2020 graduates made history Friday night at Cajun Field, at an outdoors ceremony that capped a 2019-2020 academic year during which a University record 3,610 students earned degrees. (Photo credit: Rachel Rafati / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

LAFAYETTE, LA – Fireworks capped the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Summer 2020 Commencement Friday at Cajun Field, a historic ceremony that was held outside because of bans on large gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UL Lafayette’s 320 total Summer 2020 graduates also capped a historic 2019-2020 academic year. They are among the most graduates in one academic year in school history.

During 2019-2020, a total of 3,610 students earned degrees. A University record 636 master’s degrees were conferred – and the records don’t stop there.

The 2,182 woman and 1,428 men who earned degrees during the 2019-2020 academic year are the most in history. The University also awarded 161 degrees to Hispanic students, another record. The 92 Asian students who earned degrees are tied for the most in school history.

On Friday, bachelor’s degrees were awarded to 215 graduates. Master’s degrees were awarded to 97 graduates, the most ever at a summer ceremony. Eight graduates earned doctoral degrees. Graduates represented 37 parishes, 18 states and 10 countries.

Dr. Joseph Savoie, University president, praised Summer 2020 graduates for their academic achievements, and for their fortitude and determination. He encouraged them to rely on those characteristics “to play a role in the shape of things to come.”

“Our recovery from this pandemic will find its strength from your ideas, your ingenuity, your passions, the helping hand you give to others, and the power you discover in yourselves,” Savoie said.

Dr. Dianne Olivier was Commencement speaker. Olivier is coordinator of the doctoral program in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership in the College of Education. She holds the Joan D. and Alexander S. Haig/BORSF Endowed Professorship in Education.

Olivier reminded graduates that their degrees – and their ability to overcome adversity – have poised them for success.

“In the last few months, you have experienced unanticipated challenges, and yet you have succeeded. You have demonstrated you are resilient, persistent, tenacious, determined, committed, adaptable, and that you have grit,” Olivier said.

View a list of Summer 2020 graduates.


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