Dec 15, 2009 4:25 PM by Letitia Walker
From UL Lafayette's Press Office:
LAFAYETTE – Leonard Marks of Arnaudville is not your average graduate. The U.S. Army veteran is a retiree who worked in the insurance field for 36 years.
On Saturday, he will earn two degrees – one in finance and the other in economics and also deliver the keynote address to his fellow students in the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
“For the first two years of my retirement, I stayed in Houston and played golf five to six times a week,” he said. “I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to play golf every day.”
So, Marks made his way back to Arnaudville where he refurbished his grandfather’s home. He finished the makeover in 2004 and decided to tackle the challenge of returning to college.
Marks came to UL Lafayette to complete requirements for his economics degree. He had previously studied economics while in Houston. Along the way, he decided to major in finance as well.
“I felt a new challenge was needed and that is when I decided to return to UL Lafayette to complete my economics degree,” he said.
Being a non-traditional student on campus didn’t seem to affect Marks or his studies.
“The most satisfaction I got from being a non-traditional student was the favorable interaction in most instances with the younger students. Also, the interaction I was able to establish with my instructors was extremely meaningful in the sense that I was able to have open discussions not only on specific subject matter but also on current events.”
Marks will speak at the college’s commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Cajundome.
A schedule of ceremonies and keynote speakers for Dec. 19 follows:
• 9 a.m. College of General Studies. Kenneth Boudreaux, Lafayette City-Parish councilman for District 4 will deliver the keynote address. He is a graduate of UL Lafayette and works with youth and adult organizations to encourage and promote positive life choices.
• noon College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Sandra Duhe, assistant professor and coordinator of the public relations program in the college, will give the keynote address. Duhe is the Mr. and Mrs. Tom Galloway Endowed Professor in Communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree from LSU, a master’s from UL Lafayette and a Ph.D. from University of Texas at Dallas.
• 3 p.m. B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. Leonard Marks of Arnaudville will be the keynote speaker. He is earning degrees in economics and finance.
• 5:30 p.m. Graduate School. Dr. Hector LaSala, professor of architecture and design at UL Lafayette, will be the keynote speaker. LaSala has been teaching at UL Lafayette for more than 30 years and is coordinator of the School of Architecture’s Foundation Design Division.
Cajundome Convention Center - Exhibit Hall (first floor)
• 9 a.m. College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. No keynote address.
• noon College of Education. Angelle Wyman, the college’s top student, will be the keynote speaker. She is a member of the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana and has been honored by the UL Lafayette Black Faculty and Staff Caucus twice. She’s been on the President’s List for several semesters and is the recipient of the Joan and Alexander Haig Endowed Scholarship in Education.
• 3 p.m. College of Engineering. Dr. Carrie Castille, a 1998 graduate of the College of Engineering, will be the keynote speaker. She began her career as an assistant professor with the LSU AgCenter and recently became the Special Advisor and Deputy Assistant Commissioner to Mike Strain, commissioner of agriculture in Louisiana.
Cajundome Convention Center - Festival Ballroom (second floor)
• 9 a.m. Ray P. Authement College of Sciences. Michelle Noel, the college’s Outstanding Graduate, will deliver the keynote address. She is a dual-degree candidate majoring in both biology and Spanish. She holds a 3.987 GPA and is the daughter of Hilton Noel Jr.
Angelle Hall Auditorium (Main Campus)
• 11 a.m. College of the Arts. Justin Hernandez, the college’s Outstanding Graduate, will deliver the keynote address. The visual arts major is a five-year U.S. Navy veteran who has served two wartime tours. His wife is Fawn Hernandez of Lafayette and his parents are Danny and Peggy Hernandez of Carencro.