During 1998 and 1999, requests for letters from students, faculty, and alumni were announced. This was done through class announcements, letters to current and former faculty, Parish Spirit Coordinators, College of Education Academic Showcase website, College of Education announcements and University announcements.
Between November, 1998 (College of Education Academic Showcase month) and December, 1999 almost 150 letters were received from alumni, current and former faculty, and current students. These letters documented their experiences at SLI, USL and/or UL-Lafayette.
Many of the letters contained information on careers, family, and other experiences, along with some of their recollections of life at the University. While there was one letter from the 1920s and seven from the 1930s, each decade had at least 13 letters.
Mr. Frank Charles Delana, class of 1928, was the graduate with the earliest experiences at SLI, while four letters came from students who were in the classes of 2000 or 2001.
Seven letters were submitted by graduates from the 1930s: 31 - Thomas Ray Landry; 34 - Paul John Gaudet; 37 - Eddie Ray Broussard and Evelyn Gary Boudreaux; 38 - Charles A. Bernard, Jr.; 39 - Gladys Hoffpauir Robinette and William Stevenson.
Many of the letters were comprehensive and included a wide-variety of topics. Others focused on a specific education program which they wanted to document. Dr. Thomas Nevitt presented a very thorough history of the Department of Industrial Arts Education. Glenda Sue Thibodeaux Thomas presented extensive information about Hamilton Laboratory School on the campus. Carol Scott Whelan presented a unique perspective on the development of educational technology, which resulted in the Educational Technology Review Center (ETRC) in the College of Education.
Each letter is unique as each person presented information based on their experiences and their frame of reference. Our University has much for which we can be proud. Our graduates have done exceptionally well and these letter reflect the quality of their University preparation and the types of student which were attracted to the University.
In preparation of the letters for placement on the Centennial CD, three College of Education graduates undertook the task of reviewing the letters. Dr. Virgie Dronet (McNeese State University), Lois Patin (St. Martin Parish Schools), and Dr. Virginia Poe (UL EDCI faculty member) reviewed each of the original letters. Their purpose was to check grammar and consistency of University information, such as the names of buildings, professors, etc.
Once this task was completed, the finalization process began so the letters could be placed on the College of Education Centennial CD. Appreciation is expressed to Carolyn Broussard, Heidi Grotefend LeBlanc, and Dr. Elizabeth Lavergne Pinkett for their assistance in completing this task.
Carolyn, HPE Administrative Assistant, typed and saved all of the of the letters on CDs so that Ryan Brooks, College of Education ETRC staff member, could prepare them for placement on the Centennial CD. She was assisted by Heidi Grotefend LeBlanc, the departmental student assistant. Final editing of the letters was done by Dr. Elizabeth Pinkett, EDCI faculty member.
A special acknowledgement is extended to each person who submitted letters so others will know of the rich history of the College of Education and the University. These letters contain unique perspectives which were provided by our current and former students and faculty. Lastly, appreciation is expressed to all who helped promote the Book of Letters and encouraged others to submit their letter. All of the above have made this wonderful collection possible.
Prior to, during, and after the College of Education Academic Showcase, I was a frequent visitor with Dr. I. Bruce Turner, Assistant Dean of Special Collections Services in his Dupré Library office. He was excited about the opportunity that the academic showcases and the Centennial Celebration presented for documenting and preserving our unique history and traditions. From these discussions, many ideas surfaced and were evaluated. While resources were limited, we still endeavored to do our best to have the College of Education Academic Showcase be the best it could possibly be and help develop awareness for the Centennial Celebration.
Dr. Turner, although not a former student or faculty member of the College of Education, provided his expertise and support for our events. Through his encouragement and involvement, it was realized that these events were not only important for that month, but were worth preserving for the history of the University. Many of his suggestions were followed and I am most grateful to my friend. It is only fitting that the Book of Letters and the videos, which are part of this collection, have gone full circle and returned to be housed with the Special Collections at Dupré Library. Dr. Turner had served the Special Collections Department of Dupré Library for 33 years.
Thus, the Book of Letters is dedicated to Dr. I. Bruce Turner, not only for his special services during the College of Education Academic Showcase and the Centennial Celebration, but for his many years of providing professional assistance of the highest order to the University, the community, and his profession.
Submitted by Dr. Ed Dugas and Jane Vidrine, Dr. Turner's long-time assistant in the Archives Department.
Note: Letters are grouped by submitter's last name
Florence Alice C. Adams - Elementary Education, June 1945
Florence Alice Adams
Bachelor of Arts - June, 1945
Southwestern Louisiana Institute
The years 1942-1945 were "War Years" at SLI. President Joel L. Fletcher faced the challenge of these years along with his faculty, including Dean M.D. Doucet, College of Education; Agnes Edwards, Dean of Women; and Professor Riehl, Dean of Men. Other faculty members whom I recall were my English teachers, Miss Muriel McCulla and Professor Seale; Geography, Miss Kelly--beautiful and sweet; Art, Miss Hyatt--one of my favorite teachers and classes; Music, Miss Mouton--voice and mixed chorus; and Mr. Ducrest, Director. I remember very well our production of "Showboat." In fear of Professor Claycomb's wrath I spent more hours studying Biology than any other class. He was an atheist who declared there were no such things as angels. "Impossible," he explained.
In Physical Education, I enjoyed folk dancing, and exercises; and I also excelled at table tennis, but the newly constructed obstacle course was a definite obstacle to me. Vesta Bourgeois was great. Marching with the Red Jackets was a plus, and a fun form of physical education sponsored by Miss McMillan and her assistants. I loved the parades, marching at football games, and dating my friends. I worked hard as a student teacher at the F.M. Hamilton Training School under the guidance of Miss Watkins. All went well until we didn't agree about the report card grades of one student. After that, I was disappointed in the grade which she gave me.
Living in the dorms--Buchanan Hall, Evangeline Hall and Foster Hall-- was an education in itself. I remember reading a paperback book, "Barefoot Boy with Cheek" and laughing so hard I cried. Meals in the dining hall bring to mind the "Jello Roomates: Football Games". See August 1978 story, "The Four of Us." I enjoyed Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and sisters, and going to Canterbury Club and the Episcopal Church.
After graduation, I taught sixth grade for three years at Lecompte School. I spent the summer of '47 in New York City employed by B. Altman's on Fifth Avenue. I returned to Alexandria, LA; afterwards, I went to Dallas where I taught at Margaret B. Henderson school and married F. Lee Adams in November of 1948. We lived in Dallas until 1966, when Lee transferred from Guiberson Corp to M.M.M. (later, Dresser) in Alexandria, LA where most of our family lived. Our daughter Caroline and our son Fred entered school here, and Caroline graduated from Bolton High as did her mother. Fred later graduated from the then new Alexandria Senior High (A.S.H.). Caroline graduated from Northwestern and is employed as an E.S.L. teacher in Mesquite, Texas. Fred is employed by the City of Houston in the Parks and Recreation Department at Hermann Zoological Park.
After busy years of being parents and homeowners, Lee retired. Our parents and close relatives are deceased, and in January of this year (1998) began the most traumatic year of my life. Lee was hospitalized with a broken hip; his health worsened; and he died at Cabrini Hospital on January 16. Now, I am a widow in my "hometown" with no surviving relatives.
Remembering the good times at SLI and with my husband and family sustain me, and I am counting my blessings every day. Hope is an eternal flame.
Alice C. Adams
Robert "Bob" Adamson - Health & Physical Education, 1959
Robert "Bob" Adamson
Health & Physical Education – 1959
"Fight on Bulldogs, Fight on to victory for the red and white" a song every freshman had to know at SLI in 1954. Male students first lost their hair and had to wear a red beanie until the hair grew back. Life, in particular college life, was much simpler then. The whole campus had less than 3000 students something like a big high school.
My fondest memories begin with a wonderful housemother Mom Peterson in Dorm C. She was everyone's mom away from home. Upon her retirement 15 years later, about 30 of us gave her a retirement party at Jacob's Restaurant. When we brought her back to the dorm she dropped dead at her door. She was so happy her "boys" had honored her. We know she died a happy woman.
I was also fortunate to meet my future wife, Buttons Veazey from Pecan Island. Imagine a Redneck from Pineville and a Cajun from Pecan Island attempting to bring those two cultures together well something worked as that was 43 years ago and we're still Buttons and Beau as everybody called us. My three roommates became life-long friends Jim Rogers in Nederland, Texas; Leon Fontenelle in Pointe-a-la-Hache, LA; and Milton Songy in Riva, Maryland. We have all visited each other, know the families and constantly keep in touch.
Many of us celebrated our first Mardi Gras in downtown Lafayette. Everybody met and danced at Voorhies Roof Garden. Coffee and cokes came from Hicks Cafe next to the library. The Pat movie theater had a sign which said "Bus in Front", and nobody left til the sign lit up.
All of my educational foundation was given to me at SLI. The experiences within the College of Education prepared me for my coaching and administrative careers. Now that I am retired, fond memories will always remain "Fight on Bulldogs, Fight on to victory."
Robert "Bob" Adamson
Johan J. Adendorff - Health & Physical Education, 1987; M.Ed., 1989
Johan J. Adendorff
1987 - Health and Physical Education
1989 - M.Ed.
Please accept this letter as my contribution to the book of letters which I am sure will be read by many in the years to come. I am grateful that you afforded me the opportunity to tell my story and will attempt to emphasize how significantly my life was influenced through my experience at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
On August 14 of 1984, I reached a most significant milestone: A life long dream was about to come true, an event that would change my life forever. It was only 30 days prior to this day that I resigned my position as a biology teacher at Macassar Senior Secondary School in Cape Town, South Africa. A seven year career came to an end. It was a very emotional day for me because three busloads full of my now former students came to wish me well an hour before I would board a 747 to start a new and exciting life, my destination, Lafayette, Louisiana.
Thirty-two hours later, not including a six hour bus ride from New Orleans, I arrived in Lafayette, Louisiana, temperature 93 degrees, humidity 100 percent. This was not a good Saturday as I was not allowed to check into the dorm since my name was not on the housing list. However, this was a significant day because I met my first friend Seprian Davis, a residence hall counselor who later introduced me to my wife and who served as my best man. Seprian checked me into a room and helped me overcome my first obstacle.
After my first year as a full-time student, I was hired by the Department of Student Personnel as a residence hall counselor. This paid for my room and board. This was very important since the devaluation of the South African currency caused me to spend all my savings which were supposed to last throughout my undergraduate years. I was now motivated to finish (with honors mind you) a four year degree in three years without attending summer sessions. My summer sessions were devoted to working for a house cleaning company in Ohio, which enabled me to earn enough money to pay for my tuition. In May 1987, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. I thought that this was a pretty neat accomplishment for some third world kid.
Allow me to back track just a little. In January 1986 (the tenth to be exact) while standing in the lunch line during counselor orientation, I met the prettiest girl I have ever seen in my life. Because of this newly found love, I decided not to transfer to Colorado State University for my masters, but decided to continue my post graduate work at USL. On May 20, 1989 we were married at the historic Acadian Village.
I was still experiencing major financial difficulty and did not know how I was going to pay for my education. One thing, however, worked in my favor. Through my hard work and continued success, I built up a track record which allowed me to break the mold at USL. For the first time, a student was allowed to hold two assistantships at the same time. I was offered a graduate teaching assistantship in health and physical education as well as a graduate assistantship in the department of student personnel. One assistantship covered my room and board, the second covered my tuition, while both paid me a monthly stipend.
I must pause here to give credit where credit is due. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the help of my good friend Dr. Jimmy Clarke and mentors, Dr. Wendel Gatch and Dr. Ed Dugas. I must also thank Dr. Carlson for granting me my first opportunity to teach in a higher education setting.
Graduate school went very well. I graduated in 1989, got married to my fiance, Karla Jean Roeten two weeks later, had a three week honeymoon and was ready to find a job and have the money roll in. Summer 1989 flew by, and at the end of the summer I was still unemployed. A phone call came a day before classes at USL were to begin. Dr. Carlson offered me a one year temporary position. Needless to say, I was happy because by now I had gotten used to sleeping indoors and eating one good meal a day. At this time I broke the USL mold for the second time, because for the next five years I became a permanent temporary instructor in the Department of Physical Education. In 1997, I was finally hired on a more permanent basis by the university.
I am still here today and I have learned so much. I was humbled through circumstances; I was uplifted by my fellow man; and I thank God for everyone who helped to shape me, good or bad. I shall never lose faith and I am more excited about the future today than I have ever been. I am happily married to my wife, Karla Jean, and we enjoy our most precious gift, 18- month-old Gabrielle Jean (we wanted to keep the Jean in the family) more than you can imagine.
Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story, and I hope it will be an inspiration to just anyone who might read it.
Johan J. Adendorff
Ernie Alexander - Speech & Social Studies Education, 1964
1964 Speech and Social Studies Education
There are no memories to compare to those of our college years. The transition from adolescence to adulthood is indelibly inscribed in all of us. Charting the course of our future, making lifelong friends, encountering new ideas and philosophies and molding ourselves into the person we want to be all fall into the "never-to-be-forgotten" category.
The choice of which college or university to attend was a simple one for most of the class of 1951 at Port Allen High. Many of us, as Boy Scouts, had walked to the landing, taken the ferry across the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, and walked to Tiger Stadium where we ushered fans to their seats.
Two of us believed immediate independence was more important than convenience of location and opted for Lafayette and Southwestern. Four years of work as a soda jerk at the Port Allen Drug Store, where half the pay was stashed away for college, ensured the summer and fall semesters would be financed. Newton Plaisance (who became a career Air Force officer) and I roomed in Dormitory "A". I became an altar boy at Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel and was involved in Newman Club activities. George Bradley ( later Doctor George Bradley, a professor at S.L.I./U.S.L.), who broadcast the Mass on Sundays over L, was in his last semester. George asked me to take over the broadcasts, which were done in a hushed "golf broadcast" voice, and Father Sigur prodded me to accept. George assisted me on two broadcasts to ensure that I had the "hang of it" and then he left. He recommended, prior to his departure, enrollment in the S.L.I. Radio Workshop for more familiarity with broadcast equipment and procedures.
It was fun, it was creative and it was exciting. The S.L.I. Radio Workshop broadcast over L was for one-half hour on a Monday through Friday basis in the early afternoon. Mister "C" (Mister Albert Capuder who ran the Radio Department at S.L.I.) called me into his office one afternoon with a most important message. L had lost an announcer and the Station Manager, Evan Hughes, had called to say, "Send that kid Alexander around for an interview; I like the way he sounds on the air." That's how the skinny eighteen year old from West Baton Rouge got into the broadcast business. Serendipity had struck again! It was December 1951 and the savings were just about to run out.
The night shift ended any thoughts of romance on campus. Because of R.O.T.C. drill, which extended into work time at the radio station, Monday became my day off. My character and announcing skills were developed under the tutelage of Evan Hughes, Tom Pears, Al Terry and Buddy Hebert.
Charles "Buddy" Hebert and I shared the night shift and soon became roommates. Buddy was one of the greatest characters of all time. He was animated and charismatic. He was a year or two older and had a year or so of radio experience under his belt, which he was willing to share with a beginner if the beginner was willing to do more than his share of the work. He even talked the tyro into helping him ad lib a fifteen minute radio drama from blank sheets of paper for an important grade. It was a sweaty situation but we pulled it off and Buddy got an "A" for the project. He was a big spender and more often than not spent his week's paycheck treating others to food and drink and then imposing on his roommate for financial help. We once went two days with no food except a box of popcorn which was popped in Vaseline Hair Tonic. Always short, Buddy decided we needed to sell my tenor sax. He took it to New Orleans, sold it and on his return he said, "Here's your half," as he handed me fifty dollars. Buddy went on to open his own advertising agency in Baton Rouge and was Governor Edwin Edwards' first press secretary. Tragically, he died in a fire at his home in Baton Rouge in the seventies.
Some of us change colleges and/or majors. Liberal Arts required a foreign language. The skinny freshman elected French. It doesn't seem possible that the top conjugator in the class would be at the bottom in vocabulary but it happened. Most of the class already spoke Cajun French and it was apparent that the kid from West Baton Rouge was headed for his first "F". The College of Education did not require a foreign language and it found itself with an additional student.
One of the top English teachers on campus awarded a second "F" after a third un-excused absence. It was really tough making those eight o'clock classes when we didn't get home until almost one in the morning after leaving the night shift. A third "F" came when an immature youngster got up in the middle of a course in education and walked out of the room thinking, "This guy is supposed to be showing us how to inspire students instead of boring us to death." Ah, principles, they will be the death of us some day. Always above a 2.0 but never a 2.5, there were many of us who stayed in college by a shoestring while having the time of our lives.
There were teachers who spring to mind like Dr. Claycomb in Biology. If your last name started with "A" and you were sent to the first seat on row one to be "under the gun" for whatever new assignment or question he had in mind, you would understand why some of us longed for a last name like Zystosky. Doctors Hemleben and De La Rue in History were outstanding. Doctor Seale allowed me to sleep through two different English classes with a "C". Luckily, he had based grades on ability to write. His enthusiasm and the sheer physical energy he put into instructing the class compelled you to learn. Doctor Flowers became the first (copy) continuity writer at Y Television in 1955.
The boy's gym housed many ceremonies, lectures and dances. I missed most of them because of the night-shift work at L. An important dance in the spring of 1952 was Theta Xi's 6294 party. Arranging for a replacement and transportation, I asked a very attractive upperclassman for a date. Thinking a ride in a 1930-something Ford convertible, loaned to me by Pat Kinney, would cast me in a good light, I was flabbergasted when my dream date told me how upset she was that the wind had blown her new hairdo awry. She allowed me two dances, still upset with me. That would be my only date as a freshman or sophomore.
Anyone who has attended Southwestern has certainly been to one or more of the many festivals in the area. In 1952 M in New Iberia borrowed me from L to broadcast portions of the Sugar Cane Festival. It was there that I met the girl who would later become my wife. She was the Terrebonne Parish Queen, a pretty brunette from Houma named Shirley Champagne. We spoke often on campus after that but never dated because of my rotten work schedule.
During the spring semester of 1952 I was elected to the Student Council as a representative from the College of Education. Fortunately, the Student Council met on Monday night, my night off from KVOL.
Most students' sophomore year is exciting. No longer were we immature freshmen but we were far from being bored with college life. Student Council, R.O.T.C., staff cartoon work for the Vermilion, and Speech Department activities such as broadcasting, debate, drama, public speaking and speech correction kept the adrenaline flowing. 1952-53 flew by.
1953-54 was an important year. L had given me a more reasonable schedule, my roommates in Declouet Hall (Billy Butler, Hank Steckler and Ronnie Schultz) and I moved into the Theta Xi house at the corner of Cherry and Brashear (which we purposely pronounced "brassiere"). There were lots of activities, grades were good enough and, most importantly, I could now date. You probably will not be surprised when you find out the first girl (and only girl) I dated that year was Shirley Champagne. It did not take long for us to fall in love and during the Christmas holidays I asked her father if I could marry her. She graduated a few weeks later and we kept up our long-distance romance while she taught school in Montegut (outside Houma).
That spring, the nomination to become Student Body President came from the Pelican Party. It is with deep regret that you must learn that there was little effort to attain this position. Friends said, "Your opponent, Albert Ortego, is going around shaking hands, visiting dormitories and asking people to vote for him." Twenty year olds who have the world by the tail don't have to do this. Albert won the election by eighteen votes. It is ironic to note that all four of the top officers came from the College of Agriculture. Pelican Party candidates Karlan Greene (Vice President), Donna Hamic (Secretary) and George Piontek (Treasurer) were elected with the Independent Party's Albert Ortego. The most embarrassing day of my life was the day after the election when I had to face my friends in the student union (now the Campus Police Building). The embarrassing part was not in having failed, it was in not having tried very hard.
R.O.T.C. cadets were sent to an Air Force base between their junior and senior years for a month of training. The summer of 1954 saw several S.L.I. cadets end up at Harlingen Air Force Base near Brownsville, Texas. After undergoing physical and mental tests, the students were assigned to be heavy aircraft pilots, fighter pilots, or navigators. I was assigned to the first group. The Air Force had given us five physical examinations by that time, all of them with us in shoes and socks and nothing else. Near the end of camp, a sergeant spotted operation scars on my feet as I walked through a pool of disinfectant water. He shipped me to X-rays and then to the commanding officer who first congratulated me on wanting to serve my country and then told me that my designation was now 4-F and that the Air Force no longer could use me. Back home, the three seniors who were deciding who would be the cadet commander of the corps had selected another cadet over me by a 2-1 vote.
Shirley and I were married in August of 1954 and moved into a "dollhouse" (20' x 14') on Roosevelt Street. When the fall semester rolled around integration came to Southwestern. There were not a lot of Black students on campus. There was only one in any of the classes I attended. He was polite, very quiet and spoke only when spoken to. It seemed that half the class tried very hard to make him feel welcome while the other half appeared to pretend that he wasn't really there at all. I wouldn't see the end of that semester. When the realization comes to you that you are making more money working your way through school in radio than you are going to make when you graduate and become a teacher, it has an amazing impact. Less than a month into that semester, I quit Southwestern.
KLFY Radio called with a job offer. The next summer, KLFY Television went on the air and the radio announcers became television announcers. Raises in pay came along with promotions. At age twenty-one I was Program Director of KLFY Radio and Television. WIBR in Baton Rouge called to offer more money and we lived in the capitol city for two years. Homesick, we came back to the town we had grown to love and to KVOL. Offers continued to come from across the country but Shirley didn't want to leave Lafayette. "You can go if you want to but I'm staying here." It was hard to turn some of them down. It was difficult to say, "No," to WDSU in New Orleans and downright heart-breaking to have to refuse Gordon McLendon when he offered to make me one of the original staffers at KILT in Houston. We stayed in Lafayette but our marriage was becoming strained.
Shirley recognized this and came up with a plan. "If you go back to Southwestern, get your degree and teach for one year, I'll go wherever you want to go." Agreed!
From the fall of 1954 to fall of 1962 Southwestern had undergone tremendous change. No longer was it the small campus of two or three thousand students, it was now a university with several times the amount of students. Not only had the school changed physically, it had also changed philosophically, teachers taught better and more, classes were challenging and there was no way a person could avoid learning. U.S.L. had really changed or I had matured.
There was an additional year added to complete the degree (B.A.) because of additional requirements during the years which had passed. No matter, let's get on with the show. During the spring I was asked by Johnny Melton (later President of Revlon) to run for the office of Student Body Vice-President. Having learned a bitter lesson years before, you can imagine that a huge amount of effort was given to the campaign. The T.I.C. Party took the two top spots and the Independent Party the next two. Eddie Provost won as President and I squeaked to a narrow twenty-two vote upset win over a popular candidate. Sally Evans (later to become Mrs. Dean Church) was elected Secretary and Malcolm Robinson (a track star) was elected Treasurer. The campus had never seen such a big election and probably will never again since administration rules downsized campaigns.
1963-64 was a big year, the year of graduation. Our Lieutenant-Governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, was a classmate as was United States Senator John Breaux. Kathleen had been active in student government but John had been content to be a member of U.S.L.'s tennis team. My early mornings were spent as Program Director and disc-jockey for W and my evenings were spent as C Television's Sports Director. Classes and student-teaching were sandwiched in between. Miss Dorothy Blakely was my supervising teacher at Lafayette High. She was outstanding. Because she demanded that the student teachers under her supervision write down ever question they would ask and every response they expected, my sleep time was cut to three and one-half hours per night. I completed the year and was pleasantly surprised to find I had been named the Outstanding Male Student Teacher at the university.
As per our agreement, I taught at Lafayette High the following year and continued to teach for eighteen years. There was a new love in my life, there was nothing like the joy of teaching. Thanks to the preparation U.S.L. had given me and the guidance of Miss Blakely offered, honors began to come. Outstanding Teacher in Lafayette Parish, Outstanding Speech and Debate Coach in Louisiana, the L.A.E. Public Relations Award for positive publicity for education and the Amway Award for the outstanding Free Enterprise teaching project in the nation. You certainly must agree that there is no finer teacher training program in the United States than the one we have right here at Southwestern.
U.S.L. deserves many thanks from so many of us. There is one area, however, which stands above all others when it comes to saying, "Thanks." "Thanks, Southwestern a million times over for all the tremendous things you have done for your graduates...and thanks especially for all the wonderful memories."
Antoine Joseph "A.J." Antoine - Science Education, 1951; M.Ed., 1962
Antoine Joseph "A.J." Antoine
B.S. 1951 Science Education
M.Ed. 1962 Adm. & Supv. Education - Minor Science
I remember when SLI played football in the Camelia Bowl here in Lafayette at McNaspy Stadium on Thanksgiving Day against Hardin and Simmons University. SLI won the game by a three point field goal kicked by a lineman, Donald Petit. This was a 40-yard goal. I don't remember the exact date of this football game, but it was probably in the late 40's.
I remember big name bands ( dance bands ) came to SLI to play for student body dances. Some of those big name dance bands included Tex Beneke, Gene Krupa, Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, etc.
I remember several outstanding professors in both undergraduate and graduate school, namely Dr. Ray Authement in Math; Dr. Ed Stueben in Human Anatomy; Dr. John McCampbell in Geology; Dr. Leon Beasley in Education Dr. Walter Robinette in Education; Dr. Howard Turner in Educational Research; Dr. Aycock in Educational Philosophy; Dean Glynn Abel in student personnel; Mrs. B. Hait in English; and Dr. Hosea Phillips in French.
I remember taking a graduate math course (Math 411: Modern Abstract Algebra) with Dr. Ray Authement during summer school (about 1958) as a recipient of a National Science Foundation Grant. Dr. Authement would spend every afternoon during this Summer session tutoring anyone who needed help in this subject, free of charge.
I also remember the little cafe' on St. Mary Boulevard, across the street from Montgomery Hall called "Hicks" where we had lunch very often. Plate lunches were 35 cents and an extra slice of bread was 5 cents. "Hicks" was a common hang-out for many students before and after classes. Food and drinks were available and students cashed checks.
Aline Margaret Arceneaux - Chemistry, 1941
Aline Margaret Arceneaux
Graduated with Distinction on June 2, 1941 with a major in Chemistry
When I enrolled at Southwestern in 1937 the enrollment was such that you knew practically everybody. As a commuter, I was glad that there was a Girls' Club Room where we could go when we were not in class or in the library. The library, by the way, was in Girard Hall. It was during the time that I was on campus that the building program included Bittle Hall (originally built as a student center), Broussard Hall, Burke Hall, Evangeline Dormitory, Hamilton Hall (originally used as an elementary training school), Harris Dormitory, Earl K. Long Gym, McLaurin Gym, McNaspy Stadium, Mouton Hall, Parker Hall, C Building (originally built as a farm dormitory), Saucier Clinic and Infirmary, and Stephens Memorial Hall (originally built as a library). As you can see, the face of the campus changed drastically during the time I was there.
The teachers that I remember with fondness were Mr. Delarue, Mr. Riehl, Muriel McCulla, and Daddy Stokes. Others I remember for their mannerisms, like Miss Bancroft standing at the blackboard starting out writing with her left hand and switching to her right without changing position, Dean Hamilton twisting his hair as he was lecturing, and Miss Buchanan wearing gloves in class.
The extra-curricular activities that I remember were the Camellia Pageant, Stunt Night (a competition put on by the sororities), the dance students performing in Cypress Grove (it was not a lake then), and sports events such as football, basketball, and boxing.
Memories of Southwestern would not be complete without mention of the Rendezvous which was across from the North Gate. It was operated by my aunt, Mrs. T.C. Wiggins. I would help out at noon in exchange for my lunch. A number of young men were able to attend college by working there and staying in her boarding house.
Since I attended three summer schools, I was able to finish at mid-semester. My first teaching assignment was at the L.T. High School in Thibodaux. I taught there for the spring semester, and the next year I taught at Big Lake High School in Cameron Parish. I then moved to Iota High School in Acadia Parish (my sister Lucille was the librarian there).
It was during the spring semester that I enlisted in the Navy and reported on May 8, 1943 to Smith College in Massachusetts for training. I was commissioned on June 30, 1943, and after spending five days in New York seeing the sights, I reported to the Bureau of Ships in Washington, D.C. I was assigned to the Submarine Design Section and worked there for the three years I was on active duty. There were a number of SLI graduates stationed in Washington at the time and we would meet at times. I also had the good fortune to be invited several times for lunch in the Senators' Dining Room at the Capitol.
After I was discharged, I taught in Rayne for two years and decided I was not really cut out to be a teacher. I was fortunate to get a job at Southwestern where I went from working in the Film Library, secretary for the Alumni Association, to secretary for Joe Riehl who was Dean of Administration at the time. After a number of title changes, and for a time acting as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, he held the title of Academic Vice President at the time of his retirement. When Dr. Ray Authement was named to replace him, I remained in the secretarial position; when Dr. Authement was named President, I moved up with him. I remained in that position until I retired in 1985.
Besides working at Southwestern, I was asked in 1951 to become active in the Naval Reserve. I stayed active until 1978 when I was transferred to the inactive Reserve. On July 20, 1980 I became Commander Aline M. Arceneaux, Ret.
Although retired from USL, I still retain ties to it by serving on the Retirees Committee.
Aline Margaret Arceneaux
Mary Fay Perret Ashton - Speech & English, 1961
Mary Fay Perret Ashton
Speech-English Education - 1961
So many things come to mind looking back at my years in Louisiana. College was an important part of those years.
I remember entering Southwestern Louisiana Institute in 1957 and graduating from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1961.
I remember Professors Murphy, Ellis, and Poe; and great debates, plays, and classes in Burke Hall.
I remember roommates Barbree, Denise, Marie, Judy and Myrtis; and wonderful weekends in Cottonport and New Iberia.
I remember housemothers Mrs. Olivier and Mrs. Roussell and late night Bridge games in Randolph Dorm.
I remember good friends and good times in Phi Mu Sorority.
I remember dinners with Dean Roth at her home and late evening conversations discussing work on the L'Acadien.
I remember frequent trips to the first McDonald's in Lafayette and seeing the sign change to "One Million Sold."
I remember walking through beautiful azaleas and camellias on my way to Stephens Memorial Library.
I remember the challenge and satisfaction of student teaching at Lafayette Senior High School and lesson plans I spent hours trying to perfect.
I remember a wonderful time in my life.
Today, my husband and I live in Madison, Connecticut, which has been home for the past twenty-two years. I own and operate "The Village Chocolatier" in Guilford, Connecticut.
Mary Fay Perret Ashton
Gladys Mary Buller Babovec – History Education, August 8, 1940
Gladys Mary Buller Babovec
August 8, 1940
I am Gladys Mary Buller of Elton and was a student at SLI from September 1937 through July 1940. I graduated on August 8, 1940 with a B.A. My major was History, with minors in English and French.
On a Sunday afternoon a neighbor took his daughter and me to DeClouet Hall. The housemother and upperclassmen greeted us, showed us to our rooms, and later that afternoon gave us a tour of the campus. Then dorm rules were read and explained.
We were all supervised. Each time we left the dorm, other than going to class, we signed out giving our destination. Freshmen were to be in by 7P.M. Those making the honor roll could stay later at the library. Since none of us had cars on campus, we stayed there until the Thanksgiving holidays. We became close friends walking to church and to a movie on Sunday or listening to the radio. Going together to football games and special programs were fun. When "Gone With the Wind" came to the theatre, our housemother walked there with us because we would be late getting in.
All of us ate in the dining hall including weekends six to eight students at the same table with each meal served family style. French students were to speak only French at their table. Students worked as waiters.
Club and sorority activities were most enjoyable. I belonged to Zeta Delta Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, Vermilion Honor Society and Le Cercle Francais.
Girls wore dresses. Pants and shorts were worn only for certain sports or as a uniform.
Classes were small enough that we knew most of the members and usually felt as if our teachers were our friends and always ready to help us. Those teachers I remember best were Mr. Joseph Riehl and Mr. Harry Delarue of the history department and Ms. Muriel McCulla, an English teacher.
We were experiencing a severe depression. I worked for Ms. Agnes Edwards in the Dean of Women's office during my freshman year and for Dean Harry Griffin the remainder of my college years, earning approximately 33 cents per hour.
After graduation in September, I began teaching upper elementary social studies in Jefferson Davis Parish earning $97 per month (room and board was $28). After teaching two years, I joined the Women's Army Corps and served 2.5 years, spending most of that time at Tilton General Hospital, Ft. Dix, N.J.
In 1945, I married Jerry Babovec and moved to Texas; we had three daughters, two of whom are teachers and one a nurse. In 1957, we moved back to Elton where I taught high school social studies and English until I retired. While teaching, I received two letters of commendation from McNeese for having prepared students well for their college American History classes and the Louisiana Farm Bureau General Education Freedom Award given for continuous service to foster Americanism.
Even though I'm retired, I remain active as a CCD teacher and coordinator, in American Legion and Auxiliary Americanism activities, in church activities, and as a volunteer in the Veterans Administration program.
Gladys B. Babovec
Sue Baudier - M.Ed., 1979; Health & Physical Education Faculty, 1980-99
M.Ed. - 1979
It's difficult to think back so far to my days as a graduate student at USL. My most vivid memory was of my class with Marty Bourg. This was one of my first graduate classes, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I felt rather confident in my ability to write, and was quite shocked when my first assigned paper was returned to me FULL of RED INK! My first thought was that he might have cut his hand and bled all over the paper. Marty evaluated not only content, but also grammar, sentence structure, etc. I was distressed, but you can be assured that my next papers were much improved. I feel as if Marty set me on the path toward my M.Ed.
I also learned so very much from Billy Duncan. How I admired him for "telling it like it was". I really had to respect the man for what he'd been through in his own academic career, and for the way he presented information--no sugar coating--no "rose-colored glasses!" We heard about life in the real world, not from a text. So many of the things I learned in his School Law class, I remember even today.
After teaching in the public systems of East Baton Rouge, St. Mary, and St. Landry Parishes, I was quite fortunate to gain employment in the Health and Physical Education Department at USL. This is my 19th year as an instructor, and I must say that this is the most enjoyable, fulfilling, yet challenging job I have ever had. It's really satisfying to do something that I truly enjoy and to have broadened my horizons so far. I've learned so very much, and I've been associated with some wonderful people during my tenure here. I have some very fond memories---the McNaspy Stadium inhabitants wading to faculty meetings at Long Gym, the seemingly endless lines of students upstairs in Long Gym waiting to drop-add, sharing "the office" (as a new faculty member) with Harold Blackwell and Jeff Hennessy, and asking them so many really dumb questions, painting the exercise room in McNaspy Stadium some very bright and happy colors! What memories!
I am indeed fortunate to have enjoyed such a wonderful association with USL, and I look forward to many more wonderful and memorable experiences.
Sue Baudier, Instructor
Margaret Lucy Gremillion Begnaud - 1973, 1978, 1991
Margaret Lucy Gremillion Begnaud
1973, 1978, 1991
Once upon a time there was a young girl, fresh out of high school, with her whole life ahead of her. Advisors had told her that she could apply for a scholarship to become a teacher. But, NO! She told them that she would rather do "something more important" with her life.
I was that young girl 28 years ago I did indeed become a teacher (without the aid of a scholarship!) and have 19 years experience teaching everything from mentally handicapped to gifted students in grades two through college! I guess I should have listened better to those who seemed to know my future even before I did.
In 1970 when I graduated from high school, there was never any question about which college I would attend. Although several of my friends were going out of state or to LSU, I knew without a doubt that I would be attending USL. You see, my father had graduated from there (then SLI), and my older sister and brother were attending USL. We lived a mile from the campus, so I could walk to class. I was never able to live on campus because the chores involved with being in a family of eight children were many, and I had to do things at home as well as keep up my schoolwork. After I completed my undergraduate degree in 1973, I thought I'd never have to study for another test again. I'd be G the tests now that I was a teacher! Although the professors at USL were wonderful, I just couldn't see myself going any further with a graduate degree.
In just a few short years, I found myself wanting to know more, wanting to do a better job for my students. So I entered the Masters Program at USL. I earned my Masters Degree in 1978 with a minor in Reading. By this time I was married (to a 1970 USL graduate) with a young daughter (1998 graduate of Ole Miss) and a son on the way (now a Sophomore in Nursing at USL).
I decided to take some time off from teaching and raise my two children. Once again, I found myself yearning to learn more, so I pursued advanced degrees. These came more slowly, as the pressures of raising a family and working only allowed me to go to school at night. I earned a Masters 30 in 1990, and became an Education Specialist in 1991. This time I was E I would never see the inside of a classroom as a student again. Once again, I was wrong!
In 1995, I began taking classes at LSU toward my doctorate degree. Now, lest you think I am a turncoat, let me assure you that I am not. If there E a Ph.D. program at USL in education, I am sure that is where I would be! I can happily report that with the love and support of family and friends (especially my husband and my now-grown children), I have completed my coursework, have successfully defended my prospectus, and I am now in the final stages of completing my dissertation! I hope to graduate before the year 2000 with a Ph.D. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction. I suspect that this one will indeed be the last degree I pursue. I say that with some degree of sadness, as I have learned to appreciate the wonderful education I have received over the years. I have learned that I love teaching, and I also love learning! I thank all of the professors at USL who guided and directed me and helped to make me the person I am today.
This past November, USL had an Academic Showcase. To show our support of USL and to encourage my fourth and fifth graders to look to their own futures, I asked them to design posters for this showcase. The results were priceless! Some of the slogans included such phrases as: "U See Learning at USL"; "USL: The Possibilities are Endless"; a small dog asked "Yo Quiero USL?"; and "USL is the Bomb" (translated for the older generations--"USL is the Best"). It gives me such a heartwarming feeling to share my love of learning with the ten and eleven-year-olds who may one day follow in my footsteps down the halls of USL. After 28 years, I find that I DID do something more important with my life after all! I teach!
Rose (Ann) Bergeron - Elementary Education, January 1965
Rose (Ann) Bergeron
January, 1965 - Elementary Education
What a saga the USL years were! Small town 'Rose' meeting many others of similar and varied backgrounds. Somehow, within the ambiance of innocent youth of those days and stable tranquility of ole USL, we survived and thrived, although with adjustments along the way!
My first year I almost fell asleep on all my dates, (having been accustomed to "home" 10:30 pm curfews), while acclimating to midnight and 1:00 am curfews at "Progressive" USL.
Then there was the time when Irma Moreau (Spears) sneaked a whole bottle of Creme de Menthe into the dorm after a home pass, and the four of us "roomies" drank it all night! We were amazed when the dorm mother came by for "lights out", and commented on "How nice the room smelled."
Of course, we all remember the hikes to 'Little Abbeville' in the faithful rains on steaming sidewalks, and the powdered eggs we were served for breakfast almost daily.
Dear USL majorettes and band members - I remember the long afternoon band practices, and even longer parades for Mardi Gras, Yambilee Festivals, Christmas parades, etc...
I remember how much we appreciated dear ole USL President Fletcher, who provided all of us cold drinks from his personal funds after a Yambilee parade because he felt sorry for us. We had strutted and marched in stifling heat behind his motorcade for several miles during that long parade.
We recognized how gracious he and Mrs. Fletcher were, as well as Dean Agnes Roth, then Dean of Women, for welcoming us into their homes for teas and receptions.
A highlight of my USL years was being tapped into Vermilion Honor Society by Carol Phausser. Carol, where are you?
Remember, Carol, when we were USL Kappa Delta Pi delegates to the national convention at Purdue University? Dr. Louis Coussan, then KDP sponsor, drove us to Hammond to take the train? (That was my first long trip). We were the only delegates in Indiana who played in the snow when we got a chance!
I recall fondly, and frequently, my forever friend and former roomie, Sylvia Granger, who is currently a pediatrician in Aurora, Illinois. We were separated for over thirty years, and over the past two years, we've had two occasions to meet and catch up with ourselves. It was as though the intervening years disappeared! That's how it is with forever friends such as those made at good ole USL!
Immediately from USL, I entered Tulane University, completing an M.Ed. degree in Counseling and Guidance, May, 1966.
I married during the year I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology with a Clinical Specialty, became licensed the following year, with the last seven years in practice in New Orleans, full-time Mental Health Services at Medical Center of Louisiana (old Charity Hospital), and part-time private practice at my office on Carondelet Street. Both "Works" have worked well, with locations convenient to each other and my apartment/home in the French Quarter.
French Quarter living has been convenient for me doing some things that I enjoy. For example, during my first five years here I sang with St. Louis Cathedral Church and Concert choir. (I am currently on "sabbatical").
The cathedral has proved important to me as well, after learning that my French ancestors nine generations ago were married there, 2/20/1730! This has qualified me for membership in The Society for the Founders of the City of New Orleans.
This year, I also completed required genealogical research and have become a proud member of New Orlean's 'Spirit of '76 Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.
The last arena of family heritage which I am currently pursuing is membership in 'Society of the Cincinnati' which is comprised of women whose American Revolutionary War ancestor held officer's rank of Major and above.
I am blessed with excellent health (thus far), and work, play, rest, and do all things with enjoyable intensity and depth.
Away from the U.S.A. homefront, interests and travels have included traveling: (1) three weeks through five countries in Western Europe, planning my own itinerary (train travel in Europe is the way to go), including visiting five days with my maternal ancestral relatives in northern France; (2) two weeks in three countries in Central Europe as guest of a Polish colleague from LSU Medical School (I drove all over Poland in her father-in-law's little Fiat!); and, (3) luxury Caribbean cruises (next scheduled for February, 1999). The most current travel plan on the drawing board is Spring, '99, possible trip to exotic Bahrain, the island jewel of the Arabian Sea, to sightsee, shop, and experience the mystique of the Middle East.
I still enjoy visiting with my dear lifelong "in touch" friends ( I wish I could find some of you out there since we've progressed through life), as well as dancing, sewing, music (piano, guitar, keyboard playing, singing), and aerobic exercising.
If you remember me, Phi Mu's (I'm a lifetime member), majorettes, band members, organization members, dorm mates, and fellow classmates, please let me hear from you.
Take care and GOD BLESS YOU!
Charles A. Bernard, Jr. - Elementary Teacher's Certificate, 1938
Charles A. Bernard, Jr.
1938 Elementary Teacher's Certificate
After earning my teacher's certificate, I continued the pursuit of a Bachelors Degree which I earned in 1946 in Elementary Education and Industrial Arts. Industrial Arts was a new department at this time, and I was the first student to graduate from S.L.I. with enough credits to teach industrial arts in Louisiana schools.
I was at S.L.I. - U.S.L. as a student or teacher during the administration of all five university presidents. As a student, I attended S.L.I. in 1936 -39 during the Edwin Stephens and Lether Frazier years. I taught during the Joel Fletcher, Clyde Rougeou, and Ray Authement years from 1949 - 75.
I was a commuter student by bus from St. Martinville. There were so few cars on campus that the bus parked on the Martin Hall circle during the noon hour for student pick-up to go downtown to Heyman's sandwich shop.
As a member of Mrs. Girard's vocal group, we performed in musicals in Cypress Garden, now Cypress Lake.
I worked as a student aid in Dr. Tinsley's office for 35 cents an hour where I operated the duplicating machine for all departments in Martin Hall. We also duplicated tests for professors.
My first teaching position was in Stephensville, located in the lower 6th ward of St. Martin Parish. In a one-room school, I taught 53 children, grades one through seven. The village was in reality, an island situated on Bayou Long, nine miles from Morgan City.
Most of the children walked to school on a path along the bayou; however, during the flooding season, everyone came to school by boat. Because the school yard was narrow between the swamp and the bayou, almost all physical education equipment, such as baseballs, volleyballs, and bats, were rubber coated.
When the Spring of 1939 brought flood waters, the school ground flooded. Isolated from anyone in the teaching profession, I had to modify school activities and use ingenuity. I, therefore, allowed the older children to crayfish during the recess periods. Using frogs which were easily caught, the children attached the frog parts to floating sticks and caught crayfish which they took home.
I continued my education by attending S.L.I. during the summers. I later earned a Masters Degree and furthered my education at Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Colorado and Michigan State University.
I retired in 1975 as Director of the Audio-Visual Department, but returned to U.S.L. as a consultant until 1977 when a replacement was found. I have since enrolled in classes at U.S.L. in gardening, calligraphy, and physical education.
My wife and I have traveled much since my retirement. Because we own vacation time with an international exchange organization, we have visited Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Austria, and Greece. We have also traveled extensively in the states and lately as members of Elderhostel.
Calligraphy, wood crafts, and stained glass are hobbies that keep me busy. Also, my poetry and short story writing have afforded me many hours of pleasure.
In 1949, when I became a faculty member at S.L.I. I was excited to buy season football tickets for me and my wife, Nell. As well as I can remember, basketball tickets were given to us when we bought football tickets. My wife and I have been season ticket holders ever since. We discontinued the purchase of football tickets recently because we considered ourselves too old to brave inclement weather. However, we will continue to be basketball ticket holders as long as we are able to attend the games. (from 1949 thru 1999)
John A. Bertrand
Class of 1950
Dr. John A. Bertrand – Bachelor’s Degree, 1950
John A. Bertrand
Class of 1950
Dear Dr. Dugas:
It was July 1947 that I enrolled at S.L.I. (U.S.L.) along with hundreds of World War II veterans. I was married with one child and my wife expecting another in October. Thank God for the GI bill. It was the only way that I could have gone to college.
I thank S.L.I. (U.S.L.) for its foresight in providing housing for married veterans on the campus. We were like one big family living in "Vet Village." We even had a co-op store in the "Village", which was most convenient since many of us had no cars.
The primary means of travel was by bicycle and there were many of those. The college baseball team played its games across the street from "Vet Village", thus providing a sport that all of us and our children could enjoy of charge. None of us had much money since the GI substance was $120 per month.
When I went to S.L.I. (U.S.L.), I felt that I wanted to be an engineer. All veterans took an aptitude test and were counseled. It was here that I was counseled by an outstanding professor, Dr. Howard Turner, who recommended that I major in Education. I took his advice which I have appreciated ever since.
The faculty in the College of Education was very small at that time. Some of those that I remember well were Dr. J. B. Wooley, Dr. J. B. Aycock, Dr. Turner, Mr. G. Zernott, and, of course, Dean Doucet. They were all professors who really cared for their students. Outside of education, I was privileged to have one of the finest professors that I have ever known. I took five history courses with him. His name was Harry Delarue.
I served as president of Kappa Delta Pi while in college. The highlight of my term was attendance at the national convention that was held at the Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, Indiana. I was also inducted into Pi Gamma Mu and Blue Key.
It was during this time that the college began growing into the University that it is today. The returning veterans swelled the enrollment to a record 3500! When I graduated in 1950, there were some 700 graduates. It was during this time also that an R.O.T.C. unit was formed. It existed for several years and was disbanded. It was also the time of the tenure of George "Gee" Mitchell as head football coach. The team was the S.L.I. Bulldogs. The mascot was a bulldog named "Gee."
I have great memories of S.L.I. I remember one occasion when I was walking along and saw President Joel Fletcher walking near me toward another building. To my utter amazement and delight, he called me by my name and chatted for a few minutes. I had no idea that he knew who I was. I found out later that this was a special talent of his and that he could call many students by name.
I could go on and on but suffice it to say that I will always be grateful for my days at S.L.I. where people cared for you and were willing to assist you. The key words were friendliness, helpfulness, and kindness on the road to learning.
John A. Bertrand, Ph.D.
Carolyn Jones Bienvenu - English Education, 1963; M.A. English, 1975
Carolyn Jones Bienvenu
1963 & 1975 - English Education
As a 1963 midterm graduate of USL, I witnessed many growing pains at Southwestern. My diploma reads Carolyn Jones Bienvenu since I married my husband of 36 years, Ronald Claude, during the summer of my last semester of undergraduate school.
The English Department flowered during my three and one-half years of undergraduate study. I was so fortunate to experience several classes with the quintessential professor Dr. Milton Rickels. His superior intellect inspired me and molded my self-confidence. What better compliment than a few words written on a term paper, "May I use this idea in a book I am writing?" What high praise so humbly given. Others in the English Department also inspired, guided, challenged, and polished me. I thank them all for the teacher I was for over 31 years.
I cannot recall my days at USL without musing on the two great icons of the Education Department: Dr. Beasley and Dr.Coussan. Both became my friends through my semesters of education courses. Dr. Beasley even introduced me to present learning concepts carried on through computers today. The halls of Mouton were old but friendly in those growing days.
Speaking of halls, I'll never forget running from Mouton to the barracks at the end of the campus for Dr. Adams' Louisiana History class. No one was allowed in after the door closed. That Louisiana history remained our favorite
Another great hall in which I spent almost every evening during those years was Stephens Library. The modern Dupré Library opened during those years, but the old library with its round oak tables remained our favorite.
Cypress Lake also lingers in memory when it still had a path through it and offered a secluded bench for goodnight kisses before heading back to the dorm and its curfew. Yes, we had a curfew in those days and girls didn't go outside the dorm in pants-not even to physical education classes! Restrictions then were annoying, but when my own daughters attended USL, I would have welcomed those regulations.
Dorms were another vivid memory--Baker-Hughes, Evangeline, and Declouet. I remember on one hot evening all the girls were asked to draw the blinds since our scanty clothing was visible from the president's home which backed Declouet. Noise and rushes for the showers, three sometimes four girls to a room, and studying until you couldn't sit anymore were all a part of dorm life.
New buildings arose over the years, but the nostalgia of these old rooms lingers. They were filled with many years of a growing university.
I can't say there was much to linger from my short stay with my husband in the married housing, old vet village. The sight of the ground between the floorboards and the roaches I chased with spray were memories I would prefer to forget. One memory of vet village, however, that still gives me a chuckle is that of a couple who lived across the way. Every week one of their parents arrived to return their clothing ironed and on hangars. I thought them quite spoiled.
I doubt that anyone can recall USL campus life in those days without thinking of the "mess" hall. Everyone got up for breakfast since it was the only good meal; there were always grits and biscuits. Public restaurants were non-existent near campus and who could pass up the room and board of under $350 anyway. My only regret was the "mess" hall was closed on weekends. With no cooking in the dorm, spam and canned peaches constituted many meals.
As we come to homecoming '98, I recall a much different football tradition. We seemed to always play the Northeastern Indians, so decorations, a big deal at the dorm, took on a massacre flavor. Games were played at McNaspy. Dressed in heels and dresses bedecked with corsages, we maneuvered the wooden plank stadium to cheer our bulldogs.
Following graduation, I taught briefly in Calcasieu Parish before going home (my husband's home) to Iberia Parish. After my husband completed his masters and 30 plus certification, I decided to enter my own graduate program. The English Department had grown tremendously in the intervening seven years. I continued good fortune experiencing both Drs. Rickels and other quality professors as I earned my M.A. in English Literature. I chose to remain a classroom teacher for the remainder of my career spending the greater part of 31 years teaching ninth-grade English and serving as department chair and yearbook sponsor.
Today, my husband and I relish the pleasures of retirement. We travel and enjoy a full life, now that the responsibilities of our three grown, married children are gone. We continue to keep close ties with USL through alumni activities and sports. USL has been and continues to be very important to our lives.
Carolyn J. Bienvenu
Dr. Harold Blackwell - Kinesiology Faculty, 1975-1990
Dr. Harold Blackwell
Health & Physical Education Faculty Member
In July of 1975, shortly after recently completing my doctorate, I came to USL to interview for an assistant professor position in the HPER department. The first person I met was Al Simon, who was stepping down as department chair. Al introduced me to the new department chair, Dr. Ed Dugas. Ed took me to talk to Bud Ducharme, the interim dean. After that meeting, I was introduced to Dr. Ray Authement.
Being from Mississippi and Tennessee, I was rather alarmed and totally confused by all the French names being thrown about that afternoon. Of course, you can imagine my surprise when I finally received my class rosters. However, I did begin to feel at home when I was assigned an office with Fred Nelson. That was a name I could understand.
I remained at USL until 1990. I am presently Department Chair of the Health and Kinesiology Department at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX.
Dr. Harold Blackwell
Joy L. Blanchard - French/Journalism Education, May 1999
Joy L. Blanchard
Each time I drive through the campus of USL, I can't imagine that it has been actually four years since I first nervously arrived as a freshman. So much has happened since then--both good and bad. As a friend of mine once said, times like this build character. However, I have so much more for which I should be thankful. USL has made me the person I am today. The people that I have met and the experiences that I have had were only possible because of my decision to attend USL.
I laugh when I remember my first day of college in August 1995. The biggest worry on my mind was what to wear!! But I knew even then that if USL were to be my home for the next four years, I had to jump into campus life head first. I went through sorority rush and met some amazing girls that remain my friends to this day.
But I must admit that I was not "Joe College" from the beginning. My fondest memories from my freshman year include my involvement in the Honors Program and Habitat for Humanity. Anyone who knows Dr. Pat can definitely attest to the fact that she takes all her "baby chicks" under her wing!!
Within the next couple of years, I became involved in the Student Government Association and a host of other campus activities. I cannot think of a single experience that shaped me more than my two terms on the SGA. I had a chance to interact with students from all walks of life and see my volunteerism have meaning.
During the 1997-98 term, I served as public relations chair and worked closely with campus philanthropies, such as the American Cancer Society. But most importantly, I grew as a person. The Union Forum was my home on Monday nights. The senators were my support network and driving force. I think that by being involved in SGA, I began to realize how bold I could dare to dream. And when I lost hope, everyone was always there to pick me up.
Surprisingly, the icing on the cake was when I ran unsuccessfully for SGA Vice-President on the Revolution ticket. It did not matter that I lost. I stood up for what I believed (though sometimes controversial) and was just proud of throwing my hat in the ring. It took guts to stand up to our critics, but it was something I had to do sooner or later. The campaign trail was made so much fun because of my colleagues and the people I met.
My senior year, though, is what sealed it for me. I had the honor of being chosen to serve on USL's Homecoming Court. To the girl that stepped on campus four years earlier, that was an unfathomable accomplishment. Despite the death of my brother and other personal setbacks, I kept my head above water all these years and continued to live my dreams. It was not the limelight that I enjoyed (though that may have surprised most). I was just so taken aback that I was now indelibly a part of USL's rich history. I will never forget the incredible honor that my peers bestowed upon me. To be among the other qualified candidates was just amazing enough.
It was after Homecoming that I realized fully exactly what USL means to me. It is not just a place where I grew as a person and "found myself." It is not just a place that gave me an amazing educational foundation and gave me the opportunity to live two summers in Europe while improving my French. USL is a place that taught me exactly what life is all about. I have worked with so many people and have learned life's most important lesson: to accept people for who they are. It sounds so simple, but you see so little of it today. USL has become a part of me, and the lessons that I have learned and the experiences that I have had will stay with me forever.
As I prepare to enter my final semester, I think of all the little things I will miss: staff meetings at "The Vermilion" newspaper, parking at "Perry's Parking" at First Baptist Church, noon mass at Wisdom Church, and all the friendly faces that brightened each and every day. USL is so unique in that it not only educates its students, but it also embraces them. I could have not have received a better preparation for life anywhere else.
Graduation is quickly approaching for me in May of 1999. I will be student teaching at Lafayette High and frantically trying to finish my Honors thesis, which focuses on the methodology and assessment of second-language learning. I am also filling out a dozen applications for graduate school. Though I always thought I wanted to be a principal, I have decided to pursue a masters degree in higher education/student affairs administration. Dean Ed Pratt had such an influence on me during my years in SGA that I want to be just like him!!
From tutoring privately two teenage boys to performing a one-month practicum in the high schools, I realized that classroom teaching is really only my second calling. What I truly enjoy is my daily interactions with the kids and sharing in their trials and triumphs. I think what makes my relationships with my students so special is that we can relate to each other so easily (I am only 21 years old). Realizing what an experience my years at USL have been, I want to do the same for others.
And with a degree from USL, I know I am in good stead for the future.
Joy L. Blanchard
Margaret Simon Blumberg - Math Education, 1962; M.S. Mathematics & Business Education, 1964
Margaret Simon Blumberg
Masters (Mathematics),August, 1964
Mathematics & Business Education
For me, the USL College of Education was and is embodied in the person of Dr. Leon Beasley. At some time during the early years, I was assigned to work as a student-aid in the offices of Dr. Beasley, Dr. Walter Robinette, and Dr. Howard Turner. However, I believe I was assigned specifically to work for Dr. Beasley (and for the grand wage of $.50 per hour). What a pleasure to see a professor at work who didn't believe in following the mold society had set for him. He was the first and only professor with whom I had experience who tried to get us out of the textbook and the classroom and into communication with high school teachers and students. I suppose this made him a "reformer" before his time. Dr. Beasley could be very demanding; at the same time, he never took anything too seriously, least of all himself. Dr. Beasley truly "told it like it was.
Years later as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics at USL, coincidence or fortune placed me in an office just inches away from Dr. Beasley's office. We communicated on a daily basis and enjoyed one another's company as we both tried to teach some of USL's finest. I remember his wisdom, his wit and his charm--he taught me the meaning of the word "obfuscate." I believe it was a favorite of his. (Coincidentally, or not, I find myself mere steps away from the office of Dr. Beasley's son, Hunter, who now teaches in the College of Education.)
I have been an Instructor in the Department of Mathematics at USL for more than twenty years. For much of that time, I have been associated with Cajun Quiz Bowl and for a number of years have had the pleasurable responsibility of producing the questions for each year's competition. I have been married to Duane Blumberg, current Dean of the College of Sciences at USL, for 34 years. We have one son, Kenneth Martin, who is a graduate of USL and an electrical engineer.
Evelyn Gary Boudreaux - 1937, 1949, 1955
Evelyn Gary Boudreaux
University of Southwestern Louisiana
Graduate 1937, 1949, and 1955
I graduated from Erath High School in May of 1934 and first attended SLI, as it was known then, in June of 1934. I am happy to have this opportunity to share with you some of my fond (and not so fond) memories of what it was like to attend the university in those days.
During the summer of 1934, I commuted to SLI on a bus driven by a man named Baker from a small community between Gueydan and Kaplan. He would come down Highway 14 through Kaplan, Abbeville, and Erath then up Highway 339 through Youngsville on his way to Lafayette. I lived in a little community called Charoigne about half a mile off of Highway 339. He would pick up passengers along the way who were attending SLI and some boys from Youngsville who attended Cathedral High School.
One of my most vivid memories of that summer was a hurricane. While we were attending classes, word came that there was a hurricane approaching, and the bus drivers had been told to stay at the university. The commuters wanted to get home, so we convinced Baker to get on the road anyway (a gravel road, mind you). It was raining really hard when we left and got progressively worse as we continued down 339 back toward Erath. About half way there, Baker could barely see ahead because of the rain, the ditches were filling with water, and the wind was blowing so hard, he was having difficulty keeping the bus on the road. So, he decided we would stop at the nearest farmhouse and ride out the weather. The wind was so strong, Baker couldn't get the bus door to open, so we had to climb out of the bus through the driver's window. All of us crammed into that little old farmhouse, soaking wet but still feeling very brave and adventurous until lightning struck the chimney and scared us to death! When the weather began to subside, the parents of a friend of mine came and picked up a few of us and took us home.
By the fall semester, Baker's route changed and the bus didn't run down 339, so I had to live in Lafayette. At that time, SLI had to approve off-campus housing. I roomed at Mrs. Rome's house on Jackson Street from September, 1934 to May of 1936. There were two of us in a very small room with a potbelly stove for a heater. Room and board was $18 a month (each paid $9). In those days, that was a lot of money because it was during the depression. We had to take in the coal and kindling to light the fire in the mornings. We weren't allowed to use much because Mrs. Rome didn't want our fire burning long after we left for class.
After breakfast in the morning, we walked to SLI to attend classes. Between classes, we used to gather on the bottom floor at Martin Hall. It was called the Social Room. There were tables and chairs, lockers you could rent to store your books, and a housemother to assist you. There were also cots to lie on in case you were sick. We used to do our homework as we waited between classes or we gathered around the piano in the Social Room where Margaret Chauvin and Thelma Williams used to play music for us to sing along with and dance to. We also played cards while we waited. Bridge and 500 were the favorites. In the afternoons, after all our classes were over, we walked back to Mrs. Rome's.
From September of 1936 to May of 1937, I lived at Dean Griffin's house. The Griffins had an apartment to rent - two bedrooms and one bath. There were four girls - two in the front room at $20 a month (each paid $10) and two in the back bedroom at $15 a month (each paid $7.50). With four girls using one bathroom, we had to get up early. We drank coffee and ate breakfast once we got to SLI in the mornings. We could only have certain foods in our rooms and had to keep the rooms clean at all times. We came home every weekend so we could get some good hot meals and not have to clean.
I did my student teaching at Hamilton Training School on Jefferson Street in first grade under Mrs. Veazey. She was from New Iberia and was a wonderful critic teacher. The best thing about practice teaching in those days was that we very well supervised. Believe me, if our lesson plans were not perfect, we did them over and over again until they were. The worst thing was that they closed the training school with great supervisors. It became the post office.
When I started at SLI in 1934, the Elementary Teacher's Course was a two-year course. In about 1936, it became a three-year course. Those of us who had started with the two-year course could graduate, but we had to take all the extra physical education courses. I graduated in 1937 and began teaching at Erath Elementary in September of 1937 at $65.00 a month. I rode the school bus with students to and from school until 1940. In 1940, I got married and moved to Erath.
In 1948, they began adjusting salaries for those teachers who had graduated with less than the three years or four years. So, in 1949, with only nine hours lacking, I returned to get a three-year degree and graduated once more in 1949. My principal believed in keeping up, so I continued taking night classes and workshops to finally finish my last year. I received my four-year degree in the summer of 1955. So, I've graduated three times from USL (SLI), and I get honored at Homecoming with three different classes!
I taught third grade at Erath Elementary School for thirty-four years, from the fall of 1937 to the spring of 1973. I loved teaching school! I retired at age fifty-seven only because my husband was ill, and I stayed home to care for him. After his death a year later, I substituted for twelve years. Since about 1986, I have learned to enjoy my retirement. I now spend my time doing a variety of things. What I enjoy most is spending time with my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; visiting with close friends, and doing needlework.
Daniel John Bouillion - Health & Physical Education, 1967; M.Ed., 1986
Daniel John Bouillion
USL graduate 1967 & 1986
My name is Daniel John Bouillion, a 1976 graduate of USL in Health and Physical Education. I'm also a 1986 graduate of the Masters Program in Education. I'm very proud to be a graduate from an institution that not only offered academics, but also offered an atmosphere for so many memories.
I began my studies at USL in the Fall of 1972. Taking 18 credit hours the first semester was a challenge since I was working at a job to pay for the tuition of $132.50 Yes! That is correct!
Spirits were high for me at the time and for so many others, as USL was nationally recognized for the basketball team and program. Going to Blackham Coliseum to watch USL play was super exciting. The Coliseum was always packed with spectators knowing they were there to see them WIN!
I majored in Health and Physical Education and loved every minute of it. Dr. Dugas, department head, maintained and developed an outstanding department with the help of instructors as Coach Nelson, Coach May, Ms. Johnson, Dr. Bourg, Ms. Testerman, Ms. Ducharme, Dr. Blackwell, Coach Hennesey, Coach Wolf and Dr. Gatch.
Everyone majoring in Health and Physical Education wore a specific major's uniform for all Physical Education classes. It seemed very special and it made us take more pride in our major. These classes were open only to P.E. Majors and were directed to learning everything about the sport covered in the class. Plenty of notes and plenty of notes!! It was worth it.
Taking a class with Coach Nelson in Recreation was exciting. One time, we left to go on a canoe trip. When we arrived, it rained so much, we had to cancel the outing and head on home. Visiting his property in Broussard for games and activities, going bowling and even swimming classes were all very fun!
Dr. Ed Dugas was very strict in his lessons and what he expected us to do. We were instructed to keep a daily log of all activities and notes in a notebook to be turned in at the end of the semester. Guess what? I still have mine! With that much work involved and the professional expectation from Dr. Dugas, it does become a treasure to keep and remember those days.
I worked in the Health and Physical Education Department as a student aid. Running errands from the Men's gym and Women's gym was a daily routine. Picking up mail at the post office on campus, setting up volleyball nets and arranging certain things for classes in the gym were all part of my job.
Having classes in Earl K. Long Gym and McLaurin Gym brings back so many memories of health, dance, and P.E. classes. Taking a swimming class at the indoor pool on Rex street was a lot of fun. Taking Archery at Barn C near Blackham Coliseum, bowling on campus, wrestling at McNaspy, trampoline in Earl K. Long Annex, tennis behind Earl K. Long Gym, and other activities at Earl K. Long Gym all bring back great, fun memories.
As I drive down St. Mary Blvd., I can't help but have so many memories rush through my mind. It is implanted in my mind and surfaces quite often. It was due to the atmosphere the University provided, the instructors I had and all of the students I came to know. It is an era I will always treasure!
Since I graduated from USL, I have become a teacher/coach at Sts. Leo Seton School in Lafayette. I coached there for 13 years there and left to take an assistant principal position at Carencro Catholic. After two years there, I became principal of Redemptorist Catholic in Crowley where I am still employed. Besides being in the school system in the Diocese of Lafayette, I was the camp director for Camp Bobwhite, a summer day camp in Lafayette. I also worked at Lourdes Health Promotion Center as a fitness consultant. I also taught tennis lessons through Gumbo U at USL.
It has been an honor to have a degree from USL, as I have worked at various places and had the opportunity of meeting so many people. The degree received gave me pride and joy in doing things I always wanted to do. Thanks to all instructors throughout my curriculum as an undergraduate and graduate student.
Daniel John Bouillion
Eddie Ray Broussard - Math & Science Education, August 1937; M.Ed., 1951
Eddie Ray Broussard
August, 1937 & 1951
I, Eddie Ray Broussard, was born in Vermilion Parish on August 25, 1916. My parents were farmers and what they lacked in money, they gave us in love.
I graduated from Abbeville High School on May 18, 1934 and enrolled at SLI (Southwestern Louisiana Institute). The following week, I started working my way through school, majoring in Math and Science. For the first two and one-half years I lived with a family in Lafayette. All my time was spent going to class and working. My undergraduate work was completed in August 1937, but I had to wait until June 1938 to graduate. My first teaching job was at Pecan Island High School where I taught Math. Later I served as principal before entering the U.S. Navy.
In 1939, I married Ruby B. Broussard and we have three grown children who are all doing well.
After the war, I continued my education with aid from the G. I. Bill, receiving my masters degree in education in 1951.
In 1962, the American Legion Post 29 and Auxiliary in Vermilion were asked by the State American Legion to sponsor a Parish Day government program. The program was for all schools in the parish, in cooperation with the school board and the Police Jury, to teach young high school students more about their duties and learning how to govern themselves. The students actually learned by doing the services performed by our parish offices. I was asked to serve as chairman of this committee with many loyal and dedicated Legionnaires, auxiliary members, elected officials and many citizens and school staff. The program was very successful. I held this chairmanship until 1973 when I became Superintendent of the Vermilion Parish School system. After thirty-five years, the program is still very active in Vermilion Parish.
In 1948 the supervisor of child welfare and school census became superintendent. I was appointed to replace him and I held the position until 1973 when I was elected superintendent.
As a superintendent with a cooperative board, we were able to make progress in repairing and constructing some needed buildings. We added a new grade to all elementary schools (kindergarten) and a gradual improvement in pay for all teachers and employees.
I began in the Vermilion School system as a classroom teacher and retired forty years later as the superintendent.
I have seen many angles in our educational system and my observations are simple: The people of Vermilion are intelligent and will do much to see to it that their children will have the opportunity to become good citizens and provide a good living for their families. No one person or idea is the answer; but by working together, much can be achieved for the good of all.
Eddie Ray Broussard
Dr. Merline T. Broussard - Business Education & English, May 20, 1956; M.Ed., 1967
Merline T. Broussard
Dear Dr. Dugas,
Thank you for asking me to participate in the Book of Letters.
I, Merline Marie Touchet, graduated from SLI on May 20, 1956 with a BS degree in Business Education and English in the College of Education. I recall the professors as being concerned about their students and always striving to make us achieve more than we thought we could. When I started teaching, I frequently quoted them and was always striving to make my students achieve higher goals than they thought they could ever achieve.
I commuted from Abbeville to Lafayette daily, and the Girls Club Room was the gathering place for all females who did not reside on campus. This was our home away from home to relax and eat a sandwich with a softdrink. Hicks was another gathering place for us. When we disembarked from the bus, we would walk to Hicks before going to class. Then it was on to Little Abbeville. We walked to the Army Huts rain or shine to attend our Math Classes. We had challenges, but now they are pleasant memories.
After graduation, I taught Business Education courses in Jeff Davis Parish. I started the Business Education Departments at the Hathaway and Roanoke High Schools. Then I transferred to the Jeff Davis Vo-Tech School to teach Office Occupations Courses.
I returned to Vermilion Parish to teach English at Kaplan High School, Office Occupation Courses at the Gulf Area Vo-Tech School and Business Education courses at Abbeville High School. On May, 28, 1967, I earned a M.Ed. Degree in Administration and Supervision from USL. I earned a Ph.D. Degree in Business Education, Distributive Education and Vocational Education on March 16, 1973. I was employed as a Supervisor in the Office of Vocational Education - State Department of Education, and I retired June 30, 1989 as Director of Administrative Services in the Office of Vocational Education.
Presently, I am a member of the Louisiana Retired Teachers' Association Executive Committee, Executive Board, and will become President in April, 2000. In 1997, I was named to represent Louisiana's Retired Educators and School Employees on the Board of Trustees - State Employees Group Benefits Program. I am a member of numerous Social, Civic, Educational and Catholic Associations. My husband, Earle J. Broussard, retired as Director of Student Services from the Vermilion Parish School Board and is presently doing abstract work for the Legal Firm of Sonnier and Trahan. He, too, is a graduate of SLI and USL with a BA, M.Ed., and Ed.S. Degrees.
Our son, Brian, is President of Vermilion Group Incorporated, independent consultants in Information Technology. He is a Tulane graduate.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to state my educational, professional and personal careers and endeavors.
Merline T. Broussard, Ph.D.
Yvette Nicole Weber Broussard -Vocal Music Education, 1992
Yvette Nicole Weber Broussard
Vocal Music Education
I began my college education during the summer of 1988, a few weeks after I graduated from high school. My parents really encouraged me to enroll during the summer semester so I could better prepare myself for college life. I remember being so overwhelmed with the size of the campus and, of course, my 8:00 AM class was in the furthest building from my parking space! Each day I became more comfortable with my surroundings; by the time the fall semester began, I knew my way around USL.
As a music major, I spent many hours in Angelle Hall with many other budding musicians. I remember spending hours upstairs in the practice rooms. I almost looked forward to my classes in other buildings because the walls of Angelle Hall became a little too familiar. One of my favorite classes outside of Angelle Hall was a Communications course with Mr. Cliff Aucoin. He was the most entertaining teacher I'd ever had! I looked forward to his class because he had a way of making us learn and laugh at the same time. I remember hoping that one day my future students would look forward to attending my class the way I looked forward to his.
I met my future husband in Angelle Hall. Although a Political Science Major (graduated 1991), Steven Paul Broussard and I had our music in common. He was a drummer in the USL Drum Line. So he and I took turns attending each other's performances. I always enjoyed the USL percussion ensemble recitals. They were most entertaining! Steven and I would enjoy an occasional snack at Groucho's in the Union or a picnic at Girard Park. We tried to schedule as many classes together as we could. We enjoyed going to the football games at Cajun Field and the parties that followed.
I had many memorable teachers at USL, but two had a huge impact on my life. Mrs. Margaret Daniel was my voice instructor all four years. She literally taught me how to sing. She had such a beautiful gift and I was so glad that I had an opportunity to study with her. Dr. James Haygood was my advisor and choral director all four years. He taught me everything about being a good choral director. He was a wonderful conductor and a fine musician. I was so thankful that I had the opportunity to study his techniques.
I graduated from USL in the spring of 1992 in Blackham Coliseum. I was honored when asked to sing the National Anthem for the ceremony. I was the only Vocal Music Education Major graduating that day.
I am currently teaching Chorus at Carencro Middle School in Lafayette Parish. I have been teaching there for six years. With each new year, my program grows by leaps and bounds. I work for Mr. William Butcher, our kind-hearted principal who cares about Music Education in our school. I owe much of our success to him. I strive to incorporate each day in my classroom what Mrs. Daniel and Dr. Haygood taught me, and I try to make my class entertaining just as Mr. Aucoin did.
Steven and I have a son, Christopher Weber Broussard, who is two years old. Of course, he is very musically inclined! We look forward to the day when we can attend his USL graduation and be a family of Ragin' Cajun alumni!
Yvette Nicole Weber Broussard
Denise Theriot Brown - Health and Physical Education, 1982; M.Ed., 1984
Denise Theriot Brown
B.S. - Health and Physical Education - 1982
M.Ed. - Education - 1984
To all the world:
Having grown up as an Air Force brat, USL was my first "permanent" residence -- and rightfully so because it was like a home to me. The hardest thing I ever had to do was move to Texas and leave my "home." I have so many wonderful memories of my seven years at USL --- seven years and two degrees.
Football games, Lagniappe Day, crawfish boils, final exams, Pizza Hut, the R department, dorm rooms, cafeteria food, Chemistry labs at four in the afternoon, naps in the library, roommates, panty raids, and, oh yea, --- not to mention my classes --- of course!
I'll never forget the first roommate I ever had. Her mom helped her unpack and they put her name on everything from her underwear to her stapler. I'll also never forget the time I put my head down in the library for a two minute nap only to wake myself up 20 minutes later because I was snoring -- which I guess was why everyone was looking at me at the time!!!
Now that I am a veteran teacher of 15 years, I truly appreciate and admire those professors that I had in college, specifically in the Education department. It seemed as if each of them took a genuine interest in every student there. There was no one who wasn't willing to help when asked. Their caring, fun loving, patient attitudes were an inspiration to me. I truly believe that their attitudes were an inspiration to me. I truly believe that my attitude toward the high school kids I teach today reflects the positive influence I had from teachers at USL.
I tell my seniors that I teach today, "College needs to be a fun, growing experience for you. At first it smacks you in the face. Then, in the end, all the trials and tribulations and turmoil and fun you go through is worth it."
USL is a great place because it has that "down home" atmosphere. It has tradition in Lagniappe Day, Blackham Coliseum, a real Ragin' Cajun homecoming and cajun cooking. Those are all things you can't get or experience anywhere else in the country.
I've watched USL grow tremendously through the years when I was there and it hasn't stopped since. I am so proud of the university and all of its accomplishments. It truly makes my heart burst with pride to be able to say I'm a Ragin' Cajun. My college experience at USL has always and will always be part of the favorite memories in my life. The adventures, the lessons I learned, the people I met, the security I felt, and the fun I had, will always and forever be in my heart. Thank you USL, for giving me something of which to be proud, of which to be a part I love you!!
Denise Theriot Brown
Glenny Lee Castagnos Buquet - Speech and English Education, 1958
Glenny Lee Castagnos Buquet
1958 - Speech and English Education
Dear Friends and Supporters of USL:
As I was writing this letter for USL's CD Rom, my thoughts naturally returned to SLI, USL's predecessor, during the years I attended, 1954-58.
What was it like then? Dean Maxim Doucet was the Dean of Education and Vesta Bourgeois headed the Women's Health and Physical Education Department. In 1954 the first integrated classes began. The students and faculty of SLI did a model job, and things went as smoothly as possible. We were a national model for the rest of the South.
The quadrangle was in place, but no bricks with names on them. Old Martin Hall was the center of the campus. I lived in Baker dorm as a freshman - we had one telephone for the whole downstairs! There were only two sororities with national affiliates - Alpha Sigma Alpha and Sigma Sigma Sigma. For years later, by spring 1958, all groups had affiliated with a national sorority.
Many of our classes were filled with Korean war veterans. They were serious students and set the curve, so the other students were not thrilled at their dedication. Little did we understand what they had given up to keep our lives whole. And little did I realize that in a few years I would marry a Korean War veteran.
The Air Force ROTC was a vibrant force on campus, and a few years later we lost some of our classmates in the Vietnam war. Others came home after serving with distinction.
What was campus life like? Freshmen girls were in by 8:00 p.m. on school nights, no pants could be worn except to P.E. classes and, of course, you always were coifed in public. If your hair wasn't dry when the cafeteria was open, you'd better be able to go in a ponytail, because you were suspended if seen with your hair in rollers!
I wanted to attend a small, friendly college, and SLI was a small school -- the best size, I've always thought. We had about 5,000 students, many of whom commuted. We knew our classmates, faculty and staff members. After trying two other majors, I chose to get my degree in Speech and English Education, which was a first step in a long journey of educational activities. In 1992, I was elected to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and I am currently serving my second term as President of the Board.
I am forever grateful for my years on the SLI/USL campus, perhaps more so because they were hard earned, with much help and understanding from the administration. At the end of my first semester, my family informed me that they could no longer afford to send me to it was time to return to Houma and find a job.
Our mayor, the Honorable Leon Gary, called President Joel L. Fletcher and asked if President Fletcher could help me. President Fletcher called me in for an interview and sent me to the Alumni office, which was run by one staff person, and then a student worker -- me. The Alumni office was housed in the Office of the Dean of Commerce, Dean Herbert Hamilton. He had one secretary and one student worker.
I was considered full-time, which meant that every hour that I was not in class, I was at work, 5 days a week. For this job, I will always be most thankful. At the end of every month I stepped across the hall to the business office and signed over my check for $59.00 to cover my room, a 5-day meal ticket, laundry, and whatever tuition there was.
That job literally made my college degree possible. And my bosses were very lenient. If I had to travel with the debate team to other colleges, even out of state, they gave me the time. I was allowed to travel to attend special student council meetings. I only wish President Fletcher and Dean Hamilton were here for me to thank them, again.
In 1998, I was honored to receive the SLI/USL College of Education Outstanding Alumni Award and was recognized as a distinguished honoree at USL's College of Education Academic Showcase. It is truly my most treasured award. I am grateful for everything I learned at SLI. The organizational skills that I learned in debate have served me well throughout my life. I made many friends while attending SLI, and old friends are the best friends. In fact, my old SLI friend, District Attorney Bernie Boudreaux, administered the Oath of Office to me as Board President in January's swearing in ceremony. Throughout our lives, old SLI/USL friends come together again and again.
I know USL's current administration continues the tradition of helping students. The Buquet family, wishing to help make it possible for other students to get help, has formed a foundation, and our projects include working with Dr. Bob Alciatore, Dean Ford of the College of Education and with the Alumni Foundation to set up a scholarship fund within the College of Education.
Congratulations to USL on its 100th anniversary. I'm very proud to have been part of that 100 years.
Glenny Lee Buquet
President, Louisiana Board of
Elementary and Secondary Education
Faye Marie Faulk Burdin - Elementary Education & Special Education, May 1972
Faye Marie Faulk Burdin
Elementary Education - certification in Special Education
Graduated - May, 1972
My college education actually began in 1963 and was to span over ten years before graduation during which time my name and life changed considerably. Upon graduating from St. Michael High School in Crowley, I attended my first summer session commuting on Mr. Chick's un-air conditioned school bus from Crowley. Every morning before class we would gather at the Student Union which was located on Cypress Lake, but closer to Hebrard Blvd. It was two slices of buttered toast and a cup of coffee since most of us didn't eat before leaving Crowley. On to class and by noon we were our way back to Crowley.
The fall session found me in Huger-Baker rooming with two other girls, my cousins, Sandra and Linda Fowler. Linda was from Michigan and had grandparents living in Lafayette. Our room was very large and faced University Avenue. Our Mom's brought a window fan for us to use as there was no air conditioning. House rules were very strict. We had a house mother who checked us in and out if we went out at night and we had to be in at a certain time. I can't recall, but it seems as though 11:00 P.M. or midnight rings a bell. We met and became friends with many new people from all over the United States, other parts of Louisiana and one girl in particular from South America. Her name was Carmen Arango. Her boyfriend lived in New Orleans and one weekend she took us there to spend the weekend with her. For someone who had never been too far from home, especially without family, this was an adventure to be sure.
I suppose, however, that the most memorable day of that semester was sitting in Dupré Library and hearing that President Kennedy had been shot. We all headed back for the dorm. There was an eerie silence on campus. Huger-Baker girls met downstairs in the lobby and prayed the rosary. It was a sad day.
Spring brought a radical change as I did something I had always said I would do. I entered the Convent of the Most Holy Sacrament right down the street on St. Mary Boulevard to become a nun. From 1964 to 1971 my education consisted of night classes, Saturday classes, summer school, school at the Motherhouse on St. Mary and even one correspondence course. At the same time, I was already in the classroom teaching elementary school students as sisters were allowed to teach without a degree as long as they were actively working on a college degree. In August of 1971 I left the Most Holy Sacrament Community and was to do my student teaching with Mrs. Coussan at Lafayette Middle School. At the last minute, however, Dr. Coussan replaced Dr. Green, and those of us who had been at the University since 1963 and had at least five years of teaching experience were exempt from student teaching. We did have to take an additional six hours of education classes in lieu of the student teaching, but none of us who qualified minded because we had begged for this all along and always got a resounding NO! I would say that Dr. Coussan was probably the most popular person around Maxim Doucet Hall at the time.
Many of my teachers over the years were good and caring people. They were a few, however, who I want to acknowledge as perhaps having the greatest influence on various aspects of my life. They are Mrs. Gladys Robinette, Dr. Robert Ducharme, Dr. Juanita Cox, Dr. Fred Brown, Dr. Fran Zink, and Dr. Jeanette Parker. Many people help shape our lives and these people helped with mine. I went on to complete my course work for my master's Degree in Elementary Education with certifications in Supervision and Administration. I was by this time teaching fulltime at J.W. Faulk and now had student teachers and para-professionals coming to my classroom to work with me. I considered this a great honor because it meant that I was doing something good as was viewed by those people I had admired over the years. My name changed during this time. I went from Faye Marie Faulk to Faye Marie Monique Faulk. I had chosen Monique as my name in religious life and had it legally made part of my name....so on my Masters diploma my name reads Faye Monique Faulk. That took place in December of 1975.
My teaching career spanned over 17 years...6years teaching in the Most Holy Sacrament schools and 11 teaching at J.W. Faulk Elementary School where I taught Special Education. In 1979 I married J.J. Burdin, Jr. and my named changed again. I became wife and stepmom, all at one time, and in 1983 we adopted a 5 day old baby. I completed a year of teaching and then resigned to stay at home with our baby. I have since then been an active volunteer for various organizations and still maintain the position of Parish Director for Special Olympics in Lafayette to this date. This has kept me involved with children and the school system, which I continue to enjoy. I believed at the beginning of my career and continue to believe today that teachers have the capacity to touch children's lives in a way that no one else can. I still communicate with many of the children I have taught over the years, and I hope that in my own small way I, too, may have made a difference in some of their lives.
Respectfully submitted by:
Monique Faulk Burdin
Jessica Kathryn Burgard - Health and Physical Education, 2000
Jessica Kathryn Burgard
Health and Physical Education, Class of 2000
I grew up in and outside of New Orleans and graduated from Archbishop Chapelle in Metairie, Louisiana in 1993. In high school, I played on the tennis team for one year, but most of my sport participation was outside of school. I coached and participated in a spring board diving team at the community club near my house in River Ridge, and played around with various other sports, such as track, volleyball, swimming, weight training, and water skiing. I chose USL for a variety of reasons: My parents graduated from USL, it was TWO hours away from home, and I was particularly attracted to Cypress Lake, the University's infamous alligator embellished swamp.
I started out as a business major because of my nifty knack with numbers; however, I felt lost and out of place. I switched to Health and Physical Education my second semester for no other reason than my love for sports and children. I soon realized there was no other major for me; summers off, paid to play sports, and the strict tennis shoe uniform had my name all over it. I fell in love with the faculty and staff in my college immediately. They were positive, excited, and interested in helping me. One particular professor, Dr. Dugas, went to such great lengths to help me in my time of need that I adopted him as my advisor before I met my real one.
In May 1995, while doing service hours in the office for Ms. Carolyn Broussard, the HPER secretary, I got to know many of the HPE professors fairly well. In December I decided it was time for a change. I packed my bags and moved to Lake Tahoe, California. I only planned to be gone for one semester, but I was surprised at the responses from the teachers at Bourgeois Hall. Ms. Joe Charles was particularly disgusted with this decision. While I was away, I picked up a variety of new sports which I had no idea were so much fun, including snow boarding, mountain biking, hiking, and wake boarding. I tried a semester at the University of Reno, Nevada, but would have had to start over as a freshman, so I stayed another summer and fall in Tahoe, then moved back home to finish school.
When I returned in January 1997, it was as if I'd never been gone. The teachers recognized me, but couldn't exactly place why. I remember one teacher looked at me and said "Nice haircut" as if I'd just gotten it yesterday.
My interest has changed from the physical side of my major to the health side. Living in California opened my eyes to a completely different Sportsman's Paradise. I am more focused on the nutritional, environmental, and personal health issues and would like to one day teach topics in these areas either in the peace corps, or a school setting of some type. My plans after graduation are not to start teaching, but to continue to broaden my horizons. I would like to work for some type of bike tour company and get paid to ride my bike around the world with tourists. I would also like to work at a recreation camp with children, and I plan to do much traveling for a while before I decide to settle down and get a teaching job.
My involvements with USL, Tri Sigma, the Health and Physical Education Majors Club, and my brief encounter with photography (I took some of the pictures you see on the CD for the College of Education Academic Showcase) have heightened my experience in ways I will never forget. Most of all, I honestly believe that if it weren't for the professors in my major, I would not be graduating from this University. They have put back into teaching what is so often lost and that is the ability to form a community within the school that cares about a purpose and is willing to work for it. I am glad I came back to USL to finish, although I can't wait to leave in May 2000 when I plan to graduate!!!
Olympe Arceneaux Butcher - Class of 1941
Olympe Arceneaux Butcher
Class of 1941
In the fall semester of 1935, I enrolled at SLI as Olympe Therese Arceneaux in the field of education. I was fifteen, a graduate of Carencro High School, ready and anxious to be at SLI. Papa had often driven me, as a youngster in front of SLI, on the gravel road in our touring car and would tell me, "You will go to school there someday."
By 1935, all of my family had already enjoyed college life and graduated from Southwestern: two brothers--Benjamin L. Arceneaux and Emile G. Arceneaux, Jr. and four sisters--Louise, Blanche, Evangeline, and Rose. We lived on Louis Arceneaux Road only a few miles away. Our unanimous interest was in the field of education since my father, Emile Galbert Arceneaux, Sr., was a member of the Lafayette Parish School Board. My mother, Rose Mouton Arceneaux, encouraged us to further our education after high school.
My high school Math teacher and debate coach, Rex McCullough, had told me I would be a teacher. Did he know that my whole Arceneaux family were already in the discipline of education and had obtained their degrees from SLI?
Lou and Blanche, my two oldest sisters, paved my way into SLI. I remember as a Freshman, teachers such as Miss Dupré and Miss Hebrard, calling me "Blanche" or "Louise" and quickly saying, "Oh! But I know you are Olympe." Miss Edith Dupré and Miss Gabrielle Hebrard were wonderful teachers who encouraged me. But so were Miss Hugh McLaurin, Dean F.M. Hamilton, Harry Griffin, Emily Huger, Harriet Joor, Mrs. Eloi Girard, Maxim Doucet, Agnes Edwards, Vesta Bourgeois, and many more.
Since I commuted to school each day, my sister Lou dropped me off in the circle in front of Martin Hall on her way to teach at Central School. In my pocket was my weekly allowance of $1.50 for lunch. Sandwiches were 10 cents and a coke 5 cents at the Rendevouz across the street, or we could walk a little further to Heymann's Drugstore for a sandwich and a drink and still have change. Because I was the last of our big family, Papa was happy that Lou could help me with tuition, books and lunch.
My fondest memories of SLI are of my many friends. There were many beauties in the L'Acadien and we all knew each other. I think the enrollment then was about 3000 or so students.
We commuters met in the basement of Martin Hall, our large room called the Girls' Club Room. We preferred calling it the Tea Room. Our house mother was Mrs. Earl Barnett who was most helpful. Should we get sick, she called in Miss Adrienne Mouton, the school nurse. We met in the Tea Room between classes to do our homework, eat our lunch, talk about exciting events on campus or just to lounge around. Some of the dormitory girls came to visit us in the Tea Room.
Mrs. Barnett commented one day, "We are such a large congenial family. We must have an election of officers and invite our mothers!" How exciting and my mother came!
The only office I had ever held was secretary to our "Crusaders" debating team in high school, not dreaming that Mrs. Barnett would like for me to be her secretary! In this election, I had an opponent in Iris Martin, and since she came from a political family, I felt sure that she would win. But, au contraire, my mother was very proud of me when Lou and I came home from school announcing that I had won by a big margin! Secretary to Mrs. Barnett!!
Mrs. Barnett taught me especially well how to write invitations, announcements, and "thank you" notes. This honor was just the beginning of the good things that were in store for me at SLI.
In growing older, I still have delightful memories my many student friends and teacher friends, the many classes I enrolled in Home Economics, biology, tennis classes, the ball games, the dances we attended. I especially enjoyed the folk dancing classes taught by Mrs. Vesta Bourgeois, Miss Jessie Keep and Miss Hugh McLaurin. At the conclusion of the semester, we were allowed to show off these folk dances in the big circle in front of Martin Hall for the whole university and the towns people. How I enjoyed this excitement!
After school, we met near the circle to wait for our ride home, and sat under the beautiful oak trees planted in 1900 by President Stephens. Memories!
At eighteen years of age, I began my teaching career in Ascension Parish. I later taught in Evangeline Parish before coming home in 1939 to teach at Judice Central School. By 1940, I was happy to be at Myrtle Place School. I was home again. Dean Maxim Doucet handed me my diploma in the 1941 summer session.
In 1947, after one year of getting to know each other, William Butcher, Jr. also an SLI alumni, and I were married. We have two sons: Dr. Donald Kent Butcher, Chiropractor and General Practitioner; Ronald William Butcher; and four grandchildren. Ron attended USL and Tulane and is now a Board Certified Social Worker (W) in Lafayette. One of our grandchildren, Brian Jared Butcher, is presently enrolled in Engineering at USL.
In summer and night classes I enrolled in courses such as geology, geography, world lands, lapidary and French. In 1975, after needing only three subjects to obtain my SLS (Second Language Specialist) degrees in French, I was given a scholarship to the University of Paul Valerie in Montpelier, France to finish these three courses--French Grammar, French Geography and French Psychology.
I spent five weeks in French Immersion. I traveled to the top of Mount Blanc, to Switzerland, Rome, Carcasonne, Lourdes, Paris. I even visited my cousins in Blois in the Chateau Aria of France Thrilling! USL sent me!
As an average student, I have had a very interesting and exciting life. I attribute many of my experiences to my college training at SLI (USL).
Most interesting is the fact that I have attended USL under all presidents of the college: Dr. Edwin Stephens, Mr. Lether Frazer, Dr. Joel Fletcher, Dr. Clyde Rougeau and Dr. Ray Authement, all my friends all great educators!
I am a retired teacher having taught more than 40 years in the schools of Louisiana, traveling and especially enjoying my French language.
At present, I am writing some of this history, since I am still enrolled at USL in the wonderful classes of Joan Stear. "We write lest we forget"
Mrs. William Butcher, Jr.
Rene' Joseph Calais - Elementary Education, 1954
Rene’ Joseph Calais
Elementary Education, 1954
When I returned from serving in Korea with the occupational forces, I decided that I would attend SLI to pursue a degree in elementary education. At that time hundreds of veterans, such as myself, were interested in obtaining a college education. I was deeply impressed with the seriousness with which these veterans handled themselves in and out of the classroom. If memory serves me correctly, the enrollment at that time was between two and three thousand students.
Most of my classes were held in Girard Hall, Martin Hall, Mouton Hall, the old men's gymnasium and classrooms in Vet Village. Some of the professors that I can distinctly remember are: Mrs. Buchanan (math), Dr. Monk (math), Dr. Claycomb (botany and zoology), Mr. Edney (p.e.), Mr. Stevenson (p.e.), Mrs. Gehring (library science), Dr. Delarue (history), and many others. I can still recall Mrs. Buchanan using a rag to wipe her hands after having erased the chalkboards
I can still recall trying to keep up with Dr. Monk when exchanging classes and having to walk all the way to vet village. I can also recall listening to Al Terry on record in Dr. Claycombs class--which was a special treat from him once our work had been completed. I can recall walking all the way to Heymann's downtown to eat a half order of lunch for twenty-five cents. This was one of the things that I did in order to make ends meet. I can distinctly recall taking education classes with Gladys Robinette, Dr. Turner, Mr. Zernott, Dr. May and others.
At that time, all students did their practice work at the Hamilton Laboratory School. Mr. Kit Carson was the principal and Sabra Watkins was my supervising teacher. I truly cherished every minute of my college career, especially my senior year when I was directly involved with children. At that time SLI had, in my opinion, a superior teacher training program which benefited education majors and children alike.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to return to SLI (after teaching only one year in public schools) as a seventh grade supervising teacher at the Hamilton Laboratory School. The ten years that I spent as a supervising teacher were very memorable. Teaching alongside so many devoted and superior classroom teachers is an experience I will never forget.
At that time the laboratory school received very little financial support from the college administration, and we often had to spend money out of our own pockets to purchase some of the materials needed in teaching. For six of the ten years that I spent at the laboratory school, I taught methods courses in areas of science and social studies. The task of training future teachers was quite challenging to say the least. The teachers who made the greatest impression on my career were Gladys Robinette, Dr. Robert E. May and Sabra Watkins, my supervising teacher. Miss Watkins was one of a kind in that she knew how to motivate the students and she knew how to discipline the class. Additionally, she worked very hard to make each lesson interesting and challenging.
I have always been interested in athletics. Dating back to my first years on campus, I would attend track meets at McNaspy Stadium and basketball games in what is now the women's gymnasium. I have attended every basketball game and every track meet since 1949 ... the year that I first attended SLI.
David A. Cameron - Health & Physical Education Faculty, 1974-80
David A. Cameron - Health & Physical Education Faculty, 1974-80
David A. Cameron
COE/HPE Faculty 1974 - 80
Thank you for the chance to reminisce. It's been nearly 20 years (wow, has it been that long?) since I was on the COE/HPE faculty at USL. Of course I have fond memories of my years in Acadiana and some regrets that I didn't stay. But, I've enjoyed being an Okie, having been chair of HPE at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma since 1986.
What are my memories? Mostly people and relationships, let's try a few:
Dr. Al (Simon): Dr. Simon, as chair of HPE, was instrumental in hiring me at USL. When I came down for the interview, of course, I asked for Dr. Simon, which I pronounced as in "Simon sez". Strangely enough, no one could direct me to his office.
Noon Hour Tennis: Marty Bourg let me build up his ego while he taught me to play. Later on, we were teammates in the parish tennis tournament and others. Noon time tennis grew to include regulars (and some irregulars): Clyde Wolf, Dr. Al, Sue Simmons, Steve Ligh of Math, Dennis and Bill from the Library, Delli Smith, Sherry LeBas, Harold Blackwell, and ?
The 30s: Meaning I was in my thirties and still young enough to play tennis at noon, golf in the afternoon, and city league basketball at night. Sue Simmons even talked me into running, unfortunately, in a 10-mile road race. Don't laugh, I finished.
Write?Right!: As a college professor you have to write, right? I discovered that it is possible for a former high school teacher/coach to write. My first article for publication was about the development of the new foundations course in the activity program at USL. Someone (Ed Dugas) even drafted me to edit/write the first departmental newsletters in '78 and '79.
Hit the Ball: I was at USL only one year with V.J. Edney, but who can forget the story of his frustration in trying to teach golf to one kinesthetically challenged student. After trying everything he could think of, he said in his loudest voice: "Hit the ball!"
Bob May: Bob was assigned to teach an archery class one semester. Bob, who was not known as an archer, responded to class member Raphael Septien's irritating challenges by picking up a bow and sending an arrow into the heart of the bullseye. Maybe it was an accident and maybe not, but Bob never shot another arrow during the entire class.
Mr. Trampoline: Jeff Hennessy had to put up with me as an office mate during the early years. I was more than a little in awe of his expertise in the sport that gave him his nickname.
"Good guys" vs. "Bad guys": There were some differences of opinion among the HPE faculty at USL when I arrived in 1974 that had split the group up into two factions. While everyone was cordial, no one ever forgot which side they were on. Although I tried to "ride the fence," sooner or later I was forced to join one faction or the other. Bet you can't guess with which group I aligned?
Ed Dugas: I remember Ed with a lot of fondness. He was and is a people person. He has an ability to see positive qualities in an individual and bring out his best. Although we are about the same age and both came from a high school background, he preceded me into the college ranks by several years. His leadership, encouragement, and confidence in me were a big plus in my career development.
Clyde Wolf: Clyde may been a little irreverent at times (I won't cite examples), but you always knew where you stood with him. He was an incredible athlete and tremendous competitor--one of those individuals who was good in every sport. Moreover, he had an outstanding ability to teach those skills in his activity classes.
"Just Ignore Me": Back when the Foundations course was being proposed, I had the honor of teaching the first section. Unexpectedly, Dean Robert Ducharme slipped in the back of the room and sat down. I think he wanted to get a feel for what the class was about. Little did he know that I almost fainted on the spot. Anyway, that's when he offered the unforgettable quote: "Just ignore me." Yeah, right.
Tout Ensemble: I can't remember what the words mean, but I recall "Tout Ensemble 1977" which was the 50th anniversary of the Undergraduate Professional Program. As coordinator, I was privileged to join President Ray Authement, VP Sammie Cosper and others on the program. My honor was to introduce three members of the first graduating class: Louise Mae Bonvillian Hoffman, Christine Clark LeVois, and Vesta Richard Bourgeois.
Fred Nelson: Although he didn't need the help, I raised Fred's self-esteem while he taught me how to play racquetball on the undersize court in the old men's gym. Later when we became more competitive, I joined the tennis group which was starting up. Fred was as interesting a fellow as you would ever meet. He had a talent for poetry (Was he known as Erik Braum as the writer?), invented the Nelson Reaction Timer (which I still use), and was into fencing, real estate, and who knows what.
If I were to write this tomorrow it might have been different, but these were a few of my memories as I took an afternoon to think about my USL experience. Thanks again for the chance to reminisce.
JoAnn Cangemi - Class of 1955
Dear Dr. Dugas:
Fond memories???? Too many to record. First of all, I remember the excellent education we received. We were well prepared to assume our duties as classroom teachers once we completed the program at what was then SLI. Drs. Aycock, Carstens and Turner, Mr. Zernott, Mr. Bernard, Mr. Joseph, Mr. Carson, and Ms. McMillan, Ms. Cancienne, Ms. Hoffpauir, Ms.Wise, etc. all provided us with an excellent education with personal care.
Fond memories???? There were so many. The Red Jackets, the Newman Club, the Student Council, the Greeks. I remember doing a gossip column for the Vermilion. Oh what fun!!
I have always been extremely proud to have been a product of USL. The education I received there provided me with the skills needed to succeed in my chosen profession. To such a wonderful institution, I say, Congratulations and thank you!
College of Education
Class of 1955
Alison Lucas Carlino - Elementary Education, Summer, 1999
Alison Lucas Carlino
Current President of the College of Education
Summer, 1999 - Graduate in Elementary Education
As I write this letter, I am reminded of the first day of my college career in the fall of 1994. It seems like centuries ago, but somehow it is only over my shoulder. I was a worried freshman; I wondered exactly why I left my hometown of Pineville, Louisiana where all my family, friends, and familiar surroundings were, what was I doing at this university, and if I would ever learn how to get around and how to speak this thing called "Cajun". Well, time brings about change, and change surely has happened, not only did I find my spot in the teaching profession, but I can also understand and communicate with the Cajuns. Not bad for a "hill girl.
I will graduate in the summer of 1999 from USL with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I have thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate career because of the academic and social activities I chose to be a part of very early on. I have participated in leadership activities, such as serving as drum major for the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band and the President of the College of Education with USL's Student Government Association. I have marched in the band and played in the top audition only wind ensemble for four years. I served as a senator for the College of Education for one year before I was elected to the prestigious position of President. I have spoken to high school seniors at USL's Preview Day with Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco and State Superintendent of Education Cecil Picard at my side.
I have pledged a social sorority, Tri Sigma, and will pledge the educational honor society, Kappa Delta Pi, very soon. I have been on the dean's list for almost my entire college career making grade point averages, such as 3.6 and higher with 18 or more hours each time. I have been nominated for the USA Today's College Academic Team. I was a member of the committee that selected the college's new academic dean and a member of the committee responsible for the planning of the new library for our campus. I am a eucharistic minister at Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church on campus and was once in the Newman Club. I volunteer with A (Volunteer Instructors Teaching America) and teach high school band camps before school begins each fall. I have been nominated for the Homecoming Court twice, and have had many television appearances in support of the band and of the College of Education. Somewhere along the way, I married a USL accounting graduate named John Carlino. We met in the marching band here at USL! His last semester was my first.
Upon graduation, we will be moving to the Lake Charles area because John's company is relocating. I will attend McNeese State University and receive my masters degree in Educational Technology. We would love to move back to Lafayette and raise a family here. I look forward to educating young minds in Acadiana.
I must also say how important being involved in the College of Education's Academic Showcase has been. I realize that I will not see another centennial celebration for our great university. That is why I put 100% into my job as president of our college, so we could celebrate our rich history and tradition. I can't imagine anyone challenging the academic excellence and the memories that I will take with me from USL. It will be exciting to see where this great university will go as the new century approaches!
Gerald Carlson - Health & Physical Education Faculty, 1980-84 & 1987-1999
Health and Physical Education
I became department head at USL during Summer 1980. My first impression was that I had inherited a very strong department that was split over professional and personal ideals. If I had coffee with faculty from one side of the spectrum, then I was accused of "siding" with them, and the next day it would be just the opposite. Because the faculty were dedicated professionals, in a relatively short time everyone was starting to get on the same page and realized that we had a common goal, and that goal was to provide the best programs possible for our customers, our students. One of the first challenges was the design and construction of a new physical education complex, now known as Bourgeois Hall. The input from all faculty, students and staff resulted in development of a state-of-the-art facility unmatched in the South and Southeast as a teaching and recreation facility.
One thing that stands out about the faculty is their professional involvement. Even the instructors who were not expected to conduct scholarship/research, were presenting papers at professional meetings and publishing. The faculty has always played an active role in professional organizations, holding office in many. Several faculty have national and international reputations because of their knowledge base. The advantage to the students is that the faculty take this knowledge base back to the classroom so the students gain first hand knowledge.
The profile of the department has changed since 1980. We have moved from a predominately teacher certification program to one that has several non-certification concentration areas including: exercise science, sports medicine, athletic training, health promotion and wellness, sport administration, and recreation. This emphasis change was necessary to remain current with national trends. As a result of adding the concentration areas, the number of majors has increased from approximately 250 to over 600. We are currently preparing to have the athletic training curriculum accredited which will be the first in the state.
There are several things of which I am most proud. First, I am especially proud of the quality of our faculty and the quality of their instruction. Second, the quality of our majors is a plus. In review of our graduates, the list of their career titles is very impressive: teachers, coaches, school administrators, physicians, physical therapists, physician assistants, athletic trainers. The list goes on. We have had several students attend graduate school and receive their Masters and/or doctorate degrees. I believe the greatest complement to our students is their involvement in our professional associations and at conventions where they always behave in a professional manner. As a result, numerous supervisors of physical education from around the state have stated their willingness to hire our majors. The third area of which I am proud is the quality of our programs. We have a reputation within the state that our undergraduate program is stronger than most masters degree programs in the state. It's no wonder our students do so well when they continue their education.
Serving as department head at USL has been the most rewarding experience in my thirty two year career in higher education. It has afforded me the opportunity to travel throughout the United States and Canada presenting papers and representing the department at professional meetings. I would be remiss in not thanking Dr. Authement for allowing me to return to USL as department head after taking three years off to work in the private sector from 1984-1987. His confidence in me has made my job a lot easier. I have been fortunate to work with three Deans and two Academic Vice Presidents, all of whom have added greatly to my administrative expertise. Having served as Executive Officer of the USL Faculty Senate was very rewarding in that it enabled me to learn about the administrative side of running a major university. I have thoroughly enjoyed my working relationship with the athletic department. My experience at USL has been enhanced by serving on numerous committees which developed many policies currently in place at the university. Whatever personal accomplishments I have achieved, I need to attribute them to the tremendous support staff with which I have worked: our students, faculty, staff and university administrators who gave me the opportunity to do the things I have done. My thanks to everyone.
Jane Ellen Carstens - Elementary Education, 1942; Education Faculty Member, 1942 - 1994
Jane Ellen Carstens
1942 - Elementary Education
I, Jane Ellen Carstens, graduated from SLI in 1942 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. As early as eighth grade, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher; so there was no question in my mind as to what I would do following graduation from New Iberia High School. I had received scholarships to Northwestern (known as "the Normal " at that time) and to SLI. Because my father could not afford to send me to the former, I opted for the latter. Little did I know that my "second choice" school would be such a vital part of my life for 56 years!
From the moment I entered the campus, I began to experience a whole new life, both academically and socially. Living in Buchanan Hall, where Miss Rita Soulier was the housemother, provided a structure which would help me through those four years of college life. Here was a wonderful opportunity to meet young women from other parts of Louisiana, a few from other states, and in no time I had a circle of new friends, many of whom are still close friends today.
It was my privilege to have classes with many fine teachers, some of whom had a marked effect upon my life. Miss Anne Delie Bancroft was not only my English teacher, (a marvelous one) but she was also faculty advisor to my sorority Delta Theta Sigma. She was a delight in both roles. Two amusing things come to mind: (l) She was ambidextrous, and would begin writing something on the board with her right hand and finish it with her left. She was quite tall, and when she stood before the class, she would hook the heel of her shoe in the chalk tray of the blackboard. Dr. Mary Dichmann, a newcomer to the SLI English faculty, helped me to gain an appreciation for British literature. I remember memorizing the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (the first line of which I still remember) for extra points. Doctors Harry Delarue and Joseph Riehl made history come alive. Both had had personal career experiences which enriched their teaching of this subject. Minnie Kelley created an interest on my part in the geography of Latin America. She, too, spoke from a rich background of research and experience. I have Olive Gehring to thank for my interest in and pursuit of a career in librarianship. I worked under her as a college student in the library at FM Hamilton Laboratory School on the SLI campus for three years, and was thrilled to be offered the job of Assistant Librarian there when I graduated. Miss Gehring challenged me with her trust and confidence that I had something to offer the children and faculty at Hamilton, as well as the college students when I began teaching Library Science. She inspired me to go on to get my Masters and Doctorate degrees in Library Science at Columbia.
I cannot talk about SLI/USL faculty without mentioning President Joel Fletcher, who came to that office while I was a student and continued in that role into the late 1960's. The student enrollment at SLI/USL was relatively small during his presidency, and he was able to make personal contact with many students. The same thing was true of his relation to the faculty. I always believed that he had a genuine interest in and concern for the faculty, and he demonstrated this in many concrete ways. Mrs. Fletcher was just as approachable, a very warm, caring human being.
With all honesty, I can say that I loved every day of my time at this University--both as a student and later as a faculty member. My days with the children and faculty at F.M. Hamilton were wonderful, and I could not have been happier than I was when teaching Library Science to hundreds of students at U.S.L. I had several opportunities to enrich my background as teacher and librarian at several other universities, and working in the Children's Room of the New York Public Library. Although I enjoyed each of these experiences, I was always ready to return to U.S.L., which was and still is "the love of my life," even though I retired from the University in 1994 after 56 years.
Yvonne Breaux Carter - Mathematics Education, 1943
Yvonne Breaux Carter
Graduate, Cum laude 1943
Majors: Mathematics Education
Minors: English, Science, History
Memories of SLI (now USL) include: living with relatives (great aunts, aunts, and grandparents) who had little but were generous in sharing what they had; commuting from Crowley, Church Point, and Carencro; scheduling 18-21 hours a semester; and working 40 hours a month for 30 cents an hour in the college library first located in the basement of Girard Hall and later Stephens Memorial Library.
In 1939 more than 900 freshmen enrolled, many of whom received working scholarships funded by a new state program. Many of the men lived in the farm dormitories and about 30 girls lived in the large house on Smith Street (I was privileged to stay there for a regular semester and a summer session). We ate our meals at the Farm Dining Hall, located behind what later became Veteran's Village.
Bus transportation was $7.50 a month for six days a week. Tuition was $16.00 a semester or about $9.00 if you had an academic scholarship (one of which I earned as high school valedictorian).
Commuters had access to the Girls' Club, located in the basement of Martin Hall and the Boys' Club also located there. Mrs. Earl Barnett provided much comfort to the girl commuters.
Despite the large enrollment, we had access to truly dedicated teachers, such as Dr. Mary Dichmann, Dr. Hosia Phillipe, Dr. Harry De La Rue, Dr. Lise Vige, Mr. W.B. (Daddy) Stokes, Dr. John Buell Aycock, Mr. Gerald H. Zernott, Mr. Wilbanks, Miss Minnie Pearl Kelly, Miss Olive Gehrig, Miss Loma Knighten, and Mrs. Vesta Bourgeois.
Dr. Tinsley, heading student teaching at that time, urged me to take a job at Sulphur High School in September 1942 and promised to arrange for me to do student teaching at Hamilton Training School in Mathematics at the seventh and eighth grade levels in the 1943 summer session. I took the job!
My career and additional education were based on the foundation I received at SLI (USL): Teacher, History and Math at Sulphur High; Principal, Sardis High School, Sardis, Tennessee; Teacher-librarian Gueydan High school (19 years); Library Science Assistant Professor, Northwestern State College and Southwestern; U.S. Department of Education in the Dallas region and then the Upper Midwest and with Library Education programs at major universities in library research and training.
Degrees at George Peabody College for Teachers include a B.S. in Library Science, MSLS, and an Education Specialist in Library Science.
Yes, SLI (USL) promised much if one worked. It has certainly provided not only what I needed then, but continues to provide educational opportunities in my retirement
Myles Casbon - Health & Physical Education, 1971; M. Ed., 1979
1971 - Health & Physical Education
1979 - M. Ed.
It was late summer of 1968 when I arrived at USL. Why did I chose USL? Because I can still see my parents smiling when Vice President Blanco, formerly Coach Blanco, said, "If he plays football for USL for four years, he will get a degree." I would be the first in my family to receive a college degree and that was important to my parents and me. Having never lived any place but New Orleans, USL was definitely a lifestyle change. As a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Holy Cross High School, I immediately fell in love with Lafayette and what was going to be my world for the next four years. My roommates ranged from Ken Rabalais, a Baton Rouge native who studied until all hours of the night, to Ed Doyle, a Michigan native who had a laugh that would rattle the windows. Fifty freshman football players on the sixth floor in McCullough Dorm were nothing anyone's mother could envision. Shower stalls hadn't been invented and restrooms were of the stadium variety. There was a TV room in the lobby where occasionally I would watch Star Trek or Laugh In. The best thing about USL was that everything I needed was within 15 to 20 minutes walking distance, which was great because freshman were not allowed to have cars on campus in 1968. Classes were all within a 15-minute walk. A night out for you and your date was a walk to "The Strip" and a walk back to her dorm before curfew. The new Center Cinema was a walk through Girard Park. Restaurants were Hoppers and McDonalds located on Johnston near the University.
During this time period, all young people were questioning political issues and parental values but that was not a problem for me. The choices were easy: pass and stay in school or quit and go to Vietnam, a very easy decision in my opinion. What a great time this was in a young person's life: I had only two responsibilities--pass and play football. The most dominant person in my college life at that time was head football coach, Russ Faulkinberry. He was as big as a bear and just as scary at times, but there was no one on the USL team who would not sweat blood for him. We knew we were not the biggest or fastest team, but we also knew no one was in better condition or better prepared to win a game in the 4th quarter than we. His record during my four years there was 27-13-1, two Gulf States Conference championships and a trip to the Grantland Rice Bowl, now the Independence Bowl.
As a scholarship football player, I couldn't imagine in my first impressions that these next four years were going to be some of the greatest times in the history of USL athletics. In the fall of my first year we played against two college and professional Hall of Famers: Roger Stauback and Terry Bradshaw. In winter, the basketball team was led by Bo Lamar and Marvin Winkler, both top draft picks, and for a leisurely spring day there was Lafayette's own "Louisiana Lightning," Hall of Famer, Ron Guidry.
USL was still in a transitional period moving from small time McNaspy Stadium to Cajunfield. At McNaspy, extra bleachers were literally hauled into the end zones for big games. I was a participant in one of USL's greatest victories. A heavily favored Louisiana Tech team led by Terry Bradshaw came to USL with high hopes for an undefeated season and a conference championship and left with the sound of Cajun fans celebrating a 24-20 USL Ragin Cajun Victory. The only other time I felt such excitement and pride in our football team was when USL defeated Texas A&M.
Today much is said about the problems of athletes meeting academic requirements. At USL in the late sixties and early seventies, despite the troubled times of Vietnam and Watergate, I can still remember that we had six players who became doctors, two who became judges, and many others who are presently business and education leaders.
Earning a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education wasn't necessarily easy for me, but the campus was alive with people eager to help you with any type of problem. As a physical education major it was great to walk in Earl K. Long Gym and have most of the department located in one office. I don't remember ever having to make an appointment with Dr. Ed Dugas, Dr. May or Dr. Dave Fisher during the four years I attended USL. If they were in, these men would see you, no questions asked. I can also say the same for Dr. McCauley who guided me through the Masters Program at USL. After graduating from USL, I joined the staff at Northside High School. I was amazed at how well prepared I was for the teaching profession. Other jobs followed at De La Salle High, Eunice High, Crowley High, Judice Middle and I am presently employed at Acadiana High School as a discipline facilitator and coach.
Along with academics, relationships were formed that last a lifetime. I am proud to say I met my wife, Joan Hebert, mother of our three sons (Anthony, who attends USL at the present time, Michael and Matthew) while at USL. I have kept up a lifelong friendship with fellow football player Larry Sikes and wherever you meet someone from those times at USL, there is a bond that is undeniable.
Reva Jones Chesson - Education, 1948
Reva Jones Chesson
Memories of SLI (USL)
I transferred from McNeese in the Fall of 1946. McNeese, a Junior College, was very small and SLI looked like a big college. I loved the beautiful campus (especially in Spring), the arcades, the lake, and the people.
The first semester it rained so much we joked about wearing nothing but our rain coats not to be thought of in 1946!
As a junior I lived in Judice Hall. It was so great to live next door to Burke Hall where all those good programs took place.
My senior year I was living in Foster Hall. I was engaged to John Chesson and he came to visit often. Mrs. Edwards, housemother, was so very careful not to let John go beyond the check out desk. Anyway, we married, and the marriage has lasted fifty years.
My years at SLI (USL) were fun and interesting years, and I still have good friends I made in those years.
I must have learned some things because graduate school was not a problem.
Reva Jones Chesson
(Mrs. John Brent Chesson)
BA Education SLI(USL) 1948
MLS LSU 1952
M.ED. McNeese - 1972
Chigee Jan Cloninger - Health & Physcial Education, 1969
Chigee Jan Cloninger
1969 - Health and Physical Education
I'm Chigee Jan Cloninger, that's the name on my diploma and the one I still use, even after marriage. In 1969, I graduated with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education & Recreation, and English. After I received my degree and started teaching in a local elementary school, I continued to take classes in Special Education at USL. My experiences as an undergraduate student were different from most students, I was a "local" and had attended Hamilton Training School from kindergarten through eighth grade and knew the campus well. Living at home, about a mile from campus, I commuted to campus, walking, riding my bike or motor scooter, driving my Volkswagen convertible bug, often sharing rides with my two sisters, brother, sister-in-law, or mother, also attending USL, during some of my time there. I had transferred from an out of state college, returning to USL to focus on getting a degree as quickly as possible.
I remember mostly my academic experiences and related events, such as volunteering to work with children with disabilities in a movement program that occurred weekly in the gym, which included some research by Louis Bowers and helping organize HPER activities at some campus events. Of course, I put in some time at the local hangouts!
Since I had attended local schools, there were a number of familiar faces who helped with my transition. The President, Clyde Rougeau, was just the father of his son Clyde, who had been a classmate of mine since grade school. Glynn Abel, Dean, was the father of Danny, another longtime classmate. Al Simon, who had been a teacher/coach at Lafayette High School when I was a student, become a supporter. He was a friendly face and frequently offered words of encouragement. Margaret McMillan, who had taught me Red Cross Water Safety Instruction, when I was in grade school and was a friend of my parents' was another familiar face who believed I could achieve beyond what I was doing. Mary Ducharme, who was probably my advisor, set a standard for professionalism that impacted my continuation in this field. Mrs. Robinette, I knew from Hamilton School; she was a model of "high expectations" for teachers. These and others, Charles Bernard, Vesta Bourgeois, Louis Bowers, were models for good teaching, demonstrating that teaching was hard work, worthwhile, and a very important profession.
My education at USL provided a strong background for my continued education. I taught for a number of years in various classroom settings in Louisiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, worked for the State Departments of Education in Louisiana and Mississippi, and received my Masters and Doctorate from The Ohio State University. After which I was on the faculty at The State University of New York at Geneseo, where I met my husband, and eventually to The University of Vermont, where I am presently a faculty member at The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion ( The University Affiliated Program of Vermont) and College of Education Social Services. My activities provide varied experiences, including teaching in graduate training programs, directing a team (The I-Team) who provide technical assistance and personnel development in all Vermont schools for teachers and families of students with significant disabilities, doing research with school and other agencies and acting as an associate Director of the Center. I still believe education is a worthy profession; to teach is to make a difference in the lives of others.
Rebecca Cooper - Health Promotion & Wellness, 1996
Bachelor of Science in Education (December, 1996)
Major: Health Promotion and Wellness
Dear Dr. Dugas:
I guess you could say I was the "guinea pig" for my major. I started out in Elementary Education in the fall of 1991 but I had always been interested in teaching Health and Fitness, but Health and P.E. wasn't exactly what I was looking for. One day after an aerobics class with Ms. Jo Charles I stopped by to talk to her about my options. She happened to have a copy of a new curriculum that was in the works and after hearing me talk about what I wanted to do she showed it to me feeling it would fit my needs.
The curriculum was Health Promotion and Wellness and it was in the development stage. The minute I saw it, I knew it was right for me. So I made an appointment to see Mrs. Jackie Benedik, one of the creators of the program. She was surprised, to say the least, that anyone had seen the program already and wasn't exactly ready to let anyone enroll in it. After a little persuasion, I was able to convince her to let me give it a try. From that point on, Jackie followed me closely to get feedback on how everything was going and what I was learning.
The curriculum changed quite a bit throughout my years at USL and I felt honored to be a part of this new field. One of the best things about it was the hands on experience I obtained from various internships at different locations practicing health promotion. From the very beginning, I was given the opportunity to see what types of career options I could pursue with my degree.
The Health and Physical Education Department was like a family to me. All of the faculty cared so much for their students and have continued to be a great resource upon which I can call throughout my career. I am now employed at Our Lady of Lourdes Health Promotion Center and I love what I do. I feel confident in helping our clients achieve their goals in leading a healthier lifestyle through the knowledge I obtained from the wonderful instructors at USL. I will always have fond memories of my time spent there.
(Special thanks to Jackie Benedik, Susan Lyman, Dr. Ed Dugas, Dr. Jim Clemons, and Dr. Jerry George)
Rebecca Cooper, B.S., C.H.E.S., C.P.T.
Christopher Lynn Core - Sports Administration, 1995
Christopher Lynn Core
B. S. in Education
My fondest memories of USL are the times that I spent with my friends (Del Dolese, Sean Skinner, and Alan Howard), my fiancee, meeting great people (Kydd Usey) and building a foundation that has prepared me for the field of education.
I came to USL to earn a degree that was challenging and would prepare me for the real world. Looking back, I should have stayed in the teaching program since I am now going back to school for my teaching certificate, but having such professors as Dr. Jim Clemons, Dr. Ed Dugas and Dr. Gerald Carlson laid the seed for me to end up where I am today. They knew all along that I would be a H&PE teacher. I really enjoyed my time at USL.
Since graduating, I have gone on to obtain my MS in Education from Baylor University and have moved back home to teach and coach. Currently, I teach Health and Physical Education at Trinity Episcopal School in New Orleans. I also coach football, soccer, track, and baseball. My heart will always bleed red and white. Thank you USL for all that you have given me.
Beverly Guidry Cormier - Elementary Education, 1984
Beverly Guidry Cormier
May, 1984: Elementary Education
My name is Beverly Guidry Cormier and I received my BA degree in Elementary Education in May of 1984. I went on to complete my Master of Education in December of 1985. After having two children, I pursued my Educational Specialist Degree and was granted this in December of 1994. My experiences at USL were very compacted because I always carried a very full load of courses (up to 22 hours/semester some years). I have fond recollections of walking through the shaded campus on cool fall days and anticipating my weekends. The faculty of the university was always very accommodating and congenial and most were eager to assist in any way they could.
My years as a graduate student were equally if not more compacted with studies, work and trying to maintain a family life. As always, the staff of the university was always willing to accommodate my schedule and circumstances. I found USL to be an exceptional school and a super place to "hang my hat."
Ramona Theresa Cormier - Music Education, 1943
Ramona Theresa Cormier
1943 - Music Education
This letter is being written by Ramona Theresa Cormier, a 1943 graduate of Southwestern Louisiana Institute's College of Education with a major in music education. My memories of my years at SLI have been dimmed by my change of profession and by not having had any contact with the School of Music for some thirty or more years. Professors which influenced my musical as well as professional career were professors Brown, Josephine Mitchell, Charlotte Stevenson, Mary Dickman from the English Department, and of course, Professor Voorhies, the university's band director. As a member of the band and of the drum majorette corps, I traveled with the group to football games and to other similar activities. Because I was a commuter for three years, I did not have the social experiences most students had. My senior year I lived in a rooming house on Johnston Street so that I could do my student teaching in the late afternoon under Professor Stevenson.
Shortly after graduation, I enlisted in the United States Navy and served in the communication division as an enlistee and officer. I was honorably discharged at the rank of ensign in 1946 having served in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, a blimp base; Norfolk, Virginia; and San Francisco.
Under the GI Bill, I completed a master of arts degree in music at the University of Southern California. While at USC, I developed an interest in philosophy, which I continued at the Ph.D. level since I no longer wished to remain in music. My philosophic pursuits were begun at Columbia University in the summer of 1949 and continued there through 1953. During the school year, I taught first in St. Martin Parish (1948-49) and then at Ouachita High School (1949-58) where I taught vocal music. My Ph.D. studies were completed at Tulane University in 1960.
Since the completion of the doctorate, I have taught philosophy in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences at Newcomb College (1960-61), the University of Tennessee (1961-65), and Bowling Green University (1965-1993). At Bowling Green State University, I served on many committees, chaired the faculty senate, and was the first woman to become a top level administrator when I was appointed associate provost in 1979. I retired as Dean of Continuing Education and Summer Programs. I have written several books, numerous papers and abstracts and co-founded the Philosopher's index. My specialties are aesthetics, philosophy of literature, existentialism, and Greek philosophy. I retired with the rank of Trustee Professor Emeritus of Philosophy.
I have received numerous awards from the University--most recently the naming of the Faculty Reading Room in the university library after me, being named a 1998 honorary alumnus; and awards from community groups, such as Women in Business, and Women in Communication. Presently, I serve on a number of local boards: I am the current Chair of the City of Bowling Green's Board of Public Utilities, President of the Bowling Green State University Retirees Association, and immediate past president and current board member of the Bowling Community Foundation. I pursue gardening with a passion and the hobby I have under taken in retirement-- glass blowing.
I congratulate USL on its achievements and wish I might participate in the many centennial celebrations.
Mildred Simoneaux Cortez - Upper Elementary Education, 1955
Mildred Simoneaux Cortez
Name on diploma: Mary Mildred Simoneaux
Major: Upper Elementary Education
It was September, 1955 when I was dropped at Buchanan Hall by a young man who was barely an acquaintance. Because we did not own a vehicle, we had to depend on others for transportation. So it was with a heavy heart that I walked into the dorm alone with my one suitcase. My first piece of luck was being offered a job at Buchanan Hall making 50 cents an hour. I remained at Buchanan Hall for the rest of my years on campus. How clearly I remember our housemother, Mrs. Lilah B. Edwards, a lovely lady who helped me to adjust and become a dear friend.
I was so naive and had led such a sheltered life that living on campus was as much of an education for me as going to class. I treasure all the friendships I enjoyed during my S.L.I. years.
At that time I believed, as I still do now, that classes were to be attended. I don't remember ever cutting a class, even when there was a possibility of my missing the Saturday noon bus, my one way to get home. I remember my ten minutes "runs" across campus to get to class. I have fond memories of Mr. Carson, principal, and Ms. Sabra Watkins, my supervising teacher at Hamilton Laboratory School, who encouraged and inspired me. Their work was well done, as I have now been teaching for 43 years. For many of those years I worked as a supervising teacher for U.S.L.
Teaching has brought me much happiness and satisfaction. My thanks to a great university.
Mildred Simoneaux Cortez
Lucille Mae Dufour Couvillion - Health & Physical Education, 1944
Lucille Mae Dufour Couvillion
1944 - Health and Physical Education
On October 12, 1944, I, Lucille Mae Dufour, graduated from SLI with a major in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.
Having graduated from a very small school (Moreauville High in Avoyelles Parish), I was overwhelmed by the size of the SLI campus and the city of Lafayette. Even though our high school curriculum was quite limited, we were well instructed in the few subjects offered.
While at SLI, I lived in off-campus housing only two blocks from the campus. We girls had old-time rules--curfew, noise, clean-up, and the general things. We were allowed to use the kitchen, but some of our meals were eaten out--especially at Heyman's (25 cents plate lunch) or Jo-Jo's which was off limits to students.
Just when I was adjusting to the life of a freshman, tragedy struck. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. How well I remember listening to the radio broadcasts of the bombing and of the war throughout my days at SLI.
With the drafting or enlistment of students, SLI was selected as a school for training servicemen--V-5 and . The campus was alive again as the athletic teams were given a shot in the arm with young men from throughout the United States.
On the down side, however, there was a shortage of practically everything: food, gasoline, cigarettes, shoes, stockings, and many other items which had to be rationed. Those were hard times!
By the way, there were classes, also. How well I remember Mrs. Bourgeois, Miss Keep, Miss McMillan, Miss Triplett--all in the P.E. Department where I worked for 30 cents per hour. The $12.00 which I earned monthly was more than enough to pay my monthly rent of $8.00.
Other teachers I remember were Dr. Price, Dr. Vige', Miss McCulla, Miss Nolan, Mr. Claycomb, Coach Brown, Coach Reinhardt, and Miss Dickmann--who all left a favorable impression on us.
Because most of the male teachers went into service, there was a great demand for teachers everywhere. The usual two semesters and one summer school per year was changed. The trimester system was initiated--three sixteen week terms with short breaks between each two terms and very few days off for holidays. As a result, many of us graduated in three years, as I did in October, 1944.
Upon my return to Moreauville, I was asked to teach at Fifth Ward High in Marksville where I worked only two months. In January, 1945, I came to Cottonport High where I remained until retirement in 1973. In Cottonport, I met and married Clifford Couvillion and we have a son, Cornel (a USL graduate) and three grandchildren.
My teaching experience includes 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in elementary school, as well as Civics, History, General Science, Biology, English, and girls' and boys' physical education in high school. As a girls' coach for more than 20 years, I was fortunate to work with students of great athletic ability. Most of our basketball teams were quite successful. Our tennis teams won a number of State and District titles.
As a member of the Division of Girls' and Women's Sport (S), our committee planned and sponsored the first "Sweet Sixteen" tournament for girls. During the first five years of the tournament, I served as State Basketball Chairperson and, later, as State Chairperson of the Louisiana Committee of S.
In 1962-63, my fellow teachers named me Cottonport High Teacher of the Year.
In 1981, the USL Department of Health and Physical Education honored me with an outstanding alumnus award. What a surprise that was!
Recently, I have taken lessons in oil painting, and along with cooking, traveling, gardening, and visiting, I keep quite busy. That's just the way I like it.
Martha Jeanne Hoover Crombie - Social Studies Education, 1976
Martha Jeanne Hoover Crombie
Social Studies Education - 1976
Dear Dr. Dugas:
Charles Bernard who, after graduation, taught industrial arts teachers in St. Martin Parish as one of the first industrial arts programs in the Acadiana area; later, he became the fourth member of the department.
Charles Bernard taught elementary school students in the Hamilton Laboratory school where he supervised student teaching for industrial arts majors. Prof. Bowers had initiated a course for elementary education majors, which also was taught by Ennis Rush. Mr. Bernard also taught the course for elementary education majors and developed it into a very important course, as it enabled elementary teachers to introduc, Kermit Rogers and I held state offices and my friends Stephanie Broussard, Mary Vincent, Jacques Lasseigne, Bill Miller and Merrill Dowling all held USL chapter offices. We learned how to plan, organize and execute programs and events (banquets, conventions) that were attended by hundreds of college students and dozens of faculty. A was my first "trial balloon" in collegiate activities. I am grateful for the encouragement I received and the friendships I made.
Kappa Delta Pi was another great experience I had never before (nor since) traveled with seven friends and luggage packed into a station wagon (university issue, of course) for the fourteen hours trip to a national convention! Our friend, Madeleine Broussard was a national officer, and she had gone ahead with Mrs. Ducharme to Orlando by plane. To this day, they had no idea the experiences they missed by flying. These included:
- Nearly running out of gas and having to wait in the wee hours of the morning for a rural Alabama gas station to open at daybreak;
- Laughing at Rick Elliot's jokes for 14 hours and then threatening him with his life if he dared tell another; and
Talking through the night about our youthful dreams and aspirations.
To this day, I am moved when I remember that trip and how Jacques Lasseigne shared with me that he would be the first person in his entire family to graduate from college. He described in whispered, hushed tones what it would be like on graduation day, when his entire Catahoula/St. Martinville family--parents, grandparents and cousins--would be in Blackham Coliseum for his graduation. I could imagine hearing their cheering, seeing their pride. And best of all, it came true.
This was what USL was for me: a place where students from all kinds of families, with all sorts of backgrounds could come together on a level playing field to try for the brass ring: a first-class college education - a brass ring each one of us would reach. In that environment, it didn't matter whether we were rich or poor, large or small, black or white, exceptional or average we could reach our goals if we worked, and yes - even played - hard.
Although nothing on my resume would indicate I have been a classroom teacher, my education at USL did shape me into a teacher of people: an observer of human nature, an empathetic person who works hard to see the potential in every person. Following my USL years, including five years as a staff member, I held a fellowship and earned my masters degree in organizational communication at The University of Texas at Austin. My career took me into the hospital industry where I have served as a director of marketing, a vice president for strategic planning and business development, and now, a healthcare management consultant.
Along the way, I've managed to stay in touch with USL, serving as president of the Alumni Association in 1990 and 1991. I've also been a community activist for public education through various adopt-a-school programs and citizen panels. I owe much of my career and my worldview to the strong roots planted and so lovingly nurtured for me by the USL College of Education.
Martha Hoover Crombie
Jacqueline Cefalu David - Elementary Education, 1969; M. Ed., 1972
Jacqueline Cefalu David
B.A., 1969 - Elementary Education
M.ED., 1972 - Elementary Education & Supervision of Student Teachers
Arriving on USL's campus the summer of 1965 was exciting. Settling into the un-air conditioned DeClouet Hall was challenging. Before me were to be four exceptional years of learning, maturing, developing and fun! Remaining active in USL for the past thirty years and witnessing the university's evolution into the major research institution it is today have been phenomenal. My personal growth is tied directly to that of my alma mater!
As stated earlier, my first dorm assignment was DeClouet. The miseries of that semester were soon forgotten when Agnes Edwards opened in the fall of 1965; that was my home for the next three years. What a place! A little bit of heaven right here on USL's campus! Filled with all things new, and a full service restaurant Agnes Edwards was the best thing on campus! It made accepting the university's policies and regulations regarding dorm life so simple. Who could moan about having to stay in that state-of-the-art miracle until they were 21 or had achieved senior status? The dorm, situated at the outer edge of campus, was within walking distance of (you guessed it!) The Strip! That's a place that's completely changed what happened to Dave's Top Hat, the Roof Garden, The Library (no, not Edith Dupré!), etc?
My freshman year was filled with professor directed academics by day and self-directed study by night. That schedule provided opportunity for just the right mix of social life--sorority, athletic events, Homecoming, Lagniappe Day, etc. Before you get the wrong idea about partying on USL's campus, back in those days weeknight curfew was 9:00 P.M. and on football nights, you could stay out until 1:00 A.M.! Don't forget that women had to wear dresses or skirts to classes. In other words, you had to dress you couldn't just throw on cut-offs and a t-shirt to go to class! How about that? We looked professional because we were being trained to be professionals! Responsibility, privilege, appearance, performance, dedication, conviction those were the days!
For the last eleven years, my professional home has been Our Lady of Fatima School where I teach the mentally disabled and the learning disabled in the only state accredited program within the Diocese of Lafayette. It is here that I found my true calling--to teach! It is through this association that I have again become involved with The Council for Exceptional Children, presently serving on the Executive Board as Treasurer for the Louisiana Federation.
My most recent accomplishment is marriage. In July of this year, I became Mrs. Patrick Dwayne David (also a USL Kappa Sigma alumnus!). My son, Brandon John Terry, formerly a USL student, is now attending the University of Houston, and living with his father in Texas. My daughter, Jennifer Lussan Terry, is presently pursuing a degree in Communicative Disorders at USL with anticipated graduation in December, 1999.
For now, all is well in my life. Bulldogs Forever!! GEEEAAAUX CAAAAJUNS!
Jacqueline Cefalu David
Frank Charles Delana - Social Studies Liberal Arts, 1928
Frank Charles Delana - Class of 1928
Bachelor of Arts
College of Liberal Arts, SLI
Major - Social Studies
Minors - English, Mathematics and Sciences
Master Degree (M.Ed. - LSU - 1950)
Throughout my college days, teaching was my goal. I sought advice from the Dean and earned the required college hours to obtain a teaching certificate from the State Department of Education, State of Louisiana. I started to teach in 1928 at the Milton High School as a substitute teacher. In 1929, I was assigned to teach and coach athletics at the Broussard High School. I was a graduate of that high school in 1924, the only male in a class of six graduates .... the first boy to graduate at that high school. From Broussard High School, I continued my career at the Scott High School, Carencro High School and Lafayette High School.
I became Principal of the Carencro High School in 1941 and in 1948, I was appointed Supervisor of Instructions and Assistant Superintendent of Lafayette Parish Public schools. During the years of 1944 and 1945, I served as a cryptographic technician in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Pacific Ocean War Zone.
From 1964 to 1971, I served as Superintendent of Lafayette Parish schools and retired on November 30, 1971.
My father, Frank Delana, immigrated from Austria in the late 1880's, landed in Lafayette and worked as a farm hand on the Girard farm which is now the USL campus.
In 1939, I married Lena Bernard who attended USL in the 1930's. We had two daughters--Sharon Bollich and Paulette Fishback. Sharon earned a USL degree in the Business College; Paulette attended for a short term in the business division. Lena died in 1959 and in 1968, I married Helen Ortego--B.S. degree in Business Administration at USL - 1949.
Nemour Bernard De Laneuville - Health & Physical Education, 1960
Nemour "Steve" Bernard De Laneuville
Major: Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
As the University of Southwestern Louisiana celebrates its centennial, I have a treasure chest of memories as an undergraduate student at the university.
I would like to share one of those memories with you. It was a joy and pleasure to be a member of the Southwestern Louisiana Institute Bulldogs football team. As a quarterback on the team, I enjoyed playing for two different head coaches, Ray Didier and John Robert Bell, in 1956 and 1957, respectively.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from USL, I earned a Masters of Science degree from Northwestern State University, and a Doctor of Education degree from Louisiana State University.
During the past 30 years, I have taught at Kenner Jr. High School, Hillsborough Community College, College of the Bahamas, Georgia Southwestern State University, and University of Miami. Presently I am a professor in the Division of Allied Health at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the USL faculty and athletic department for the opportunity to study and participate in athletics at a great institution.
Again, thanks and best wishes for continued success in the next millennium.
Virgie M. Dronet - Mathematics & Science Education, 1963; M. Ed., 1970
Virgie M. Dronet
June 2, 1963 - B.S. in Mathematics and Science Education
Little did I dream on June 2, 1963 that I, Virgie M. Dronet, a native of Kaplan, Louisiana, upon receiving my Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Science Education, would devote my life to serving the educational needs of students in Southwest Louisiana. When USL President Joel L. Fletcher and State Superintendent of Education Shelby M. Jackson awarded my Bachelor of Science Degree that day, they opened the door to a most wonderful career in the educational field. As I look back on those years, I know that I was destined to be a teacher and to work with developing young minds to afford them the opportunity to "live their dreams and aspirations."
I have such fond memories of years spent at USL. One semester into my 37th year as an educator and shortly after having been recognized by the USL College of Education as a "Centennial Honoree," I reflect on how this all came to be! I recall that it was not easy to be awakened at 5:15 AM daily from June 8, 1959 through August 4, 1962 to get ready to board Mr. Barnett's bus at 6:00 AM for the ride from Kaplan, through Abbeville and Maurice, to the USL campus in Lafayette. However, had it not been for this affordable "door-to-door" pickup and delivery service with the Crowley bus line, I probably would not have had the opportunity to receive a college education.
My parents, Zula Harrington Dronet and Percy Dronet, who grew up laboring in the rice and cotton fields of Cow Island near Kaplan, were both hard working individuals who wanted me to attend college to become a teacher. Mom spent long hours as the manager of Dronet's Grocery and Meat Market, while Dad worked as the "head blueprint man" at Hardee Lumber Company in Kaplan. Together, they shared with me the principles of life that have taken me where I am today. They taught me to assume responsibility, to be kind, to stay close to God, to remain committed to all undertakings, and to always share what I had with others. Even while in high school, my sister Judy and I would rise early to remove the ice-packed chicken fryers from the wooden crates, clean the ice off, dry the fryers, and place them in the display cases of the Meat Market. Then we would get dressed and walk the 16 blocks to Kaplan High School to be there in time for 7:30 AM basketball practice. We never complained, for we loved and respected our parents and felt the urgency of helping out with family chores.
During the Summer of 1959, I proudly bought my SLI Freshman Beanie Cap at the Book Store for $1.00; paid the $11.00 registration fee for nine hours of coursework, and spent $10.00 to purchase my books for those three courses. Goodness!! As I review financial records maintained during my three years at USL, I am shocked that $ 847 paid the entire cost of my Bachelors Degree, including registration fees, bus fares, P.E. clothing, science equipment, textbooks, lab fees, club dues, diploma fees, and graduation ring. Today, in 1998, that would not even cover the cost of registration for one semester as a fulltime university student. Can you imagine paying $27 for a university graduation ring? Oh, the woes of inflation!!
To minimize expenses, I commuted to USL from Kaplan for those three years. Those bus rides to USL gave me a chance to read, review, and study in preparation for the daily classes. I maintained a log of expenses and this week when I pulled that folder, I was amazed to learn of the mininal $12.50 monthly fee for the bus service. We parked across the street from the USL Catholic Chapel. Perhaps that's one reason why I became so active in the Newman Club, was named Outstanding Newmanite in the Spring of 1962, and continue to be an active member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and a Lector at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Lake Arthur. What great fun we had at the Newman Center with Monsignor Alexander Sigur and Father Jude Speyrer. We strengthened our Faith and attended the Newman Club Province Convention in New Orleans in the early 60s.
Most of us who rode on that bus brought sandwiches to school and it's a wonder that Gerald Broussard, Beverly Cormier, Maurice Daily, Dan Dartez, Mickey Fritz, Dianne Greene, Charles Hebert, Eston Hebert, Rodolph Hebert, Alvin Landry, Jim Quebodeaux and I didn't die of food poisoning, because we left those paper sacks filled with food on the book rack above the seats on the bus all day long. Most of the time, I enjoyed a scrambled egg, bacon, or peanut butter sandwich; ate an orange, apple, or banana; and drank lemonade. Meals were eaten on the bus between classes and study sessions in the USL Library. No matter which curriculum we studied during the day, each of us huddled back to the bus parking lot to be there in time for it to pull out headed back to Kaplan at 5:00 PM daily, twelve hours after I had been awakened by my trusty alarm clock. Upon arriving home nightly, it was time to help out in the grocery store, bathe, have supper, and hit the books to complete all that homework, because I was determined to complete my studies within three years with a double major in mathematics and science. I suppose I secretly wanted to get a headstart on retirement!!!
After graduation, I accepted a secondary science teaching position at Lake Arthur High School in Jefferson Davis Parish and learned so much about teaching and administration from my principal, Mr. R. O. Doland. Within five years, I was back on the USL campus to begin work on the Masters Degree and I finally got to live in a college dormitory for one summer, only to note that the bus ride had not been half bad compared to living within dorm restrictions after I had been working for five years. My Master of Education Degree in Mathematics Education and Administration was awarded on May 24, 1970 at Blackham Coliseum by President Clyde L. Rougeau and Superintendent of Education William "Bill" Dodd.
Those were the days when a strong rivalry existed between USL and McNeese State University. Hesitatingly, during the Summer of 1973, to offset expenses of yearbook pictures due to the skyrocketing cost of silver (an element used in developing solutions in the darkroom), I enrolled in a photography course at McNeese to learn to develop and process black-and-white photographs. That eventually led to an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Technology which was awarded on December 15, 1976 by President T. S. Leary.
I moved to Commerce, Texas during the Summer of 1977 to enroll in the Doctor of Education degree program at East Texas State University. Dr. Beatrice Murphy guided me and served as a wonderful mentor through the Ed.D. in Educational Media and Technology. It was awarded on August 17, 1979. With that terminal degree completed, I returned to my math, science, publications, and computer classes at Lake Arthur High School and remained there for nine years before accepting a position at McNeese State University.
Since joining the MSU faculty in 1988, I have worked hard to redefine the direction of educational technology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Instructional Technology; redesign coursework and add new courses; focus on increasing enrollment in the Ed Tech Masters Program; and provide improved advisor and advisee consultation. I was fortunate to receive a 1990 F Grant for a 50-computer station Apple S lab; and later secure additional funds to add Macs and Gateway 2000 computers networked with Internet access.
I served as Principal Investigator for five Microsoft Corporation Grants to secure software licenses for Ed Tech classes, professional development sessions, and methods courses; currently serve as State President of Louisiana Association for Educational Communications and Technology, fostering collaboration with officers/members in the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators and Louisiana Association of School Librarians; and am a member of numerous state, national, and international organizations, such as the Louisiana Technology Consortium for Teacher Education and the Louisiana Multimedia Consortium.
As a 37-year veteran educator I have been active in The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, serving as a member of numerous International Committees since becoming a member in 1967. It was a joy to serve on the International Executive Board and as 1989-91 Louisiana State President of Delta Kappa Gamma.
Serving as 1994-1995 University Contact for the LaNIE (Louisiana Networking Infrastructure in Education) Grant and helping provide Internet training to Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, and Allen Parish educators changed my life. As MSU Contact for the $4.3 million U.S.D.E. Challenge Grant (1995-2000), it has been challenging to develop two graduate courses to help educators utilize the Internet in Standards-Based Teaching and Learning. This has compelled me to strengthen a collaborative network with professionals from the five parishes and five university sites affiliated with Louisiana Challenge Projects.
It's been interesting to publish articles in national and international refereed journals and a wonderful feeling to be recognized along with Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Dr. Ed Dugas as Outstanding Alumni by the College of Education at USL in 1989. Delta Kappa Gamma honored me with the Louisiana State Achievement Award in 1993, and in 1997 I was recognized by the College of Education at Texas A & M University -Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) as an Alumni Ambassador.
Today, I am a Full Professor of Educational Technology at McNeese State University. I love teaching more now than when I started 37 years ago. I live next door to my 76-year old Mother and my sister Judy Dronet, who is a school librarian at Northside Junior High School in Jennings. I am filled with pride that my Godchild and youngest sister, Melissa Dronet, received a Bachelors Degree from USL in 1978. She is now a successful business woman and owner of Cajun Spice ScreenPrinters, Inc. in Lafayette. All of us in the family enjoy simple Cajun family style living and love to sit on the screened porch and gaze over the Lake. My Dad succumbed to cancer in 1982, during my first semester as an Adjunct faculty member at McNeese State University.
While attending the Academic Showcase on November 14, 1998, I was privileged to sit next to Mrs. Gladys Hoffpauir Robinette and behind Dr. G.L. Coussan, two of my former USL professors. It was good to reminisce with them and to express my appreciation for the strong educational background they had provided me in the late 50s and early 60s. Any claim to success that I might have has resulted because of the contributions made by former USL professors who touched my life nearly forty years ago. Today, I love to travel and to read maps because Minnie Pearl Kelley gave me a love for geography; to read good literature and attend theatre productions because of Eleanor Marionneaux; to appreciate math because of Jessie May Hoag and Ray Authement; to use various types of media because of Gerald Zernott; to respond to the needs of learners because of Gladys and Walter Robinette; to use and apply statistics because of G. Louis Coussan; to enjoy the marvels of nature because of F.S. Gooch; to value good health because of Vesta Bourgeois and Margaret McMillan; and to practice successfully the art of teaching others because of Lurnice Begnaud.
Life has been so good to me. It has been 39 years since I commuted to USL on Mr. Barnett's bus. Today, I commute forty miles daily from my home in Lake Arthur to McNeese State University in Lake Charles to do what I do best ..... teach. The more things change, the more they stay the same. As I approach the new millineum, the main difference is that instead of reaping the benefits of an education, I am dispensing knowledge and computer experiences for those preservice and inservice educators who will devote their lives to making things better for so many youngsters in the future.
With fond memories of USL, I am
Virgie M. Dronet, Ed.D.
Mary Holly Ducharme and Robert "Bud" Ducharme - Health & Physical Education, 1942
Mary Elizabeth Holly Ducharme
Robert James "Bud" Ducharme
(Written by Mary Ducharme)
I graduated from Tioga High School in 1937. In the Fall of 1938, I entered S.L.I. This was the beginning of my future as an educator. My freshman year was spent becoming acclimated to the culture, environment and my new independence. After a month of living on the campus, freshmen were permitted to go home for a visit. At this time students were not permitted to have cars on the campus. Strict supervision by the housemothers was accepted by students and parents. Signing in and out, even to go to the library after 6 P.M., was a rule not to be broken. There was only one phone for everyone in the dorm and it was located on the first floor. Gumbo was as foreign to me as red beans and rice.
Meals were served family style in the O.K. Allen Dining Hall. One night each month a band played at meal time. The waiters who served their designated tables were all U.S.L. students.
On special holidays, we walked from the dormitory to the dining hall carrying lighted candles.
There was a dress code which each student was required to follow. When you walked on the campus you were expected to dress appropriately. Socks or stockings were an important part of this attire. If the housemother saw you improperly dressed, you were called in for a conference.
My sophomore year was indeed a turning point in my career. During this time, I met Robert James Ducharme in a psychology class. We secretly married in our junior year. In April of 1942, Bud was granted an early graduation and became a chemist for the Federal Government in Little Rock, Arkansas. I received my bachelors degree in May 1942. Graduation was held in the beautifully decorated Earl K. Long Gymnasium. As Dr. Fletcher presented my diploma, he said," Mary Elizabeth Holly, or is it?" This was a shock that the president of the university knew me personally.
Bud spent two and one-half years in the Air Force. After returning to Opelousas as coach and teacher, he pursued his masters degree at L.S.U. In 1963 we moved to Lafayette as Bud was appointed principal of the Hamilton Laboratory School. Later I was employed by Mrs. Vesta Bourgeois in the Department of Health and Physical Education for Women.
Bud later became Head of the Teacher Education Department. After receiving his doctorate in education from L.S.U., he became Dean of the College of Education. Since retirement I teach in the Health and Physical Education Department periodically as an adjunct professor and remain active in several community organizations. I am involved in planning activities for the Centennial.
The years at Southwestern for me and Bud were enjoyable and exciting and provided a foundation for our future, both personally and professionally.
Harris J. Ducote - English Education, August, 1960
Harris J. Ducote
My name is Harris J. Ducote, class of 1960. I received a B.A. in English and a minor in Library Science. I finished my course work in August 1960, but had to wait until May 1961 to graduate. We were the first class to graduate from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL).
I graduated from Plaucheville High School in Avoyelles Parish in 1952. I worked a year, then joined the F during the Korean Conflict, and was discharged in March 1957 and entered S.L.I. in June for summer school. I was a veteran and belonged to the VA Club, which was under the administration of James Guillory, whom I greatly admired. All of the professors that I had were very good teachers and very helpful. Some of the professors who were very helpful were: Olive Gehring in Library Science; Mr. Rickels in English; Mrs. Hoag in Math; Mrs. Bourgeois in Health and Physical Education; and Dr. Simpson in History. Professors in the College of Education were Dr. Coussan, Dr. Aycock and Dr. May. These are just a few of those I can remember.
I lived off campus, and being a little older, I was spared the rigors of freshmen hazing.
I was active in the Catholic Church on campus serving Father Sigur (Pastor) and Father Speyrer (Assistant Pastor). I belonged to the Newman Club and attended many of their functions and dances. Homecoming activities were especially fun and rewarding at McNapsy Stadium. One of the most treasured memories of homecoming was when several of us got together and brought a flask of whiskey to go in the stadium. As we were walking to the stadium, I dropped the flask and it broke into a million pieces. Another memorable event that I will always remember was when after a very hard semester in Biology, several of us, including my girlfriend, went to Abbeville to a dinner club to celebrate. People living on campus could not leave the immediate Lafayette area during the week. We had a great meal, but worried the whole time about being caught and dismissed from school.
After leaving U.S.L., I entered L.S.U. and received my M.S. in Library Science, my 30 hours beyond the Masters degree in Supervision and Administration and my Specialist Degree in Learning Disability. As a graduate student, I was invited to join Phi Delta Kappa and still belong to the L.S.U. Chapter. I taught one year at Brusly High School in West Baton Rouge Parish. The following year I transferred to Port Allen High School as a full time Librarian. I became Assistant Principal at Port Allen High School in 1966 and in 1967, I was Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, Libraries, Special Education, Adult Education and Guidance, plus Notary for the Board. I retired on March 3, 1988 with 43 years of service. My S.L.I. sweetheart and I were married August 6, 1960. We have five children.
I will forever be grateful to all the professors who took the time and had the patience to prepare me for a career in Education. It is only through their dedication and hard work that I was able to be a success.
Paula Ann Guillory Ducote - Upper Elementary Education, May 1961
Paula Ann Guillory Ducote
My name is Paula Ann Guillory Ducote, a 1960 S.L.I. graduate in Education. I was born and reared in the small rural Avoyelles Parish town of Plaucheville. I am forever grateful to my parents, family, and teachers for instilling in me the lifetime values--to be God-fearing, love of family, neighbor, and country; education and hard work to achieve; honor; and integrity. I left home after high school graduation with a determination to get a college education at all costs. (At this time in our small town, girls were encouraged to work, then get married). With the encouragement of my parents and brother, I set out for S.L.I. in September, 1956. Armed with a tuition-exempt scholarship, some money to cover my necessities, and a resolve to find a student job to pay my room and board, I began the first great adventure of my life.
I was fortunate that my dad's first cousin, James Guillory, was Assistant Dean of Men. He was a god-send. He was influential in getting me a student job in the office of two business professors, Dr. Arny and Dr. Creel. I had previously had six weeks of typing at the Avoyelles Trade School in Cottonport to prepare me for this work. Luckily, my friendly co-worker was a whiz on the keyboard, and did most of the typing which the good professors required. Eventually, I gained more typing skills and a lot of library research skills when I found information for Dr. Arny.
I registered in Secretarial Science--my mother's idea. She reasoned that if I could financially afford two years, I might continue toward a degree.
My high school offered no business courses during my years there. Consequently, my business courses were foreign to me. I hated them. That semester I made all A's in my basic courses, two C's, and a D in Economics. I quickly decided to change my major!
My mother was a teacher, my uncle was a principal at Hessmer High School, and my brother had recently graduated from S.L.I. in Education. I come from a line of educators. I also loved children. The next semester I enrolled in the upper elementary education curriculum. This changed my academic life at S.L.I. I loved my courses and my professors--Ms. Hoffpauir, Dr. Joseph, Dr. Coussan, Dr. Robinette, Ms. Gehring in Library Science, Ms. Bourgeois in Physical Education, Dr. Philippe in French as well as other professors who taught me required courses. Dr. Longanecker was my critic teacher when I student taught the fourth grade (one-half day) at the Lab School where Mr. Carson was principal. Dr. Longanecker was a wonderful teacher who was dearly loved by her young students. Student teaching taught me that teaching is hard and demanding work, but knowing that you have influenced at least one child in the right direction brings much satisfaction.
As a sophomore at S.L.I., I was wiser. To help my financial dilemma, Dean Guillory secured me with a job in the cafeteria--one of the highest paying jobs on campus. This meant rising at 5:00 A.M. to be at work to eat breakfast at 6:15 and begin serving the breakfast crowd at 7:00 A.M. The job also meant that student workers were not excused until supper was over--about 7:30 or 8:00 P.M., then we went back to the dorm to study until all hours. I learned an invaluable work ethic from this job and made very close friendships with boys and girls from Avoyelles Parish as well as other parishes. We had a great time as we worked, studied, and socialized together. Lifetime relationships were formed.
In my junior year, as I gained more courage, maturity, and wisdom, I became an assistant housemother in Evangeline Hall, thanks to Dean Roth and Dean McPhaul, Dean and Assistant Dean of Women, respectively. This position also secured higher pay for me as well as a bit more prestige. I worked in this position until I finished my course work in January 1960 and left S.L.I. I learned many public relations skills in this job and earned the affection and guidance of the wonderful housemothers. During these years, the school had a sign-in and sign-out policy for the women's dormitory residents. Girls had to sign back in the dorm by 12:00 midnight!
Beside my education degree, S.L.I. gave me much more. I met my husband, Harris Ducote, who was mature and confident as he had completed four years of service in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He entered S.L.I. in 1956 to eventually earn an English degree in Education. Fortunately, the GI Bill paid his college. We met at the Catholic Newman Club one evening, began dating, and courted for the next three years.
S.L.I. has given me much more than a college degree! The two wonderful priests, Father Sigur and Father Speyrer, at the Catholic Student Center, greatly influenced our spiritual growth in our faith. With his wonderful sense of humor and dedication, Father Sigur established a bond with all "his" students. Both priests drew many of us to daily mass; Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel overflowed with students on many days.
My husband-fiance' and I prepared for marriage through a Pre-Cana course we attended at the Catholic Student Center in September 1959; Father Sigur taught the course. We felt we had learned much and were spiritually ready for still another great adventure--and indeed it was!
Harris and I married on August 6, 1960, the day after his last exam of the summer session. We have been married for 38 years and have five children. Our daughter, Julie, is a U.S.L. graduate in Microbiology. We are proud that she has shared some of our roots.
In January, 1960, I accepted my first teaching job at Simmesport High School teaching fourth grade. After our wedding in August, Harris and I moved to Port Allen, Louisiana. I taught at Port Allen Elementary in the sixth grade and my husband taught English at Brusly High School.
Our first child, a son, was born the next September, but I continued teaching for five more years. We then decided to enlarge our family and I resigned. God blessed us with four more children. I became a full-time wife and mother during those next eight years, doing much teaching at home.
I officially graduated from S.L.I. in May, 1961. Since then, I have taught 14 years in the public school system. In 1973 we moved to Baton Rouge. I returned to teaching in 1975 and earned my M.Ed. in Reading in 1981. In 1985, I again resigned from teaching to care for my elderly mother who was ill.
I reentered the work world in 1987 as a part-time library technician in the East Baton Rouge Parish Library system. In 1989, I accepted a full-time position in the Children's Room at the Main Library. My work with children (and teachers) in promoting a love of books and reading was very enjoyable.
Since September, 1998, I have retired from both systems with 24 years of service. My husband also retired in 1998 with 44 years in the education system.
We now enjoy a busy but leisurely pace in life enjoying our children and four grandchildren, volunteering and church work, and traveling.
Esther Ruth Washington Duffy - Education Specialist Degree, 1977
Esther Ruth Washington Duffy
I, Esther Ruth Washington Duffy, am currently married with three children. My two daughters are in college: Klare is at Southern University in Animal Science, and Keisha is at OMIS in Civil Engineering. Kenny, my only son, is in the tenth grade at Acadiana High School. I am currently employed at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in the Junior Division as an Academic Counselor.
My favorite times in the seventies and eighties were attending my classes in Maxim Doucet . I was able to meet old friends and make new friends. We shared some good study habits together. We are currently all law abiding citizens in Lafayette. Helen Magee with whom I carpooled to education classes is a school principal. Gloria Lewis is a Success For All Coordinator in an elementary school. Regina Bouquoir is a librarian at Youngsville Middle School which my son and daughter attended. I was pregnant for my second daughter when I took a class with Regina. I loved that name so much that I named my daughter Klaire Regina.
I also shared some memorable times with my instructors: Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fontenot (from "Karren Crow"), Dr. Zink, Dr. Duncan, Dr. Arceneaux, Dr. McCauley, Dr. Robinette, and many others.
I graduated with my Educational Specialist degree in 1977. Many thanks to Mr. Jerry Roy, Spirit Coordinator, for the opportunity to share my experience at the University of Southwestern Louisiana with my alumni for the Academic Showcase of the College of Education. I would just like to say "Happy 100th Birthday" to the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Working here at the University as an employee is another great joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Esther Ruth Washington Duffy
Rosemary Landreneau Dufour - Health & Physical Education, 1943
Rosemary Landreneau Dufour
1943 - Health and Physical Education
My maiden name is Rosemary Landreneau. I married Ralph Dufour who was also a graduate of SLI. I enrolled at SLI in the fall of 1939 and graduated with a BS degree in 1943 in the College of Education majoring in Health and Physical Education.
My years at SLI were indeed memorable ones. I lived in the dormitory for four years, first as a freshman at Declouet Hall, then later at Evangeline Hall and Foster Hall. During World War II, the Navy's V12 program at SLI took over Foster Hall and we had to move out. We traipsed across the campus with all of our belongings to Harris Hall and spent the rest of that semester in the basement of Harris Hall. We looked like scenes from the "Grapes Of Wrath" walking across the campus.
Room, board and laundry were $28.50 per month. Just about everyone ate at the "Dining Hall" as it was then called. No one had transportation so our lives were confined to the campus. If I recall correctly, one person had a car during my senior year.
We had to conform to the dormitory rules, such as signing in and out when we went to the library at night. We had to be in the dormitory at 10:00 P.M. on week nights. The housemother made her rounds to all of the rooms every night to be sure we were accounted for.
All of our classes were on the main campus. We respected our professors; in fact, we were in awe of some. We dressed conservatively. We wore dresses and/or skirts and blouses, but not short pants. Jeans and overalls were only worn in the cotton and cane fields.
I was a member of the "Red Jackets", which was an organization to promote school spirit. We attended all home football games, sometimes performing during halftime. It was an honor to be selected to that organization. During my freshman year, there was an excursion to one out- of-town football game. We went by train to La Tech if I remember correctly. I don't remember the outcome of the game, but the trip was great fun. All of the home games were played in McNaspy Stadium.
There was no chapel on campus, so on Sundays we walked to the Cathedral or to the chapel at Most Holy Sacrament on St. Mary Street for mass.
I was a member of Delta Epsilon Nu Soroity. There were no sorority houses, so our meetings rooms and socials were held in private residences off campus.
After graduation I started my career in the teaching profession. I did most of my teaching in Lafayette at Northside High School. I was Department Head and also a Supervisor of Student Teachers. When I retired in 1986, after 40 years of teaching, I had 302 unused sick leave days and by law I was paid for only 25 days.
The rewards of teaching were certainly not monetary. I feel that in some way, I had a positive influence on the lives of many of my students and that is the greatest reward.
Edmond A. Dugas - Health & Physical Education, Summer 1962; M. Ed., Summer 1963
Edmond Anthony Dugas
B.S. - Health and Physical Education - Summer 1962
M.Ed. - Education Administration and Supervision - Summer 1963
As a 1958 graduate of Evergreen High School, I found that SLI was a wonderful place to obtain a college degree. Mr. Raymond Ducote and other Evergreen High School faculty were good SLI models and recruiters. The SLI faculty, especially in the R and Education departments were dedicated professionals who were sincerely concerned about students. HPER faculty such as Elvin Brand, Bill Stevenson, VJ Edney, Dr. Lou Bowers and Dr. David Fisher were excellent teachers and role models. Dr. Fred T. Brown and Mr. J.C. "Dutch" Reinhardt became like fathers to me and all became life-long friends. Mrs. Vesta Bourgeois and Ms. Margaret McMillan were outstanding professionals who were helpful in assisting me to formulate a foundation for my profession.
In the professional education area, faculty such as Drs. Beasley, Faulk, Aycock, and Turner were dedicated teachers, while Coussan and Robinette were close advisors. As a social studies minor, I also enjoyed history classes with Dr. Sam Adams and Dr. Hemleben and Biology with Dr. Ed Stueben, Dr. Gooch and Mr. Vigee. Gladys Robinette was a SUPER teacher education model and all my classmates enjoyed her classes. I have been so blessed, from grade school in Evergreen through my masters degree, to have teachers who were dedicated professionals. They were always concerned about the long-range best interests of their students.
In my freshman year, I developed great respect and appreciation for Mom Marioneaux (Judice Hall) and Mom Peterson (Dorm C). I feel certain many of their boys would agree these two housemothers have earned their place in heaven. Mr. Leo Hebert, Director of the Student Aid Office, was always helpful. Deans Abel and Guillory were highly respected professionals who were always available.
On July 27, 1960, SLI became USL, and I remember joining other students who marched in celebration down St. Mary Boulevard--we had become a University and somehow each of us felt smarter and very proud of our school.
As a student worker in E.K. Long Gymnasium, I was able to live and learn about my profession outside the classroom as I worked the towel room, officiated intramurals, strung tennis rackets, cleaned tumbling mats, etc. It also gave me a chance to recruit for my intramural team, "The Untouchables" (Intramural Champs in Softball and Basketball). It was made a lot of fun by guys such as Sid LaCoste, Ken Spears, Larry Simon, Leonard Coriel, Bob Lang, Gene Bacque, Gay Hopkins, Tommy LeBlanc, Warren Young, Warren Payton and Glen Robichaux. Things were made interesting by R classmates such as Virginia Lyons, Carol Ducote, Alice Miller, Margaret Romero, Mike Jarreau, Carlton Falgout, Bill Vosburg, Marty Bourg, Ralph Davis, Don Landry, Joe Calloway, and many more. I enjoyed student teaching at Northside High School, a new high school, with Mr. Allen Meyers as my supervising teacher.
I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to teach physical education classes my junior and senior years and to be selected as a graduate assistant for the 1962-63 year. I am thankful to Dr. Lou Bowers for having me as a volunteer in the initial Motor Development Clinic and to Dr. Davis Fisher for allowing me to help with our Children's Tennis Clinic.
Further appreciation is also extended to Dr. G.L. Coussan and Mr.Alfred Lamson for getting me involved in coaching at the Hamilton Laboratory School and allowing me to work with their young sons, George and Gary. These were enjoyable experiences which, along with coaches Beryl Shipley and Russ Faulkinberry, helped shape my philosophy of physical education and coaching.
After teaching and coaching at Welsh and Port Allen High Schools, I returned to the University in 1967 as an Instructor of Health and Physical Education. Over the years, I have been privileged to hold the positions of Coordinator of Men's Physical Education, Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Education, HPER Department Head and Director of Student Teaching. I had the opportunity to work with and appreciate leaders, such as Dr. G. L. Coussan, Dr. Sammy Cosper, Dr. Fred Brown, Dr. Jim Caillier, Dr. Robert Ducharme, Dr. James Oliver and President Authement.
I also developed close friendships on the faculty, most notably with Marty Bourg, Clyde Wolf and Fred Nelson. Our openness to fun and competition helped us recreate in cards, tennis, badminton, racquetball and fishing. Our students were fun to be with in class or at professional meetings where they were leaders. They have truly enriched my life.
In the community, I have been fortunate to serve the American Heart Association, the Louisiana Tennis Association, the Top 28 Basketball Tournament and the Lafayette Council on Aging. Professionally, I was deeply honored to serve as the initial Executive Director of the Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance from 1982-1990. A member of the Governor's Council for Physical Fitness and Sports for four governors, I was as one of the Olympic Torchbearers in 1996.
My wife, Marilyn Bordelon, and I are pleased that four of our five children (Donna, Paul, Lesley and Lauralee) have earned degrees from USL. John is currently working on his. The three girls are teachers and John is planning to be a teacher. Paul, however, marched to a different drumbeat and practices law in Lafayette.
My current plans are to promote spirit for the College of Education's Academic Showcase and the Centennial Celebration in a manner where alumni and faculty relive memories of the past while creating new ones. I will do my best to see that our SLI/USL roots are sufficiently stimulated so that strong bonds develop among and between members of our University family and that all COE alumni are provided with a variety of opportunities for participation in this historical event.
Having failed my second physical examination to become a member of the first class at the U.S. Air Force Academy, my high school principal, Mr. A.J. Smith, asked me to have lunch with SLI President, Dr. Joel Fletcher, (his college roommate) the Friday before summer school in 1958. I remember having lunch at the Vermilion Seafood Inn. President Fletcher always used my name to address me when our paths crossed on campus. I admired and respected him a great deal. He truly lived the motto - "Students are our #1 priority."
Imagine being a student, student teacher, graduate assistant, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor, and holding four different administrative positions--all at your alma mater. It really doesn't get any better than this, until you add your family and friends to the mix then it becomes very humbling.
I wish for all graduates, that each one embodies the spirit of the College of Education Academic Showcase and the University Centennial. I hope and pray that as we seek our mission in the next millennium, we retain our nurturing environment where students, based on our actions, will always feel they are truly our #1 priority.
Go Bulldogs!! Go Cajuns!!
Yours in Spirit--Ed Dugas,
Health & Physical Education Professor and Chair
College of Education Academic Showcase
John A. Dugas - Health & Education, Class of 2001
John A. Dugas
Class of 2001
In the spring of 1998, I enrolled at USL as a full-time student. After ten years in the blue collar work force, I was able to realize a dream that seemed unattainable. With the help of my parents, my daughter, and some very special people at USL, I am now able to attend school full-time, work for the university, and still have time to spend with my daughter.
The whole experience is somewhat of a personal rebirth. There were times when I was unsure if I belonged at USL. Being a twenty-nine year old freshman can be awkward and intimidating at times; however, there is one thing all motivated students have in common--the drive to succeed. I think I have an advantage in some respects over "traditional" students, as I can truly appreciate the privilege of being able to attend USL, something so many seem to take for granted.
Being a Health and Physical Education major, I look forward to the challenges and rewards that come with educating our youth. I have often envied my father and my three sisters, who are all teachers. Even though this is only my third semester, I have memories that I will cherish forever, and have made friendships that will last a lifetime.
Larry G. Dugas, Jr. - Health & Physical Education and Social Studies, 1956
Larry G. Dugas, Jr.
1956 Health, Physical Education & Social Studies
When I think of S.L.I., fond memories of people, places, and events cross my mind. I attended U.S.L. only as a graduate student, so my memories are somewhat limited. I think back of S.L.I. as a small, friendly campus where everyone knew everyone else. The events that are most memorable in my mind are the football games at McNaspy Stadium watching Lou Roth, Jimmy Hebert, Lindsey Dumond, James O'Conner, Mike Milano, French Blanchard and others play. I remember basketball games at Blackham Coliseum watching Eddie McCauley, who should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame. There were track meets at McNaspy Stadium and the famous Southwestern Relays. These were baseball games at the field back of McNaspy Stadium where I watched Dan Danos, my brother-in-law, Harley Cahill, Jim Gore, Clyde Wolf, Rick Lalande and others play.
The Physical Education department was staffed by excellent teachers, including Coach Elvin Brand, Coach V.J. Edney, Miss Margaret MacMillan, Mrs. Bourgeois and Coach Russell Davis, who left abruptly one spring. Other faculty members that I recall were Dr. Howard Turner in Education, who I later realized was one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever known. Dr. Ben Kaplan, who taught Sociology, was an excellent teacher. Glynn Abel was Dean of Students and Dean Guillory, one of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, was in charge of Veteran's Affairs.
I recall a fellow named Harris and myself started a Veteran's Club. He left to go to dental school and I graduated; so I really don't know what became of our organization.
The places I remember the most are the Student Center, Hick's, Judice Inn, Airport Club, Voorhies Roof Garden, Boundary Club, Toby's, Landry's Palladium and Dave's Drive Inn. Most of these establishments no longer exist. You must remember that at the time the Judice Inn was out of town.
Many of us who attended S.L.I. at this time were military veterans and were following a precedent set by veterans after World War II, that of getting a degree and getting on with our lives.
I could not in good conscience write this letter without mentioning many names that I remember and many of these people I have had contact with over the years either in the course of my work or in social situations. Names such as Curtis Cazes, John DeBarge, Allen Hymel, Jimmy Meche, Jim Griffin, Allen Stelly, Bob Jackson, John McKean, Herman Smith, Rodney LeDoux, Curtis Joubert, Sonny Roy, Allen Meyers, Jimmy Kennison, Ed Hebert, Henry Marks, Jim Soignet, Norman Marcel, Harold Buckmaster, Charlie Arceneaux, Gale Breaux, Dallas Abshire, Roxie Prejean, Marvin Leonard, Charles Richard and others. Many of the above mentioned became quite prominent in their fields of endeavor.
As for myself I spent 40 years in education as a teacher, coach, and guidance counselor. I am currently retired but still do some part-time work in education assessing new teachers, doing evaluation work, and consulting.
Eugenie Sudduth Duhon - Elementary Education, 1968
Eugenie Suddith Duhon's USL MEMORIES
Thirty years ago, USL was not only a place for a pursuit of academic excellence but also a place for building physical fitness and physical endurance. Many of us remember walking miles back and forth to "Little Abbeville" for various classes. Once there, one might have to rush back all the way to Girard for the next class. This definitely kept us aerobically fit. In addition, doing this on a cold, rainy day added another facet to the physical training and presented decision-making opportunities. Shall I jump over the three-foot wide ice cold water or wade through it ? Do I buy a new umbrella or just take mine back the next time I see it outside the door of class ? These practical learning experiences were ever so helpful!
On a more serious side, attending USL was a thorough educational and social experience. There were many challenging classes and educational activities. In addition, I met many wonderful people who expanded my thinking, challenged my stereotypical views and broadened my ideas about people, both as groups and as individuals. Of course, the best was meeting a great guy who would later become my husband. So now you really know why I have such fond memories of USL
Thanks for the memories.
Gervis J. Duhon - Elementary Education, 1968
Gervis J. Duhon's USL MEMORIES
USL was a great institution to attend. I had excellent professors, such as Dr. Robert Ducharme and Mrs. Gladys Robinette. One of the people who most influenced my life at USL was actually a supervising teacher at Hamilton Elementary, Mr. Paul Sellers. He was also the supervising teacher for a young lady from Opelousas, Eugenie P. Sudduth. Mr. Sellers introduced me to Genie in January of 1968; she said "Yes" in December of the same year. So a very special thank you to Mr. Sellers.
In 1968, immediately after completing my B.A. degree at USL, I received that infamous note from Uncle Sam saying how desperately he needed me. After a brief stay at Fort Polk and being married for only four months, I was Vietnam bound. Thanks to my USL degree, I was placed in hospital personnel rather than out in the trenches. Through the grace of God, I returned home safely and started my teaching career by joining my wife who was teaching at N.P.Moss.
In addition to teaching, I returned to USL to work toward a Masters and Educational Specialist Degree. Because of the G.I. Bill, furthering my education became somewhat of a part-time job as it supplemented our income at the time. In closing, I would like to thank the fine educational staff at USL for their support and guidance in helping me to develop my skills and prepare for my future.
USL continues to be an important part of our family. Our daughter Shelly Trahan, received her bachelors and masters degrees in education at USL and is now teaching in our Lafayette School System. Our son Brad is now enrolled in the College of Education and hopes to teach in the Acadiana area.
Charles V. Duncan - Health & Physical Education, 1994
Charles V. Duncan
1994 - Health and Physical Education
Dear Dr. Dugas,
This is in response to your request for a letter of my experiences in the College of Education at USL.
I originally graduated with a Business degree from USL in 1978. I worked primarily in sales after graduation.
Due to a desire to change careers, I returned to USL in 1991 to pursue a degree in physical education (non-teaching). I graduated in 1994 and went to work for Sherwin-Williams Paint Co.
I worked for that company until August, 1997. During this three- year period, I moved eight times.
I realized at this point that what I really wanted to do was teach, and I found a position teaching and coaching in Church Point, LA. It has been very rewarding, and I feel that this is what I should have been doing all along.
My time in the College of Education was very rewarding. One of the most gratifying things was the camraderie I experienced in my relationships with faculty and fellow students. It was an experience I shall never forget.
I believe one should follow his path in life. I did not find it right away, but my experiences in the College led me to a great profession.
Charles V. Duncan
David H. Fisher - Health and Physical Education, 1950
David H. Fisher
Health and Physical Education - USL - Class of 1950
I enlisted in the Army Aviation Cadet Program in November, 1943 and began active duty in December 1943. I became a radio operator on a flying 25 missions over Japan from Guam by the end of the war and was discharged from Air Corps in late November, 1945.
At the time I was discharged from the service, USL (then SLI) was on the trimester schedule and the last trimester had already started; so I enrolled at SLI during the spring of 1946. It was an interesting era. Many students were in their late 30's or early 40's--having had their college careers interrupted by service in the armed forces and needing only a few semesters to graduate. Some were like I, veterans who had entered the service right out of high school, and some were young seventeen-year-old freshman right out of high school.
While in college, I played football and ran track all four years. I suppose the high points of my athletic career were to have been the first athlete inducted into the SLI Athletic Hall of Fame after World War II, having run the 400-meter hurdles in preliminary qualifications for the 1948 Olympics, and having been drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the spring of 1950.
Upon graduation, I became assistant coach at Jennings High School for four years, then head coach for four years. In June 1958, I accepted a position in the Men's Physical Education Department at USL as an assistant professor and Director of the Intramural Department. Mr. Elvin Brand was acting head of the department at that time, and the Dean of the College of Education was Mr. Maxim Doucet. Dr. Fred Brown became Head of the Physical Education Department in September 1958. In my view, we had an excellent staff that was very compatible and cooperative; and because of this, an excellent program evolved, even though the facilities were somewhat limited. Members of the men's staff in the spring of 1972 were: Fred Brown, Elvin Brand, Ed Dugas, VJ Edney, David Fisher, Jeff Hennessey, Jim Kennison, Bob May, Fred Nelson, Dutch Reinhardt, Al Simon, Bill Stevenson, Mitchell Thibodeaux, and Clyde Wolf.
The intramural program was varied, and participation was very good. As I recall, we had four different leagues and about 16 - 18 activities in team and individual sports. Champions were declared in each league, and competition was conducted to determine the campus champion in each activity.
Various members of the department were involved in many community service related activities. During summers, I directed what was possibly the earliest tennis clinic in the area for children ages 6-16, which accommodated up to 300 children each summer. I also directed the Southwestern Relays, a very large track meet and relay carnival that attracted many large universities from all over the country and many world class athletes. The university sponsored a rally association that was quite extensive in its offerings that probably not many people remember even now. It was called the I.A. & O.A., which stood for Interscholastic Athletic and Oratorical Association. Competitions were held between high schools in a very wide range of activities, and members of our staff were involved in organizing and directing the various athletic activities.
I received my Ph.D from LSU in January 1970, doing my research in perceptual motor activities for young children. Dr. Louis Bowers had organized and directed a motor clinic for area children some years earlier. When he accepted a position at another university, I succeeded him as director of the motor clinic for four years until I retired in August 1974.
The most significant memories I have of my tenure in the physical education department was the contentment I felt, which was nurtured by the closeness, friendliness, compatibility, and cooperation between all staff members. While each person had his own area of interest and expertise, an air of togetherness always existed which, I think, projected the entire department to higher levels of achievement.
I would be so bold as to say that the situation that existed in our department in that era, could well be a pattern that all departments should strive to achieve.
Joseph Ryan Fontenot - Elementary Education, 1965
Joseph Ryan Fontenot
June, 1965 Graduate in Elementary Education
At graduation from U.S.L. in June 1965, my diploma was issued in the name of Joseph Ryan Fontenot and the degree earned was a B.A. in Education. The major field pursued was Upper Elementary Education. At that time, only one graduation per year was held at U.S.L. I had actually completed all course work in August 1964, and had completed one year of teaching at Leonville High School at the time of graduation in 1965.
A span of nine years elapsed between the time I entered college (Southwestern Louisiana Institute) for the Summer Semester of 1955 to completing course work in the Summer of 1964. The first interruption of earning a college degree occurred following the 1956 Spring Semester when I resigned to earn money to hopefully return to college to complete my studies. I had found it necessary to work in the dining hall at S.L.I. (the highest paying job on campus at the time) to pay school expenses. The dining hall job necessitated working three shifts per day--breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Classes had to be scheduled around the job. Difficulties were experienced at times, and especially when scheduling the one-day per week laboratory classes which were some three hours in length.
After leaving S.L.I. in 1956, I began working at Cotton Products Company (Lou-Ana) in Opelousas and worked there until 1959. In the Spring of 1959, I re-entered S.L.I. as a daily commuter with a group of students from Ville Platte. One of the commuters (John Fontenot) is currently an instructor in the English Department at U.S.L.
In 1960, following the Summer Semester, I was drafted into the military for a two-year term of service. I trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina (basic training), and Fort Gordon, Georgia (signal school). Shortly after signal school, I was issued orders to serve in the Pacific Theater (Korea) where I served the remainder of my military obligation until 1962.
In the Fall of 1962, I re-entered the university (now U.S.L.) and completed studies towards a B.A. in Education.
The traditional haircut upon entering in 1955 was a unique experience. I had visited the campus on the weekend prior to Summer School and was promptly pounced upon by the upperclassmen for the haircut. The bookstore was closed until Monday, so I had to sport a shaved head until I was able to purchase the red and white beanie cap worn by all of the first-time Freshmen.
Some of my fellow workers in the dining hall were Leon Scruggins (deceased), Webster Marcantel, Patrick Davis, and Ellis Fletcher. The supervisor of the workers was a rather strict boss and was always concerned with the efficiency of the service provided by the dining facilities. The new workers were assigned to the dumping of garbage from the trays. The job changed to wrapping silverware, filling boxes, etc. as newer workers (usually first-time Freshmen) were employed.
During the first year at college, I was housed in Dormitory "C" in Little Abbeville. As mentioned before, I commuted from Grand Prairie during the second stint (1959-60) at college. When I returned to U.S.L. in 1962 from serving in the military (Army), I rented from Mr. and Mrs. Patin on St. Julien Street, along with other U.S.L. students (Raphael Bellow, Berl Smith, and Roland Smith). This was the period that I enjoyed the most while at college. Some of the "after-hours" entertainment spots included Domingue's Bar on St. Julien, Voorhies, Toby's at Four Corners and The Keg on McKinley Street. On occasion, we ventured out to Rayne and Breaux Bridge.
After teaching one year, I married Lucille Joubert (1965 U.S.L. Graduate), and moved to Lawtell where we have resided since 1965 and have raised three sons--Philip, David and Billy. I served as Principal of Lawtell High School from 1972 to 1988. In 1988, I was appointed to a supervisory position at the Central Office in St. Landry Parish where I am currently serving as Superintendent of Schools. I also served three years as Assistant Superintendent of Operations prior to being appointed Superintendent.
Following the earning of a B.A. Degree, I continued to attend college and have earned a M.Ed.+30, including Secondary Education certification as well as Administration and Supervision certification. The advanced work was completed mainly from L.S.U. in Baton Rouge. My future plans are to remain as School Superintendent until retirement.
Some of the instructor/professors at U.S.L. whose names I can recall and who have impacted my career in education are Dr. Charles Faulk, Mrs. Robinette, Mr. Joseph, Dr. Aycock, Dr. Steuben, Mrs. Price, Dr. Berhorst, Dr. Cosper, Dr. Meriwether, Dean Abel, Dean Blanco, Dean Coussan and Dean May.
After all has been said and done, there is no doubt that S.L.I./U.S.L. and its services have been the key to my success in my community. I will be eternally grateful for the experiences provided. I am especially proud to have been recognized at the Recognition Social of the Academic Showcase which the College of Education held on November 14, 1998 in Lafayette and to have received the Centennial Medallion. Congratulations to U.S.L. and to all who have contributed to its stability and strength for these first one hundred years!
Mary Elinor Sibille Fontenot - Upper Elementary Education, 1943
Mary Elinor (Mellie) Sibille Fontenot
1939 - 1943
In the fall of 1939 I enrolled at SLI in the College of Education, looking forward to a teaching career. It was very scary to me on that first day when I arrived to register for my first semester of classes. We were issued a little red and white "Beanie" that all freshmen girls had to wear as part of our initiation as freshmen. The boys also wore a "Beanie" but had their hair shaved off. As part of our initiation, one night we had a "Snake Dance" down Jefferson Street. We all wore pajamas, held hands and formed a long line, snake dancing down the street. I remember being pulled along at running speed.
I had decided on an upper elementary course of study and followed the catalog listing of classes. When registering, I remember we were in a large room--maybe in Martin Hall--and we walked from one table to another enrolling in awesome sounding classes such as Biology 101 (Animal), Music 101 (Public School Music), English 100 (Composition & Rhetoric) etc. We registered for classes that were held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and others that were held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. No Saturdays off for us. This was the fall semester of 1939.
My sister, cousin and I were commuters, driving in our family car from the small community of Bristol in St. Landry Parish about twenty miles from Lafayette. We had just graduated from the eleventh grade at Sunset High School--23 graduates. Everybody knew everybody. This college seemed so big with many freshman and all strangers. The college professors sounded so knowledgeable and intimidating to a poor little freshman. I didn't know how to find my way around the campus to my classes--sometimes having to run to make it for the beginning of a class. I would rush across the campus, into the building--looking for my classroom number--down the long hall, up the stairs and finally finding the right room--hurrying in and grabbing a student desk. In some of the classes, we were seated alphabetically. Many a night I had a recurring dream that I would arrive late, the door to the classroom would be closed, and I would miss my class.
My most intimidating class was biology. We were seated in rows of desks, very close together on rises or steps. I was seated on one of the top rises because my last name started with S. One of the things I remember about this class was that there were so many students and we were so close together that the professors and helpers walked up and down the aisles during an exam keeping an eye on us so we wouldn't get help from a nearby student. I was very nervous and was so afraid to be caught looking at some student's paper that I was probably cross-eyed by the end of the exam.
Going back to our experiences as commuters: All of the roads were gravel roads, and we had to drive through Cankton, Ossun, Scott--onto Cameron Street and then to University Street--no paved roads, no super highways, but not a lot of traffic. We parked in the circle in front of Martin Hall--plenty of place to park. There were a few other commuters in cars, but most of the commuters rode buses from the nearby communities and the buses were parked in a special place. We left home at 7 A.M., but we were lucky, for my father had the car ready for us, parked in front of our house, ready to go. Although a few years before, we were fighting to drive, now we were fighting not to drive--wanted time for an extra nap or to study for an exam. One morning we were all seated in the car--but not behind the steering wheel. Our father had to come of out of the house and raise his voice before one of us decided to drive. Of course we had flat tires, engine trouble and other car problems--no wrecks!!!! One day it rained so hard, the roads flooded and one of our uncles had to rescue us from Scott in a truck. What fun! Four years of this. Sometimes we picked up riders while on the way--from Ossun and Scott--and our brother came to school only one year before he joined the service. In 1942, servicemen were everywhere--on campus and off--exciting but terrifying, with all the boys being shipped overseas to unknown destinations and an unknown future.
Most of the time, we left the campus and went downtown for lunch. Had to hurry; back to the campus for a 1 P.M. class. Almost everyday we had to wait until four or five o'clock before starting home. Someone riding with us always had a late class except Saturdays when we got off at noon. The only time we went back to campus was to attend football games. We were always excited about our football team. On one occasion I rode on an excursion train to north Louisiana for a football game. We won by just a few points. What a good time we had! Then, there was the time we won an important game, and all the students gathered in front of Martin Hall and yelled for Dr. Frazier (the university president) to come out and give us the next day off--and guess what, he did--some very happy students.
We had a nice girl's social room in the basement of Martin Hall with sofas, chairs, restrooms, and lockers where we spent our extra time. I think a nice lady, Mrs. Barnett, presided over this home away from home. Also our bookstore was in Martin Hall. We waited there in long lines to buy books for our classes. Everything was in Martin Hall, even our graduation in May of 1943.
I loved sports and joined the organization called Women's Athletic Association. This meant that I had to take four extra sport classes a week besides the Physical Education classes required. I had to squeeze these sports classes between my regular classes--rushing to the gym--changing into red shorts and a white shirt--then after the class, changing back into a skirt, bobby socks and saddle oxfords and running to my next class. I scheduled everything from ping pong, tap dancing (I learned about two steps), archery and tennis--Margaret McMillan was my instructor and Mrs. Bourgeois was always around. We even had to run an obstacle course (after the war started). When they introduced golf during my senior year, I tried to sign up but couldn't because there were no left-handed clubs--and I was left-handed. In my senior year, I was supposed to receive an SLI blanket--a couple of years ago, I received a USL blanket--thanks to Sherry Lebas, when I attended a dedication ceremony at the gym on campus.
The following facts are taken from a letter I wrote to my soldier brother, Gordon Sibille, about my week of graduation from SLI in May of 1943.
During the last week of school I went to the SLI training school and taught every day. I don't know how I'll ever do it all day long. (I taught school for 34 years). I spent a lot of my time helping my teacher supervisor, Mrs. Veazey.
On Friday after Training School classes were over, we all ran to Martin Hall to look for our grades. When the secretary brought out the list, the girls grabbed it and held it up to search for our grades. It took me at least 10 minutes to get close enough to see my grade. It was a "B". Good enough!
Sunday after lunch, Mom and I went to Lafayette to attend the Baccalaureate Sermon. I met my two friends, Flora Belle Callen and Helen Fritz, and we received our caps and gowns. Mine was made of wool material and I nearly smothered. Everyone else had the summer ones, but mine looked nice.
And then, graduation on Monday morning. All of the students from the different colleges marched into the Martin Hall auditorium. Flora Belle and I walked together. There were speeches and songs. Then President Fletcher announced names of students on the Honor Roll--all of the students in the College of Education with a "B" average. There were about ten students with this average. I held my breath until he finally called my name--and when he did, I could hardly stand up I was so excited. When the dean of the College of Education called our names, we marched up on the stage to receive a folder (without a diploma in it) and shook hands with President Fletcher. After the ceremony, we went to the registrar's office to receive our diplomas--they gave me a notice saying that my diploma had been sent to an engraver to have "With Distinction" engraved on it. How about that!
My college ring had a blue stone in it instead of a red one, because of the war. I wonder why!
About 25 College of Education graduates decided to accept teaching positions in Orange, Texas, teaching shipyard worker's children. I was going to make $135 a month-- big money. We lived in apartments built for the shipyard workers. There were eight of us who had a lot of fun together and became life-long friends--some from Texas and some from Louisiana--and therein lies another tale.
Patricia Ann LeBlanc Prado Fontenot - Sociology and History Liberal Arts, 1976
Patricia Ann LeBlanc Prado Fontenot
My name on my diploma at the time of graduation was Patricia Ann LeBlanc Fontenot. I graduated in 1976 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. My major was Sociology with a double major in History.
I was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha social sorority, the Newman Club, the USL Marching band and the USL Concert Orchestra. My many memories of USL revolve around marching/playing for football games, in parades, and for concert seasons. I really enjoyed band tours around the state as we played for high schools and other institutions.
I was married to Robert Prado and we had two children Art Clifford Prado and Renee Victoriana Prado (she is also a graduate of USL). Robert died at age 34 and I began teaching and working on certification through the department of Education at USL while teaching classroom music for two years and Kindergarten for five years in the St. Landry parish school system.
I then married John S. Fontenot who is still a professor of English at USL. We raised a blended family of seven children (his, mine, theirs, and ours) James Fontenot, Ann Fontenot, Tony Fontenot, Janna Fontenot (USL graduate) and Richard LeBlanc (USL graduate) who are all doing well in their own chosen professions--Computer Analyst, Mechanic, Electronic Technician, Real Estate Agent, Physical Therapist, High School Spanish Teacher and Law School student.
I eventually acquired my Masters Degree from Loyola in New Orleans in Religious Education and have been teaching at a catholic school for 21 years now in 3rd grade, Kindergarten, High School, and Religion and Music classes.
I have published poetry and curriculum guides for Art in religion and for Social Justice issues.
I am now trained in the Spalding Method and in helping young students go through the grief process.
At present, I work part time as the Development Director and as a Master Teacher. I produce a weekly newsletter and have written five grant proposals three of which have been funded. I function as the School Building Level chairperson and liaison for the parish school district. I am also a Student Assistance Team member. I also enjoy my life away from school with my husband and family.
Jerry Freischlag - Health and Physical Education Faculty, 1985-87
I came to USL as Head of the Department of HPER in 1985. The next two years of experiences in the College of Education left quite an impression on my family and me. If I were superstitious I would have given more consideration to the hurricane hitting Lafayette just as we arrived that August!
My work was mainly with faculty and students in HPER and I'm favored still with their friendships. As a native New Yorker, many Cajun customs and colloquialisms first came across as quaint but were soon heartily embraced by us. My wife, Mary Lou, still makes gumbo and etouffe for special occasions, throwing in a few y'alls for authenticity to our guests. Now near the end of my career, I haven't found another campus that comes close to the genuine warmth, professionalism, and joy for living as these folks. Carol, Fred, Sue, Paula, Edwyna, Harold, Ed and Stacy - I love you all.
And Mrs. B. Not many institutions are graced with such a grand lady. Her kindness and generosity meant much to us.
What I have found in my career is that the people in the trenches make programs what they are. That's what I learned in the COE. Thanks for letting me celebrate that with you.
Louis Frederick Gaudet, Jr. - Health and Physical Education, 1951
Louis Frederick Gaudet, Jr.
May 1951 - B.S., Health and Physical Education
I, Louis Frederick Gaudet, Jr., in May 1951, received a B.S. degree in Education with a major in Physical Education from S.L.I.
I entered S.L.I. in the fall semester after graduating from Istrouma High School in June 1947. I participated in football four years and was named to the All Gulf States Conference 1st team at the end of 1948, and 2nd team All Conference in 1949-1950.
During my tenure at S.L.I., Dr. Joel Lafayette Fletcher was President. Dean Joseph A. Riehl was Dean of Admissions. Dean Maxim D. Doucet was Dean of Education, Dean Abel served as Dean of Men, and Dean Agnes Edwards served as Dean of Women.
The fall semester of 1947 played an important role in the post World War II years. Many veterans returned to campus to take advantage of the GI Bill. Vet village was made available for married veterans. The Veteran's Club on campus was active. This caused the enrollment to soar to a record high of 3400 students.
S.L.I. had a great influence on my life. I have many fond memories during those years. It is difficult to recall all of those pleasant memories. I can recall going to the student center after class and interacting with all my friends, classmates and other students. I can remember going to S on Sunday mornings for coffee and biscuits. I can recall the experience of living in McNaspy Stadium with some of the finest people in the world, my teammates. I can recall the many dances in the old gym sponsored by various clubs and organizations. Tex Benecke, the nation's number one band played for a dance along with Carmen Cavallero and others. The Sadie Hawkins Dance was popular.
I can recall the outstanding band and Red Jackets we had in those years. I can remember the S.L.I. Bulldogs beating the University of Houston Cougars, 21-7, in 1948 in McNaspy Stadium. The best thing I remember is the day I married the 1949 Homecoming Queen, Jeanette McNabb. I still remember the warmth and concern the administration and faculty had for the students of S.L.I. I can also recall the great support we received from the community of Lafayette and surrounding areas.
After graduating from S.L.I. in 1951, I entered the United States Army. I served with the 40th infantry division in Korea. I was honorably discharged in 1953. I began my teaching and coaching career at Jennings High School in the fall of 1953. I received a Masters degree in Administration and Supervision in 1958 from L.S.U. I completed 30 hours above the Masters degree from L.S.U. and McNeese.
All of my 34 years of service in education was in Jefferson Davis Parish. I served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools for eleven years.
I have four children and six grandchildren. I enjoy playing golf, hunting, fishing and all sports.
Paul John Gaudet - Biology and Chemistry Education, 1934
Paul John Gaudet
1934 - B.S. in Biology and Chemistry
My years at SLI were quite enjoyable and proved to be the important foundation for the rest of my life. I was born on a farm near Thibodaux in 1912, and graduated from Thibodaux High School in 1930. My boarding the train to enter SLI for the summer session in 1930 right after high school graduation was quite an adventure. I was fortunate enough to have been given employment and lodging at the university farm by Dr. Joel Fletcher and worked hard to prove to myself and others that I could make it.
In the1930 Fall session, the SLI farm gave way to the dining hall on campus. My duties were to take care of four tables there--setting places, serving the food, and then clearing the tables. I performed those tasks throughout my stay at SLI. One episode that I vividly remember is this: Several months after I was on the job, a new dietician was assigned to the dining hall. "Cajun Food" was not on her menu items, and she failed to serve gravy with rice. She expected the students to eat rice with butter. The students protested by gathering on the porch and noisily chanting, "We want rice and gravy." Needless to say, rice was always served with gravy after that.
After I was reassigned to the dining hall, my lodging changed from the farm housing to Judice Hall. I remained there for the duration of my days at SLI, except for a brief stay in the barracks.
Of all the people who helped me as a student, the outstanding one is Dr. Joel Fletcher. Because of him I was able to attend college and get the scholarship that provided employment, tuition, room and board. were hard, and my family just did not have the money for college.
Dr. Fletcher helped many students like me in his day--students who have gone on to become outstanding achievers in many fields of endeavor. We owe Dr. Fletcher and his colleagues profound gratitude for their help and encouragement during our youth.
By attending summer sessions I was able to complete my degree work in the College of Education in August of 1933, but was not awarded my degree until June of 1934. I began my career in Education in the fall of 1933 as an elementary school teacher in Lafourche Parish and progressed upward over the years. My assignments included high school science teacher, assistant principal and coach, elementary school and then high school principal, parish elementary school supervisor, and finally parish GED Coordinator and high school supervisor. I retired in June 1973, after 40 years of service to the Lafourche Parish School System.
Over the years, I have enhanced my education by attending graduate school at LSU where I received my Masters of Education degree in August 1949. I subsequently attended Nicholls State University and earned my "30 hours plus" from that institution.
Among the honors I have received, one stands out in my memory. On November 12, 1977 at the USL Homecoming, I was presented the Outstanding Alumnus Award for the College of Education. My wife and I enjoyed the weekend of festivities on campus, meeting old friends and making new ones.
My life outside the education field has been busy and quite varied. I have been actively involved in Boy Scouts, 4-H Clubs, and Retired Teachers Association and civic and religious projects too numerous to mention. A few years ago I suffered a slight stroke, and since then my activities have been limited.
I have been married to Lucille Dolese for 57 years, and we are the parents of two sons and two daughters. They have given us 14 grandchildren, and just two weeks ago we welcomed our first great grandson. We are a big, happy and successful family.
Yvette Girouard - Health and Physical Education, 1976
1976 - Health and Physical Education
These are memories of an alumna and the only USL Softball Coach to date. Many memories flood to the forefront as I write this letter, and I struggle to start and try to organize twenty-two years of my life spent on the USL campus. After graduating from the College of Education in 1976, I spent four years in the local school system teaching and coaching. USL approached me in 1981 and employed me as their first softball coach. Nineteen years later, your Lady Cajun Softball teams have amassed over 650 wins, produced 24 All - Americans, 13 Academic All - Americans, played for the National Championship three times (as we played at the Women's College World Series) and garnerd two National Coach of The Year awards, while establishing itself as the 3rd winningest program of the nineties.
Memories of starting the program with a make-shift field on Bertrand Drive and the foresight of Dr. Authement to place Lady Cajun Park at the old dairy farm location are very vivid to me. Was I less than pleased when I first saw the site! Barns, cows, bulls, mice, no access to the field and five foot tall grass welcomed me at first. In 1997, Lady Cajun Park was recognized as the "Best Softball Field In The Country." Needless to say growing very green grass has never been a problem.
Never, in my mind as a student, did I envision having an office in Earl K. Long gym where I attended classes. Never, did I dream of being a college coach. Nineteen years later my alma mater has provided me with the true passion in my life - Lady Cajun Softball.
Dale H. Gleason - Education Faculty Member, 1968-1983
Dale H. Gleason
February, 1968 - June, 1983
The following is submitted for the COE Centennial Book of Letters by Dr. Dale H. Gleason, faculty member, College of Education, February, 1968 to June, 1983.
I served as the first Coordinator of Secondary Education for a number of years. Additionally, I served as faculty advisor to the Student La. Teachers Assn. for several years. Furthermore, it was my privilege to serve as chairman and member of many graduate committees.
During my service at USL, I was fortunate in working with excellent students in the classroom as well as during their student teaching experiences. The students in the College of Education program were motivated students who made teaching and working with them a pleasure.
Upon graduation, College of Education students were qualified teachers. It was a pleasure to recommend them for employment. The success of its graduates clearly demonstrates the quality of the USL College of Education Program and reflects credit upon the faculty and administrators.
Dale H. Gleason, Ed.D
Edward B. Goellner - Education Faculty Member, 1969-99
Edward B. Goellner
I was born and reared on a dairy farm about a mile south of Lumberton, Mississippi. The gravel road leading to town was called Gum Pond Road. The name derives from a pond of water with clusters of black gum trees growing in it. In early life, my entertainment consisted of pick-up baseball games and swimming in Big Boys Swimming Hole located in the middle of Red Creek swamp. As time passed, my entertainment advanced to country dances on weekends in various homes.
The outside world was brought to me by way of the Mississippi edition of the Picayune out of New Orleans, LA, which I read from cover to cover. Every year the Picayune featured the various festivals in South Louisiana or Cajun Country. The festivals were described in detail along with many pictures showing scenes and activities that were difficult to put into words. Even at that time I thought, "That is the place to live." The festivals offered entertainment for the whole family, not just for children. In other words, fun for the children and fun for the parents.
As time passed--high school, college, and teaching--and finally a doctorate in education, it was time to choose an institution of higher education and to settle down, establish roots and rear my family. There were three of us, the other two were my wife, Lee Dee Ransonet from Loreauville and our son, Karl. At this time memories of my life on the farm in Lumberton, MS returned and flashes of Cajun Country passed through my mind. I also wanted a university that was dedicated to entering into new fields of education, and I wanted to be a part of it.
After interviewing at various other universities, I chose the University of Southwestern Louisiana. It was and is my opinion that I chose a great place to work and an excellent environment in which to rear a family. It was the Heart of Acadiana--Cajun Country. I got the best of both worlds. The College of Education and the University of Southwestern Louisiana are both growing in numbers as well as academically.
The friendly people, the excellent students, the mild climate, the excitement of the many festivals, and an excellent moral and social environment to rear a family--all of these factors made my choice to stay at the University of Southwestern Louisiana a happy and profitable one.
My final word is: GO FOR ANOTHER ONE HUNDRED YEARS!!
Roslin Growe - Education Faculty Member, 1986-1999
When I first arrived in Lafayette over thirteen years ago from Arkadelphia, Arkansas, I was not prepared for the myriad of new sights, sounds and tastes that would become so much a part of my life, and such an enjoyable one. I had arrived in the deep South and entered a new world for me, one which eventually became my home. I remember my first time at a crawfish boil, when I said I would never eat a crawfish--where I came from, crawfish was used as bait for fishing--but it wasn't long before I was eating them boiled...and fried...and in etouffe, and just about any old way.
Lafayette is a very special place to live. As a professor who is particularly interested in multiculturalism, I relish this area's many cultures - Cajun, Creole and French--and the rich customs and heritage which they provide. From the lyrical expressions, vintage Louisiana ("cher, baby"), to the foot-stompin music, spicy food and celebratory festivals, Lafayette is like no other place, anywhere.
For the past six years, I have had the privilege to serve as the Department Head of Educational Foundations and Leadership at The University of Southwestern Louisiana as well as an Associate Professor. In the Department of L, we prepare students to become exemplary administrators and school counselors. Currently, we are in the process of expanding our counseling program. We also plan to offer training for school board members and, eventually, courses via satellite, so that we can exchange nationwide the latest information in our field of education.
As an educator and administrator, I believe that a true commitment to education is the fundamental key to success and quality of life. To continue to learn is to continue to grow as an intellectual and ethical human being. I take to heart and enjoy my role as a mentor. One of my students, Paula Montgomery, earned her doctorate in administration and is currently an adjunct professor at USL.
It has and continues to be a challenge as an educational administrator. Back in 1986, I was the first female, tenure-track faculty member in L and later, the first female, African-American, Department Head of L. I have seen improvements in the number of minority faculty at USL. I admire President Authement who has been a proponent of increasing the number of minority faculty, administrators and students at this University. For this, I commend him.
I look forward with excitement to the new millennium and to being part of the many changes that the era will bring in education, administration and counseling.
Juanita Boudreaux Guerin - Elementary Education, 1972; M. Ed., 1977
Juanita Boudreaux Guerin
1972 & 1977
Dear Dr. Dugas,
It is with sincere gratitude to the University of Southwestern Louisiana that I write this letter for inclusion in the "Book of Letters" on the College of Education's Centennial M. What began for me over thirty years ago as a foundation provided by the university for a career choice has come full circle. I am presently employed by USL as the Statewide Coordinator of the Louisiana Challenge Project, a technology project that integrates technology with curriculum in the education environment. In addition, I serve the university as an adjunct professor in the College of Education and apply the knowledge and skills obtained over the years to the preparation of both preservice and inservice teachers. I am not certain that this letter will be of interest to anyone else, but I am happy to use this venue to express my gratitude to USL.
Thanks, in no small part, to the efforts of a group of dedicated and caring teachers in Erath, LA who provided me with the educational background necessary, I graduated from Erath High School in May 1968. Inspired by my mother, Evelyn Boudreaux, who taught school in Erath for years, I decided teaching would be my vocation. Leaving a small town and moving to the "city" was an exciting yet somewhat frightening experience, but I was determined to become a teacher and to inspire my students in much the same way as I had been inspired. I began taking courses at USL during the fall of 1968 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education in the spring of 1972. The years in between were filled with valuable life experiences that produced many fond memories for recollection today. The late sixties were a time of turmoil, contradiction, and drastic change in the world--a far cry from life in Erath or even in Lafayette for that matter. The war in Vietnam was brought directly into living rooms and dorms via the evening news, and student protests were producing tension and drama on college campuses as well as on political stages across the United States. It was as if it was happening in some distant country to foreigners that had nothing to do with me or so it seemed when I was seventeen years old. Compared to the near riots at some universities witnessed on television, USL was a safe haven--the quiet in the midst of the storm. Even though we felt protected from the outside world, the winds of change were blowing across our campus, too.
During my first year at the university, girls living in dorms had an early weeknight and weekend curfew, we couldn't wear pants (much less jeans) outside of the dorms, and boys were allowed only in the study parlors or lobbies of the girls' dorms. By the next year, there were no curfews, there were no dress code restrictions, and some of the dorms, like Agnes Edwards, were coed. Those drastic changes in such a short period of time are still very vivid in my memory.
Happy memories from that time include forging bonds with Kappa Delta sorority sisters, performing with the USL marching band as a majorette, eating chili dogs in the end zone of McNaspy Stadium on Saturday nights, and building friendships with roommates that continue even today, thirty years later. Very special memories are of meeting Ralph Guerin, a fellow education major in Dr. Gooch's botany lab class that first semester. We were married three years later at Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel on the USL campus and will be celebrating our 28th anniversary this year. Those formative years at USL, under the tutelage of such wonderful teachers as Mrs. Gladys Robinette, prepared me for a vocation as well as for future life experiences.
Since graduating in 1972, I have dedicated my life to our family, including two wonderful children who are now both in college, and to educating students in my charge. For twenty-four years, I taught science at the middle school level in Lafayette Parish with twenty of those years at Edgar Martin Middle School. I continued to grow professionally throughout the years by obtaining a Masters of Education Degree from USL in 1977 and completing requirements for a Masters +30.
For the last four years, I have been very fortunate to be involved with technology project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that provides networking opportunities for students, parents, and others in underserved schools and communities across the state of Louisiana. Due to the generosity of the College of Education, I am housed in the Educational Technology Review Center (C) in Maxim Doucet, Room 301. Through the direction of Dr. Kerry Davidson with the Louisiana Board of Regents, I coordinate the activities of the Louisiana Challenge Project in impacting statewide systemic reform efforts in education that prepare all learners for the 21st century. In this capacity, I am attempting to show a small token of appreciation to the university that has continued to give me so much for more than thirty years. Without the firm foundation provided by USL as I trained to become a teacher and the support over the years as I continued to grow in my chosen profession, I would not be in the position today of training others to become teachers.
With sincere gratitude,
Juanita Boudreaux Guerin
Mark E. Guilbeau - Graduate Assistant, Health and Physical Education,
Mark E. Guilbeau
Graduate Assistant - HPE
Spring, 1989 Semester
Endless decisions. When I think of how my path has led me to the University of Kentucky, I always recall many decisions made along the way. I remember how difficult many of these decisions were at the time and give thanks that each has resulted in a positive experience.
High School was fairly "mapped out." Attending a small Catholic high school (Our Lady of Fatima) in Lafayette, LA was extremely enjoyable and easy. Having an older brother and sister at the same school provided me with many great opportunities and made any problems much easier to solve. Things changed before my junior year. Fatima consolidated with Cathedral High School to become St. Thomas Moore High School. I suddenly found myself in a much "larger" environment and with many new people with which to become familiar. The two years were more difficult, but very valuable. The most important decisions centered around the type of friends to have; the type of behaviors in which to engage or not engage; the sports to play; and the amount of effort to apply toward academics. The friends kept me out of trouble and choosing good behaviors; the sports were narrowed down to tennis and running; and academics became very important.
I was greatly inspired by the cross-country coach (Doug Stewart), my older brother, and all of the members of the team. I was also influenced in a different way by the basketball coach (Rickey Broussard) even though I sat on the end of the bench my freshman and sophomore years. Other than my father, Coach Broussard was the first person I spent time around who had higher expectations and demanded more from his team than the members demanded from themselves. This is a concept I have come to know very well. I now realize how important making good choices was during high school. These habits and philosophies stay with you forever.
I started college without really knowing if I had chosen the correct school--I attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL and was fortunate enough to earn academic and tennis scholarships. Although I stayed at Spring Hill for only one year, the year "on my own" was good for growing as a person. The tennis was extremely enjoyable and the tennis coach (Jimmy Weinacker) was a great influence. Unfortunately, the need to begin working for financial support led me to leave Spring Hill.
Returning to Lafayette to attend USL was one of the many decisions that has turned out for the extreme best. Giving up competitive tennis was tough, but the passion was replaced with teaching tennis and working as a teaching professional at a local club (Lafayette Town House). During my three years as an undergraduate at USL, the pride associated with being at the local university in my hometown and the uniqueness of the Cajun culture really began to sink in. It's amazing how only one year away made this very easy to realize.
Working very early and very late hours at the tennis club was also a great experience. I learned more about appreciating the simple things in life from the tennis director (Don Fontenot) than from anyone with whom I had ever associated with. I was fortunate to be in tennis and was always in a work environment that was fun. After hearing so many times over the years how important it is to enjoy your career/work, I realized that this was always the case for me. I was very blessed to have tennis as a part of my life.
At USL, I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from USL. The initial plan was to pursue an MBA and Doctorate and become a finance professor. This changed when I realized that I could continue to make a living in tennis and combine it with the university/teaching environment. What a great idea now more decisions to make. How do you pursue a Masters Degree in Health Education with little or no undergraduate experience in this area of study?
Sometimes you need people who trust in your ability and the commitments you are willing to make. For me, Dr. Ed Dugas at USL was this person. With Dr. Dugas' help, I was granted a Physical Education assistantship at USL and was given a chance to begin studying toward a Health Education Masters Degree. I was assigned (three days before the start of the semester!) to teach intermediate and advanced tennis, fitness/weights, and badminton. Thank goodness for the experience I had gained as a student in Dr. Dugas' badminton class three years earlier...still my favorite college course.
It's a long story, but the semester I spent teaching and studying in the graduate program at USL was the most influential time of my life. It became 100% clear to me that teaching and/or coaching would be my career choice. I also realized how enjoyable working with people that share the same "healthy" interests can be. During this same period of time, I was training for the Boston Marathon (and used as a human guinea pig for Dr. Gatch's Exercise Physiology class. It was perfect timing for attempting to pass his class). The total experience--teaching, studying, and working at the tennis club had me surrounded with health education. I was fortunate to pass all of my courses (even managed the highest grade in Exercise Physiology), run well in the Boston Marathon, and successfully teach my three Physical Education classes.
As enjoyable as the experience was, the master's program for which I was initially searching was not available at USL. Dr. Dugas helped me select a number of universities with a masters in Health Promotion and Behavior--a broad health education program which would give me the flexibility to move into several health and fitness related careers. The first choice was the University of Georgia in Athens. I had always followed the tennis programs at UGA (men and women always top 10 in the nation). Although I was applying for a teaching assistantship, the tennis interest in Athens was also of special importance to me. Fortunately (and thanks to USL and Dr. Dugas), I was accepted as a teaching assistant in the Health Promotion and Behavior Masters Program at UGA.
After teaching Physical Education courses for one year, I was hired as the assistant coach for the women's tennis team at UGA. This was a graduate assistant position which allowed me to continue working on my master's degree (although it slowed the process dramatically). After the second year at UGA, I was hired as the Head Tennis Professional at Jennings Mill Country Club in Athens. This, combined with the assistant coaching position and the masters studies made for consistent 90 hours plus work weeks.
It's great to be young and naive in this situation. This lifestyle continued for four years. I finished the masters in a total of four and a half years (thanks to patient professors); managed to save a great deal of money from work; and helped the UGA women's tennis team win one A Championship and two National Indoor Team Championships. I stayed sane thanks to a few great friends and the inspiration of people like Dr. Dugas, my parents, and several former coaches; running lots of miles; and drawing on the pride I had gained from working hard at a young age.
I was finally offered my first Head Coaching position at the University of Kentucky in the Spring of 1996 ( I was actually offered the job at UK and the University of Oregon on the same day!). It was another tough decision which has worked out for the best. In two years, our team has gone from #56 in the A to #23. We are currently striving to reach the final 16 at this year's A Tournament and are on the way there (I hope)!
The most important things I have learned on this path? #1: Hard work is very important and makes you strong and proud. #2: Make decisions with confidence. I now realize why all decisions turn out so well. You make your situation work out for the best by committing all your energy to it. Even the wrong decision will turn out well. #3: Work, play, and surround yourself with good, positive, hard working people. They inspire you and teach you more than you may realize. #4: Have great pride in your culture and native area. The thoughts and memories you have from home carry you through tough times. Always try (I must do better) to be in contact with the people and places from where you came. #5: No one can ever fault you for having great enthusiasm and for giving your best. "To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?" - K. Graham
Head Coach - Women's Tennis
University of Kentucky
Fred Guillot - Health and Physical Education, 1964
1964 - Health & Physical Education
I am forever grateful to some of my high school teachers, who were graduates of Southwestern, for urging me to consider enrolling there. Mr. Lloyd Smith, Mr. Carlys Sibille, the late Mrs. Myrtle Castille Smith, and, Mr. Hunter English, also deceased. They came to Port Allen High School from SLI. They were well trained and prepared teachers who saw to it that their students acquired the necessary foundation and encouraged them to pursue their academic goals with confidence.
I remember my first day at USL, then known as SLI. It was June of 1960, there was no such thing as the ACT, so all beginning freshmen were tested for placement. We were lined up in the Quad and ushered into the Library to begin processing. As tradition dictated, all of the males had their heads shaved and donned their red "S" beanies. We were recruited by members of the student government to join a group of students to go to the State Legislature, then in session in Baton Rouge, to lobby for Southwestern to be designated as a university.
That summer, there were weekly dances in the Stu; the Boogie Kings were featured at most of them. I earned my Water Safety Instructor certification at the Girard Park Pool. My first class was College Algebra; the instructor was Ms. LaSalle, a legend even then; the classroom was in "Little Abbeville". I discovered it was true; she really could work problems on the board writing with her right hand at the same time she was erasing with her left. This amazing feat was one I had heard about while still in high school.
As a Physical Education major, some of my fondest memories were from the clinic for physically and mentally challenged kids, supervised by Dr. Bowers. I do not remember what the official name was. I often wonder about the youngster named Chuck, who I worked with for two years until I graduated. I was glad to see that Marty Bourg, one of my classmates, was memorialized by the Department and the University. Some of the others I remember and read about now and then are: Larry Dautrieve, Bob Cutrer, Mickey Guidry, Bob Morgan, Al Joseph and my wrestling partner, Hal Lebouef. I wonder how many intramural events we officiated for $2 a game over a four year period. If memory serves me, Ed Dugas used to work in Intramurals and scheduled officials.
Speaking of officiating, I will never forget the basketball games I refereed with Carol "Cotten" Ducote in her home Parish of Avoyelles. We usually refereed a girls then a boys game. Her parents always had supper waiting after the games, no matter how late it was. Cotten was one of the few lady officials allowed to call boys games. If you can remember that far back, the girls game was basically a three-on-three half court game. The rules were quite different from boys rules and many of the Catholic school leagues still had the "two dribble" rule.
Who can forget Fall registration at the Coliseum, lined up in the chutes in the barn. And the "sage" academic advisors who saw to it you had a full load of at least 18 or 19 hours with at least one Saturday class. How about the three absences per class, and eleven total absences rule; does anybody know why that "law" was mandated by the Legislature for all state colleges and universities?
Other memories I have are these:
- We would go to Evangeline Bakery for a "hot loaf" late night snack.
- The Pitt Grill opened on Pinhook.
- Dave's Top Hat was on Pinhook.
- Roy and Caffery Halls were the newest men's dorms.
- Cecil the "Sandwich Man" came through the dorms every night.
- There were dorms named A, B, and C.
- Mom Peterson got a mink coat for Christmas.
- The USL Laundry
- Dupré Library was built.
- The four lane from Opelousas opened.
- The Freeze of '62 when we didn't have to take final exams and
- Cypress Lake frozen over and ice skaters were featured in Life Magazine.
- Voorhies' New Roof Garden
- Lil Bob and the Lolly Pops
- Four Corners, The Pat, Jacobs, and Toby's Oak Grove.
- The Buckhorn
- All freshmen non-commuter females had to live in dorms.
After graduating from USL in 1964, I taught and coached at Fatima High School. Phil Stoma was head coach, and Andy Russo was the basketball coach. In February of 1965, I was summoned by my local draft board. I applied and was accepted by the Air Force for pilot training. During my 20 year career in the Air Force I flew two combat tours in Vietnam; both in fighters. I was assigned to bases in Okinawa, Korea, and Japan for three years after serving my first tour in Vietnam. One of the most rewarding assignments was as a Flight Instructor at the Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, Nevada in the program. Instructional systems design, lesson planning, and assessment in a highly technical environment with the best equipment and academic support systems was the daily routine. Because of the excellent teacher training and preparation I received at USL, the instructor part came easy. This allowed me to concentrate on learning to fly the most sophisticated fighter in the world, while my colleagues were learning to become teachers. Many of the coaching methods and techniques I learned as a physical educator, I also employed as a coach and instructor in the air. The was a $30 million aircraft; there was no room for error; the teacher's effectiveness in the classroom was proved by his students' effectiveness in the air.
After a rewarding and exciting eight years in the cockpit, the Air Force sent me to Pepperdine University at Malibu, California, where I earned a Masters in Human Resources Management. My Air Force career ended in 1985 when I retired from the Reserves. I left active duty in 1977. Because of my background and training in physical education, I was always given the additional duty of squadron or wing physical training and aerobics officer. At England Air Force Base in Alexandria, I served as Chief of Social Actions. I was responsible for the race relations, substance abuse, and equal opportunity and treatment programs.
After leaving active duty at England Air Force Base, I entered the private business sector in Alexandria, and opened the Courtyard Health and Racquet Club in 1978. Henry Kinberger, a USL graduate, was President of Security Bank, and helped me with financing. Marty Masden, another USL alum, was my CPA. I also enrolled in Graduate School at Northwestern and obtained a plus 30 in Physical Education. My first research class there was taught by Dr. Robert Alost, then the department chair of E. Dr. Carolyn Spears who was, and still is, at Louisiana College, helped me start an exercise physiology and aerobics program at the Courtyard. She was instrumental in getting Alton Oschner to come to Alexandria to consult on the design of a public fitness trail. Roy Gentry and Gordon Coker from Nortwestern also worked with me to establish internships for E students. Although these folks were not all USL graduates, they were leaders in our profession, and I know they probably crossed paths with many USL graduates in the education profession.
When I sold the racquet club in 1980, I moved to Baton Rouge, and became a manufacturing representative for a Minneapolis based company in its sports wall division. I was responsible for nine states in the Southeastern U.S. where I consulted with architects, lenders, and contractors in the health club construction industry. One of my clients was Cajun Court Club in Lafayette. I also consulted on the design of the Student Recreation Complex at Louisiana Tech. In 1982, I returned to teaching at my alma mater, Port Allen High School, where Ed Dugas had left his mark as a teacher and coach. After two years there, I went to the Department of Corrections and was a teacher at Louisiana Training Institute (LTI) Baton Rouge for four years. In 1986, I completed a second masters, this one in Computer Science at Southern University. Dr. James Oliver was one of my instructors and served on my thesis committee. I taught at Northdale Magnet Academy, Alternative School, Baton Rouge, from 1987 until I accepted a position at Southeastern Louisiana University as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in 1989. I have completed all but the dissertation at LSU and will receive the Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Research in May of this year. I am currently Director of Academic Computing at Southeastern, a position I have held since July 1997.
My wife, Blanche, and I have adopted a son, Devin, who is five and really keeps us young. We both have children from previous marriages--three for her and two for me--from which we have four grandchildren. Blanche is a graduate of Southeastern and is a teacher at Glen Oaks High School in Baton Rouge. I will not reveal her age; however, she was a student at Glen Oaks High when Mel Didier and the late Dan "Sonny" Roy were coaches there. Blanche is in the process of starting a charter school in Tangipahoa Parish.
Florent Hardy, Jr. - Liberal Arts, 1966; M.A. History, 1969; Social Studies Education, 1972
Florent Hardy, Jr., PhD
BA Liberal Arts, 1966
MA History Liberal Arts, 1969
BA Social Studies Education, 1972
Although I grew up just a stone's throw from Lafayette in the small rural town of Cecilia, my move to USL was a giant step for me. We visited my aunts and cousins in Lafayette almost weekly; however, the move from a small town where everyone knew each other to a city with many unknowns was quite an eye-opener. My mother was a graduate of SLI, my brother and sister both attended USL, and I followed suit; consequently, my summer experiences during 4 -H Short Course at LSU made me wonder sometime if I had made the right choice. Now, I feel that I did. Entering in the summer of 1962 and completing my first baccalaureate requirements in August of 1965 was quite a feat; however, I was determined to complete my studies and move on.
My very first day at USL could have been an omen, but it was not. It was a dark, rainy day in June. I missed my ride. Eight of us were to commute to Lafayette that day; however, I was either forgotten or just plain left behind. I was fortunate, though since my mother willingly let me use the car for that fateful day. Arriving just in time to enter the Earl K. Long Gymnasium (Men's Gym) for a brief orientation, then on to neighboring Billeaud Hall for testing, I was quite disoriented and felt that I may have made a mistake to begin so soon after high school graduation. Although at first things were a bit confusing, everything eventually worked out and I went about my studies. I vacillated between education and liberal arts as a major, then finally decided to major in history/political science. This challenge I completed in three calendar years, which were filled with rich experiences and a full social calendar, all the while making new friends.
Several memories of my transition from high school academics to the university world are quite indelible. We were always told in high school that college was so difficult that a "C" was a great achievement; therefore, I subconsciously set my goals for "Cs" and felt quite pleased with my achievements ( typical behavior of the college freshman). My first course at USL was introductory English. We were approximately 30 in the class. There were 2 Bs, 2 Ds and the rest were Cs. I quickly got the message. My social experiences were much more exciting. I, like my older brother, pledged Phi Kappa Theta fraternity which was one of the most rewarding experiences at USL. Then limited to only Catholics and being located on a campus whose student body was 85%+ Catholic, PKT was the fraternity of choice and a most enriching experience. I still have contact with my fraternity brothers and we can still recall those exciting and fun times. PKT donated an English Bulldog named "Gee" as football mascot to the university in the early sixties. Is it any wonder that I often remark about my attendance at every single home football game while I was at USL? For someone who was not exactly a football fan, the camaraderie of the student body and that of my fraternity brothers provided all of us with a true sense of belonging and enjoyment.
Scholastically, I enjoyed several of my classes. Psychology became my chief interest, however late in my course work. Advanced English with Mrs. Muriel Price was my most rewarding course. She was the fear of most students and many who took her difficult class during their last semester of course work were forced to repeat her course, thus delaying their graduation. There were several in my class who met this unfortunate fate. Brutally frank and quite inflexible, Mrs. Price accepted no excuses for poor work. I was motivated to overcome all barriers during this difficult course and rose to the challenge, and in so doing, really benefited.
To this day, I feel that Mrs. Price was instrumental in complementing my English background which began during my years at Cecilia High. Miss Florence Landry was another of my favorites. She taught French, and since I minored in French, I soon learned to appreciate her love of the French language and culture. I wasn't fully cognizant of the value of this experience until I visited France as a guest of the French Ministries of External Affairs and Education. How lucky I was to have grown up in Acadiana and to have had such an excellent exposure to the French and their rich culture. My French courses at USL introduced me to the proper writing and speaking of a language which is truly international.
I returned to USL to enroll in the Master of Arts in History program focusing on American History since the Civil War. This was a major challenge; however, I viewed it as an opportunity. I was more focused at this stage of my life; I really enjoyed history and felt that it was important for an individual to be familiar with the history of his country. Through my experiences in the masters program, I began my study of the history of our University. With the encouragement of my major professor, Dr. Henri C. Dethloff, then head of the Southwestern Archives and upon the completion of a seminar paper focusing on the founding years of then I, I continued my research and published my book A Brief History of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1900 - 1960, which to this date is the only authoritative history of our University. With this formal educational background, I began my career as an educator. I enrolled in USL's College of Education in 1968, the same year that I began my teaching career in St. Martin Parish. I worked full time as a middle school teacher and completed an additional forty-eight hours to meet the requirements for my third USL degree, a bachelors in Secondary Education.
USL, its rich history and its Cajun/southwest Louisiana roots, means so much to so many. Little did the late nineteenth century establishment know that the fledgling Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute which began essentially as a high school (requirements then were a sixth grade education and fourteen years of age) would evolve into a respected University providing services and opportunities to so many and for that I will always be grateful.
Gerald Hebert - Health and Physical Education, 1973
1973 - Health and Physical Education
Dear Dr. Dugas:
I appreciate the opportunity to share some of my USL memories and to be a participant in this historical Book of Letters. When I graduated from Abbeville High School in 1962, I had not given much thought to attending college. No one had contacted me or attempted to recruit me, so it just wasn't in the picture for me. One Saturday morning my high school coach, Sam Selfo, drove me to talk to Sonny Roy at USL and my life suddenly had some direction. Sonny became a very special person in my life from that moment on.
I loved life at USL because I could focus on athletics, a top priority for me in my first two years. My freshman year was most enjoyable because of the great friendships which were developed with guys like Leonard and Lionel Klienpeter, Harry Stelly, Leslie O'Neal, Pat Richard, John Devillier, John Jeffcoat, Ashton Chaisson and Beverly Ford.
One memory I treasure is hitting a double off Cecil Upshaw, the 6'8" pitcher from Centenary College, in my first at-bat. Fortunately, we won the game 2-1, although I did not get another hit the rest of the season. I also had two perfect games going into the late innings, but both ended as one-hitters (McNeese and Northwestern).
Although I started USL in 1963, I did not graduate until 1973. After my sophomore season, I joined the New York Mets organization and stayed 6 1/2 years. At this point in my life one of my fondest memories occurred. My daughter Michelle was born and that was very special.
When I returned to USL, I found Coach Shipley had developed a great basketball program. It started with players like Dean Church and continued to blossom with the likes of Bo Lamar and Marvin Winkler. Attending the games at Blackham Coliseum was so exciting. The enthusiasm exhibited by the students, staff, faculty and community will always be a memory.
After my return to USL, Don Lockwood, Baseball Coach, offered me an opportunity to serve as the Freshman Baseball Coach. Again, I had another great experience which I had not planned.
Upon graduation, I taught and coached at Scott Middle School and later served as Athletic Director for the Lafayette Parish Recreation Department. Later, I accepted a position with Coca-Cola in Lafayette and remained there for 10 years.
I must say that my USL degree continued to open doors for me. At age 50, I left Coke and started my own business, the Liberty Card. Although very successful, I sold it recently and started "Victory Sports and Entertainment" where I serve as a sport agent. Additionally, I am executive producer of the TV programs for USL football and basketball.
One of the things I learned and developed in college was a sense of community ... of giving back. One of my major accomplishments in this area was to direct an effort which resulted in the A granting Lafayette the Top 28 State Basketball Tournament for Boys for 1997 and 1998 and, in 1998 for four more years. I am thankful for the many volunteers who help make it a super success and claim this accomplishment on behalf of the Acadiana community.
One person I must acknowledge is Mr. Tigue Moore, Acadiana's Mr. Baseball, who was like a second father to me and a great role model for people of all ages. He was an involved community leader and a great friend of the University.
Again, my thanks to USL for helping me shape my attitude and philosophy of life. I am proud to be a USL graduate and hope I can be a positive agent for the major strides I envision the University making in the new millennium. I feel it is poised to do special things. The first 100 years certainly created an excellent foundation, and I hope to be an involved partner in that bright future.
Newlyn Hebert - Elementary Education, 1971
1971 - Elementary Education
My name is Newlyn Hebert, a 1971 Education major from U.S.L. In 1967, I lived in Randolph dormitory on the Boulevard and shared a room with three students. It was an experience to share a bedroom with others and to utilize restroom and shower facilities down the hall. The U.S.L. Union was just a block away and most classrooms were just a short walk through the quadrangle. I said "most" because there was "Little Abbeville", the barracks area, which stood where the art building is presently located. And, of course, your freshman year classes were scheduled in Little Abbeville and then in Girard Hall directly across campus. I can certainly remember those long walks, especially in the months of November through February, in the cold and rain. After one year on campus, I commuted from New Iberia - first, by bus and later with friends by car. The "Union" became a favorite handout to visit friends while waiting for the ride home. Three and one-half years later (every summer was spent on campus), I received my degree in Elementary Education.
After graduation, I returned to U.S.L. to obtain a Second Degree, a Specialist degree in French. By that time, I had a job teaching at Pesson Elementary. Then, it was time to work on a Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling and certification in Administration and Supervision. I must have been taught by every professor in the Education Department, some even twice. One professor told me: "You will never go anywhere in education because you are a constant complainer." I guess that was my most important lesson learned in college. Realizing the truth to those words, I had a change in attitude. Maybe, that is what has helped me to remain in education for 28 years. Now, as Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, I have the opportunity to work with teachers, preparing them to work with students while keeping a positive professional attitude.
James Edward Kennison - Health and Physical Education, 1955; M. Ed., 1958
James Edward Kennison
Graduated in 1955 with a B.S. Degree in Physical Education and Science
M. Ed. Degree in 1958
Southwestern Louisiana Institute
They say those were good ole days - NOT SO - life was more hectic, dull. At times life was very active with never ending problems. Our social activities centered around the "S" club, the Catholic Student Center, and Voorhies.
Stadium living was very interesting. We had four athletes in one room and we had two restrooms with showers to accommodate 60 growing and grown men. We had no training table for meals as you find today. We ate with the student body which I found to be very interesting.
There were about 1800 hundred students at S.L.I. All the professors knew the students in their classes. Education professors which I recall were Dr. Louis Coussan, Dr. R.E. May, Dr. Robinette and others. My Physical Education and Recreation teachers were Ms. Margaret McMillan, Mr. V.J. Edney, Bill Stevenson, Dutch Reinhardt, Elvin Brand and others.
After leaving S.L.I. in 1955, I received my wings as a pilot in the U.S.A.F. I remained a pilot for three years and returned to Port Barre H. S. as a teacher and coach. I left in 1963 to become to become an Assistant Professor in R at USL. In 1970 to 1974, I was the Coordinator of the Graduate Program in the department. I was a school board member in St. Landry Parish from 1972-74. I relinquished my board position to become the Director of Federal Programs and, then, later the Director of Research, Development and Evaluation.
In 1958, I received the Master of Education Degree from USL and the Doctor of Education from LSU in 1966.
During my tenure as a teacher and professor, I belonged to over 20 professional organizations, too many to elaborate on at this time.
Among the honors I received were:
- Teacher of the Year - St. Landry Public Schools
- Louisiana Administrator of the Year
- Nominated as "Executive Educator" in top 100 executive educators
- "Outstanding Educator Award" from the LA Assn. of School Executives
- "Outstanding Alumni Award" - USL Health and Physical Education
- Lettered in football, baseball and track while attending S.L.I.
- Was voted "All Conference" in football
- Was honored by being placed in the Athletic "Hall of Fame" at USL.
In 1980, I became the superintendent of the Pointe Coupee Parish School system where I remained for five and a half years. Since retirement, my wife Gloria and I travel a lot in my camping trailer. I play a lot of golf and I am still an avid hunter. When not doing these things, I perform "Honey Do's" that my wife orders me to do.
If I had my life to live over, I would not change a thing. I have been blessed with a great wife, two sons Dan and Kearns and six grandchildren. Oh -- how time flies --
James Kennison, Ed.D.
Louise Baudin Kenny and Robert Kenny - Music, 1952 & M. Ed., 1967; 1950
Louise Ann Baudin Kenny and Robert Wray Kenny
1952 & 1967, and 1950
Centennial Book of Letters - Showcase Month - November 1998
I am Louise Ann Baudin and I attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute from 1948-52, graduating in May 1952 with a double major in piano and voice and a Bachelor of Music degree.
I attended SLI on an academic scholarship that paid $18.50 each semester that I was registered. Fortunately, my parents could afford my education each semester; so it was an honor to have this scholarship which helped with some of the various expenses. I chose SLI because of two uncles, Griffin and Burton Brumfield, who were outstanding track athletes in the 1940's. The campus was so beautiful, well landscaped with camellias and azaleas as well as other plants and trees; however, the plants and trees were my favorites. The area of Cypress Lake was completely open and from the girls dorms of Buchanan and Evangeline Halls one could gaze out the upper windows and view most of this lake. The Infirmary was located across the street from these dorms and near the Boy's Gym and tennis courts. During this time, very few students owned cars, so we walked everywhere and did not mind, especially when dating. Enrollment at this time was approximately 3000-3200 students with many Latin American students who were from Cuba and Central America. St. Mary Street, beyond Burke Hall, where I spent much time with my music studies, was gravel and dusty. When it rained, we had a mess; and after a very heavy rain with much water standing, it was quite a challenge to cross this street usually at "Hicks." Most students and faculty frequented this business for snacks and delicious coffee for 10 or 15 cents a cup. I'm sure many a date was planned while at Hicks.
The faculty was very much involved with us, interested enough to hold extra study sessions so that subjects could be mastered. In most buildings, we had no air conditioning, only oscillating fans to, hopefully, keep us alert and move the warm air. Somehow, I did not recall it being so unbearably hot, though I'm sure at times it was.
Being directly across from the dining hall, we were able to catch the scent of the next meal and looked forward to eating. The meals were fairly good and on Sundays they were unusually good. A meal ticket cost $37.50 a month, as I recall. Friends have mentioned that room and laundry were also included in this cost; however, I do not exactly recall the amount.
School activities were often held around Cypress Lake, especially political talks by students. Outdoor concerts were held near Girard Hall where stands were set up for the performers under the big oak trees that were almost 50 years old. The audience sat on the ground or on the few folding chairs set up. Later performances, especially summer band concerts, were located behind the Infirmary on the edge of Cypress Lake and the tennis courts. These were very enjoyable and memorable occasions and allowed for much visiting with friends and their families, especially during the summer sessions when no more than 1500-1800 students were in attendance. Dances were held in the Men's Gym and were always well attended. Visiting musicians (groups and individuals) on concert tours performed here also to standing room crowd most of the time.
It was here at SLI that I met my future husband in September of 1948 who also a music student with a major in Instrumental Music. Both of us have interesting as well as sentimental attachments to various students we knew, who many years later would still be in contact with us or our paths would cross once again.
I married John Wray Kenney who graduated in 1950 and later served two years with the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. When he was discharged, we set our wedding date as December 26, 1953. Being of the Catholic faith, no weddings were allowed at that time prior to Christmas (Advent Season). So that date was set because he was teaching in north Louisiana and had only a short break during the holidays. This year of 1998 we will celebrate our 45th anniversary, I am happy to say. While living in Columbia, LA., two sons were born during the four and one - half years we resided there. After moving to Lafayette in August 1958 and during the years to follow, two more sons were born. John was Band/Orchestra Director at Lafayette Elementary School for 13 years and later at Lafayette High school for nine years. He taught 30 years, retired in 1980 and has been involved in the real estate business since then.
Both of us attended LSU one summer to work on our Masters Degree. John earned his in 1957 from LSU while I earned mine in 1967 from USL (formerly SLI). We both would later earn the Masters Plus 30 or Specialist Degree from USL.
I taught private piano for nine years along with Nursery School music four years. Afterwards I entered the Lafayette Parish School system where I taught Vocal Music, later certified in Guidence Counseling and served as an Elementary/Middle School counselor for 17 years. Previous teaching gave me one year of credit so that when I retired in 1992, I had 25 years of service although in reality I taught 37 years.
Our four sons all earned their degrees from USL and are in various careers / professions. Robert J. Kenney is a physician (kidney specialist) in Baton Rouge. Stephen P. Kenney is a Civil Engineer in Houston working with several oil companies. Michael E. Kenney is a geologist here in Lafayette. Brian T. Kenney is presently an oil lease broker living in Lafayette. We have four grandchildren and enjoy them immensely.
Our future plans include travel, and (lots of it), time with family and grandchildren, and involvement in church activities. Gardening and flowers also keep us busy. We love to meet with friends from that era and talk about SLI and the wonderful memories we all have about a time now long past!
Marsha Kramer - Ed. S., 1975
1975 - Educational Specialist Degree
1977 - M.S. in Computer Science
I spent about two years working with Dr. Ed Dugas in the Graduate Education office. I really enjoyed working with the graduate students and Dr. Dugas. Being part of the the Graduate COE, not just as a student, enhanced my educational experience. As I was finishing my degree, I was recruited into the graduate program in computer science. What a great opportunity! When I finished, I took a teaching position at Loyola University in New Orleans teaching math and computer programming. I taught at the community college for a brief period, and then decided to leave New Orleans. So I moved to Wappingers Falls, that is in Dutchess County, the Hudson Valley, south of Poughkeepsie, about 1.5 hours north of New York City. I haven't taught since I moved here, just seems to be too much to do. It was by chance that I attended USL. I was living in Lafayette, having moved from the Northeast two years earlier, when I decided to attend graduate school. USL had programs in which I was interested; plus, they offered me a graduate assistantship--that was a great help.
My position at Loyola was obtained by chance . . . when I heard about the opening, I called the chairman. In talking on the phone, we realized we knew each other from USL! I'm sure that helped me secure the position. Anyway, I am proud to call myself an alumna of USL.
Arthur J. Kryda - Health and Physical Education, 1950
Arthur J. Kryda
1950 - Health & Physical Education
My class of 1950 was very fortunate to have had a strong curriculum in Physical Education.
I applied for a Physical Education position in Winnetka, Illinois, known as the "Gold Coast" in the NE corner of the state just North of Chicago.
Winnetka in New Trier Township is one of the top three schools in Illinois every year. The people in this section of Illinois put great value in good education and are willing to pay for it. Winnetka could be ranked with the finest school systems in Louisiana.
At my interview, they examined Southwestern's Physical Education curriculum very, very carefully. I was accepted and had a teaching career touching four decades in Winnetka, Illinois.
You are just as fortunate. Southwestern has Dr. Ed Dugas entrusted with the Physical Education curriculum, one which he has improved upon and EXPANDED throughout these many years.
Do not overlook one of your strongest points in seeking a position. The better schools want to check your curriculum before hiring. You have in Dr. Ed Dugas an "Ace Card" - play it.
He is the keeper of the corner stone of Physical Education at Southwestern. Take advantage of good fortune waiting for you. May you have great success in whatever choice you make.
Arthur J. Kryda (Art)
Lauralee Dugas Labit - Elementary Education, December 1996
Lauralee Dugas Labit
December 1996 - Elementary Education
I can honestly say that USL has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. My father, Dr. Ed Dugas, has been a physical education professor there for over 30 years. As a young child, it was always understood that one day I would attend USL. I started USL in the Fall of 1992 as a psychology major. I immediately fell in love with school. There was such a relaxed, fun atmosphere. I began to work part time at Fisher Early Childhood Development Center and realized that my true love was working with kids. I changed my major to Elementary Education in 1993 and began study in that field.
Certain professors, such as Dr. Juanita Cox, Dr. Ed Goellner, and Dr. Gail Dack revealed to me the kind of educator I wanted to be: a patient, understanding teacher who likes to keep a sense of humor and have fun with her students.
I met my husband, Sterling, at USL. Sterling graduated in Psychology in 1997. I graduated and we were married in December 1996. I am now teaching at Carencro Middle School and I love being a teacher. In July 1998 I gave birth to our first child, Christian. I hope he realizes the value of an education through all the things he will learn from his family.
Congratulations on an enjoyable Showcase and best wishes for the Centennial Celebration.
Thomas Ray Landry - Elementary Education, 1931
Thomas Ray Landry
Class of 1931
Dear Dr. Dugas:
I regret that I will be unable to attend on November 14, 1998. Southwestern has always been close to my heart. I have so many pleasant memories of my stay there. Although it has been sixty-seven years since I graduated in 1931, I can still remember every word of the old Alma Mater and the fight song, "Cheer, Cheer for old SLI, shake down the echos cheering her high", and every word (almost) of the French song (in French) that my supervising teacher (Mrs. Ralph Agate) taught my class during student teaching in 1927. My two degrees at LSU plus my service there never left me with comparable memories.
Best of wishes to everyone.
Thomas Ray Landry
Janelle Olivier Gonzales Lavergne - Elementary Education, 1977; Health & Physical Education, 1983
Janelle Ann Olivier Gonzales Lavergne
Upper Elementary Education - 1977
Health & Physical Education - 1983
I am Janelle Ann Olivier, a 1973 graduate from the former Sunset High School in Sunset, LA. In May 1977 I received a B.A. at U.S.L. in Upper Elementary Education under the name Janelle O. Gonzales. In December 1983 I received a B.S. at U.S.L. in Health and Physical Education under the name Janelle O. Lavergne.
My five years at U.S.L. are memorable ones. I stayed at U.P.A. Apartments, Denbo Dorm, and Gallery Apartments. The dorm life can be summed up as one big happy family. The faculty members were caring and helpful. The Student Union was a place to meet old and new friends. Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel was a place to attend mass and pray when needed. The priests were always friendly and understanding. The football games were filled with much school spirit and partying.
Before receiving my first degree, I married Kirk Gonzales from Lafayette, LA. We were married in May 1976. I graduated a year later in Upper Elementary Education and began my first year of teaching at Little Flower School in Arnaudville, LA. It was a very difficult first year for me as I was saddened with the death of my 24 year old husband, Kirk, who died in a helicopter accident in the Gulf of Mexico on December 8, 1977. I completed my first year of teaching with the help of family and friends. After this tragedy, I decided to return to college to pursue a degree in Health and Physical Education.
In August of 1979 I was hired as a sixth grade classroom teacher at St. Ignatius School in Grand Coteau. This year I am beginning my thirteenth year at St. Ignatius School. It is while working here that I met my wonderful husband, Marcus Lavergne, from Cankton, LA. We were married in June 1981 and now have three sons--Josh 16, Ryan 13, and Shawn 10.
While at St. Ignatius School, I was chosen "Teacher of the Year" in 1994. In 1995, I was selected to represent St. Ignatius School on a tour of the redwoods in California. I am certified to teach Spalding and I am the Accelerated Reading Coordinator at our school. My plans for the future include teaching until I retire. After retiring, I plan to travel and see the world!
Janelle Ann Olivier Gonzales Lavergne
Richard Lavergne - Health and Physical Education, 1974
1974 - Health & Physical Education
The first semester at a large, state university can be fun and exciting, but it can also be overwhelming--if not a bit frightening. I was a frightened teenager from Church Point when I set foot on the University of Southwestern Louisiana campus. As all students, I was assigned to an advisor, Dr. Ed Dugas. My first intense interaction with Dr. Dugas occurred when I decided to drop the first biology course in which I was enrolled. The pace of the course was rapid. The first exam seemed as though it were written in a foreign language. I was scared and decided it was in my best interest to drop the course. I went to Dr. Dugas' office. He disagreed sternly, but tempered his comments with compassion. He dissuaded me from dropping the course--a course I would eventually teach during my tenure as a high school science teacher. Were it not for Dr. Dugas's encouragement and personal attention for a first-year student, my career path might have been radically altered.
Under Dr. Dugas' guidance, I experienced many firsts that ultimately led to a career in education divided between coaching and teaching. I jumped on a trampoline for the first time (and learned to do flips!). With perseverance, I learned the coordination necessary to shoot an arrow from a tightly strung bow. Over time, I learned the mental, athletic, and relaxing qualities of a good (or bad!) game of golf.
Ultimately, Dr. Dugas went beyond the role of advisor. He challenged me both intellectually and physically. He pushed me to set my sights higher. Dr. Dugas taught me to have high expectations for myself and others. Under Dr. Dugas' guidance, I was very well prepared for both the coaching and teaching profession I entered upon graduation from the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Since leaving U.S.L., I have one son who is currently a senior in high school. I have held teaching and coaching positions in Morgan City and Rayne. My teaching experience has held fast to the science department--despite my initial reticence when it came to my introductory biology course on the collegiate level. I have served as athletic director and department chairperson at two different schools in Morgan City. At Rayne High, my current place of employment, I was the 1993-1994 Teacher of the Year and won Parish Teacher of the Year. I was also named the 1993 Tandy Technology Scholar for Outstanding Math/Science Teacher. During my tenure at Rayne High, I have moved into an administrative position, having risen through the ranks from assistant principal to acting principal to principal. When all is said and done, I do not believe I would have advanced as far as I have in the field if it were not for the encouragement of Dr. Ed Dugas.
Margaret Estorge LeBas - Health and Physical Education, 1981; M. Ed., 1998
Margaret Estorge LeBas
Bachelor of Science in Education (1982)
Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (December 1998)
The most memorable parts of my educational experience at U.S.L. are the wonderful people I met and the amount of knowledge that I gained. The instructors were such a special part of that learning experience. Their caring, enthusiasm, and knowledge of subject matter made U.S.L. a unique adventure. U.S.L. has an atmosphere around campus that makes it stand out from other college campuses. The student body and faculty are extremely friendly and allow U.S.L. to be a comfortable environment.
Many of the professors I had are no longer at U.S.L., but I feel that through their concern and dedication to their profession, I learned a tremendous amount of information during those six years in undergraduate and graduate school. Some of my instructors were Dr. Marty Bourg, Mr. Rodney Trahan, Dr. Ellen Gillentine, Mr. Dennis Donaldson, Dr. Edwina Testerman, Dr. Patricia Johnson, Dr. Ed. Dugas, Dr. Gerald George, Dr. Wendel Gatch, Ms. Sue Baudier, and Dr. James Clemons. Through my years at U.S.L., I have developed friendships that are very special to me and will last a lifetime.
Presently, I am teaching Elementary Physical Education at two elementary schools. I am teaching grades first through fifth. Prior to teaching Elementary Physical Education, I had a graduate assistantship in the Physical Education department, teaching activity classes for two years. When I first graduated from U.S.L., I went to work for Red Lerille's Health & Racquet Club for six years.
I will graduate with a Masters degree in Education in December 1998. My experience during my graduate studies was an enlightening and productive one. My time spent studying and working at U.S.L. has been a great experience. I am looking forward to the Centennial Celebration with gratification of knowing that this University has made a difference in my life and the lives of so many other people.
Andrea LeBlanc - Health Promotion and Wellness, Class of 2001
Class of 2001
Health Promotion and Wellness
My name is Andrea LeBlanc. I am expected to graduate in the Spring of 2001. My life at USL for the last three years has been memorable. I participated in the USL Rajun Cajun Marching Band for two football seasons. These were some of the best times I had in college. I will never forget the USL vs Texas A&M game with Jake Delhomme as the quarterback. The football team played that game with all of their hearts and souls, and it paid off with a win. The stadium was filled to the brim, and I knew it was a moment of greatness to be cherished by everyone. During the last seconds of the game the crowd went wild. They rushed the field and tore down the goal posts as the band played the fight song and Respect. The university itself gained lots of respect that night. It gained respect from the students, the faculty, the public, and a number of extremely disappointed Texans. My hat goes off to the members of that football team who made their dreams come true. This is what USL is all about--making your dreams come true.
Another major part of my college life is the faculty. When I first attended USL, my major was Hospitality Management in the College of Applied Life Sciences. My first advisor encouraged me to be active and to get the most I could out of my university experience. I undoubtedly took her advice, and it changed my college experience for the better. I became involved in band and the Hosteurs Club. Through these organizations, I made friends and had experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have to thank my outstanding advisor, Virginia Soileau, for the support and advice during my first days at USL.
When I decided to change my major, I had a hard time pinpointing exactly what I wanted to do until I found the Health Department. I changed my major to Health Promotion and Wellness and have not doubted my decision since. This department at USL is the best one on campus. The faculty is well organized and always willing to help students in any way possible. The support system this department offers has given me knowledge, courage, experience, and strength to accomplish anything to which I put my mind.
My first class was a physical education class with Dr. Ed Dugas. I learned more about myself than anything else. Dr. Dugas reminded me how to set goals for myself and work for them. This class enriched my college experience once again. I never thought about running a mile and a half much less recording a time and trying to improve it. I made myself a plan. I worked at it, and I achieved my goal. This is probably the most important lesson I could have learned at USL. During this class, I made many friends including Rory Abshire. Rory died in a track accident at the end of the semester. He was a wonderful person, and I am thankful I became his friend. Every once in a while, I see someone that looks like him, and I have to look twice. Rory's spirit will stay with USL forever. My life at USL has proven challenging, rewarding, heartbreaking, and fulfilling all at the same time. I have made friends I will cherish forever. I have obtained advice and experiences that I could not live without, and I have learned how to make my dreams come true.
Heidi Grotefend LeBlanc - Special Education & Early Intervention, Class of 2000
Heidi Grotefend LeBlanc
December, 2000 - Special Education & Early Intervention
My name is Heidi Grotefend LeBlanc, I'm currently a Junior majoring in Special Education - Early Intervention. I will be certified to teach special children ranging in age from birth to five years old. I should graduate in December of 2000 with a Bachelors Degree.
When I first came to USL in the Fall of 1996, I majored in Nursing; however, during my second semester my feelings changed about being a nurse. I wanted to become a nurse because I wanted to work with children and babies. As I sat through my first nursing class, I realized that I wanted to work with children on a different level. I wanted to teach children who needed extra attention and had greater needs than other children. In high school, I had tutored a girl who had learning disabilities; and I loved it. It was so rewarding when I could see that I was really helping her understand her math or English homework. It was also exciting when she would come to me with a big smile to tell me that she had done well on the test for which we had spent hours preparing. We are still good friends today and talk often about our college experiences. She is one of the reasons I chose to go into education. She helped me to realize that I could make a difference.
Now, I am beginning another semester with new and challenging classes. I am excited to start because I am getting closer to my degree and to teaching. Along with being a full-time student, I also work in the Department of Health and Physical Education located in Bourgeois Hall on campus. It is a work study job, so I am able to study if time allows. One of the professors for whom I work is Dr. Dugas. I was privileged to work with him on the Book of Letters by helping him sort, copy and type the letters. I must admit it was very interesting to read the letters that were sent. It gave me an idea of what USL was like before I attended. I could feel the pride that graduates have for USL as I read each story about their personal experiences.
My husband, Jared LeBlanc, will also be graduating soon from USL in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Social Studies. He would like to coach either baseball or basketball. It gets tough with us both being in school, but because we're both education majors, we are able to help one another with classes and even take some together. Our options are still open about where we want to teach after graduation, but we both plan to continue our education and go to graduate school. The time that we don't spend on school is fully dedicated to our six-month-old son, Grant Michael LeBlanc.
Thanks for allowing me to share my letter.
Heidi G. LeBlanc
Lance Cassidy Lessard - Health and Physical Education, May 1999
Lance Cassidy Lessard
Health and Physical Education
May, 1999 graduate
Since entering USL in the Spring of 1994, I have had many memorable and educational experiences both on and off campus. During my college "career" I have experienced the life of a single college student living in student housing, the life of a single college student living off campus, and finally the life of a married college student.
Throughout my college days I was employed by USL Printing Services. This job was not only a means of income, but it also provided lots of great memories. Through this job I had the opportunity to work with some great full time staff and also made lasting friendships with these people.
I also participated enthusiastically in intramural sports, such as basketball, football, volleyball, and softball throughout my college career. Additionally, I was involved in the Health and Physical Education Major's Club and served as the secretary for the Fall 1998 semester. Another memorable experience that must be mentioned is the LAHPERD annual convention. This is a fun and educational event that I feel every Physical Education Major should experience. The people you meet and the friendships gained from such activities are invaluable.
In conclusion, I feel that the most memorable thing about USL is the fun-loving, out-going, friendly nature of the people in this area. I feel you can't beat the level of education gained from attending USL, and you sure can't beat the parties.
Brenda Champagne Levert - Health and Physical Education, 1986
Brenda Champagne Levert
1986 - Health & Physical Education
Hi. My name is Brenda Levert (formerly Brenda Champagne). I graduated from USL in 1986. My major was Health and Physical Education. I'm excited to share a few memories of my years at USL. While at USL I joined the Health and Physical Education Major's Club. I remember going to meetings with other H&PE majors and instructors. We had lots of fun. The best part of attending the D meetings was seeing the instructors at social gatherings. They were real friendly and fun to be around. But when we got back to campus, it was always back to work. It was nice to know the instructors were "real" people too. I knew then that after I became a teacher my life would still be exciting.
Speaking of work, I'll never forget how much WORK Dr. Gatch assigned! It seemed as soon as I thought I understood what I was doing, he switched gears and lost me again. I constantly strived to keep up. Dr. Gatch was so interesting I could have listened to him lecture for hours. He never bored me. I was always impressed with his wealth of knowledge. I wished I were a sponge so I could soak it up. Dr. Gatch, thank you for the fond memories and for making learning interesting.
I have fond memories of all my teachers. I remember when Dr George told me I would have to learn all the muscles and bones of the body, and explain how each muscle works. My first thought was that it would be impossible, but then I remembered the skills I had to master in gymnastics, and I realized he believed nothing was impossible. I got out my textbook and began to study. I knew he would not accept any excuses.
To this day I know I could not have had a more caring, helpful and inspirational teacher than Dr. Dugas. Dr. Dugas knew how to motivate me. He was a wonderful instructor who cared very much about his students. When I was student teaching, he always knew how to inspire me. He made me believe in myself and gave me courage to pursue my teaching career. I remember each time I went to Dr. Dugas and complained about not needing a specific course, he would tell me "you never know what you will do once you start working." Boy was he right! I have taught at six different schools in 12 years. I have taught kindergarten to 5th grade physical education, 4th grade, high school math, and my present job, middle school math. Dr Dugas you were right. Thank you for keeping me focused and for the many recommendations. He still serves as a reference for me when requested by my employers.
Who out there remembers Dr. Testerman's Dance classes? I can still picture myself square dancing with my classmates. I still see everyone's happy faces. However, I can't remember if we were smiling because we were having fun or simply laughing at each other. We had some great times together in all our PE classes. We always looked out for each other.
After graduation from USL I moved to Houston, Texas. I married Lawrence Levert, a USL graduate as well. We have two wonderful sons and now live in Madison, Alabama. I am currently teaching at The Academy for Academics and Arts Magnet School. I am the math department chair. So, Charmaine and Patricia if you are reading this I guess the hours we spent in ALL those math courses have paid off.
To all my former classmates, I hope you are doing well and I would love to hear from you.
Virginia Lyons - Health and Physical Education, 1962
1962 - Health and Physical Education
My First Day at USL
My first day of going to college at USL was registration day at Blackham Coliseum. When I entered the coliseum I saw a mass of people going from one table to another getting registration cards. A lady came to me and asked. "Are you here to go to college?"
I said, "Yes Mam."
She asked, "What is your name?"
I said. "Virginia Lyons."
Again she asked, "What are you majoring in?"
I said "Physical Education."
She took me by the hand and said, "Come with me, Virginia Lyons."
This lady took me to a table, told the people at the table, "This is Virginia Lyons. She is majoring in physical education. Give her this class." Then she took me to another table and said again, "This is Virginia Lyons. She is majoring in physical education. Give her this class". This was repeated until my schedule was complete.
At this point, I am thinking college is a really nice place. They greet you at the door and personally assist you in arranging your schedule. I thought everyone got this special treatment. I eventually learned that this was not necessarily so. For you see the lady who greeted me at the door of Blackham Coliseum on my first day was Vesta Bourgeois.
Vesta Bourgeois was the head of the Women's Physical Education Department. Mrs. Bourgeois' guidance for the four years I was at USL was as clear and direct as that first day, as was the guidance of many others: Marion Russell Curtis, Melba Harfort, Coach Edney, Coach Reinhardt, Dean Doucet, Birdie Eason, Dean Agnes Roth and many others. These were outstanding educators. This is what I remember about USL then and now.
Virginia Lyons, Ph.D
B. S. USL 1962
M.Ed. Nichols State University 1970
Ph. D. University of Minnesota 1982
Kenneth L. Marsh - Health and Physical Education, 1973
Kenneth L. Marsh
1973 - Health and Physical Education
Dear Dr. Dugas,
I am Kenneth L. Marsh, a 1973 graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education.
There are many memories from my years at USL that will always stay with me. The faculty was real great, including Dr. Dugas who gave me my first taste at not being a quitter because I wanted to leave school for a job opportunity before finishing my degree. I still remember the notebooks we had to keep with drawings of all the sports. I can really say that the introduction to Physical Education that he gave us was a lot different than I had perceived. I can also remember Mr. Nelson with the reaction timer he had invented and of which he was so proud.
Perhaps the sports events are the most easily recalled memories of my years at the university. Playing Basketball for Coach Beryl Shipley was a great opportunity, and I learned a great deal about teamwork and sportsmanship. The year of being number two in the nation and having the most outstanding scorer in Dwight "Bo" Lamar will never be forgotten. Traveling the country to different places, such as Iowa, Kentucky, Cincinnati, New Mexico, and Indiana, will never be tarnished in my memory.
Another distinct atmosphere that was enjoyed by all was the Keg. How could anyone forget the Strip with all its places to go and have a good time?
Since graduation, I have married and had five children. My wife, Donna, has raised our children and done an excellent job. Three of our children are attending USL, two of whom are about to graduate. I am currently employed at Avoyelles High School where I am Head Football Coach and Athletic Director. I have been coaching now for 26 years and still enjoy every minute of it.
In closing, my memories of USL and associations with USL will never be forgotten.
Mary Elizabeth Horne Marten - Upper Elementary Education - Summer 1962
Mary Elizabeth Horne Marten
Upper Elementary Education - Summer, 1962
Dear Dr. Dugas:
I graduated from USL as Mary Elizabeth Horne in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Upper Elementary Education. Even though graduation was in June, 1963 I had completed course work the summer of 1962 and, with a letter from the Dean, taught fifth grade for a year in Lafayette Parish.
Years at USL were special. I started my freshman year in 1959, (when it was SLI) living in Baker Hall with roommate, Christine Holt. Students today can't imagine that we had a 9:30 P.M. curfew, had to sign in and out of the dorm, and had to endure regular room checks to make sure rooms were neat and tidy. No electrical appliances were allowed in rooms; and only television set was in the house mother's apartment and could only be used with her permission. Two I Love Lucy-type events that year are clear memories. Once, a dorm mate set up a "beauty salon" and cut everyone's hair. Unfortunately, not all hair cuts were finished before "lights out", and several of us found ourselves hanging wet heads over the edge of our beds until rooms had been checked. Then, quietly, the hair cutting continued. Another time, a hamster had been smuggled in (no pets allowed, of course) and hidden in a first floor waste basket. Remember, we had room check each morning, and waste baskets were emptied. So was the hamster! Many of us spent time hunting through the trash trying to find the missing hamster. I don't remember if we found him or not, but I remember the fear of the hunt. How mild these events seem in light of today's society!
SLI became USL, and the student body reflected the pride of becoming a University. My next two years were spent on the first floor of Foster Hall sharing the porch side of room 7 with Page Keenan, Sharon Lissard, and Charlene Gachassin. We became close friends and went everywhere together. In looking back, it was pretty incredible that four of us in one room could get along so well. I remember one homecoming when our dorm group designed and constructed a wonderful float in the attic of Foster Hall to keep it (the float) a secret. Only near completion of this magnificent work of art did it occur to us that there was no way to get the float down. Parts were disassembled, carried down and reassembled outside.
I spent only three years completing my studies as I commuted for three summers from Jennings to save money. I loved school and teaching. Our undergraduate preparation included early observation and hands-on experience in the laboratory school. I find that now we have lost some of these valuable experiences in our teacher training programs. I remember fondly methods classes taught by Mr. Rene Calais and Dr. Doris Joseph. Their love of teaching was most important. My supervising teacher, Dorothy Bereaud, was a wonderful experience. She was a great role model and a mentor in every sense of the word. That year, under her direction, I was named Outstanding Student Teacher by Delta Kappa Gamma. This was the time of "new Math", and Dr. Ray Authement offered several courses for teachers in this area. This preparation helped me obtain my first out of state job in Jupiter, Florida. Almost no one had training in the new math which probably caused the movement to be received so poorly.
After teaching three years in Florida, I moved to Cincinnati and taught fifth grade in a suburban district for several years, then moved within the district to teach in an open space alternative school. After fifteen years in the classroom, I completed my Masters and Doctorate in education at Miami University of Ohio and moved to administration. I served as an elementary principal. In that position, I designed one of Ohio's first gifted education programs and started a community education program for adults and children at night in my building. After all these years both programs still exist and have been expanded to all schools in that district. I was moved to that district's central office to supervise both gifted and regular education programs. In 1985, I was named Director of Elementary Education in another large suburban district overseeing instruction, curriculum development, and inservice training for eight large elementary schools.
During my career, I co-authored and published over forty teacher idea books and numerous articles, and spoke at conferences and staff development sessions throughout the country.
I "retired" from public schools for four days in 1993 before I went to work as a consultant for Ethicon Endosurgery helping to improve their training and testing program. Currently, I teach in the teacher education graduate program at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio; work as a private consultant; and consult for Harcourt Brace Publishers.
My spare time is spent pursuing a love of cloth doll making, and I am President of the River City Dollmakers. My dolls and Santas are shown in several galleries and sold in shops and at local shows. I have recently started my own line of patterns.
Teaching and learning are still my love, and as I write this letter, I am preparing for my fall class for teachers seeking a masters degree. USL was a great preparation for a successful career that has been most rewarding.
Elizabeth Marten, Ph.D
Carmen Estela Thurston Martin - Elementary Education, 1955
Carmen Estela Thurston Martin
College of Education 1955: Harris Hall
Retired 98: Speech Pathologist, Elementary Teacher
FAMILY: Jay & Diana Marin, Trevor & Caroline, Houston, TX Ed Martin, Attorney, Dallas, TX Scott & Carmen Martin, Midland, TX Steve & Jan Martin, Joseph, Austin, TX David Martin, University of Denver, School of International Studies, Denver, CO
INTERESTS: Family, Friends, Church, Travel, Reading, Entertaining, Dancing, Swimming, Baking, Decorating
MEMORIES: Remembering the staff and their concern for the students: Dean, Assistant Dean of Women, dorm mothers, curfews, and a class taught by Dr. Waldo Wasson on his own time, so I could have all my 21 hours required for Speech Therapy; Mrs. Oge in Kindergarten Education with her criteria for perfection as we initiated the kindergarten program together; walking through the mud holes on our way to the bakery and music stores on the weekends; feeling embarrassed as I had to listen to all the comments made by the boys sitting outside by the post office on the way to the Tomain Tavern as we called the dinning hall.
Shirley Thiac McBride - Upper Elementary Education, 1954
Shirley Thiac McBride
1954 - Upper Elementary Education
I am a 1954 graduate of SLI. I received a BA in Upper Elementary Education, and my diploma reads Shirley Mae Thiac. I entered Southwestern in September 1950 and lived in Baker Hall my freshman year and afterward in Randolph Hall. These dorms were the newest on the campus. We moved in with clothes and very few luxuries, which today are commonplace such as telephones, TV's, and computers. We had an 8:00 P.M. curfew on week nights and on weekends of 10:30 P.M. Upperclassmen had later hours, but we all had to sign in or out in the office to leave the dorm after classes. A housemother lived in each dorm and was on call to enforce the rules.
Very few students had cars, so walking to movies and shopping was common. We ate all meals in the O.K. Allen Dining Hall and bought snacks in the student center between classes or at Hick's. Hick's was there a long time and was located on St. Mary Boulevard between the main campus, the back campus buildings, dorms, and the stadium. There weren't any fast food restaurants on every corner nor pizza delivery; so, we accepted the dining hall food. Off campus, we frequented Voorhies Club for dancing and dates, and the three movie theaters in Lafayette. Life was simple compared with the stresses and complications of today. Since there were between three and four thousand students enrolled at that time, we knew almost everyone by sight if not by name. There were many students who commuted to school, and most came by bus since they couldn't afford their own cars. Students from Lafayette were frequently the ones with cars.
There were several formal dances held in the Men's Gym during the year. Football games were also well attended and lots of fun. I met my husband while a freshman, and we married shortly after graduation. I did my student teaching in Spring 1953 in the seventh grade at the school across from the campus. Sorority and fraternity activities were enjoyed but were not exclusive to the general student body. I also enjoyed the many activities at the Newman Club and, of course, the inspiration of the chaplains, Msgr. I.A. DeBlanc and Msgr. A.O. Sigur. They certainly were instrumental in our development and growth.
After graduation and marriage, my husband of 44 years--Bob McBride--and I moved quite a few times. I taught school in Assumption and Jefferson Parishes. We lived in Ecuador three years, and two of our children were born there. We had five children and have lived in Texas since 1967. After the children were grown, I worked ten years for an S&L, leaving in 1987 as Vice-President and regional manager of twenty branches in Houston. My husband completed his working career after starting a very successful engineering firm in Houston, and we have been retired since 1987. All of our memories of SLI and Lafayette and the people we met there are great. We are proud to be Ragin Cajuns!
Huey S. McCauley - Social Studies Education, 1960
Huey S. McCauley
1960 - Social Studies Education
My name is Huey S. McCauley. I became a student at SLI in the fall of 1956 after three years of service with the U.S. Army. I pursued a teacher education program in social studies with a major emphasis in history. Upon completion of the baccalaureate in 1960, I remained on campus for graduate studies and to teach freshman level history courses as a graduate assistant. While still in Lafayette, I participated in a summer A institute at LSU in French immersion.
In 1961, I left the area to teach in Texas. After five years of secondary school teaching and administration work, I returned to USL to join the faculty in the department of geography. A year later, I accepted an International Paper Company Foundation Fellowship at Auburn University. With the doctorate certificate in the trunk of our car, our family returned to Lafayette in 1969 so I could join the faculty of the College of Education. Subsequent to that time, I have had the opportunity to hold every administrative level job in the College of Education, including dean in 1980 - 81.
Joel Lafayette Fletcher towers easily over the other presidents I have known in thirty four years at SLI/USL. As a freshman and student aid worker in Mouton Hall where President Fletcher maintained his office at the time, I remember fondly the almost daily greetings of "hey young man" or "hey Mac", as our paths crossed. My best recollection is that he never failed to acknowledge or greet anyone he met on the path from Mouton to old Martin Hall. In later years as a member of Blue Key and student government, the Fletchers were gracious hosts at gatherings in their campus residence.
Every student needs mentors and role models. There was no shortage of either at SLI. My personal advisors and benefactors were Walter Robinette, Amos Simpson, and Robert Crisler. Many others played important but less significant roles. As a junior faculty member, I was greatly assisted by Walter Robinette, Robert Ducharme, Lawrence Green and Louis Coussan.
Being a military veteran was not without its rewards. One, there was no hazing of vets. Two, you made the short list for married student housing in Vet Village. Lee Anna and I thoroughly enjoyed Vet Village. The neighbors were not only close, but they also became close friends. Our two sons, Shawn and Michael, were born during the years in the village.
College is for learning, maturing, and developing lifelong friendships. The latter is far more important than generally appreciated at the time. One can cherish for a lifetime the people who enriched your life during college days. I do!
John A. Miller - Chemistry, 1946; Math & Science Education, 1949
John A. Miller
1946 & 1949
Dear Dr. Dugas,
I received a phone call from Mrs. Beth Norwood; after talking to her a bit, she suggested I write you a note about some of my earlier days at SLI. So here are the results of my rambling.
I started SLI as a freshman in June of 1943. I had just graduated from Morgan City High School and I was 16 years old. I majored in Chemistry and graduated from the College of Liberal Arts in June of 1946. I took a year off, went back to school, and enrolled in the College of Education as a Math/ Science major. I graduated in 1949 and went to teach in Thibodaux.
I am writing this to call your attention to two things. One, the first mascot was obtained in the fall of 1945 and housed in a pen behind the engineering building across the walk from the post office. He was taken care of by J. Oswald Melancon. Oswald now resides in Morgan City. He led the dog on the field for each home football game. I marched in the band behind the dog. A picture of the mascot is on page 137, bottom row, center, in the 1946 year book. Sorry I don't remember his name (the dog). Last year, someone reported in the alumni news that the first mascot had been acquired in 1949. I would have corrected this sooner but could not remember where to address the correction.
I think the class of 1946 or 1947 was the only class to finish on the trimester program. We started in June of 1943 and had only a week off at Christmas each year. They did allow us Thanksgiving day off. We went three full semesters a year of four months each. Most of us carried 17 to 21 hours. You did not have a lot of time to loaf or smooch. None of the classrooms were air conditioned. We used electric fans mounted on the wall by the window. There is nothing like a chemistry lab in summer with the windows shut and all bunsen burners going full tilt.
Also of interest was that the girls could not wear slacks; and if they played tennis in shorts, they had to wear a skirt to and from the dorm.
I taught in Thibodaux for 1.5 years before I went into the service. I served in the Chemical Corps and then went to work for N Corporation. I spent 36 years working in solid propellants and pyrotechnics research.
Hope that some of this is of use.
John A. Miller
Leon C. Moncla - Business Education, 1950
Leon C. Moncla, Sr.
1950, BS Degree in Business Education
I would like to begin with my enrollment in the United States Navy in which I served for four years. I enrolled in 1942 and was honorably discharged in 1946. During my time in the Navy, I participated in the European Theater and South Pacific wars. After I was discharged, I attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Beginning with the faculty, some of the teachers that I would consider as my favorites were Dr. Malison and Dr. William Phillips; in the Business Education classes there were Hilda Erath, Mrs. Edith Nugent and George Rader. In 1946, I was a member of the first class of C (Reserved Officer Training Corps) when it was organized on the SLI campus. As a veteran, I was enrolled into C as a Second Lieutenant because of my past military service. While attending school, I lived in Vet Village, which was a housing complex for World War II veterans. I was also a member of the Deserters Club. This club consisted of members who left fraternities to be independent. Our team won 90 of all athletic activities in a two year period. At the present time, I can remember only one outstanding player, who was Spots Porter from New Orleans.
After graduation, my first job was teaching at Cathedral High School. I taught Business Education and lower elementary classes. I also coached basketball, football, baseball, and boxing. After five years of teaching, I accepted a higher paying position as secretary to J.C. Landry, who was Lafayette Parish School Superintendent. This position paid $666.00 monthly. I served in this position for two years.I then started a private business in insurance and real estate, which I have owned for the past forty-five years.
I am a proud parent of three sons and two daughters who are all graduates of the University of Southwestern Louisiana. As of today, I have two grandsons who are scheduled to graduate in the year 2000.
CIVIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND AWARDS
- 1976 Civic Cup Award
- 1969 USL Basketball "Best Friend" Award
- 1980 Chamber of Commerce Award
- 1981 Distinguished Service Award
- 1982 Outstanding Alumnus Award
- 1983 Acadiana Volunteer Activist Award
- 1993 Sertoma Award - Service to Mankind
SOCIAL AND FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Chamber of Commerce - Chairman of Presidents Club, Member of Membership Committee, Member of Sports Committee, Board of Directors
- Optimist Club - Past President (1957)
- Acadiana Home Builders - Program Chairman, Board of Directors
- Lafayette Playground & Parks Commission - Chairman (1981)
- Lafayette Parish Insurance Exchange - Member
- United Givers Fund - Board of Directors
- Fine Arts Foundation - Member
- Acadiana Opera Society - Member
- Boys Club - Board of Directors
- Lafayette Young Mens Business Club- Past Vice President
- American Legion - Past Jr. Vice President
- Veterans of Foreign War - Member
- USL BAM Club - Past President (1969)
- Lafayette Municipal Auditorium - Member of Original Executive, Committee for development of Municipal Auditorium
- Lafayette Life Underwriters Association - Past Vice President
- Lafayette Midget Football
- Southwest Louisiana High School Football Association - Past President
- City Softball Team - Past Head Coach of team to attend World Championship in New York
- National Association of Home Builders - Member
- Lafayette Board of Realtors - Member
- National Association of Realtors - Member
Richard A. Musemeche - Industrial Arts Education, 1954
Richard A. Musemeche
1954 - Industrial Arts Education
I have so many fond memories of Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI in those days). I was there when the new student union was approved and built near Cypress Lake! How well I remember the rich and tasty ice cream bars served in the dining hall and made at the dairy by the agriculture department.
Paul Van Horn, professor in industrial arts, was tops in my book in all the classes he taught. I recall Mr. Van Horn telling some auto mechanic shop students to watch for a Studebaker that was donated and that would be coming into the shop. He told them to hoist it up and dismantle the car. Unbeknown to these students, Mr. Van Horn had a Studebaker which they erroneously hoisted up and bent the top!! Needless to say, Mr. Van Horn had a new car shortly thereafter.
SLI was small enough that you knew virtually all the students if not by name at least by face. So many lifetime friendships were molded during my stay at SLI. Little did I know that I would later in life be on the faculty at USL as an Assistant Professor of Education. Although I was on board for only one year, it was a most enjoyable time in my life.
Hurrah for the Bulldogs that are now Ragin' Cajuns!!!
Richard A. Musemeche
Class of '54
Frederick B. Nelson - Health and Physcial Education Faculty, 1962 - 1999
Frederick "Erik" B. Nelson
Health & Physical Education Faculty Member 1962 - 1999
I moved to Lafayette in the summer of 1961 to market several oil field patents which were eventually placed with established companies to market. I then decided to pursue my Doctorate degree at LSU where I met Louis Bowers. He offered materials that I could use in courses that I would have to take. I went to his USL office to pick up this material, and he introduced me to Dr. Fred Brown who was the H&PE Department Head. Dr. Brown and I chatted for about 20 minutes about life, my past and his. Two weeks later (out of the blue), he called and asked if I'd like to take a teaching position with the H&PE Department. I accepted;that was 1962.
Since that time, many wonderful people have come into my life. Ed Dugas became a lasting and best friend. Close and lasting friendships were also made with Clyde Wolf, Marty Bourg, Dr. Clyde Rougeau (President of USL), and Dr. Fred Brown. I associate many enjoyable and lasting memories with all four of these fine individuals. Unfortunately, Marty and Clyde Rougeau passed away several years ago.
Spring of 1999 will be the semester in which I plan to retire from full-time teaching at USL. I still plan to teach wilderness adventure training as an adjunct teacher.
I "created" the Weights and Conditioning program and class at USL, which has been most successful. It was patterned after the program of my alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, where I received both my B.S. and Masters Degrees. While at USL, I invented the "Nelson Reaction Timer", "The Nelson Gravity Meter", "The Nelson Best Fishing and Hunting Calculator", and "The Nelson Sun Cylinder" (My most unusual and scientific accomplishment). Additionally, I wrote a great deal of poetry during my years at USL. Some of my poetic works are "A Life Complete", "The Cajuns", "Acadiana", and "Louisiana" which was accepted by the State Tourist Commission and displayed on a wooden plaque at all of the "Welcome Centers" of the state. Book marks with the poem were also widely distributed by the Department of Tourism.
In conclusion, I can say with all honesty say that I've enjoyed every year and day here at USL, never dreading going to work, only looking forward to each day. My greatest hope is that I have influenced some of my students in a positive way. Thank you, USL, for a wonderful part of my life.
Fred "Erik" B. Nelson
Thomas A. Nevitt - Faculty Member, Industrial Arts Education Departmental History
THOMAS A. NEVITT
INDUSTRIAL ARTS - 1956
Some of these comments of the early days of the Industrial Arts Department may stand correcting as they represent events that were related to me. The Department of Industrial Arts had its beginning in 1945 when Ralph W.E. Bowers persuaded Dean Maxim Doucet to initiate the department. Supervised by the State Department of Education, Ralph Bowers had been an itinerant teacher hired to teach Trade School teachers courses which were required under the Smith-Hughes Act. This program allowed trade-skilled persons could teach without a college degree if they enrolled in teaching methods courses.
Industrial art courses were originally taught in the agriculture laboratory. The shop classroom of Professor Dugas in Parker Hall was shared with Professor Bowers (I was told shortly after arriving in Lafayette). Professor Bowers hired Paul Van Horn in 1947 to assist him in teaching courses. Paul Van Horn was teaching in the Tulsa, OK, school system. Van Horn was a distant relative of Mr. Bower, who knew about Van Horn's qualifications. In 1948, the third teacher hired was Ennis Rush, who had been teaching in the New Orleans school system. Mr. Bowers secured much of the teaching equipment from war surplus; however, some new equipment and tools were added over the years. Shortly after the end of WW II, Bowers was scouring the State Surplus Items for tools to be used in the department; eventually, he secured a surplus building which had been used for Army Tank Maintenance during the war. The first graduate of the department was Charles Bernard who, after graduation, taught industrial arts teachers in St. Martin Parish as one of the first industrial arts programs in the Acadiana area; later, he became the fourth member of the department.
Charles Bernard taught elementary school students in the Hamilton Laboratory school where he supervised student teaching for industrial arts majors. Prof. Bowers had initiated a course for elementary education majors, which also was taught by Ennis Rush. Mr. Bernard also taught the course for elementary education majors and developed it into a very important course, as it enabled elementary teachers to introduce hands-on experiences when they taught in the various schools. He used the Hamilton School laboratory, a temporary building adjacent to the main building. Unfortunately, some years later, the College of Education Elementary Education advisors cut this course from elementary education majors when that curriculum was reorganized. Professors in education have little understanding of the merits of industrial arts or similar courses; their education usually includes little mention on the merits of hands-on experiences. Industrial arts or similar types of education of educators are taught that learning takes place through concrete experiences as well as abstract experiences. Academic educators have always emphasized abstract learning; thus, they have little understanding of industrial arts education. Consequently, in reorganization of any education curriculum, this course is one of the first to be eliminated.
About three years after I was hired, Mr. Van Horn succeeded the ailing Mr. Bowers as head of the Department of Industrial Arts. Peter LeBlanc was teaching in St. Martin Parish when he was hired as a result of an expansion of the department and a reduction of the duties of Professor Van Horn as department head. Peter LeBlanc resigned after a year, and Richard Bonnette, a graduate of SLI Industrial Arts, was hired. When Ralph Bowers retired, Paul Van Horn hired Robert Peacock, a teacher from California, to teach the metals area. He stayed several years before resigning to return to California. About this time, I became department head and hired Michael Patin from St. Martin Parish to teach metal technology; later, Roland Jenkins, from Lafayette Parish, to teach the electronics area; and James Comeaux to teach in the woodworking area when Mr. Rush retired. When Mr.Van Horn retired, I hired Joseph Pons to teach automobile technology, and Thomas Landry to teach engineering drawing and industrial arts for elementary teachers. Dr. Jenkins hired Gabriel Spreyer to teach metals courses when Mike Patin left. I had recommended that all faculty work toward a doctorate, but only Roland Jenkins completed the doctoral program. He received his terminal degree from the University of Arkansas.
At the urging of the Louisiana Newspaper Association members courses in printing were added in 1955. The first teacher in the program was Charles Thomas, a graduate of Stout Institute which was a highly regarded school for educating industrial arts teachers. Mr. Thomas, however, resigned at the end of his first year, saying he did not like the climate. I was the second teacher of printing. During the time, I was teaching at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN, I was at a national printing teachers meeting when a teacher from Arizona told me that he had turned down a position in Louisiana. I wrote to see if the position had been filled; it had, however, the next year I was offered the position and accepted. When I arrived, the printing laboratory was not equipped for teaching printing experiences of the 1950's. Mr. Bowers had relied on the experiences of some country weekly publishers for recommendations to equip the printing shop. The most worthwhile item was the Linotype. Other pieces of equipment included a proofpress, much handset type, a hand-fed 24x36 flat-bed letterpress which was similar to the one that I had operated in 1939-40 in a technical high school printshop. I was confronted with the dilemma that faced the first teacher hired: either find some way to furnish the shop with modern equipment or resign.
I had graduated from a vocational-technical high school, and later taught there, where four printing teachers collaborated to do production printing for the public school system. After completing my apprenticeship in the composing room of the Louisville Courier-Journal, I matriculated to the University of Kentucky. While attending the university I worked in the printshop as a Linotype operator. I graduated with distinction in the production administration curriculum in the college of commerce. While teaching in the Louisville, KY public school system, I was able to attend night school at the Indiana University. In the summers, I attended classes on the campus at Bloomington and earned a masters degree in Education with a major in administration and a minor in vocational education. As soon as I received my MS degree, I was employed at Indiana State Teachers College at Terre Haute. I had the dual title of assistant professor and director of printing at Indiana State where we did production printing in addition to teaching classes. With this previous teaching experience, I decided to pursue production printing to earn equipment for the shop rather than to resign. I transferred to SLI from Indiana State as he liked what I had taught during his first year there. (After he graduated from SLI, I suggested to Lester Goldman that he should work toward an advanced degree. He obtained a doctorate from the University of Florida and was later dean of a community college.) With his help as a student aid, some printing production was started in addition to my teaching the printing classes. Thus, I taught a full load of classes and did production printing while not in class. Over the first several years, numerous student aids (after taking courses in printing) assisted in production. Some majors in other disciplines worked as student aids to do labor which did not require skill.
We printed letterheads, envelopes, and similar types of business printing, including the schedule of classes on the newspaper press. SLI purchased a large folding machine in order to fold the pages, which were printed directly from type set on the Linotype. Also purchased was an automatic letterpress called the Heidelberg, which was used to number forms, etc. We did not do the material that is classified today as copying; that was done in Martin Hall on mimeograph machines, which was the only printing done on campus before my arrival. When I obtained a sabbatical to complete my doctorate course work, one of the students, Thomas Quoyeser, who had worked as a student aid and graduated with an industrial arts major, carried on the printing production with other student aid help. However, Thomas Quoyeser was not hired to assist me when I returned.
When Mr. Van Horn wanted the original printing area as a classroom and with the need for expansion of the printing production, the printshop was moved into another surplus I building which had previously housed some engineering laboratories. The Athletic offices were on the second floor, and the printshop occupied the first floor. Shortly thereafter, about 1962, a production worker was hired when Senator Williams of Crowley said he would secure funds for a worker if George Hoffman of Crowley were hired. We started to train "Boonie" Hoffman in offset printing, as his previous experience was in letterpress printing. Later, Glen Laurent of Rayne was hired to do some of the letterpress on the Heidelberg. Dan Tribe and Raymond Landry were at the Progress Print Shop when the newspaper press that was used to print the Vermilion broke down. The two of them would bring the lead forms set on the Linotypes in the trunk of Dan's automobile to print the Vermilion.
The Progress Print Shop was a subsidiary of the Daily Advertiser at that time. The SLI printshop had continued to do some work, including the schedule of classes, on the newspaper letterpress press which was part of the original equipment. A decision was made to hire Dan Tribe in January of 1967 and Raymond Landry in September 1967 to print the newspaper among other jobs. They, too, had been letterpress printers, and I set about to train them in the newer offset processes. Gerald Tribe was hired as a Linotype operator in January of 1968. Raymond Landry also started the first quick duplicating part of the printing when that process was needed. Shortly thereafter, the mimeographing area in Martin Hall was closed, and the workers sent to the printshop to be trained to help with quick duplicating. An AB Dick offset press and a large 20x25, a Heidelberg, offset printing press were purchased, which enabled the printshop to do longer run and more precision jobs. This progression had taken some twelve years.
With the help of Alton Broussard, who was teaching journalism, a 17x22 rollfed press was purchased to run the Vermilion. An automatic folder-collator was added to put together several pages, some sixteen pages in total. The Athletic offices were moved, and the printshop occupied the second floor. Here was located the first computerized typesetting which Gerald Tribe operated as the Linotype became less a factor in type composition.
In 1974 an unfortunate fire just about destroyed all that we had worked so hard to accomplish. We did not know it then, as we had no idea how the fire was started, but I speculate now that a faulty fluorescent light ballast had smoldered against the cellotex ceiling and ignited the pine flooring on the second floor over a period of hours.
Cellotex is treated paper-based, and the flourescent light was nailed flush against the ceiling. I left the building on Holy Saturday about 4 P.M. and was awakened about 12:00 midnight to be told that the printshop was on fire. After being out of activity for about a year, the printshop was relocated in 1976 to its present metal building on Coliseum Road.. Some new equipment was added from the insurance payment, including an advanced computer typesetting system and a larger production type camera; however, we no longer printed the school newspaper.
A few years later I retired and returned as a visitor to see, regretfully, the elimination of the printing courses and then the elimination of the industrial arts part of the education process. The Engineering College took over the technology students, and this increased their enrollment by a great number. Before I retired, with all of the very qualified teachers, the department evolved into the Department of Industrial Education and Technology. The department was recognized throughout Louisiana as one of the best, if not the best, departments for teaching industrial arts students as well as offering courses for vocational technical teachers for the Acadiana Area and for technology education for many students who entered industry. A body of knowledge exists which is called industrial technology. This type of education calls for college level teachers to be trained, not unlike any other teachers, and exists in the elementary school and in college. This type of education will prevent the impossible task of telling students in the twelfth grade that they must work and earn a living. This body of knowledge has its beginning in the elementary school and progresses to college level courses, but industrial technology is not the same as engineering technology.
A student should begin the industrial technology curriculum when he enters college. Thus, the dominant part of education printing courses and industrial arts of the wonderful students with whom the industrial arts faculty and I had been privileged to work and all that I had worked for over twenty-five years were for all intents and purposes gone. It is ironic that the printing processes that I had updated at Indiana State have enabled Indianapolis printing industry to hire many of that school's graduates, and that was what I had hoped to accomplish at USL for Louisiana. The help that the Louisiana Newspaper Publishers Association had promised never materialized. An effort by Mr. Fletcher and Dean Riehl to expand USL industrial arts education among other courses to the former Navy facilities at New Iberia would have been helpful, but the expansion fell through. The old Sears building now the Lafayette Parish building at one time was sought out for improved facilities. To the credit of Dr. Ray Authement the original intention of the now Louisiana Technical College was to have a working relation with that school. If that attempt had been successful, the community college concept would have been implemented 25 years ago. Many of these attempts at increasing practical arts education were thwarted by petty politics on the campus and at the State level. These thoughts and recollections are sometimes distorted as untrained workers, but I train my workers to various degrees determined by how long they stay in our employment. We are not as well equipped as the USL printshop, but we do all types of business printing, newsletters, booklets, and perfect bound books (soft cover) among other types of printing. If you need printing, stop by or just come by to say hello. We continue to be a source of knowledge as we get inquiries daily about some printing problems or printing terms that people do not understand.
Marilynn Mason Noel - Elementary Education, 1973
MariLynn ( Lynn ) Mason Noel
When I think of Lafayette and the University, I am grateful that I had the experience of living and learning in that part of the country. There is no place as special as Cajun-land and no people as special as those that live there. Not only did I receive an excellent preparation for teaching, but I was also exposed to a culture rich in history, tradition and appropriate values. I remember fondly meeting people from all over the country who grew to appreciate the uniqueness of southern Louisiana. Just the other night I was describing the experience of going to a little honky-tonk type place in a small town somewhere outside of Lafayette. There we ate the food and fais-dos-dosed to Cajun music. We loved and appreciated the food and the music before they became the global rage. And whenever I travel out of the country, people are interested in the country music here in Nashville and the Cajun experiences of my earlier life.
I have taught now for twenty years, sixteen of which have been in a private independent school across the street from Vanderbilt University and what used to be Peabody College. I am here because of Dr. Robinette and his wife, who were instrumental in encouraging me to go to graduate school. Not many days can go by when I don't think of their influence. The longer I teach, the more I realize how well prepared I was because of the program at USL, not only from the methodological and philosophical standpoint, but also because the atmosphere of open-mindedness at USL prepared me to work with students from all over the world.
When I think of USL, I remember Homecoming floats and Tri-Delta friends, Piccadilly Cafeteria, the alligator in the swamp and the Christmas tree lights in the swamp. Then there was bowling with Flossie in the student center for twenty-five cents a game and rolling gutter ball after gutter ball until tears were rolling down our cheeks. I remember Bo Lamar and cheering for a winning team in basketball and football games that I never watched because I was too busy partying with my friends. I think fondly of the nice people who owned and worked at THE KEG!!! I remember professors that were remarkably interested in students even though the classes were large. I remember pulling "all-nighters" in order to allocate the proper number of studying hours in relationship to the proper number of hours spent partying.
I think we got it down to a science.
There is one memory that is especially meaningful. I had the privilege of being an SAE little sister. One year they were broke and probably on probation for something or another. No telling! Anyway, they could not afford to pay someone to clean the house, so we volunteered to clean it for them with the help of the pledges. T was an experience...it gave a whole new meaning to the word E!!! Everything in the house was at least grimey, and we probably could have worked for weeks on it. After we cleaned to the best of our abilities, we made the food by hand for the Homecoming party. We made hundreds of sandwiches and trimmed every crust off of every piece of bread. It took hours and hours. It was a lot of work, but mostly we had a ton of fun. The party, of course, was great.
The significant part of the story was that the guys did not have enough money to honor us with gifts at the formal that year. This fact escaped us because we did not know what the traditions were. So, you can imagine our surprise the next year when, after they announced the new little sisters, the fraternity made a special announcement honoring the little sisters from the previous year who had done all of that extra work. It was a complete and very special surprise. They gave us beautiful bouquets of violets. I'll never forget it!
Elizabeth Roberts Norwood - Speech Education, 1956
Elizabeth (Beth) Roberts Norwood
I am contributing my memories of an outstanding professor who was chairman of the Speech Department and Debate Coach at L for decades. That jolly professor with a twinkle in his Irish eyes was Roy Murphy, affectionately known to all of us as "Prof." For the four years that I focused on my BA in Speech, Prof served as my advisor, debate coach and "trusted substitute Dad." We also traveled extensively with other SLI debaters to tournaments in many cities and states.
We all knew we couldn't "sneak out" at night on these debate trips, as Prof called our rooms every evening to make certain we were all in our rooms and retiring early. We especially enjoyed Prof's great endurance of out practical jokes. When we took public bus transportation or passed the cashier at a restaurant, every one of us in turn would say "Daddy is paying. He will be here shortly." After hearing these words repeated by sometimes as many as 10 or 12 of us, a red-faced but grinning Prof Murphy would step up to pick up the tab. We knew he was enjoying every minute of our "naughty behavior!"
Roy Murphy coached winning SLI debate teams for years, and he was respected nationwide for his expertise. I was fortunate enough to be one of four debaters to be taken by Prof Murphy to participate in the national Pi Kappa Delta debate tournament in Redlands, CA. The other three debaters who were on the Southern Pacific journey across the country with Prof were Bea Yeabeck, Nathan Stansbury, and Carl Cavanaugh. Needless to say, it was a fantastic experience for all of us! We played Hearts on the train across the country.
I must relate one unforgettable experience that occurred during this journey to California. We visited the Grand Canyon on the way home--just a small jaunt off our path! However, on the way back from the Canyon, we had to make connections in a very old railroad station in Williams, Arizona--in the middle of the night! Guess who said, "Each of you take a bench--sleep, and I will stay awake and wait for the train." He did, and he awakened each of us to continue our journey home.
Have you any doubt now why I contributed to the book of memories experiences with "my favorite mentor"? Prof Roy Murphy--now deceased. But I know his spirit lives on in all of us today. I am privileged to have known him and to have experienced his guidance.
--Elizabeth (Beth) Roberts Norwood
Dianne Fuselier Olivier - Health & Physical Education, 1973; M. Ed., 1975; Ed. S., 1980
Dianne Louise Fuselier Olivier
Bachelor of Science........1973
- Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
Masters of Education......1975
- Secondary Education, Minor in Health and Physical Education
- Educational Administration, Minor in Psychology
Fellow USL Graduates,
As a former student of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, it is enjoyable to recall many of the fond memories from my time as a USL student. I can recall entering USL in the Summer Semester of 1969, immediately after my graduation in May of 1969 from Breaux Bridge High School. I knew from day one that I wanted to be a teacher. Of course, graduating in 1969 from a small community and having attended a Catholic school from grades K-9, my choice of careers was viewed as very limited. The only careers I remember as options included being a teacher, a nurse, a secretary (non-degree), a nun (Catholic school upbringing), or getting married. The choice seemed quite obvious at the time. In hindsight, I wonder why no one mentioned to us as young ladies, the possibility of degrees in medicine (other than a nurse), engineering, law, business, etc. Thank goodness times have changed.
I eagerly pursued my education degree at USL by carrying a full load and attending every summer session (there was only one session per summer at that time). While I was an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work as a student aid in the Office of Admissions. I worked in the Admissions Office the entire time that I attended as an undergraduate. This opportunity allowed me to grow as a student and a worker. I worked with Mrs. Wava Hoffpauir, who took me under her wings and not only taught me office skills, but also instilled within me pride and self-confidence in my work. One of the secretaries that I came to know and respect was Sherry Young, currently President Authement's secretary. Even back then as an undergrad, I recognized that Sherry was someone with talent. Since this office was one of the main offices visited by students coming into the University, we were always instructed to dress in a professional manner. It was not until my last year, that our boss allowed us to begin wearing "pants-suits" into the office, on the condition that the top was long enough to cover the rear area! My, how times have changed.
As an undergraduate, I was able to experience several avenues as a student: I commuted, like many students, during my first year; I lived in one of the "new" dorms, "Bancroft", during my second year; and I experienced apartment living in my third and final years at USL. There were definitely pros and cons to each living style. However, living on or near campus allowed me to be involved in many school functions: attending every football game at McNaspy Stadium and every basketball game (Bo Lamar days). I spent many evenings with the Physical Education Majors Club, with cohorts in the Delta Psi Kappa honorary organization, and many nights practicing gymnastic routines for Dr. Byrdie Eason at the Women's Gym. Those evenings were indeed fun!
By attending summer sessions, I was able to complete school at the end of the summer session of 1972 and begin my teaching career in August of 1972. Back then, USL had only one graduation per year--in the Spring. Although I finished in August of 1972, I did not attend graduation ceremonies until May of 1973. I always feel a little perplexed when stating when I graduated--1972 or 1973? Technically, I graduated after I completed my first year of teaching. I am grateful that current students are allowed to graduate upon completion of their curriculum.
I returned to USL in the Fall of 1973 to pursue my Masters of Education and completed this degree in May of 1975. This time was busy with both school at USL and teaching. However, since I've always loved learning as a student, I decided to return again to USL and completed my Educational Specialist Degree in May 1980 in Educational Administration and Psychology. During my last semester, Spring of 1980, I completed my degree while on sabbatical leave from teaching and received a graduate assistantship at USL. My assistantship allowed me to work for the semester in the office of High School Relations, under the direction of Dean Allen St. Martin. This semester of administrative experience confirmed my desire to pursue opportunities in school administration. The semester in the High School Relations office provided me with travel to high schools and an opportunity to tell students about all of the advantages of attending USL. I enjoyed doing this task because it was second nature for me to talk about USL.
Upon completing my Specialist degree in Educational Administration, I was offered an opportunity to put these skills into practice. In 1980, I received my first supervisory staff position with St. Martin Parish School Board, after having been a teacher with the system for eight years. I am currently in my eighteenth year as a Central Office Staff member and currently serve in the capacity as Director of Curriculum and Instruction. I am also currently a student again and nearing completion of my Ph.D. degree from LSU in Educational Administration, with a minor in Psychology. I indeed believe that my previous degrees at USL afforded me the avenue to continue my work as a student. I am certain that many of the encouraging comments that I received from professors at USL instilled within me the belief that I could continue to pursue my quest for learning. I will be forever grateful to these Professors at USL who sparked my continued interest in learning, including some of my most encouraging: Dr. Ed Dugas, Dr. Clayton Arceneaux, Dr. Leon Beasley, Dr. Frances Zink, Dr. Stephen Hotard during my graduate days; during my undergraduate days with Dr. Byrdie Eason, Ms. Edwina Testerman, and Dr. Ed Dugas (Ed gave me encouragement through all of my degrees and still encourages me today).
My oldest son, Cy, graduated from USL in May 1998 in Business Administration, while my second and youngest son, Craig, will be entering USL in the Fall 1999. I am very grateful and pleased to see our family tradition of attending USL is continuing with my sons. I have and plan to continue to share with them the many fond memories that USL has given to me.
Dianne L. F. Olivier
George David Parish - Music Education, 1959
George David Parish
MUSIC EDUCATION, 1959
I began my study at USL (then, of course, SLI) in the Fall of 1954 as a major in music education. I was, of course, "starry-eyed" in the extreme. Very quickly, however, I realized that this was indeed the place for me. In that first year, I studied tuba with Professor Robert Gilmore, voice with Professor Willis Ducrest, and theory with Kilford Neely. Subsequently, I studied tuba with Professor John Guilfry, and in the second or third year, I entered the Music History classes of Professor George Brown. These classes are what I can only call, incorrectly, I guess, an "epiphany". I was made to realize for perhaps the first time that my usual casual attitude toward my work was no longer acceptable. Mr. Brown never particularly gave us the idea that we were mental giants, but we were absolutely expected to produce our very best work; nothing else was acceptable under any circumstances whatever. A "defining moment", as we would say in these post-Modern times! The impact of his courses still inform my own work; indeed, when a question arises about the possibility of compromise on quality, the figure of Professor Brown arises like a strict, if benign, spirit.
After leaving USL, I taught for only one semester as a junior high band director at Houma Junior High and Houma Elementary. I then entered the Army as a military musician for three years.
Afterwards, I returned to USL for one year of graduate study mostly with Professor Brown, but also with Professors Reynolds and Turner. This year was marked most profoundly however, by meeting a young undergraduate (E N N, H, 1964) who subsequently became my wife.
I realized that I could not get fully the training I needed at USL as it was then; so, I entered graduate school, first at a small college in South Carolina (E E, MM, 1965) and finally the University of Michigan where I received a Ph.D. in musicology in 1970.
After that, I took a position at Radford University in 1970 (then Radford College) where I remained for the last nearly thirty years, and where I am now Professor of Music with special interest in the history and theory of music.
I am more aware every day of how much of what I am today was formed during those years at USL.
Jimmie Lynn Brownson Parish - English, 1964
Jimmie Lynn Brownson Parish
B.A., May 31, 1964
I had wonderful times at USL! I began in the fall of 1960. An early memory was the kind hospitality of the President and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. Joel Fletcher. They lived on campus and hosted an outdoor reception in their garden for all incoming freshmen. During the four years I was there, I saw them on campus many times. The school was small, and that gave students a chance to know the faculty. I could not have asked for a better education and feel I was well prepared for the job market and later for graduate work. Particular teachers I remember with gratitude are Dr. Katherine Findley, Dr. Paul Nolan and Mr. John Bennett of the English Department and Dr. Poe of the Speech and Theater Department.
Agnes Roth was Dean of Women. I lived in Buchanan Hall (women only) and had a housemother, Louise Blanchard. At that time, female students were not allowed to wear slacks on campus - only dresses or skirts. (How times have changed!). My roommate and I lived across from the gym, and when we had gym class, we had to wear a coat over our gym shorts to cross to the gym.
Following graduation, I married George D. Parish, a '59 graduate. We have lived in Radford, VA since 1970, where George teaches music at Radford University. We have two children, Mary Lerch, (30) who lives in Dallas, and David (27), living in Hammond.
I completed a masters degree in Philosophy at Radford University, and I have been a licensed professional counselor in private practice for the past five years. I also teach as an instructor in Psychology at Radford University.
"Hello" and best wishes to old university friends from whom I would love to hear.
Jeanette Parker - M.A., Elementary Education, 1971
1971 - M.A. - Elementary Education
I am Jeanette Parker, Professor and Director of the Center for Gifted Education at USL. I first attended USL in 1967, when I began working toward certification in elementary education. I later returned to USL as a graduate student, receiving my M.A. degree in Elementary Education in 1971, and later certification in Guidance and Counseling and Supervision of Student Teachers.
Although I attended USL as a part-time graduate student, I have memories that stand out in my mind from this period of my education. My earliest memory was the unhappy discovery that I would be required to complete all requirements for the Elementary Education degree, even though I had already completed a baccalaureate degree. (The fairly recent institution of the "alternate certification" option has eliminated this requirement, making it much easier for students with content-area degrees to become certified.) I also recall that, after ten years as an administrator of a local private school, I was distressed to learn that I would be required to do full-time student teaching. Fortunately, this story had a happy ending, as my outstanding supervising teacher made this initially unwelcome experience a most valuable one. The only other negative memory that remains in my mind is standing in line for registration. I laugh as I recall talking with Dr. Ed Dugas (at that time Director of Graduate Studies in Education) after a lengthy stay in line, and saying to him, "You know, Dr. Dugas, if I had met you under other circumstances, I think I might actually like you!" Good-natured as he was, he took my somewhat left-handed compliment in the spirit in which it was intended.
A number of things have changed since I first attended USL over 30 years ago. In addition to opportunities for alternate certification and more streamlined procedures for registration (who would ever have guessed in those days that students would register by telephone?), numerous changes have been made in the College of Education. Many of these changes have been driven by state certification. When I began my work at USL, a student selected either Lower Elementary or Upper Elementary Education. These divisions have changed numerous times over the years--from Lower/Upper to 1-8, back to Lower/Upper, and again back to 1-8. No doubt these changes will continue! At that time, the Science and Math methods were combined into one class, as were Social Studies and Language Arts. There was only one Reading class, and gifted education (my current field) was only one chapter in the general Special Education text. And, of course, computer education did not exist (as common folk such as teachers had no access to computers, one of which would occupy a very large room).
But I suppose the memories that are foremost in my mind are the people with whom I worked. I have already mentioned Dr. Ed Dugas, who served as Graduate Coordinator for some time. I have fond memories of Mrs. Gladys Robinette, who did an outstanding job of teaching social studies methods and chaired my thesis committee for my masters degree; and Mrs. Louise Mitchell, who gently and respectfully shepherded me through student teaching. In my Research class, Dr. Robert Blackmon worked us like slaves, but the writing of a "baby thesis" really taught us how to "do" research. I also remember Mrs. Maude Buckingham, who taught remedial reading; Joan Kane, who taught the general special education course and later became a colleague; Dr. Bud Ducharme who was Dean of Education when I joined the USL faculty; Dr. Charles Faulk who taught science methods; and Dr. Art Franklin who did an outstanding job of teaching measurement and evaluation. From the content courses that I was required to take, one name stands out: Dr. Vernon Behrhorst, who made the Geography of Louisiana (a course I dreaded to take) fascinating. And last, but far from least, I have vivid and very fond memories of Dr. Leon Beasley. Dr. Beasley presented his students with a unique "amalgam" of subject matter knowledge, dry wit, and demanding assignments. When I joined the USL faculty in 1979, Leon was my first department head. In this capacity, he was flexible, compassionate, and always a friend.
When I began this letter, I wondered how I would find two pages to write. Now, I find that I may have told more than one would want to know. These are the memories that most readily come to mind when I think of my days as a USL student; I hope that my sharing will help others to remember their good times from the past.
Donna Dugas Pearson - Liberal Arts, 1985; Education student, Spring 1992
Donna Dugas Pearson
College of Education, Spring 1992
College of Arts, Humanities, and Behavioral Sciences B.A. 1985
Dear Dr. Dugas:
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in December 1985. Never, in my wildest of dreams, did I think about returning to Lafayette, Louisiana to live. Especially not to go back to school which is exactly what I ended up doing! After having lived in the Northeastern United States since graduation, I made the decision in the Spring 1992 to return to my alma mater and pursue my goal of becoming a teacher.
After having been separated from the nurturing arms of Lafayette, I felt that the University of Southwestern Louisiana seemed like both a natural and logical choice for me after all, I practically grew up on this campus. Actually, I did grow up on this campus. You see, my father, Dr. Edmond Dugas, was a graduate assistant in the Department of Health and Physical Education in 1963, the year I was born. In fact, my parents lived in "Vet Village" on the USL campus when I was a baby. After my father attained his masters degree, he continued to teach at the University, and he and my mother, Marilyn, watched their family grow. As our family grew (5 children, four USL alums), it was necessary for my father to share in his parenting role, which meant my brother Paul and I used to join him at Earl K. Long for anything from tennis, to badminton, to basketball. It was also common for us to help a secretary with some filing, run errands on campus, and get into some trouble, especially when my sister Lesley accompanied us.
My father continued his education while teaching full time at the University, and he received his Ed.D. from Louisiana State University. He moved through the ranks in the Department of Health and Physical Education, becoming department chair in 1975. So, we obviously grew up in a family where education was valued a precious commodity! We all knew we would go to college, and my parents decided that USL was where we would go. I assured my parents that the only way I would attend USL (I argued that it was like a great big high school to me too familiar I wanted something new and exciting) was if they allowed me to live in a dorm. They agreed, and I moved on campus in the summer of 1981. The institutional blue walls and vending machines weren't very "homey," but I was convinced that I had made the right decision how else would I become independent and self-sufficient unless I could live on my own (with the financial assistance of my parents, of course).
Dorm life proved most interesting and exciting, as a great number of my dormmates were from the distant mecca of New Orleans. These girls were loud, flamboyant, and so much fun! I made instant friends for life, as there were dorm parties, mini-excursions to the French Quarters and Florida, and late-night cram sessions where pizza and Tab were consumed at dangerous levels. Much to my parents' surprise (and my own), I did graduate in four years. I did not set the academic world on fire, but I did graduate with a decent average which enabled me to get a job at one of the world's largest advertising agencies in New York City... all this on my first day in town.
After having worked in advertising and for a trade association, I came to the realization that while these jobs were exciting, I did not feel quite fulfilled at the end of the day. Was I really making a difference in someone's life? When I was growing up, people would ask me if I were going to be a teacher like my dad. I always responded the same way--(vehemently) "NO!" Evidently, growing up in this type of a household had an impact upon me and the rest of my siblings: Three out of five of us are now teachers, and John is studying to become one. My brother Paul chose a different profession and is a practicing attorney in Lafayette.
After a great deal of soul-searching, I did make the decision to return to school to pursue my teaching certification and a masters degree in education. While I did not attain this at USL, (I graduated from the Holmes Program at Louisiana State University) I did take course work necessary in the College of Education at USL to qualify me for this rigorous program.
My journey in life began at USL and in a strange way, it has always been a place I can go back to, a place where I can feel as if I belong no matter what a place just like home! Presently, I live out of state, in Overland Park, Kansas. I am married to Dale Pearson, who is the entrepreneur in the family. Dale publishes a local real estate magazine in the Kansas City metro area and also does market research in publishing. I am in my 5th year of teaching at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas where I teach World Geography. We are expecting our first child this July. It is with great pride that I send this letter. I feel that USL helped to mold who I am today. The University had a major positive impact on me and my entire family. We owe the school a tremendous debt of gratitude.
Donna Dugas Pearson
Cecil J. Picard - Upper Elementary Education, May 1959
Cecil J. Picard
Graduated May, 1959
Major: Upper Elementary Education
Dear Dr. Dugas:
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to USL's College of Education Book of Letters. I am honored to be included in this commemoration of the College's Academic Showcase.
It was only natural for me to enroll in Southwestern Louisiana Institute after graduating from high school in 1955. The campus was only fifteen miles from my home in Maurice, and I knew that I would return to Vermilion Parish after completing my degree. Despite the fact that my father was a principal, I did not enter SLI with the intention of becoming an educator; however, it was apparent after a few classes that I would naturally gravitate toward teaching. I was offered a job at LeBlanc Elementary School in Erath. After I received my upper elementary education degree in 1959, I spent the next twenty-one years as a teacher, coach and principal in Vermilion Parish Schools.
My world was defined by the Acadiana area around Lafayette and a regional college, such as SLI, equipped me with all of the knowledge, skills, and education necessary to succeed against my competition. SLI also provided me with a foundation upon which to grow as my universe expanded and my competition increased.
Twenty years after graduation, the people of Vermilion Parish asked me to be their legislative voice in Baton Rouge, and that SLI foundation was called upon to support the acquisition of new skills and greater knowledge.
My education prepared me to collaborate with citizens from all across this state so that we could set the most effective goals and plan the most efficient strategies in Louisiana's best interest. It gave me the ability to learn continually innovative ways to share information and look for creative ways to adapt that technology to the classroom. SLI taught me to utilize my skills to the best of my ability, to always keep them sharp, and to look for ways to make them stronger in order to keep pace with my ever changing competition. The lessons of communication, collaboration, and coordination helped me build the bridges and form the coalitions necessary to be successful in my position as State Superintendent of Education.
One of my professors once told me that the main part of intellectual education is not simply the acquisition of facts, but learning how to make those facts live. That is the underlying theme of our current education reform initiative, which encourages our students to learn the critical thinking skills necessary to become productive members of society. I continue to emphasize a need for lifelong learning so that we can all keep ourselves prepared for changing competition.
I am proud to see that USL practices what it preaches. USL has grown from a regional college to an internationally renowned university to keep pace with its competition. Graduates had a 100% pass rate on the National Teachers Exam and the Nursing License Exam, led the state in acceptance to medical school, and continue to lead the state in first-time pass rate of the CPA exam. The National Wetlands Research Center was awarded to USL because the University's renowned biology department and the nationally recognized computer science and engineering programs continue to attract business, technology, and research to the state.
USL and I have grown and progressed together and I am proud to say that USL contributed significantly to my development.
Among the important lessons I learned during my student days at SLI are these:
- Be flexible and adaptable; this is particularly helpful as technology has entered the world of education, work and business. I now know how to use e-mail.
- Share information in innovative ways (including e-mail).
- Set goals and plan strategies to meet those goals (draw up a lesson plan).
- Care about children, families and all people. Before I agree to change, or propose one, I think back to what I learned in college about child development and teaching strategies to determine if the proposed changes are realistic, and will truly help children. (After all, children do grow up to become adults.)
I wish USL another century of preparing successful students from Acadiana, throughout Louisiana and around the world, to take their places as leaders in the new millennium.
Cecil J. Picard
State Superintendent of Education
Elizabeth E. LaVergne-Pinkett - Curriculum & Instruction Faculty, 1994-1999
Elizabeth E. LaVergne-Pinkett
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Dear College of Education,
My letter about the College of Education is perhaps a deviation from others contained in the Book of Letters, for I am neither a USL alumnus nor a participant in its early history. As a Louisiana native, I returned to my place of origin after having lived successfully for several years in Northeastern United States and Atlanta. I share a story about USL and the College of Education's place in my history.
Rooted in real estate and property taxes, my historical connection with USL dates back to when present-day Louisiana was the New Orleans Territory. My first known ancestors arrived in New Orleans from Limousin, France by way of Quebec; Lyon, France; and Africa. Consequently, my family has lived in South Louisiana for 275 years and in St. Landry Parish--historical and present--for over two hundred years. As people of color, my Creole paternal and maternal ancestors purchased large amounts of land in St. Landry Parish when it was part of the Opelousas Post and antebellum Louisiana. The first land purchase for which the family has records occurred in 1806 in St. Landry Parish by my paternal great, great, great great grandmother. After the Civil War and throughout the first half of the twentieth century, my family continued to acquire real estate in St. Landry Parish and Acadia Parish. For instance, my mother's paternal grandparents, whose parents were people of color, purchased property in present-day Acadia Parish between 1888 and 1915. Her parents purchased their first one hundred acres in 1897 in Acadia Parish, which was part of St. Landry Parish until 1886. As was expected of all real estate owners, they paid property taxes. Despite my nineteenth-century and twentieth-century ancestors' tax contributions to the higher educational system in Louisiana, the law of the land prohibited their children from attending these institutions.
Along with Louisiana State University, Northwestern State University, and Louisiana Tech, USL is one of the institutions for which the tax dollars of my ancestors were used for its establishment, development, and progress. The university was already fifty-six years into operation when it first opened its doors to Black students. Two years later, the first Black student graduated from USL. Despite the attendance of a few Black students, their presence at USL was a well kept secret. Considering how informed and college-oriented my parents were, had they made references about the Black students at USL, their comments would have been imprinted indelibly on my memory. However, I do not remember any discussions about this occurrence while I was growing up in the St. Landry Parish countryside in the 1950s and early 1960s. On the other hand, two of our Caucasian neighbors with whom my parents had positive relationships had children who attended USL (SLI). One neighbor's son who had enrolled after returning home from the army was "important" in our eyes because he was going to the school which we (my schoolmates, friends, and relatives) perceived as out of our reach.
Indeed, SLI was a mysterious place to this aspiring young scholar living on a farm in the country. I knew of Black individuals from my church, school, and neighborhood who had been awarded Ph.D.'s by the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin. Additionally, two of my teachers at Plaisance School had earned masters degrees from Columbia University. My parents presented these individuals to us as educational success stories and made sure that we interacted with them at every opportunity. These role models epitomized what my parents assured us we could achieve. Unfortunately, there were no Black professionals known to us who had attended and graduated from SLI, nor who was attending during that time. Accordingly, when my friends and I talked about going to college and eventually earning Ph.D.s and M.D.s, USL was not considered an option for college, at least not on the conscious level. We talked about "going up north"; we did not discuss remaining in Louisiana to attend USL because USL was just never part of our cognitive representations of our future.
Thus, to ensure that educational success to which I aspired, my parents sent me to a private girls boarding high school in Maryland--St. Frances Academy--with the intention that I would be to attend the college of my choice. They secured for me the opportunity to obtain that Ph.D. to which I had aspired since the fourth grade. One year after I graduated from high school in 1963, everything changed. During the period when I began and finished college at Towson State University in Maryland (now Towson University), few of my schoolmates enrolled in and graduated from USL. The Civil Rights Bill had been passed in 1964.
In the spring of 1994, thirty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Bill, my association with the College of Education at USL began when I made the decision to return to Louisiana--my home state, my place of origin. By this time, that mysterious college down the road, which had not previously been part of the ambition repertoire of a young Black, farm girl's aspirations to become a university professor, was just a normal consideration for employment as a faculty member. I left a faculty position at one of the most coveted universities in the country to become part of the faculty in the College of Education at USL because I experienced the College's profound spirit of openness.
What I experienced was the metamorphoses of the College of Education, which had long-ago set the stage for a native Black professional to be able to return to opportunity in her place of origin. Thus, the mysterious college down the road is now an internationally known university where everyone is significant, and each member is part of its essence. Unquestionably, the College of Education has contributed prodigiously to USL becoming part of the ambition repertoire of aspiring young African-American scholars and professionals, not only for their education, but also for their professional success. My ancestors approve of the College of Education's metamorphoses: The College belongs to their children, too.
In conclusion, my story may be unbelievable to the generation immediately after my generation, just as some of my parents' experiences were incomprehensible to me. This dissonance reflects the College's transformation into a place of opportunity for all. Contrary to common belief, it is a positive sign when each new generation cannot imagine or conceptualize the experiences of the immediate previous generation. This type of generational difference indicates civilization's progress, its movement forward, its discontinuity. Indeed, as we enter the third millennium, the College of Education continues to effectuate the evolution of civilization.
Elizabeth E. LaVergne-Pinkett, Ph.D.
Richard Pizzolatto - Health and Physcial Education, 1958
Class of ' 58
My name is Richard Pizzolatto. I attended S.L.I. from 1954-1958. I graduated in 1958 with a B.S. in Physical Education and Social Studies. I received my Masters of Education from McNeese in 1969.
I recall the early years at U.S.L. with football games played at McNaspy Stadium, and basketball games at Earl K. Long gym and Blackham Coliseum. I remember the tennis courts behind Earl K. Long and the trips to the small building for classes in "Little Abbeville", as that area was affectionately called in those days.
U.S.L. had a great faculty in the Physical Education department. Coaches Edney, Brand, and Stevenson were great people. They knew their students as well as our teachers in high school knew their students. I remember Coach Reinhardt who was the basketball coach as well as athletic trainer. Coach made a student feel as if he were twelve feet tall. He always found something good to say about everyone. I will never forget the Queen of first aid, Mrs. Bourgeois and Miss Aguatics, Miss Margaret McMillen who soap boxed until U.S.L. got their indoor pool. I can never forget Miss LaSalle; the math teacher who rambled across the campus to class at a great pace and always had coffee and donuts at Hick's coffee shop. A few professors in the College of Education that I will never forget are Dean Doucet, Dr. May, Dr. Coussan, Dr. Zernott, Dr. Turner and Dr. Aycock. Physical Education majors I recall are Sonny Roy, Allen Hymel, Macky Bourg, Charles Lancon, Dallas Abshire, Walter Comeaux, O.C. Guillot, James Fontenot, Don Whatley, and Curtis Joubert. These are just a few students who walked the campus of U.S.L. Many are leaders today. Let's not forget Mrs. Price, the English teacher who made you study hard.
After graduation in 1958, I taught and coached at Simmesport High School; St. Francis, Iota; Goretti, Lake Arthur; Midland; and Crowley High Schools. I retired in 1994 after thirty six years. In the Spring semester of 1996, I had a student who attended U.S.L. who had to have A.C.L. surgery on his knee. His parents were working, so I would drive him to class and wait for him. One morning while he was in Math class, I waited for him in the office. I discovered that Miss LaSalle was still teaching. I went to her classroom between classes and introduced myself as Richard Pizzolatto. I told her that I was one of her students in 1956. She answered, "and you mean to tell me you're still here, go sit down!" Needless to say, the students waiting for class got a great laugh.
In the late 70's, I was moonlighting for the local paper and was covering the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. At halftime of the Southland Conference, Athletic Directors were introduced. One of my classmates, the late Dan Sonny Roy, was then Athletic Director at U.S.L. He looked at me and said, "Pizz, what are you doing on the field?" We all live in a world of imitations, but Sonny was a true gem in this world and a man who sincerely loved U.S.L.
In 1996, I became bored with retirement and accepted the job as Director of Recreation and Parks for the City of Crowley. My goal is to develop a model recreation program: great parks, great fields, and facilities that our young and old people will enjoy for many years. I spent four great years at U.S.L., and the memories are forever.
Lydia Virginia Lind Poe - M. Ed., 1961; Ed. S., 1971
Lydia Virginia Lind Poe
Ed. S. 1971 ; Elementary Education
When I think of my education at Southwestern, I think in terms of the people there who influenced my life. The first person I remember in education at Southwestern was Dean Maxim D. Doucet. Because my undergraduate degree was from Beloit College, Beloit, WI, Dean Doucet had to evaluate my transcript to determine what I needed to certify to teach in Louisiana. What a wonderfully understanding, intelligent, helpful man he was! My program at Beloit was very, very different from Southwestern's; yet, Dean Doucet could readily equate what I had completed at Beloit to Louisiana state requirements. He agreed that I could take many of the needed courses on the graduate level. After certifying, I began substituting in the parish schools when I wasn't caring for my two young sons.
I was in no hurry to complete my master's degree and kept putting it off. One day my husband (Harold W. Poe) came home and said that Dean Robert May and he had worked out a program that would allow me to finish my masters in a relatively short period of time. So, I went to see Dean May who gently persuaded me to complete my degree. During pursuit of this degree, I was privileged to be able to take classes with Dr. Walter Robinette, Mrs. Walter Robinette (Gladys Hoffpauir when I started my degree), Dr. Leon Beasley, Ms. Vesta Bourgeois, Dr. Frank Flowers, Dr. Macgruder Drake, and Dr. Ben Kaplan. I also had given birth to a third son during this time, so it was sometimes very hectic. When I began, it was Southwestern Louisiana Institute; however, when I received my masters degree, it was from the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
After completing the masters degree, my family moved to Tallahassee, FL where we lived while my husband worked on his Ph.D. I taught in Tallahassee for three years, and for two of those years, I had student teachers from Florida State University. In 1964, we moved back to Lafayette and I began substituting in the parish public schools including the Hamilton Laboratory School. One day my husband informed me he had been interviewed by Dean Howard Turner concerning my teaching full-time at the Hamilton Laboratory School. Dean Turner asked my husband if it was okay with him if I went to work teaching there. This annoyed me, but my husband told Dean Turner he wasn't happy about it but to ask me if I wanted to teach at Hamilton on a regular basis. After talking with Dean Turner, who on two or three occasions had sat in back of the classroom when I was substituting at Hamilton, I agreed to teach second grade full-time. The principal at Hamilton, Mr. Nelson Dozier, was always supportive and conveyed to his teachers that the needs of the children came first when difficult decisions had to be made. I liked having the students from Southwestern visit the classroom, although 15 in the room at one time was too many.
After a few years at Hamilton, I resigned that teaching position which I had really enjoyed, to be home with our three sons. Several months later, I saw Bruce Holmes who had taught at Hamilton and was now teaching at Southwestern, and he informed me that Dr. Robinette, who was Head of the Education Department, was looking for someone to teach language arts and asked would I be interested. I said "yes"; Dr. Robinette called shortly after that, and I accepted part-time teaching. A semester later, I was asked to teach full-time. By this time, my boys were doing well, and I agreed to do this. I have been at Southwestern ever since.
In the early years of teaching at USL, I worked on my Ed.S and was particularly encouraged to do so by the Robinettes, Dr. Beasley, and Dr. Frances Zink. Professor Roy D. Murphy, Head of the Speech Department, assigned my husband, a professor in speech and theater, to his classes after I had scheduled my classes so that my husband could babysit with our children while I was in class. With this kind of help and encouragement, I was able to complete my Ed.S. Some time after that, Dean Bud Ducharme and Mary Ducharme enlisted my help with the education honor society, Kappa Delta Pi. In 1980/81, when Mary resigned as Counselor, I became Counselor and am still serving in that capacity. In 1995, our Kappa Delta Pi chapter, Delta Iota, won the highest award given to chapters. We won the Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Award.
After the Ed. S., I taught for several years before getting my Ed.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1983. In 1986 until 1991, I served as Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. I resigned in 1991 to return to the university classroom where my main interests have always been. I have particularly enjoyed working with the USL students and children in the USL Reading Clinic and working with student teachers.
All along the way, my professional activities and accomplishments at USL are mainly because of the people with whom I have studied and worked. To those that have given me so much help and support, I wish to express my gratitude.
James W. and Ezora J. Proctor - M. Ed., 1970
Name: Ezora J. Proctor
Major: Administration and Supervision
Degree: M. Ed. + 30 hours above the Master's degree
Name: Rev. James W. Proctor
Major: Administration and Supervision
Our memories of campus life at the University of Southwestern Louisiana were unique and wonderful. We have fond memories of Dr. Ed Dugas and Dr. Clayton Arceneaux who inspired us through precepts and examples of how to reach for the sky. They went beyond the call of duty to accommodate their students, thus exposing them to opportunities that would equip them for life.
Many times during a week of classes, Clayton and Ed would present exegesis to us on how to cope with life's experiences and the usage of practical approaches to solving problems. They were never too busy to lend a helping hand to an inquiring student or those of us who were void of understanding. Being very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise, Ed and Clayton were a step ahead of the class and had an intelligent answer for every inquiry. Their methodology of teaching was practical and included case studies that helped us tremendously during our sixty-two years of teaching. They stressed the idea that professional development deepens one's knowledge of the subject he teaches, provides him with powerful new teaching strategies, and connects a teacher with colleagues down the hall as they work together to teach all students to high standards.
We give accolades to Dr. Ed Dugas and Dr. Clayton Arceneaux for being the mentors and trail blazers that inspired us to become outstanding teachers, counselors, administrators, Drug- Coordinators, and a Louisiana Department of Education Manager.
Presently, we are retired, serving as Pastor of the First Church of God in Christ in Jeanerette, consultants, and National President of the National Association of University Women (Headquarters in Washington, D.C.).
Ezora J. Proctor - Class of 1970
Frank Craig Purpera, Sr. - Health and Physical Education, 1976; M. Ed., 1985
Frank Craig Purpera Sr.
1976 - Health and Physical Education
1985 - M.Ed.
Dear Dr. Dugas:
My name is Frank Craig Purpera Sr, a 1976 graduate of U.S.L. in Health and Physical Education. I am also a 1985 graduate of the Masters Program in Education. I began my studies at U.S.L. in the Spring of 1973. I had served four years in the Navy and had received the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Combat Medal. I was ready to get my life on the road, and chose U.S.L. as the school and Lafayette as the city where I wanted to get my education.
I was born in Morganza, Louisiana and raised in Simmesport, Louisiana. I enjoyed a successful athletic career in high school and wanted to be a coach someday. Health and Physical Education was easily my choice of a profession, as I loved kids and loved athletics.
The faculty at U.S.L. was the greatest at that time in history. We loved and respected them. Dr. Ed. Dugas was a very well organized disciplinarian, very soft spoken, and had a genuine concern for his students. I won't forget the notebooks we had to keep and they were inspected at random. I was always impressed with his badminton, tennis, and racquetball skills. Thanks for all that you did for us Dr. Dugas. We love you. Thanks for the memories.
Dr. Bourg was very kind and friendly to all. He instructed us in the game of tennis. We all looked forward to his classes and the annual teacher's tennis tournament was loved be all. Marty taught us to be courageous and to respect mankind. We love and miss Marty.
Coach Wolf-very friendly to all. He instructed us in golf and football. We enjoyed a game we called speed ball. It was fast and high scoring and kept us running and in great condition. Thanks Coach Wolf.
Coach Hennesey-the best trampoline coach in the World. His daughter Leigh proved this for him. We discovered gymnastics and the trampoline were not easily mastered. Thanks Coach Hennesey.
Dr. Gatch-once he put us on the treadmill, we quickly knew none of us would be replacing Steve Prefontane on the top of the track and field charts. Dr. Gatch put us through rigorous cardiovascular tests. Thank you Dr. Gatch for all that you did for us. We are aware of the importance of physical fitness and cardiovascular conditioning from your classes.
Coach Nelson-the recreation and outdoor specialist. We had great trips on the Whiskey Chitter. When Larry Patin flipped his canoe, Bobby Greene and I had to save him and our equipment from the river. Coach Nelson, your class continues to be beneficial in all of our outdoor activities. I swam like a brick in the early stages of your class. Thanks to you showing me the proper technique and Mike Menard working with me, I was able pass your skill test for the swim class. Your poems are awesome, and your natural outdoor skills were impressive. Your Nelson Reaction Timer was unique. Thanks for the memories Coach Nelson.
Ms. Johnson-I was in the class when Pat Gullet for the fourth try, finally passed your class, and we all gave him a big "its about time hug." Who could forget good old Mike Dixon who gave fifteen minute civil rights speeches and five minute health speeches? Thanks, Ms. Johnson, for making us work for our degrees and not giving us what we did not earn.
Ms. Testerman-You tried to teach me how to dance (especially the Jitterbug), but I had two left feet. I then had the women's basketball center for my partner. Try pulling a young lady 6'4" tall through your legs; it's not easy. But, we had a great time and a lot of laughs. It was a lot of fun. Thanks for the memories.
Ms Ducharme-for being so sweet and mother-like for all of us beginning freshmen. Thank you.
Dr.Blackwell-thanks for allowing us to act like mischievous elementary students in preparing ourselves for the future classrooms. We had fun in those classes. Also, your Ford Falcon convertible that only played 50's music in the 1970's, Ha! Thanks, Dr. Blackwell.
Coach May-we were well prepared for first aid and safety procedures in your class. You were very proficient in your instruction and very personable and friendly. Thanks for the memories, Coach May.
Dr. Eason-she separated the men from the boys in this class. She worked us very hard in her classes. She expected perfection, and she got it or else. It was her way or the highway. I appreciated the hard work and the rewards on the work she expected. Thank you, Dr. Eason, You made us tough, responsible and successful.
Mr. Reinhardt-you taught us endurance and how to never say never. Your coaching and teaching skills for all those years are very impressive. The history of U.S.L. will always carry your spirit and longevity. Thanks for being you and part of my success.
Dr. Ellen Gillentine-she was so sweet and radiant in her everyday life. She influenced me with her love for the handicapped children in the city. The special children would meet us outside of McNaspy Stadium, and we had stations set up for them to participate in physical education activities. She told me I would be an excellent Adaptive Physical Education Teacher. I began her courses and enjoyed them thoroughly. I remember making sure she got to her car safely after those late classes. Her love for her students and the special children she cared so much for will always hold a place in my heart. We miss her dearly. Thanks, Ellen, for allowing me to work with you and realize we can make a difference in the Special Children of the World. You were God's Special Child.
I coached in the elementary schools (L.J. Alleman) and high school at (Acadiana High). I am semi-retired from coaching and teaching Special Education students at Acadiana High School. I play A league tennis and work out at Red Lerille's for my physical activities. I am married to a wonderful woman, Natalie Bienvenu Purpera. I am proud to say my son, Frank Craig Purpera Jr., just graduated from U.S.L. in Biology, and he had the pleasure and privilege of having Dr. Dugas in one of his physical education classes.
I hope your memories of us are as fond as our memories are of you. We are very proud of our faculty and friends. We take pride in the education we received from you. The friendships and family-like relationships we received from you are irreplaceable. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you, and may God bless you.
Tommie Green Rafidi - Elementary Education, 1962
Mrs. Tommie Green Rafidi
Class of 1962
Dear Dr. Dugas,
What a wonderful thing to be asked to write about fond memories of U.S.L. When I began in the fall of 1958, the institution's name was Southwestern Louisiana Institute. We had to listen to all of the "SLI High" jokes. I remember the freshmen boys all had to wear beanies and we girls were happy to miss that fashion statement. I think this was the last semester for that particular tradition.
U.S.L. was an opportunity to meet many interesting and wonderful people. Some of our friendships have lasted over these thirty-six years. Several of my professors have made lifelong impressions on me. I remember especially Miss Jane Carstens who introduced me to the wonderful world of libraries. Because of her good influence, I have made libraries my career.
Being from north Louisiana, I truly felt that I had come to a different world. The food, customs, even the climate were different. One difference that was totally unexpected was the wildlife on campus. I still remember one morning when I began to walk the path across Cypress Lake, I met an alligator who was sunning himself. He was stretched across the entire path. You can believe I beat a hasty retreat!
Years later, I am still impressed by how beautiful the campus was. Spring was a delight with flowers blooming everywhere. There cannot be a more beautiful sight than all of the sidewalks lined with blooming azaleas in a riot of color. The bushes were taller than many of the people, and it was like being in a world of flowers.
My husband, I.A. (Abe) Rafidi, and I met at U.S.L. We graduated together and married the following year. We have such happy memories of our time together in Lafayette. Years later, our son, Ray, would also graduate from U.S.L.; that is another very happy memory.
I could go on and on with four years worth of recollections. I have had a wonderful time just trying to pick the fondest memories of the best years of my life. Thank you so much for asking.
Tommie G. Rafidi
Corinne Ohlsen Randazzo - Elementary Education, 1954
Corinne B. Ohlsen Randazzo, 1954
Major: Elementary Education
Minor: Library Science
Yeah, Rouge! Yeah, Blanc! Yeah, Bulldogs! Allons!
Buchanan Hall, Miss Soulier and her cowbell. Freshman curfew hours Monday through Thursday, 8:00pm, Friday - 10:30pm, Saturday - 11:00pm. PDE - ASK Socials. Stunt night. Football games and Excursions by Train. Basketball games. Red Jackets and Miss Mac. Big Band dances in the gym. Camellia Pageant and Jamboree. Father Sigur, Catholic Student Center and Newman Club. Long walks to classes in Little Abbeville. Harris Hall and our large first floor room. Professor ice skating on Cypress Lake. Student Council and Women's Student Government and our trips to Florida State and Texas Women's University. Student teaching at Hamilton Training School. Deans: Abel, Roth, Edwards, Hamilton and Doucet. Teachers: Miss Carstens, Miss McMillan, Mr. Monk, Mr. Bernard (I.A.). Mr. Bercegay, Dr. Eyster. Adminstrators: Mr. Kit Carson and President Fletcher. Off campus spot (a no-no) was Voorhies. Beautiful camellias.
After graduation, I was employed as librarian at St. Martinville High School until May, 1959. During this time I completed my M.S. in Library Science from L.S.U. and married Samuel Randazzo of St. Martinville.
In 1959, we moved to my hometown of Vidalia, and I began my 36-year career as librarian at Natchez High School (Natchez, MS) and later as Supervisor of Library/Media Services for the district. In 1961, my only child, a daughter, was born. Sam served as Mayor of Vidalia for eight years--so I served and enjoyed being the first lady.
I completed my Specialist degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. In the summers, I taught library science at University of Southern Mississippi, University of Oklahoma and University of Tennessee (8 summers). Under my supervision the Natchez School libraries were the first to be computerized in the state of Mississippi, and the elementary libraries were chosen in the "Top 10" for Encyclopedia Britannica awards in 1969.
I am now retired and enjoying the accomplishments of my daughter, her husband and my twelve-year-old grandson. We have traveled; although Sam now limits his, but that doesn't limit mine. I volunteer in two schools and work with the Concordia Council on Aging and with my church, Our Lady of Lourdes.
I am still active and still possess my happy character. My wonderful years at S.L.I. will forever be some of my most memorable ones.
Corinne O. Randazzo
Jeanette Ray - Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree, 1984
All my childhood growing up in New Jersey I had to hear my father express how much he missed the life he knew having grown up in the Mamou/Eunice area of Louisiana. His mother had been of Cajun descent being a "Manuel" and the aunt who helped raise him was a "Fontenot."
When deciding on what college I would attend, the choice was easy. In August, 1977, at the age of 17, I arrived on the campus of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1500 miles away from "home."
My parents and brothers drove away in the station wagon, my mother reassuring me, "It's not too late to change your mind." Those words, I learned my first semester, would become my safety net; if the homesickness ever became unbearable, I could always "go home." That never happened.
Twenty one years later, I still say that choosing USL was the single most important decision of my life. What was supposed to be four years of college in Louisiana turned into a total of eight years in Lafayette with both a Bachelors and Masters degree from USL, and nine additional years working in New Orleans. Proudly I say that I lived in Louisiana as long as I lived in New Jersey.
Arriving in Lafayette in 1977, it did not take me long to experience the "joie de vivre" that my father spoke about so frequently. I quickly embraced the people (and vice versa!), the language, the music, the dance, the food. My career in health care has since taken me to Atlanta, Georgia. How comforted I was arriving in Atlanta two years ago to learn they had an "Atlanta Cajun Dance Association" (ACDA). I joined the A the first week I arrived; thus, I still get to enjoy the music, dance and food of Southwest Louisiana at least once a month. It's not Louisiana; for it is there that I left my soul. But I get to hear the music, dance the two step, waltz and jitterbug. Reminiscing like this is good, yet hard; it's on days like this that I miss my life "back there" and find tears welling up in my eyes.
Thanks for allowing me to share my story.
Claude DeWitt Revels, Jr. - Health and Physical Education, 1973; M. Ed., 1976
Claude DeWitt Revels, Jr.
B.S. Health and Physical Education - 1973
Masters in Secondary Education - 1976
As a former student athlete at USL, I have so many fond memories that they are too numerous for all to be included.....and some, I am quite sure, would not be allowed. I suppose the one word that best describes my memory of USL is "home." I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, but my heart is in Lafayette.
The old stadium, the new stadium, pep rallies and cookouts in the Park, the year it snowed, the night the art building burned, Campus Security spending time picking up pecans, hence the name "Pecan Patrol," multiple trips to the Campus Post Office looking for a note from home, or maybe a few bucks for some ice cream from my Dad.....we always had our talks over a milkshake, Running workouts in the cold, rain, and heat. We used to joke about how Coach Cole must have been a Postal Carrier in another life, for nothing deterred him from sending us out. The Pit Grill, tennis with Dr. Bourg, Badminton with Dr. Dugas, class camping trips with Coach Nelson....Mr. Nelson doesn't seem to fit the character I remember.
Riding for the Mardi Gras in Mamou one year, sharing a bathroom with seven other athletes, 7AM workouts after getting in at 5:30 AM, the new student union and beer, the year of the "Great Panty Raid", beating McNeese for the Conference Championship in Cross Country in the morning at Beaver Park, then taking the Football Championship the same night, falling asleep in the reserved reading room in the library, finals......and 25 cent beer at the Keg to help ease the pain, having a car or should I say TAXI.
Dr. Beasley for Philosophy, Dr. Eason for Exercise Physiology, Dr. Testerman's square dance classes, "RESPECT" by the Band at the Football Games,........and the "Sweethearts" performances, a festival somewhere every weekend, student teaching at Lafayette High, part time teaching at St. Martinville Jr. High, reconciling all of those $10 checks cashed at the corner Quick Stop to see if you had anything left for a date, and MY FRIENDS.
A special hello and thank you for all of you who gave me the memories I shall always cherish. To my best friend in the world, my college roommate, Stephen Killingsworth......my youngest son is named Stephen. To Patin Breaux, Mike Alexander, Art Botterill, Tom Hopkins, Tom Anderson, Ron Landry, Tom Williams, Richard Henderson, Russell Saltzman, Charlie Blanchard, Doris Hebert, Brian Dronet, Ann Stringfield, June Henderson, Ronnie Hanks, and Mike Richard......I love you all.
Current Status: Corporate Safety Director for JM Family Enterprises, Inc. since 1985. Still running. Just finished a Marathon Dec. 19th. My oldest son, Claude DeWitt Revels, III followed as a student athlete in Track and Cross Country on scholarship, and my youngest son, Stephen Brett Revels, was a weight lifter and football player in high school, now in Construction Work. I have truly been blessed in this life.
Claude DeWitt Revels, Jr.
Gladys Hoffpauir Robinette - Upper Elementary Education, August 1939
Gladys Hoffpauir Robinette
August, 1939 - Upper Elementary Education
Dear Dr. Dugas,
My name is Gladys Hoffpauir Robinette. I received a B.A. degree in Upper Elementary Education from SLI in August 1939. I completed the program in two and one-half years by earning 21 semester hours credit per regular semester and 12 semester hours per summer session. In January, 1939, at age nineteen, I began teaching at Mier Elementary School in Acadia Parish, prior to receiving my degree. It was necessary to take three courses by correspondence that semester in order to complete degree requirements the following summer. Somehow I managed to earn the needed credits, to teach my class of fifty - two fifth graders to the best of my ability, and to receive seventy dollars a month for my efforts. I was so happy in teaching that if I could have lived without pay I would have taught for nothing.
My fondest memories of attending Southwestern center on the excellent teachers who guided my studies. I was fortunate to have education methods courses with Maxim Doucet and Dr. J.B. Wooley. Both were outstanding educators. In student teaching, I was guided in the use of instructional methods by Miss Marguerite Steckler who was truly a master teacher and a wonderful friend.
Teachers in other areas also made lasting impressions. I was fascinated with Miss Muriel McCulla who made English so interesting that I would forget to take notes. Maps and globes took on new meaning in Miss Minnie Kelley's classes. Mr. Chatterton's enthusiasm for geology was contagious. After having a class with him, one could never again look at a rock and feel that it was "only a rock". I know that my life was enriched by learning to appreciate art by Miss Emily Huger, music by Mrs Ruth Girard, public speaking by Mr. Barry, and Physical Education by Mrs. Vesta Bourgeois.
Social activities were important, too. Lasting friendships were made in Tri Sigma sorority, Kappa Delta Pi, and on "Chick" Barnett's bus from Crowley. The football games were exciting occasions. Like the other girls on campus, I wore a hat, gloves, and high heeled shoes when I went to see the Bulldogs play in McNaspy Stadium. Glen Abel and Shorty Adkins were my heroes.
I taught at Mier School from January 1939 to June 1942 and attended George Peabody College for Teachers each summer. I was fortunate to have Dr. Maycie Southall as my major professor. On the day that I graduated from Peabody, Dean Doucet called and offered me a teaching position at F.M. Hamilton Laboratory School. I was so excited that it was hard to wait to receive my diploma for my Masters degree. I was returning to Southwestern!
The period from 1942 to 1957 was a busy one. Beginning at age 22, I taught seventh grade at the laboratory school, supervised an average of four student teachers per semester, served as a Girl Scout leader, and as co-leader of 4 - H club along with Miss Ruth Martin. Conferences with student teachers were held after school and on Saturday mornings from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For a number of years, I taught an Education Methods class from 7:30 to 8:30 MWF (1949 - 1956 ). The intervening summers were devoted to workshops for teachers. Dr. J.B. Wooley was then the Director of Student Teaching. With his superb organizational ability, he planned throughout the year with those of us who would serve as consultants. Through these workshops, many teachers were able to complete their degrees.
Prior to the workshops I worked for Western Union in Baton Rouge two summers, and worked on a doctoral program at Colorado State Teachers College for two consecutive summers. When my father died and my mother became ill, I dropped out of the program. My priorities changed. I tried to continue my professional growth through active participation in state and national professional organizations.
The new laboratory school was a leader in improving elementary education. Unlike most elementary schools in the 1940's, Hamilton had a very complete centralized library with two certified librarians (Miss Olive Gehring and Miss Jane Ellen Carstens), a large cafeteria with a certified dietitian, and an attractive auditorium which included a stage and an orchestra pit. The school served children from Kindergarten through Grade Eight. A nursery school and an Industrial Arts shop were built near the main building. The remainder of the entire city block was a playground.
The morale of faculty was maintained at a high level. The children were proud of their school and a great school spirit developed. Much credit was due to the wise leadership of the principal, Mr. F.M. "Kit" Carson, who encouraged everyone to do his best. His child-centered philosophy permeated the school. I was extremely fortunate to be associated with this strong professional group for fifteen years. It was during this time that I had opportunities to meet Mr. Bud Ducharme, principal of Park Vista in Opelousas, who invited me to speak to his faculty and parents; Mr. John Bertrand, elementary teacher, who provided his class for me to teach a demonstration lesson at a Principals' meeting in Acadia Parish; and a very young Mathematics professor, Dr. Ray Authement, who let me assist him in introducing and evaluating a new math program in the laboratory school. I was privileged to work with Dr. Robert May and Dr. Howard Turner when they were Directors of Student Teaching.
In 1957 Dr. Robert May, the first Dean of the Graduate School, invited me to become a member of the faculty in the College of Education. Having taught methods courses in summer school in 1956 and 1957, I knew that I would enjoy full - time college teaching. At the first faculty meeting Dr. Ollie Fuglaar, Dr. Walter Robinette, Dr. Leon Beasley, Dr. Dan Mumpower and I were introduced as new members. Dr. Mumpower handed me a letter of introduction from Dr. Maycie Southall of Peabody. I felt that I also needed such a letter.
In 1958, I made plans to attend the ASCD meeting in Seatle. Dean Doucet called to tell me that Dr. Robinette would be attending that meeting also. He recommended that I get in touch with Walter so that we could schedule our flights together. I thanked him but did not intend to do anything about it. When he gave Walter the same suggestion, Walter called me and we scheduled the same flight. The rest is history. Our marriage in 1960 became a 25 year courtship. Walter served as Director of Student Teaching from 1965 until we both retired in 1978. Walter had a bad heart condition. I had taught forty - three years.
I saw many changes take place in the College of Education. The division of elementary methods courses into Upper and Lower Elementary was discontinued. Many reading courses were added to insure that Johnny could read. The observation course was deleted. A well-organized program of Early Field Experiences was instituted. Student teachers were assigned to participating schools in Lafayette Parish and surrounding parishes. A course, Supervision of Student Teaching, was offered at the graduate level to certify those interested in becoming supervising teachers. Hamilton Laboratory School was closed. The number of student teachers assigned to a supervising teacher was reduced. The length of time that student teachers spent in classrooms was increased.
Following Walter's death in 1985, I continued working with SACS, served as consultant for a Title I program in Iberia Parish, participated in Louisiana Teachers Assessment Program, and tutored students in elementary, high school, and college subjects. I tried to stay busy.
As the student teaching program at USL continued to grow, so did the need for College Supervisors. Retired college teachers and supervisors were brought into the program. I am very grateful to Dr. Huey McCauley, Director of Student Teaching, for offering me an opportunity to join this group. It was exactly the therapy I needed from 1987 to 1998. I enjoyed it.
Long before I started school in 1925 I wanted to be a teacher. Since there were no televisions to watch nor computer games to play, we often played "school" at home. Being the youngest of a family of six girls, I was taught a lot, but never given a turn to be the teacher. I thank the University of Southwestern Louisiana for preparing me to teach and for giving me my turn.
Linda Baird Rome - Health and Physical Education, 1982
Linda Baird Rome
1982 - Health and Physical Education
As a child growing up with USL in my backyard, I would never have dreamed that I would one day be an instructor there. At that time, the USL cows would graze in the pastures behind our house, which is now Teague Moore Field. We spent lots of time calling cows and pulling grass for them to eat, which they rarely did! One day there were no more cows, but instead, empty fields with HUGE dirt - digging machines. We would trek over to watch the making of what is now Cajun Field. Over the years we saw the construction of the baseball field, track stadium and tennis courts. So, my history with USL goes way back to long before I was old enough to attend.
I always knew that I would be a student at USL. My mom had attended SLI for a semester or two. After high school graduation, I never thought twice about going to college anywhere else. I majored in Health and Physical Education due to the wonderful example of my high school Health and P.E. teacher Jacqueline Robichaux (now Jacki Benedik), who would some day, unbeknownst to me, be my colleague at USL. Besides her influence, I was just a teacher in my heart and knew that I belonged in education.
I dove into my freshman year with gusto: pledging a sorority, meeting new people, playing intramural sports, and having a lot of fun. I had so much fun, in fact, that I had a GPA that I, not to mention my mother wasn't very proud of by the end of the spring semester. Thankfully, as time went on, I began to have a lot of interest in my major courses, and grades became more and more important to me. I joined the USL Gymnastics Team my sophomore year and participated for three semesters. I attended Stephen F. Austin University for one semester, wanting to be away from home to see if I could make it on my own. I did. Then I returned for my last two years (it took me five years and 163 credits) at USL. During 1980 - '81, I cheered for the Cajuns as a member of the Cheerleading Squad. That was really fun for me, as it was a dream come true. My favorite memory of that year is pepping up the Ragin' Cajuns before the Homecoming game, cheering from the roof of the Student Union. What a blast!
Other memories of my years at USL include making the "hike" to Griffin Hall from the Sorority room. Yes, each of the sororities had their own room in O.K. Allen Hall, divided only by a tall wall of plywood that ended about a foot from the ceiling. In such close quarters and with such little privacy, it was easy to get to know lots of girls from the other rooms. Meetings were held in the Student Union. I can remember silly guys walking outside of our meeting room and yelling, "Rattle, rattle, rattle, here come the cattle, Phi Moo!" I have a feeling that this saying is still around!
I also remember clearly being one of the proud individuals who can now boast that her graduation ceremony took place in Blackham Coliseum. We lined up in our caps and gowns as we stood in the barns ankle-deep in dust and leftover straw. I couldn't tell you who the keynote speaker was, but I can tell you that the coliseum was filled with enthusiastic and excited graduates on that day as we anticipated our entry into the adult working world.
After six years of teaching in the public and private school systems, one semester as a secretary, a year at USL to work on prerequisites for a professional school that I decided not to pursue, graduate school and a job at LSU in Baton Rouge, marriage, and the birth of our first child, I ended up back here as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Health and Physical Education. I had called Jacki Benedik to find out what the requirements were for teaching here, and ended up with a lecture class that began a week after that phone call!
It was strange on that first day, seeing so many professors who taught me, and knowing I was becoming one of them! The old and new faculty have treated me as a colleague from that very first day and have given me help, support and encouragement whenever I have needed them. Being adjunct faculty has some disadvantages, but it has been the perfect job for me. I like staying home with my small children (we have two at this time), but also need something that allows me to be away from them a bit in order to keep my sanity. This job fits the bill. I had discovered while teaching elementary and junior high school that I did not have the patience for young children. During my work at LSU, I discovered my love for college students. I have just completed my 13th semester as an adjunct instructor, and it has been a wonderful six years.
It is very special for me to teach for my Alma Mater. USL has brought much good to me in the form of knowledge, experiences, friends, memories and opportunities. I am so happy and honored that I can give something back in return, and I am privileged to write this letter in celebration of the University of Southwestern Louisiana's spotlight on the College of Education in preparation for the 100 year anniversary of this university.
Linda Baird Rome, MS, CHES
Terry Roy and Geraldine Trahan Roy - Music Education, 1957 & M. Ed., 1961; Music Education, 1954
Terry R. and Geraldine Trahan Roy
1957 & 61 and 1954
Hi fellow alumni!
Memories flood our brains as we approach USL G 1998! We, Terry and Geraldine, met at Burke Hall on the SLI campus and had common interests--we were both music majors. We married in 1955.
Our memories recall George Barth conducting the SLI orchestra; Willis Ducrest--head of the Music Department and director of the college chorus; James Hanna--theory, composition, and form and analysis professor; Nolan Sahuc--teaching conducting and being Band Director; and Robert Gilmore--leading the band with such gusto! We remember Keith Hester, who was patient in clarinet lessons; and the wonderful Eva Marie Mouton--the greatest piano teacher ever. Who can forget Mrs. Mount--the prim and proper lady who patrolled the halls, especially the practice rooms to see if we were really practicing.
Saturday nights were busy with football halftime shows at the games. Several times during our SLI years, we visited Carville to sing for the patients; took band tours around the state to recruit new students; had weekly outdoor concerts near Girard Hall during summer school. We also remember the annual Camelia Pageant. Most of all, we remember fondly all the good friends we made there.
We have three children who are all USL graduates as well as two sons-in-law. Our son is now an instructor at USL in the School of Music; so you see, we remain loyal to USL!!!
Thanks for the memories, USL!
Terry R. and Geraldine Trahan Roy
Kevin J. Russo - Health and Physical Education, 1991
Kevin J. Russo
I have benefited greatly from my educational and life experiences at USL. I have the fondest memories of many things, such as the friends I made, the professors that helped broaden my intellect, and the citizens of Lafayette and their hospitality. USL is a fine institution of higher education. The professors, community, and fellow students really care about you. They want you to succeed in all aspects of life.
I have succeeded in many aspects of life since I have graduated from USL. I have not been able to visit Lafayette and USL recently, but I have a special place in my heart for both. I have since received my teaching certification from LSU for Lower Elementary Education. I am teaching at Melville Elementary School for my second year, my seventh year total. I am currently working towards my Masters degree at LSU.
I will always remember my experiences at USL. I still contact my friends from USL. The education I have received there has benefited me immensely. I have been successful in my career and my life partly because of USL. I plan to support USL in the future and pray that the USL tradition of education, hospitality, and uniqueness continues for many years to come.
Kevin J. Russo
Alumni Association Member
Walter J. Saucier - Science Education, 1942
Walter J. Saucier
B.S., Science Education, May 1942
I enrolled at S.L.I. in the summer of 1939 and for the next six semesters. Most pertinent recollections were: (1) Dedicated teaching by Stokes-Sanders-Nolan (Math), Delaup (Physics), Segura (Chemistry), Boudreaux (Biology), Kelley (Geography), Long-Zernott (Education), Bancroft-Dupré (English), among others; (2) very low cost of college education, by tuition scholarship awarded on high school record, room and board $10/month (first two years at Ag Coop), the last year at Johnston Street rooming house with meals nearby given for work at the campus-corner eatery, and paid by S.L.I. for part-time work (first year as Student Center "soda jerk", afterwards as Miss Nolan's math paper grader); and (3) crammed course schedule, minimal finances and constrained social and extra-curricular activities. Augmenting the science training and personal finances were summer AAA farm survey employment and varietal works on parents' farm in Avoyelles Parish.
WWII deterred the planned high school teaching. The S.L.I. placement committee (Delaup-Long-Riehl) coerced my applying for Army Corps cadet meteorology training, for which I was sent to the University of Chicago, commissioned 2nd Lt. in May 1943, afterwards doing weather officer duties to May 1946 (two years in Europe). Remaining in USAF Reserve (retired as colonel) was a most propitious decision; the fine relations with USAF's Air Weather Service and Institute of Technology assigning students for university education in meteorology assisted my initiating meteorology academic programs for three major universities: Texas A&M, 1952; University of Oklahoma, 1960; N.C. State University, 1969 (Fleming, editor, Historical Essays on Meteorology 1919-1995, American Meteorology Society, 1996, p546), all three soon thereafter awarding full slates of degrees Ph.D. There is no need for modesty about my fortune of being named the first Professor of Meteorology in three states of the U.S. Of course involved, too, in those pursuits were highly qualified colleagues attracting students and federal research funds, but my college training for science education was surely a factor for those successes.
The WWII experience propelled my graduate education at the University of Chicago (MS '47, Ph.D '51) in meteorology under the tutelage of Carl Rossby (internationally renowned in education and weather system dynamics), Horace Byers, and colleagues. The GI Bill covered my tuition costs and much of my family's living expenses. Appointed teaching assistant in 1946 and instructor in 1948 under Byers' ever-encouragement, I was soon placed in charge of a basic multi-course sequence enrolling (some large, some smaller) classes of civilians, USAF assignees, and foreign students; and, advising MS theses. The success in course teaching led to Byers and University of Chicago press coercing me into preparing a textbook (published in 1955). Along with those, my student advisings and coordinations with federal sponsors of students provided the foundation for attracting students into the university curricula, which was later initiated elsewhere.
Additional information can be found among some biographical listings:
- American Men of Science, 1955; Leaders in American Science, 8th ed., 1968-69; Who's Who in America, vol.36, 1970-71. Among the professional memberships I held were many which were dropped in recent years: American Meteorological Society (Fellow & Certified Consulting Meteorologist), AAAS (Fellow), American Geophysical Union, Sigma XI, AAUP, National Weather Association, Texas Academy of Science, Oklahoma Academy of Science.
Dan C. Shannon - History Education, 1948
Dan C. Shannon
May, 1948 - History Education
I am Dan C. Shannon and graduated from Southwestern Louisiana Institute (as USL was known then) in May 1948. My major was history.
I was introduced to SLI by the U.S. Navy. While a senior in high school in Terre Haute, Indiana, I enlisted in the Naval Air Corps, in the spring of 1943 and expected to be in the V-5 program. Because there were many young men like me who wanted to be Naval pilots, the V-5 program across the nation was filled, so the Navy sent me to SLI in the program, which was a program leading to officer training.
Our days at SLI in the program started with a run from the old McNaspy Stadium, where I was billeted, out of the campus and around the Heyman house. Our day ended with the sound of taps played by buglers, both Navy and Marine, which meant lights out at 10:00 P.M. Being forced to stay in our rooms each evening probably developed good study habits for me. There was nothing else to do but study!
I was impressed by the friendliness that was shown by all the civilian students. When walking on campus, invariably a person would say "Hey" as a casual greeting. It soon became a habit with us; thus, friendships developed quickly. I have never known of any campus as friendly as SLI in those days. One Sunday evening, I was invited to attend a fais-dodo off campus. This wholesome family gathering really impressed me.
The Navy transferred me after four semesters, but I returned in the summer of 1946, after an honorable discharge from the Navy. I dug right in and completed my undergraduate education two years later. Coming back to SLI as a civilian, fully responsible for my own lodging and meals, was interesting. Until I could find more suitable lodging, I stayed in a dormitory set up at the airport. A bus would take us to campus. But I soon had enough of that "barracks" type living quarters and searched for some space nearer the campus, with fewer men. I lived with seven other men in two rooms in a private house just three blocks north of the campus. The G.I. Bill gave us ex-service men tuition and books plus fifty dollars a month. After paying for room and meals, there was very little left; so I decided to get a part-time job and found one at Joe-Joe's, a small restaurant on Johnson Street. I waited on tables at lunch time and dinner.
Looking back on my education at SLI, I am impressed at the wide range of courses a small college offered. Classes in biology, physics, chemistry and geology gave me a well rounded education in science, which was my minor.
Education classes were conducted well. Dr. Turner's "Test and Measurements" and "Statistics" gave me a solid foundation for my professional life. Practice teaching at Lafayette High School was a valuable experience. Under the supervision of Miss Ruby Whitfield, I developed many good teaching techniques which have been extremely valuable to me.
We were an eager bunch, both in and as G.I. Bill students. There was no "animal house" behavior. We were eager to learn, and there was no ra-ra college boy stuff. My social life was rather mild and often connected to my studies. I joined Phi Gamma Mu, a social studies group, and was voted into the Blue Key. Friendships developed with other G.I. Bill men which lasted well after graduation. I met my wife, Sophie Martin, at SLI. In fact, she was the teacher of a chemistry laboratory I took.
Attending SLI was a valuable part of my life. Besides giving me a well rounded educational foundation, it instilled in me a friendly attitude, which I still have.
Teaching during the regular school year and attending Colorado State College at Greely, I earned my masters degree in the summer of 1952. My growing family moved to California where I attended A during the summer as well as taking extension classes in San Diego. I completed my graduate work and was awarded my doctorate in 1958, ten years after leaving SLI.
I taught elementary school for several years and then was transferred to junior high school to teach science. During the regular school year and in summers, I took classes sponsored by the National Science Foundation. These classes, plus several others, have formed me into a well - rounded teacher. Traveling to Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa has broadened my view of people and customs as well as observing geologic features about which I had previously only studied. The junior college in San Diego hired me to teach history classes and physical science classes. My last ten years of teaching were in high school, teaching physical science, biology and chemistry. I was editor of the California Science Teachers Journal for 10 years, a real challenge but a worthwhile endeavor. In 1981, I was honored by the California Science Teachers Association as the outstanding science educator of the state, an award I sincerely respect.
Dan C. Shannon
Simone Simon - Elementary Education Certificate, August 1998
My name is Simone Simon. I received my certificate to teach grades 1-4 through USL. I received my certificate in August, 1998. I enjoyed my classes at USL.
I had the opportunity to gain a great deal of knowledge from some fine teachers. I am presently a first grade teacher at St. Ignatius School in Grand Coteau. I have been employed there for the past four years.
I hope to return to USL one day to obtain my masters degree.
Luci Sistrunk - Exercise Science, Class of 1999
Class of 1999
When I started USL in August of 1993, I had no idea what the next few years held for me. I came from a rather small school where I knew almost everyone, and the thought of being in a class of strangers scared me to death. That first semester was quite a transition; fortunately, however, I was a good math student and didn't have any trouble with Math 105. During my first semester, I changed my major to Pre-Physical Therapy. In the fall of 1995, I was ready to apply to physical therapy school in New Orleans. I guess they saw me coming and decided I didn't have enough education. Pre-Physical Therapy as a major was terminated because physical therapy became a masters degree program. That meant I had to change my major and get a bachelors degree. Well, how do you like that? My dad was less than ecstatic about that change in plans, insisting the state just wanted all of his money. That was a slap in the face, but God knows what's best.
So, I changed my major to Exercise Science (not having a clue what that meant). Here I was almost starting from the beginning and taking classes with freshmen. From this point on, Bourgeois Hall became my second home, which definitely beat campus and the transit system. I really liked the faculty in the Health and Physical Education Department. Here, I met so many professors in one department that really wanted to help their students. These professors always took time to answer questions or to give encouraging thoughts. To these many professors that have touched my life, I give my thanks, respect, and admiration. My grades definitely improved upon changing my major, not because physical education classes are easy (like some people think). It was because I was really interested in my studies, taking classes such as kinesiology, sport ergogenics, and fitness lab assessment.
Having been very active in athletics in high school, I felt as though a part of me was missing during my first few years of college since I didn't play sports. Then, I was introduced to a good friend named intramural sports. I participated in softball, basketball, flag football, and volleyball and competed in four state intramural tournaments. Through classes and intramurals, I have developed many friendships that will last beyond the walls of Bourgeois Hall.
I began college as a timid seventeen-year-old who lacked self-esteem and courage, and I evolved into an educated and confident twenty-three year old woman. USL has not only provided me with an education, but also with experiences and friendships that I will treasure the rest of my life.
Adele Smith - Health & Physical Education Faculty, 1975-80 and 1991-1999
I am not an alumna of U.S.L.; I did not earn any degree from U.S.L.; in fact, I have never taken any academic courses at U.S.L., I have, however, spent more than twelve years of my career working at U.S.L., and I would like to submit some of my recollections from my tenure here as my contribution to the Book of Letters.
My first employment term was from 1975-80, and my first position (after interviewing with Dr. Al Simon, Dr. Ed Dugas and Dean Robert Ducharme) was a split position--half-time teaching activities and half-time Director of Women's Intramurals. My cohort in Men's Intramurals was Jimmy Clarke, who, in the 1990's, became U.S.L.'s Dean of Enrollment Information, and now is working in Baton Rouge with the Board of Regents. The Intramural Office was a tiny room in the front left corner of the first floor of Judice Hall. I believe the building was "condemned" even at that time. I now anxiously await the completion of the renovation of that wonderful building. My office was in McLauren Gym, but I taught activity classes in McNaspy Stadium, E.K. Long Gym and on the E.K. Long tennis courts. It was a long hike when you had to carry a lot of materials to your class!
After one year of a split appointment, I became a full-time instructor in the Department of Health and Physical Education. I still had additional duties, however, accepting the position of faculty advisor for the "Sweethearts," the U.S.L. official dance troupe. My good friend and teaching colleague in H&PE, Sherry LeBas, was the faculty advisor for the U.S.L. varsity cheerleaders. An interesting twist is that during the summers, I coordinated a cheerleader camp for local high school cheerleaders, and Sherry coordinated the dance team camp. Another good friend and colleague, Dawn Wilson, and I taught gymnastics for the after-school program in the gymnastics facility, the E.K. Long Gym Annex. It was in that facility where I got to see Jeff Hennessy (the coach), his daughter, Leigh, and a number of other "world-class" trampoline athletes perform their amazing stunts. It was a treat not many people get to witness!
During the late 1970's, I became involved with a major project -- assisting Dr. Byrdie Eason, our resident Exercise Physiologist, in the creation and management of the "U.S.L. Aerobic Center." There were many days that Dr. Eason, Sherry Lebas and I were up early, directing the morning walk/jog program on the McNaspy Stadium track; conducting the Center's Aerobic Dancing program in the late afternoons, after our regularly scheduled classes; and holding the Aerobic Swimming sessions in the Conference Center pool from 9:00 to 10:00 PM, because we couldn't get access to the pool any earlier. We made many friends with community members who joined our new program, and I still see some of those people occasionally. It was an honor to help Dr. Eason put her vision of this worthwhile program into effect. She deserves much praise and credit.
When I had to leave in 1980 (husband was transferred), my position was advertised and eventually offered to a young woman named Nanette Cook. It is interesting to note, that when I returned to Lafayette in 1991, the position that I was offered by the Department of Health and Physical Education at U.S.L. was the same position held by Nanette Cook, who was taking maternity leave! Thanks, Nanette for saving my place!
When I returned in 1991, I returned to a full-time teaching load, having a 7:30 AM class every morning! During the next year, then Dean Robert Alciatore was given permission by the central administration to add an extra person to the College of Education staff on a part-time basis. Dr. Alciatore offered the position to me and I accepted. Technically, I was still a full-time position in Health and Physical Education, on loan to the Dean's office half-time. During the seven years I have served as Assistant to the Dean, I have learned much about educational administration and have had opportunities that I would never have had as a full-time teacher. The half-time administrative job has seemed like full time, often over and above the "20 hours per week," but I am glad I did not turn down the offer. Let me also say that I would never give up teaching completely!
I now look forward to meeting the next Dean, who is, as of this writing, yet to be named, and hope to continue learning each and every day in my position as Assistant to the Dean. Also, I am happy to say, I was assigned to teach a tennis class this semester, after a long seven year lapse! See you on the courts!
Mary Nezzio Smith - 1969
Mary Nezzio Smith
Class of 1969
You know you were at USL from 65 - 69 if you remember:
- Vesta Bourgeois teaching first aid
- Ms. McMillan teaching dance
- Amos Simpson giving super interesting history lectures
- I can't remember the music teacher's name - but she always talked about her dogs
- Mrs. Bartel of Harris Hall with her bangle bracelets
- Dean McPhaul's deep interest in the sororities of USL
- Friday afternoon at the blood bank
- Having to be at McNaspy at 6 to get a seat for the football games
- Bo Lamar and the "fast break" of USL basketball
- The real "library" on McKinley Street
- The Swinging Machine off of Pinhook
- Sneaking bread out of OK Allen to feed the ducks
- Putting milk on the window ledges of Bonin to keep cold,
- Six girls to a room on the weekend at the Polk A Dot Inn on Cameron Street
Thanks for all the great memories
Mary Nezzio Smith - Class of 1969
Isadore Leon Saucier - Upper Elementary Education, 1955
Isadore Leon Sonnier
BA, Upper Elementary, 1955
Up front I am a highly visual person, according to the Sonnier Model of Hemispheric Preference, which explains that I have two visual hemispheres and am not at all analytical. It also means that I remember faces and friendly persons with fond memories forever. I forget names. They are just not there. Believe me, my mind is filled with beautiful USL people, fellow students and a host of outstanding, cordial and impressive teachers. I enrolled as a freshman, a I veteran and an ex-Marine. The GI Bill contributed generously to the financial support of my education.
Regrettably, I cannot remember names. However, Newman Club events are like yesterday. So many fond memories which include two trips, a convention in Nashville and, with Fr. Sigur, my driving eight or nine girls to lay apostolic training at Grailville, Ohio.
Also, I remember four years spent with the Campus Choir, everyday at four, with the most beautiful girls on the campus and, guys that I will never forget, except their names. I also sang Handel's Messiah as a tenor with the Lafayette area chorus.
I have fond memories of a Chemistry professor who invented a more accurate way to determine melting and boiling points of elements and compounds. It was simply a tube within a tube where gradual changes could easily be seen and the temperature at which the change took place. My interest was captive to every word he said. This visual person learned a lot because the chemisty professor had something to show to every word spoken. Today, I call that Holistic Education, an intricate part of my professional career.
Which brings me to my career. My Lab School training was very good. However, I was less than an outstanding student teacher. I first taught in Port Allen and later in the Baton Rouge schools as a junior high school teacher. As a board member of our Louisiana Science Teachers' Convention, I supported the invitation of a person from Jefferson County Colorado whom I met at a national convention. Later, he hired my wife, Claudine, and me to work in his district so that I could study at the University of Northern Colorado.
I attended a sufficient number of summer and academic year National Science Foundation programs to be admitted in Science Education at Northern Colorado and to graduate with a doctorate in Earth Science Education. In parallel interest, I studied and published articles on human individual differences. This led from journal articles to books: Teaching of Science in the Affective Domain, Methods and Techniques of Holistic Education, Affective Education: Methods and Techniques, and Hemisphericity as a Key to Understanding Individual Differences (theme: Truth has two values and both are needed to liberate its reality).
Early on, a post card came from Spain requesting the reprint of my journal article, "Teach the Left Brain and only the Left Brain Learns, Teach the Right Brain and Both Brains Learn." I also included a copy of my first book, Teaching of Science in the Affective Domain. Just months later, from Spain, came an empirical study of Holistic Education. This became the basis for the Sonnier Model of Educational Management and prompted the book, Affective Education: Methods and Techniques, leading to The Sonnier Model of Hemispheric Preference.
In a desire to have more people understand and appreciate our behavioral differences as something good and not hateful, as in current politics-USA, a new book advocates just that: The Two Sides of Truth, in which authors are currently sought. Please go on line and get your personal invitation from my web page: st.usm.edu/sonnier.html (expires May, 1999).
Catherine L. Stemmans - Health and Physical Education, 1994
Catherine L. Stemmans
1994 - Health and Physical Education
On May 14, 1994 I graduated from The University of Southwestern Louisiana with a Bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education. Looking back, I do not remember the commencement speaker or where I have since put the "perfect graduation dress" for which I spent months looking. When I think of USL I remember the countless practices spent interning with the Ragin Cajun Football team and then rushing to the Alpha Omicron Pi house for the last twenty minutes of our chapter meeting. I remember Bourgeois Hall... and my perfect attendance in Dr. Lyman's Human Sexuality class. I remember an article about old wine in old bottles. I remember two faces that continue to inspire me... Dr. Martin Bourg and Mr. William "BJ" Landry. I remember the USL Athletic Training Room (No Shoes Allowed!)... Tea and crumpets with Jen Lamabe and the Inside Linebackers. I remember a road trip with the Ragin Cajun Volleyball team to The University of Texas - Pan American... it seemed to never end. I remember packing the Cajundome for the USL vs. University of Massachusetts basketball game.
I remember watching the Ragin Cajun Baseball Team beat LSU, in Lafayette, the year that LSU won the College World Series. I remember Marty Fletcher's tie. I remember the Ragin Cajun Softball Team and the endless line of All-Americans that Yvette Girouard brought to Lafayette. I remember John Morgan's jokes that NEVER seemed to get old, even though we heard them every Sunday night at the Pub. I remember the Monday 4:00 meetings with Dr. Authement where students were always able to voice their ideas and concerns... it was during one of those meetings that I became intrigued with the organization of higher education. I remember the endless Student Government Association meetings where we took turns standing on our community soapbox. Most of all, I remember a spirit of Vermilion and White which can only be characterized as "Ragin' Cajun".
Since then, I have moved to Monroe, Louisiana; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and most recently Terre Haute, Indiana; all in the name of education. At least now I am being paid to go to college. I am employed with Indiana State University as a professor of Athletic Training. It's a fantastic appointment where I am able to use my USL experience to research, educate and serve students. The chill of Indiana weather has not yet graced my four-month-old home, but as the semester draws to a close, I wonder if my students have had as much fun as I did.
Catherine L. Stemmans
William F. Stevenson - Health and Physical Education, 1939
William F. Stevenson
S.L.I. - 1939
I was born and raised in Bastrop, LA, and during my college days I was recruited to play football for S.L.I. by George Mitchell, the line coach. While attending classes, Margaret McMillan (at my request) introduced me to her beautiful sorority sister, Rita Motty. After graduating in 1939, I took a coaching/teaching position at Slidell High School. Rita and I were married when she graduated from S.L.I. in 1940. I was hired in 1944 by Robert L. Browne, Physical Education Department Head at S.L.I., to teach along with J.C. "Dutch" Reinhardt and Elvin Brand. VJ Edney, Dr. Fred "Bo" Brown, and Dave Fisher were hired later, in the early and late 50's. Jeff Hennessy, Lou Bowers, Fred Nelson, Jim Kennison, Clyde Wolf, Al Simon and Ed Dugas were hired in the 60's.
My fondest memories at S.L.I. were meeting and courting my beautiful wife and being a winning coach in intercollegiate tennis competition. I also enjoyed my experiences as a football official and the fantastic fishing that is available in this area.
Rita and I have two beautiful children, Bill and Ellen, who have given us grandchildren and great grandchildren. I retired from U.S.L. in 1975 and feel that U.S.L. and Lafayette were the best places to teach and live in all of Louisiana.
Mary Napoli Stockstill - M. Ed., 1977
Mary Napoli Stockstill
Dear Dr. Dugas (Ed),
Greetings from Lincoln, Nebraska! It was nice of you to consider my assistance for your Book of Letters for the College of Education. While I did complete my Masters degree at USL in the COE, I was not a "traditional" student since I attended this program as a part-time student. Consequently, I was not exposed to the various highlights and aspects of "campus life" and cannot comment on those areas.
I do consider my training through the COE to have been excellent and am very pleased with how the entire experience worked out. My husband, John, is also an alumnus of USL (B.S. Pre-dentistry/Zoology), and we both try to keep in touch with USL through our friends and parents "back home".
Please note that the previous paragraph was sent to you without a closing paragraph. If there is any further assistance which I may give to the College's effort, please feel free to call upon me.
Mary Napoli Stockstill
Denis Tallini - Health & Physical Education, 1977
1977 - Health and Physical Education
I first came to Lafayette and USL from Vernon, NY in 1972. At that time the university was adding a wrestling program in order to reach A Division I status. Why my junior college coach had a catalog from USL is unknown; however, he knew that I wanted to move up to a higher level of competition and needed financial help to continue my education and encouraged me to at least check out the school. After several phone calls from coach John Demko, I decided to make the trip to Lafayette, sight unseen.
To say that coming to Lafayette was a culture shock is an understatement. There were many times when I was ready to pack up and head back home. Without the companionship of the other athletes and the challenge posed by a few key people, I probably would have left. The facilities (the second floor of McNaspy Stadium) were significantly less than promised and the support for the program from the athletic administration was minimal. There seemed to be a lot of resentment from others primarily because many of us were from out of state (in particular the north).
If it weren't for the talks I had with Dr. Louis Roth about my situation and his words of encouragement, things might have turned out differently. Eventually, I came to realize that he was right about USL and the community. Meanwhile, in the classroom, the challenge was to survive courses such as exercise physiology with Dr. Birdie Eason. This lady was tough, fair and an inspiration. She encouraged us to think about the future and the "non-traditional" options that were out there. Although I did start out as a health and physical education teacher, I eventually went to graduate school (at another university), earned a masters degree in exercise science/cardiac rehab and began a new career. This brought me back to Lafayette where I have been living and working ever since.
Finally, there was/is Dr. Ed Dugas. Along with his genuine passion for his work and his desire to help others, he seems to have a knack for getting people to perform. As a student, I did not feel that Dr. Dugas felt I could really cut it in his classes and after earning an "A" in one of those classes, he even told me that my performance surprised him. Well, this just kept me pushing to prove that I was capable and to prove him wrong. Looking back, I wonder if that was just the method he chose to get me to do my best. In the years since, I have had several opportunities to work with Ed and they have all been great.
Now I'm sure that I would have learned from any college experience, but the exposure to the culture and people of southwest Louisiana has been great. I would not change things one bit. This is especially true since I met my future spouse there as well. The wrestling program was very successful because all the athletes were determined to make it so. We were fighters and the nature of our sport helped us develop the determination to overcome adversity and the personalities to establish us as a social entity. We had some great trips in school station wagons to places, such as Atlanta and Chattanooga and those memorable meets against LSU.
It must have been destiny that I came to USL. I had the chance to make many friends (several "special" ones are still a major part of my life), learn about a different culture, gain knowledge and establish myself as a leader in my field (locally). I have had the opportunity to be involved with the Alumni Association and the Centennial Celebration and look forward to staying involved for years to come. Thanks,
Class of 1977
Johnell Blanchard Theriot - Elementary Education, 1969; M. Ed., 1989; Ed. S., 1992
Johnell Blanchard Theriot
1969, 1989 & 1992
Dear Dr. Dugas,
My educational experiences may be varied, but they have one common nucleus, my USL degrees.
The memories of USL are numerous and span four decades.
I entered USL as a first time freshman in June of 1965.
- Martin Hall being newly built
- Brown Ayres as an Art building
- O.K. Allen as the main dining hall where we ate greasy spaghetti and gumbo made with tomatoes
- Declouet Hall as a Freshman Dorm
- the path on the side of Cypress Lake which we used as a short cut to Little Abbeville
- the tennis courts behind McLaurin Gym
- Dupré Library with only 1 floor
- the mounted brown bear in the lobby of Billeaud Hall
- the 9 P.M. curfews in the dorms
- Hamilton Hall being a Laboratory Training school (where I did my student teaching)
- Hopper's and the 12 cent ice cream cone
- the first registration completed by computer with girls in boy's P.E. and students ending up with over 100 hours on their schedule
- the building of Maxim Doucet
- the renovation of Girard Hall
- the building of Agnes Edwards dorm
- the little house where the Dean of Women lived
- the midnight fire drills in the dorms
- the pine tree in front of Declouet Hall where I became engaged
I received my first degree on May 25, 1969 and became an elementary educator.
During the 70's, I returned frequently to the campus to upgrade my education and recertify in Special Education. In 1988, I returned to USL to work on my masters. It was December 1992, before I left with a Masters in Elementary Teaching, a +30 and an Educational Specialist in Administration and Supervision. The campus had expanded and changed greatly. But the spirit of loyalty remains. It is still very inspiring to walk the quad at dusk during the fall and savor the crisp night air as you are walking to a late class.
Mary Lou Borel Thibodeaux - Elementary Education, 1975; M. Ed., 1979
Mary Lou Borel Thibodeaux
1975 & 1979
Rags To Riches: USL's Influence on a Family's Life
My name is Mary Lou Borel Thibodeaux (1975, 1979) and I was born on March 22, 1930 in the small community of Catahoula, La. which is located approximately 12 miles from St. Martinville, LA. Although the nation was in the middle of the depression, poverty was rather common place in Catahoula, so the depression did not affect us that much. I was the fifth of nine children. My father had been a farmer but he lost the farm when he could not pay his debts one season when the crop failed due to the flood of 1927. He worked as a carpenter when work was available. We were of Cajun descent and spoke French until we entered school where we were forbidden to speak French. My parents spoke French and very little English until the time of their deaths. All nine children were assigned chores in the family and were expected to help with the necessities of life.
Life at that time was not simple. Heating and cooking were done with a wood burning stove. We had no running water and no electricity. Electricity in rural Louisiana was not available to everyone until a few years later. One sister sewed and another cooked alongside my mother. My oldest brother earned food or small sums of money from neighbors and relatives until he went to work at the CCC camp in Girard Park. He later served in World War II. My younger sister, Hilda Borel Stutson (1975), who also became a teacher later in life, was my constant companion. We were rather tomboyish, enjoyed outdoor play, and hunted for small animals, and fished for crawfish. We all pitched in to make a little money. I remember well picking peppers all day to earn money to purchase writing paper and pencils for school, and then going home and soaking our hands in milk to remove the pepper burn. In our mid teens, my siblings and I went to Lafayette to get jobs to send money back to the family. Both of my parents were sickly. My mother suffered from heart disease and asthma, and my father sufered from emphysema. They both died in their early sixties.
After moving to Lafayette, I met my husband, Waldo J. Thibodeaux. We got married after her returned from service in 1947 and we lived in a small house on Refinery Street in Lafayette. Soon after the birth of our first child, we bought property near the Hamilton Lab School because of the quality education offered there, and we still live there. I spent the first part of my adult life as a homemaker raising our four children. My husband worked for the City of Lafayette, and I raised our three oldest children on that single income. To make ends meet, I sewed all of the children's clothing and shopped sales once every two weeks at Heymann's Grocery and Department Store in Lafayette. Sometimes we rented rooms to college students for a little income to help pay for the private piano lessons or enrichment activities that we thought were important for the children. The children helped with the housekeeping and family chores. We felt very fortunate to have our children attend the Hamilton Lab School in that it provided not only exceptional education experiences, but also wonderful enrichment opportunities. The children took music lessons with faculty members, acted in plays produced by the university, and went on trips related to the activities at school.
After two of our children were married and my oldest daughter began her teaching career, I decided that, I too, should begin a career. Because I excelled in math, I began by taking courses with H&R Block and would seasonally have a part time job in tax preparation. I realized then that I could achieve a better quality of life if I were to attain a teaching degree. At times it was awkward attending classes at USL with classmates as young as my children, but I persevered and eventually graduated from USL with a bachelors degree in education. I began teaching at Judice Elementary and remained there for twenty years. During that time, I continued my education at USL and eventually earned a masters degree in education. I retired from teaching in 1995.
USL gave me the opportunity to fulfill my potential as a mother and later in having a career. I have overcome poverty, learned a new language, moved to a larger city, and educated my children. All four children earned degrees from USL. Our three daughters--Sue (1970, 1975), Debora (1978), and Ginger (1981, 1987)--earned degrees in education and are teachers. Our son, Keith (1987) earned a degree in General Studies and is now Vice President with Pacific Corp/ TPC Corporation in Houston. Through all these endeavors, USL played a vital role.
Glenda Sue Thibodeaux Thomas - Hamilton Lab 1963; Elementary Education, 1971; M. Ed., 1975
Glenda Sue Thibodeaux Thomas
Recollections of a Hamilton Lab School Student (1955 - 1963) and USL - 1971 and 1975
The following essay is a collection of memories of my family and their relation to USL. My name is Glenda Sue Thibodeaux Thomas (1971, 1975). All of my siblings graduated from USL. They are Debora Jane Thibodeaux Wilkerson (1978), Keith Joseph Thibodeaux (1987), and Ginger Maria Thibodeaux Guillory (1981, 1987). My mother, Mary L. Borel Thibodeaux (1975, 1979), graduated from USL, and my father, Waldo Joseph Thibodeaux took courses at USL. Unlike most USL graduates who attended USL straight out of high school, we started our education at USL's Hamilton Lab School. So USL has been a major part of our lives since we were very young. My husband, Glenn Michael Thomas (1971, 1975), like many members of his family, attended USL only as a college student.
My parents are originally from small rural communities near Lafayette. Their families moved to Lafayette in the early 40's seeking employment. After my parents married, my father was employed by the Lafayette Utility System.
Soon after my birth in 1951, my parents purchased a lot three blocks from the lab school. My parents purchased property near the lab school because they had heard of the excellent education provided there. Both my mother and father had only attended school up to the eighth grade, like many young couples at that time, they placed a high value on a good education and felt that advanced education was the key to happiness and success. During the summer before I entered first grade, my parents built their home on the corner of Auburn Avenue and Coolidge; they still reside there.
I started at the Hamilton Lab School in September 1955 and attended through eighth grade. I remember walking by the kindergarten class located downstairs near the stairs and closest to the front foyer. I would walk home at the end of the day, sometimes taking the route down Tulane Street. I would walk by the nursery school, located where the girls dorms are now, and would see the small children playing in the tree house near the school. Once, I questioned my mother about why we had not attended nursery school or kindergarten at Hamilton. She responded that my father thought that we were too young to be away from home at that age and that age six years was a good time to begin one's education.
There was only one section each of nursery and kindergarten. It was not compulsory and these classes were made up mostly by the children of the SLI faculty. It was during my eight years at the Lab School that SLI became a university and was renamed USL. Grades one through seven had two sections each and eighth grade had only one section. The students remained together from first through seventh grade. In eighth-grade half of the students had to go to Lafayette Elementary School which was located on University (then College) Avenue. Some students would voluntarily choose to go to Lafayette Elementary, for it was considered to have more of a high school atmosphere. My father left no choice for my siblings and me. We would remain at the Lab School, for that was where one could get the best education. The only obstacle was the first day in eighth grade when, if enough students did not volunteer to go to Lafayette Elementary, names were drawn to see who would get to stay at Hamilton. The eighth grade class was located in an old military wooden frame building behind the main school building.
I attended the Hamilton Lab School for eight years. I was a quiet child and took school seriously. Upon finishing my eighth year, we graduated in a small ceremony in the auditorium. At that ceremony, I remember well Mr. Carson, our principal, asking me to stand up and be recognized for never missing a day of school in eight years. I held my perfect attendance record throughout grade school, plus first through twelfth grade. There was no perfect attendance recognition upon graduating from high school.
My brother and two sisters also attended the Hamilton Lab School. We cherish the memories of our years there. We walked to school every morning down one of two streets that led directly to Hamilton, Tulane and Auburn Avenue. In the morning and afternoon recesses we walked out to the young oak trees skirting the block of property on which Hamilton sits. During my school years, Hamilton School shared the block of property with no other building except the small frame building used as a nursery school and the even smaller frame building known as "the Brownie Hut." At lunch time, we walked home to a hot meal with our family and returned to school at the end of the thirty minute period. Sometimes, usually once a month, mom would let us eat in the cafeteria as a treat. The cafeteria was located in the basement of the school. I remember putting our heads down on our desks after lunch and listening to the hum of the small black oscillating fans attached to the walls of our classroom.
So many things set the Hamilton Lab School apart from other public schools at the time. The little brown wooden desks with unattached chairs are atypical of any school I have ever been in. I have one of these little desks, and I cherish it. Comparing school time schedules, the Hamilton Lab School started and ended later in the day than other public schools at the time.
Unlike students at other schools, we always had more than one teacher every year. A student teacher was assigned to each class, sometimes one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In one instance that I can remember, the university had an abundance of education students; therefore, we had two student teachers assigned to us in the morning and two in the afternoon. Student teachers were always an advantage. They planned wonderful lessons in their preparation for becoming future teachers. In some instances, they tutored us when we had problems. Many of these student teachers went on to positions of prominence in the Louisiana educational system.
Several aspects of our educational atmosphere made our school days unique. Unlike other schools that recorded student progress with grades of F, we were given grades of S-satisfactory, U-unsatisfactory and N-needs improvement in first through seventh grade. In eighth grade we received grades that were similar to other schools. While other students in other schools played the traditional sports, such as baseball, our units of study were supplemented with exposure to unique sports taught by foreign students. South American students at USL instructed us in playing soccer long before it became the popular sport that it is today. Once a year after school on Friday afternoon, after school, we had a "penny party." Booths were set up in the rectangular area between the eighth-grade and main building; we spent our pennies on a variety of games. Adjacent to the eighth grade classroom was the industrial arts classroom. Every year we had at least one unit of study in industrial arts where we created items of metal, wood, or leather. I still have one of these items--a metal spoon rest with a flower design punched into it.
Fine arts was a special opportunity at the Hamilton Lab School. During one period a day, students would go to violin classes with Ms. Pulley, a music teacher from the university. Students could learn to play a band instrument. For band class, students had to walk to Burke Hall on the campus near Cypress Lake. I took choral lessons with a university professor; as a result I was able to act in a play at "The King and I"-- put on by university students. Once we performed with the New Orleans Symphony. We acted in school plays and operas and caroled at Christmas.
So many wonderful teachers at Hamilton made the lab school the great place it was. My first grade teacher, Ms. Sullivan, was a kind elderly lady who was a year away from retirement and whom everyone loved. I remember the excitement I felt when chosen as juice helper along with another classmate. Juice in the morning was an exciting part of first grade. Another kind soft spoken elderly lady was my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Longenecker, who opened up the world of books for me. Every day after lunch, she would read a chapter from a children's novel. To this day I remember the wonderful character Caddie Woodlawn and her adventures. Mr. Joseph, my eighth grade teacher, stirred in me an interest in Louisiana and local history that I enjoy today. Dr. Jane Ellen Carstens, our librarian, managed the wonderful library with tall dark wood shelves filled with the most wonderful books, such as the Childhood of Young American's series, fairy tales, and the Nancy Drew mysteries.
As a result of Dr. Carstens and other teachers at the Hamilton Lab School, I went on to become a school librarian, a job I love. Coming full circle, under Dr. Carstens' guidance, I was asked to help train USL library science students. The education we received at Hamilton motivated my siblings and me to continue our education through the university level.
In an expression of their value for education, both of my parents attended night classes and graduated from high school in 1967, just before I did. My father attended USL night classes and his received certification in electrical engineering. After I became an educator, my mother enrolled at USL and received her bachelors degree in education, received her masters degree in education, taught in the Lafayette Parish Public School System for twenty years, and retired in 1995. I attended USL and met my husband there. His parents were graduates of USL. As a result of their training at SLI, his mother and her sisters were teachers in the Louisiana Education System. Glenn and I graduated from USL with bachelors, masters and masters +30 degrees in education. We have taught in the Louisiana Public School System for over 27 years. My brother graduated from USL and went on to purseu a business career. My two sisters have education degrees from USL and are both teachers in the Lafayette Public School System.
The cycle repeats itself, for now our children are graduates and students at USL. Unlike most graduates who have fond memories of USL college life, USL has been part of our lives since childhood. As children we went to school there and played on the campus. Our education was enriched by the advantages of a Hamilton Lab School education. USL prepared us for our roles as parents and providers for our families. For the remainder of our lives and for our children's lives, we consider USL an integral factor for us all.
Submitted by Glenda Sue Thibodeaux Thomas
Andrew Toney - Health and Physical Education, December 1979
1979 - Health and Physical Education
Dear Dr. Dugas:
When I visited USL out of high school, I was sold right away on attending school there. Although I visited five or six different universities, my USL visit was the best one. However, coming from Alabama, I knew I wanted to attend a college out of state. USL wasn't too far away from home and it had a different culture.
My mother stressed to me that upon my arrival at USL, I must get my priorities in order--education first, basketball second, and I must find a good holy church to attend (which was Gethsemane). During the first semester of school, I met my wife Priscillia in the cafeteria. I met Barry Herbert (Scooby Doo is his nickname) while at USL, and we are still the best of friends. My main objective was to graduate early and make sure I earned a degree before I left school. I really enjoyed the competition once basketball practice started because I knew then I had to prove that I was a legitimate blue chip recruit.
Highlights While at USL and a Little Humor
- Winning SLC Championship at Arkansas State
- Winning Conference Player of The Year
- Playing in Hawaii
- Flipping over a canoe in the Whiskey Chitto during a Recreation Class Outing - I had to survive until help came
- Playing against Louisville University
- Gaining and earning trust from Coach Hatfield
- Leading the Conference in scoring and field goal percentage
- Being drafted by Philadelphia 76'ers in the first round
I could go on with these highlights, but you have to stop somewhere!
After leaving USL, I went on to play for the Philadelphia 76'ers. We won the N.B.A. championship during my 3rd season, 1982-83.
A foot injury forced my retirement from professional basketball in 1988, and I moved my family to Atlanta. Looking for a challenge, I picked up the game of golf to occupy that urge to compete. After seven years of golfing five to six days a week and seeing that my children were getting older, I decided to play less golf and put to use my USL degree. I wanted my children to observe a father working at a regular job instead of a full-time, casual golfer. Now, I'm a P.E. teacher (semi-regular) and I still have plenty of time (2 to 3 days a week) to enjoy the game of golf.
I visit USL at least two times a year, especially during the football homecoming game, and I'm looking forward to visiting with you on my next trip to Lafayette.
THANKS FOR EVERYTHING,
Priscillia Bobb Toney - Health and Physical Education, 1980
Priscillia Bobb Toney
1980 - Health and Physical Education
My name was Priscillia Bobb when I entered USL in the summer of l976. I was a member of the USL Upward Bound Program. My advisor was Mr. Robert Carmouche. He made my transition from high school to college very easy. I can remember that he made sure we signed up for the right classes, assisted us in filling out the right papers for financial aid, and made sure that we took enough classes every semester so that we could graduate in four years!
Some of my fondest memories of USL are from the Health and Physical Education department. I had very good professors who were caring, helpful, and treated students with respect. Our department head was Dr. Ed Dugas. We always knew we could contact him if there were a problem we could not solve ourselves. I remember one time someone I was very close to was playing summer basketball in Russia. He could not get back in time to register for the classes he wanted to take in the fall. I tried to register for him but was not having any luck; so I went to Dr. Dugas and explained the problem to him. Dr. Dugas gave me a note signed by him and needless to say, the problem was solved!
I also met a guy at USL on my very first day in college. I met him in the college cafeteria. He was eating breakfast with a basketball on one chair and a biology book on the table. I remember him telling me that he came to USL to get an education and to play basketball. He also smiled and said that he didn't think that he would have time for a girlfriend. As it turned out, my fondest memories for the next four years are of my times spent with this guy I met in the cafeteria. He became an outstanding basketball player. His name is Andrew Toney. I truly enjoyed going to all the basketball games to watch him play. We enjoyed other memories because we took many health and physical education classes together.
After graduating from USL, I became a teacher and Andrew became a professional basketball player. We were later married and have three wonderful children: Chanel, 16; Channing Andrew, 12; and Collette 7.
I hope that one day all of them will go to a college that will give them wonderful memories. Who knows, maybe one of them will go to USL and play basketball also. Maybe "he" will break some of his "Dad's" records!
Priscillia Bobb Toney
O. J. Tournillon - Health & Physical Education, 1949
Bachelor of Science, 1949
In 1946, I was attending Tulane University on a football scholarship. The new head coach, Henry Frnka, would not permit players to participate in the Southwestern Conference track meet, as he required that every one should attend spring practice. His adamancy prompted a decision to leave.
Among the institutions that offered an alternative were Stanford, Texas Christian University and Southwestern. Johnny Cain knew of my situation and invited me for a visit. Coach Cain was very impressive. Moreover, the students and the campus sold me on SLI.
Unfortunately, my experience with Coach Cain was short lived as he accepted a coaching job at the University of Alabama. Coach G. Mitchell was selected as his successor. Under his guidance, Southwestern won the conference track and field meet.
While at SLI, I made life-long friendships. Stanley Richard, Larry Wiltz, Bill Gros, Al Deroche, and L.J. Raymond shared many wonderful experiences. Stanley Richard and I bought a 1928 Ford Model "B" automobile. Transportation was in short supply on campus. Wherever we went, the seats were filled and frequently there were passengers standing on the car's running boards. On one such occasion when driving on campus, a very, very small automobile called a "Crosly" abruptly pulled in front. Our Ford lightly hit the car that was driven by two girls. The driver of the other car panicked, lost control and hit a tree. Our passengers on the running boards went flying off! Fortunately, no one was hurt and the damage to the tank-line Ford was minor.
Naturally, Stanley and I went to help the girls. Neither was hurt, but the damage to their toy car from hitting the tree was extensive. One of the girls was the daughter of the mayor of Abbeville. Stanley and I fixed the car after I got a book from the library on car repairs.
The Ford was the source of many adventures. Once it was stolen while we were in the cafeteria. I wanted to call the police, but Stanley wanted to look for it first. We found the car on the tennis courts, but were never able to discover the perpetrators. To this day, however, I still strongly suspect Bill Gros and L.J. Raymond. On another occasion, Stanley had a date and used the car to go to a movie in town. When he came out of the theater, someone had put the car on a fireplug.
The only class I ever missed at Southwestern was the time I met a cute blond girl from California. We met in the Student Center and I enjoyed her company so much that I missed physics.
The military base by the school had been closed following World War II. We often jumped its fence at night for a swim in the pool. While on the track team, I would practice throwing the discus behind the girl's dormitory. Years later, I learned that the girls would watch me, and I suspect that is how I got a job modeling for the art school class.
The gym teacher, Miss McMillan, asked some of the athletes to participate in a physical education show. We were coated with silver paint and did three different tableaus. Moving from one position to another was tedious when your body is covered with oily goop.
After graduation from Southwestern, I received a Master of Science Degree from Louisiana State University and a Doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi. I taught and coached at Terrebonne High School, Holy Cross High School, and Fortier High School for nineteen years. I served as principal, district superintendent and assistant headmaster for twenty years at various schools including McDonough 7, Gayarre, Fortier, Abramson and Holy Cross High.
While I consider myself semi-retired, I work as an educational consultant on occasion. While I still maintain a residence in New Orleans, I attend to my farm in Carriere, Mississippi. Dr. Van Brock of LSU has encouraged me to write about my experiences as an educator; and I hope to do so in the near future.
The education that I received at Southwestern was solid. I would not trade my experiences there for anything in the world. It was a wonderful time.
Janice Lejeune Dupré' Trahan - English Education, 1970
Janice Lejeune Dupré' Trahan
Class of '70, English Education Major
I have generally fond memories of my four years at USL. As a graduate of Chataignier High, Class of '63, I was anxious to escape the cotton and sweet potato fields of the sharecropper to prepare for a career in English Education. I wanted to be a teacher and there was never a doubt in my mind about that. To assure that I would finish in four years so I could earn a living, I never dropped a course, repeated one, nor failed one. I could not afford to do so. My first day is still vivid in my mind. On a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1963, I moved into Baker-Huger dormitory for women; it provided bathroom facilities and hot water showers, a first for me. (Twenty years later, my daughter, Dana Dupré' (Sturgis), Class of '87 and now married to Bill Sturgis, Class of '93, lived in the same room for three years. Her younger sister Claire Trahan, presently a freshman at USL, plans to live there, too, next fall.). That evening, I began to work at the campus dining hall called O.K. Allen Dining Hall. Ms. Mariam Collins, the supervisor who ruled with an iron hand and wore crisply starched, white uniforms, gave instructions that all student workers were expected to report to the breakfast "line" at 6:30 -- after eating breakfast there at 6:00 A.M. I knew absolutely no one. My fellow workers, Cliff Broussard, Burch Stelly, Jim Guillory, Diane Fontenot, and Jesse Kibodeaux, to name a few who had been there some time, quickly advised me to keep my mouth shut and keep the line of food trays moving smoothly. My skills in farm self-discipline certainly paid off there. Mrs. Yandle, the dietitian, was a soft-spoken person with whom I felt comfortable. A semester later, she allowed me to work in her office and sit on a stool to punch meal tickets. What an accomplishment that was! However, I still had to help clean up the dining hall tables during and after meals, and that was exactly what I was doing when the news on the radio informed America that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.
Although I had little money, I was able to become a teacher because of the teacher shortage. My saving grace was a federal loan offered at a low rate of interest and canceled by teaching ten years in Louisiana. Mr. Leo Hebert in the Student Financial Aid Office was someone I came to know well. Each semester, he gravely informed me that he would not allow federal dollars to go to waste, so I worked diligently for four years to maintain the requirements. After 24 years of teaching, I have fulfilled my obligations, and I continue to teach today at the secondary level on a part-time basis.
My undergraduate studies in English and Library Science at USL prepared me well to complete a Master of Library Science degree(Class of '74) on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. I continued to participate in USL's University College or Continuing Education Program through the years.
A few years later, I married Rodney J. Trahan, (Class of '74 and Class of '75), an instructor in Health, Safety and Physical Education at USL for eleven years. Some years later, Dana also became a teacher, and is currently still dedicated to teaching. Her brother, Nick Trahan, plans to attend USL in two years. I remember well holding one child's hand and carrying one to visit Daddy in his office at McLaurin Gym, the women's gym at the time.
I remain fiercely proud of being a USL alumna and this letter gave me an opportunity to express that pride. I would like to thank Dr. Ed Dugas, a dear friend, for executing this wonderful centennial program, particularly the Recognition Social Program held on November 14, 1998 where Rodney and I reunited with friends and faculty. It was a night we would not have missed. The program summed up the years of dedication and hard work which enabled us to teach and to make a difference in the lives of students, past and present.
Rodney J. Trahan - Health & Physical Education, 1974; M. Ed., 1975
Rodney J. Trahan
Class '74, Health, Safety and Physical Education with Teacher Certification in Social Studies
My first affiliation with SLI as a student was in the fall of 1946. I had just received my honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy after my return from a short tour overseas as one of the first Americans to occupy Japan. It was a lasting, memorable visit for a 17-year-old Cajun from Rayne, Louisiana to be one of the first on the scene to witness the devastation in Nagasaki, the site of the atomic bomb.
The G.I. Bill allowed me to enroll at SLI. Because of my positive experiences in sports, I knew I wanted to teach and coach. My physical activity instructor was Coach Bill Stevenson. During physical skills drill during his football class, my punting ability obviously impressed him because he asked me to try out for the Bulldog team. I informed him that I was on the Southwestern Boxing Squad and working hard under the coaching of National Heavyweight Champ, Lou Campbell, and the legendary trainer, "Doc" Reinhardt. Bob Browne was the Department Head and taught lecture classes. Always in a suit and tie, all activity classes required a P.E. uniform which was school colors--red and white. Instructors wore school - colored uniforms which were different from those of students. That made it easy to distinguish between the two.
A few days before the Christmas break and after working hard for about two months in preparation for a scheduled match with LSU, the boxing team was told that the SLI administration had abolished boxing. Final semester exams were given after the Christmas holidays at that time. Being very disappointed and immature, like most 18-year-olds whose high priority is athletics, I walked downtown Lafayette during the Christmas break and joined the U.S. Army Paratroopers and did not return until years later. Because I failed to drop officially, my transcript showed 17 hours of WF's for that semester. Thus, I became an ex-member of the Class of '50.
In the fall of 1971, after my military retirement and as the "old man" in all my classes, I returned to USL to rectify the mistake I had made 25 years earlier--dropping out. My first advisor turned out to be a former high school track coach. I had corresponded with him in an attempt to recruit one of his student athletes during my track-coaching tenure at the U.S. Military Academy ten years previously -- small world. That advisor, Dr. Ed Dugas, had much to do with my adjustment to study routines and full-time status. To him, I will always be grateful.
In 1975, I completed the year as a graduate assistant and earned a Masters in Education. At the same time, Dr. Dave Fisher retired. With my twelve years of successful cross country and track-and-field coaching experience, Dr. Louis Coussan hired me to replace Dr. Fisher as the Track Specialist of the Department. My eleven years of teaching were gratifying and, in general, were enjoyable. Many hours of pleasure were spent working with young people as a starter at every USL Track Meet (Old McNaspy and the new track) from 1970-1985. Students in my track classes worked as officials at high schools and all USL track meets as a required practicum. Starting a track meet with Oliver Blanchard, Jr. as Clerk of Course was always an efficient and pleasant experience.
When I felt I had been wronged, my real friends and colleagues stood up for what was right. To Dr. Dugas, Sue Simmons, Dr. Marty Bourg, Clyde Wolf, "Doc" Reinhardt, Fred Nelson, Mike Smith, and Dr. Dave Fisher, I will always respect and appreciate you.
As a member of the Acadia Parish School Board for the past eight years, I am still trying to elevate the quality of education in our schools. In addition, I spend time with my wife, Janice Lejeune Trahan (Class of '70), my married daughter, Dana Dupré' Sturgis (Class of '87), son-in-law Bill Sturgis (Class of '93) all of whom became teachers. A daughter, Claire Trahan is presently a freshman at USL; her brother, Nick, a junior at Rayne High School, plans to attend in two years. Rodney J. Trahan, Jr. and Ava, children of a previous marriage, live in North Carolina.
Mary Beth Stufflefield Wallis - M. Ed., 1964; Ed. S., 1973
Betty S. Wallis
After graduating from high school, I earned a Bachelors Degree in Home Economics at Louisiana Tech. I married and had a family before pursuing further education.
In 1964 I earned a Master of Education Degree and in 1973 an Educational Specialist Degree, both issued to Mary Beth Stubblefield Wallis (Beth S. Wallis). During this time, I obtained certification in Library Science and did further graduate study in Library Science at LSU.
My first professional association with USL was in 1966 as Assistant Librarian at F.M. Hamilton Training School where I also taught a course in Children's Literature. When Maxim Doucet was built, I became Director of the Materials Center and continued to teach Library Science courses. I went back to Hamilton as Librarian for a time, but returned to the Materials Center where I retired in August 1984.
I have fond memories of the years at USL in the College of Education. My association with faculty and students was always pleasant and rewarding. It was my good fortune to have had the privilege of being a part of the education of our future teachers.
Congratulations and best wishes in this effort to record some of the history of our fine university.
Betty S. Wallis
Lillian and Bill Walz - M. Ed., 1972; M. Ed., 1973
Lillian and Bill Walz
M. Ed. 1972 and M.Ed. 1973
After marrying in Albuquerque in 1969, we embarked on a journey to the Cajun land of Lafayette, Louisiana. Bill had been named as the USL Tennis Coach for the two seasons of 1970 and 1971. "Lani" (Lillian) and Bill (William) earned Masters of Education degrees from USL.
Both of the Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Rickels, as well as Dr. Amos Simpson modeled what teachers should be for the future educators. The young Yankee Walzes quickly became enamored of life in southwestern Louisiana. However, Lani's widowed and ill mother drew us back to New Mexico.
Many years later, since Mr. Edward Sam of Truman School was on the Lafayette School Board, we inquired about moving back to the land of prolific azaleas, rice, seafood-to-dream-about and the most wonderful culture of Acadiana.
Bill is a School Superintendent and Lani is a teacher consultant in SE Alaska. In 1997, we cheered the Ragin Cajuns at Anchorage Alaska's Great American Shootout. Even though the Basketball Team should have won the Tournament and did not, the"cold roisterous cheers" that we yelled are still commented about (as well as wondered about). Cajun Power is living in Alaska, however cold and snow-covered.
Carol Scott Whelan - Curriculum & Instruction Faculty Member, E.T.R.C., 1987 - 1997
Carol Scott Whelan
In the spring of 1987 I visited the campus of USL and made an appointment with the Dean of the College of Education to discuss the possibility of applying for a position in the College of Education. I was asked to teach a graduate level course in Educational Program Evaluation in the fall and a methods course elementary mathematics education in the spring. While teaching as an adjunct professor, I applied for a full time position as an Assistant Professor in Curriculum and Instruction and began in the fall of 1988.
In 1990, USL had the unique opportunity to develop a center to build upon the computer science interest at the university and to address local educators' need for a bridge between pure computer science and its application in the classroom. Consequently, the Educational Technology Review Center (ETRC) was established in winter of 1991 as a resource site to serve the schools of the region, the state, and the nation. Funded through a grant from the Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund (LEQSF), ETRC became a clearinghouse for existing and recently released computer software and hardware. Through the Fall 1991 issue of the quarterly publication of the Louisiana Educational Technology Review, information about C was shared statewide. The center is now funded by the legislature.
Through the establishment of an Advisory Board comprised of faculty, K-12 educators and business and community leaders, the ETRC's strategic plan evolved. The ETRC staff became involved in research, videodisc and CD-ROM production in 1993. Through a $200,000 grant from the BellSouth Foundation, the ETRC and the Center for Telecommunications Studies researched the existing telecommunications infrastructure in Louisiana as well as existing educational programs available in Louisiana in 1993. The information was compiled and put on the ETRC's first CD-ROM, Innovative Technology in Louisiana.
One of the charges of the ETRC was to review software. While a survey of the multimedia software market revealed an abundance of historical and cultural materials on video disc and CD-ROM, it also revealed that nothing was unique to Louisiana. Realizing the powerful potential of acquiring new learning through self-awareness and self-knowledge, the ETRC's staff took its next big step: to create software that linked the rich cultural heritage of Southwest Louisiana with current technology. This led to the production of Notre Heritage Louisianais, a collaborative project which featured the artistry of an Acadian weaver.
Also, in the spring of 1994, the ETRC homepage was established and information was shared online (etrc.usl.edu). In the fall of 1994, the ETRC became involved in the first networking pilot project with K-12 schools (Louisiana Networking Infrastructure in Education (LaNIE). The Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program (LASIP) received a $564,000 grant to work with 5 pilot sites across the state in the implementation of a effort to integrate telecommunications into the curriculum through professional development, assistance with curricular development and technical support. The ETRC Director served as the University coordinator for the Lafayette School System/USL project.
This LaNIE project resulted in a $4.3 million Innovative Challenge Grant award from the U.S. Department of Education in 1995, one of 19 funded in the nation. While serving as the ETRC Director, I was also the Coordinator of the Louisiana Technology Challenge Grant Telecommunications Curriculum and Evaluation and established the Challenge Grant homepage. Information about this is online atchallenge.state.la.us. It provides a valuable resource for educators across the state and its evaluation design has been used as a model at the national level. The Challenge Grant provided a foundation of support and knowledge needed for the enactment of the 1997 Classroom-Based Technology Fund. This fund provided over $62 million in state funds to help provide educational technologies for Louisiana's elementary and secondary students. It also provided support for the federal Technology Literacy Challenge Grant which has allocated over $15 million for educational technology in the last two years.
Through networking evolving from all of the projects, electronic curriculum development projects including the Oil Spill Awareness through Geoscience Education (OSAGE) CD-ROM, and the Wetlands Education Project evolved. Support for these projects was provided by the Governor's Office of Oil Spill Research and Development and the National Biological Service's Southern Science Center.
During its regular 1997 session, the Louisiana legislature passed a bill to support use of technology in classrooms and appropriated $62 million for technology over the next two years. The Louisiana Department of Education established a new Louisiana Center for Educational Technology (LCET), and at the request of the Superintendent of Education, Cecil J. Picard, I am directing the technology initiatives. As the Director of Educational Technology, I realize that the Educational Technology Review Center (ETRC) at USL played a key role in helping to prepare Louisiana for statewide reform.
I would like to thank Dr. Authement and the faculty and staff at USL for providing the strong leadership and support for educational technology. Through my work as a faculty member and Director of the C, I was able to work with colleges across the campus and educators across the state and the nation.
The staff at ETRC and the staff at the Department of Education's T continue to work closely in the areas of software review and multimedia development. The recently completed Reaching for Results: Education Reform in Louisiana M (also online at doe.state.la.us) is a great example of this collaboration. As a result of working together and sharing information, lessons learned are being shared statewide and good products and projects are being replicated.
Again, I would like to thank Dr. Authement and the USL administration and staff for all the support over the last ten years. We will continue to work together to provide all students the skills and knowledge necessary for success. USL has been a strong leader in the field of educational technology, and I hope to continue to work closely with your faculty and staff.
Carol Scott Whelan, Ph.D.
Director, Educational Technology
Louisiana Department of Education
Dawn M. Wilson - Health & Physical Education Faculty, 1976 - 82
Dawn M. Wilson
I look back at my career of thirty years in education in Louisiana and fond memories are evoked, not only of professional experiences but also of all the people whom I have met and with whom I have worked. I particularly view my teaching experience and administrative responsibilities at USL from 1976 to 1982 as having a pivotal impact on my professional career and my vision of my own worth.
During one's lifetime special people pass through who have major impacts on one's personal direction, career choices, and personal self-assurance. I am truly grateful for those mentors that have guided me down these paths.
My mother was one such mentor. The joy and professional satisfaction she experienced in performing and teaching dance challenged my educational choices in college to pursue a degree in health, physical education and recreation with specialization in dance. Her owning and operating a school of dance afforded me the early experiences of being a leader. Her pride in my following in her footsteps and my enthusiasm and eagerness to teach enabled me to enter the world of work upon early graduation. From an early age, she had instilled in me an appreciation for the arts and encouraged my creativity.
The adrenaline rush and excitement one feels upon graduation was dampened during the first of the seven years I taught at a public elementary/junior high school. I quickly learned that, in order to keep my students interested and motivated, "traditional" methodology was not going to work--my students had "been there and done that." My creative juices started flowing; before long, I was conducting workshops for professional associations and school districts. I was fortunate to have a principal that was open to new concepts, such as elementary physical education and career education. My school became recognized as a state model for such programs. Dr. Ed Dugas, at that time Chairman of USL's HPER Department, had participated in several of my presentations and encouraged me to apply for a position vacancy in the Department. With some doubts about my skills and knowledge to teach at the university level, I accepted a position teaching dance and gymnastics. He recognized a hint of administrative ability and placed me in the position of Activity Coordinator, following Sue Jones Simmons. Dave Cameron and Marty Bourg, Coordinators of the Undergraduate Program, and I were Ed's "fair-haired kids." It was evident that if we worked as a team, good things could happen, and they did! Ed Dugas has been a mentor to so many young professionals. I can truly say that, through the years, his friendship, support, encouragement, and confidence inspired me to believe more in my abilities and myself.
Subsequent teaching positions, which included Terrebonne Parish School Board, Tulane University, and Northeast Louisiana University, provided me additional opportunities to grow as a professional and as an individual. I utilized the experiences gained at USL to develop new curricula and coordinate new activities and programs. Additionally, in the years after USL, I spent time working with the American Heart Association by educating our state's youth about cardiovascular disease. While at the time the moves around the state were not necessarily by choice, little did I know that these experiences were helping to mold the broad perspective of higher education needed for my success in my present administrative position.
I truly believe my rich experiences and opportunities are a result of the guidance and teaching of my many mentors. They have provided me with personal direction, career choices, and personal self-assurance to reach these personal and professional highs that I always felt were far beyond my reach. Because my mentors exhibited faith in my potential, I gave each position as much energy as possible by working very diligently at every task, and viewed each change of job as a professional challenge from which I could grow. I am truly thankful for these mentors in my life who have given me guidance and support.
I have worked for the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, formerly the Board of Trustees, for over four years as Director of Planning and Development and as Assistant to the President. While none of my current responsibilities directly impact or involve my chosen vocation of teaching, the administrative skills and people skills I have acquired along the way have made this experience very rich both professionally and personally.
USL, the students I knew, and faculty and staff with whom I worked, will always have a special place in my heart. Congratulations on your Centennial!
Clyde Wolf - Health and Physical Education, 1958; M. Ed., 1966
B.S. in Health & Physical Education, 1958; M.Ed. in 1966
I came to SLI in January 1955 from Effingham, Illinois, after serving in the army from 1952 to 1954 (during the Korean War). My older brother, Dallas Wolf, was the center on the SLI basketball team. Dallas told Ray Didier, the football and baseball coach, about me, so I came down and played baseball four years for SLI. Coach Didier left after my second year to coach at LSU.
When you are in athletics, you make friends for life. If you lived in McNaspy in a room with "Dizzy" Gore, Don "play it slow" Corley and whoever else had the guts to make it four to a room (they came and went, but never stayed), there is no way you forget those friends. Outstanding men and fine athletes, such as Sonny Roy, Rick Lalonde, Marvin Leonard, Bob Petitfels, and naturally my "roomies" are people you remember the rest of your life. I really shouldn't mention names because I'll leave out people, such as Gene Bacque and my off-campus roommate, Curtis Joubert. Curtis really helped with my Gulf States Conference home run championship swing by forcing me to practice hitting the cap off of a coke bottle which was placed at the foot of his bed, while he reclined in the bed. (The things roommates will do to help each other).
I majored in Health & Physical Education and Mathematics, but was never able to take a class with Dr. Authement. He was one of the best professors and his classes always filled early. After graduation I taught Math and Health & Physical Education and coached at Cecilia and Carencro High Schools.
In 1966, I returned to USL as a member of the Health & Physical Education faculty and remained there until 1992. The four "horsemen" were Ed Dugas, Fred Nelson, Marty Bourg and myself. Of course there were other great teachers like us in the Department! "Go Bulldogs!"
Francis Pirotte Zink - Elementary Education, 1962; M. A., 1967; Ed. S., 1969
Frances Pirotte Zink
1962 BA Elementary Education
1967 MA Administration and Supervision
1969 Ed.S. Administration and Supervision
I consider that I have been a part of USL since 1959. Perhaps I should say since 1951, because I live in Arbolada surrounded by the USL campus. I officially came to Southwestern Louisiana Institute in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree ( Marymount College, Salina, Kansas, 1945) seeking to certify as a teacher. After consulting with the acting Dean, I elected not to certify in Secondary Education/Home Economics and Science but to certify in Elementary Education instead. Job opportunities were much better for Elementary Education majors. Being somewhat undecided and feeling that I had plenty of time, I planned to start a program taking only nine hours a semester. I did not plan to teach until my youngest child started school.
When the evaluation of my transcript was completed, I was somewhat dismayed to find out that I needed 53 undergraduate hours to complete a second degree, this one in Elementary Education. I started my program, still taking only nine hours a semester and found it a delightful experience being on campus and again being a student.
My memories of that period in the late 1950s include some interesting ones. The library was in Stephens Hall with a good part of the education holdings and newspapers in the basement. Hamilton was a lab school, and all the elementary education students did observations and student teaching in the classrooms there. There were two sections of grades 1 through 6, with one section of kindergarten, seventh and eighth grades. Elementary education methods courses were taught by the faculty of Hamilton Elementary School. Because they also taught the K-8 grade students, methods classes were held at 8 AM in the Lab School. The classes were very large, often with forty students.
The Lab School was not air conditioned, and still looked like it did when it was built in the late 1930s. Each classroom had a row of adult size chairs along the back wall and college students and parents could observe at anytime, simply walking into the class and being seated. Students were so accustomed to this that they paid no attention to the visitors.
The Student Union was in what is now the bowling ally. Between classes one could expect to see students and professors, often at the same table in the Student Union, having coffee or cokes. During many semesters, the students, especially the mature students taking comparatively few courses, spent time in the union studying and/or visiting. The long utility tables were conducive to this type of student interaction.
If you had classes in history, in all probability they were in Little Abbeville, an area near where HLG is now located. Classes were held in an old war surplus building. The Shack, which was a short distance away, supplied coffee, cokes and snacks in between classes.
After finishing my undergraduate studies, I taught in an elementary school for three years. I then decided to return to USL to work on a graduate degree. Now a full time graduate student I, again, thoroughly enjoyed being on campus. The College had grown, the University had become larger and the graduate enrollment gave a new dimension to the College. After finishing my Master of Arts degree I again taught, this time fourth grade in the public school system.
In the fall of 1968, I joined the faculty of Teacher Education at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Although I was assured that a terminal degree was not necessary, I sensed that it was only a short time until it would be, and enrolled in a doctoral program at LSU. I commuted to LSU and taught at USL for several semesters and then took a sabbatical leave to complete my studies and dissertation. I was awarded a Ph.D. in Education in August 1973.
The last twenty five years have gone very quickly. For several years I taught elementary education methods classes; then, in January 1979, I became Director of Graduate Studies in Education, a position which I held for eight years. In 1987, I returned to the classroom, teaching methods courses and supervising student teachers. The last three semesters, I am again in administration as Acting Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. I have found each position to be a challenge and I have enjoyed my work. I have seen the University grow from about 6,000 students to over 17,000. I have seen computers introduced then become indispensable. I have heard distance learning talked about and then become a reality in our University and in our College. May USL's next hundred years be as memorable as the first hundred years. ears.