UL

May 17, 2014 8:14 PM

UL Lafayette awards over 1600 degrees during Spring 2014 Commencement ceremonies

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette awarded degrees to 1,615 graduates during Spring 2014 Commencement ceremonies on Saturday.

The graduates are part of the largest graduating class in the history of UL Lafayette.

Bachelor's and master's degrees were conferred at ceremonies that were held at different campus locations on Saturday. Bachelor's degrees were awarded to 1,350 graduates. Master's degrees were awarded to 229 graduates. Two graduates received post master's certificates.

"I encourage you to take that same sense of hope optimism, hard work and tenacity that brought you to this day, and carry it with you in whatever you choose to do," said Dr. Joseph Savoie, University president, during the general assembly. "Approach your upcoming life decisions with the willingness to follow your passions, a desire to make a difference in the world and a commitment to do what you can do to help others."

Charles "Peanut" Tillman, a 2002 UL Lafayette graduate, was keynote speaker. A cornerback for the Chicago Bears, Tillman was a four-year letterman and All-American at UL Lafayette.

An All-Pro in the NFL, Tillman's generosity through his Cornerstone Foundation has made him an all-star to critically ill pediatric patients. It's estimated that since 2005, Tillman's charitable efforts have impacted the lives of over a million Chicago-area children and raised more than $1 million.

That combination of athletic performance and community service earned him the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in February.

Tillman encouraged students to continue learning throughout life, and to have a positive impact on other people. "Some believe you have to be famous, wealthy, or influential to be memorable. Those who inspire me the most are the ones that follow their passions in life and strive to help others.

Matthew Ross Hartley was named UL Lafayette's overall Outstanding Graduate.

Hartley, who majored in electrical engineering, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Engineering. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hartley of Lafayette, La.

Every spring and fall semester, deans from the eight academic colleges select an Outstanding Graduate based on leadership, scholarship and service. One is selected for the overall award by an Alumni Association selection committee, which interviews each candidate.

Hartley was also one of 11 students who were recognized as summa cum laude graduates.

Other graduates who achieved perfect 4.0 grade point averages are:

Kacie Marie Breaux, who majored in elementary education, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Education. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant Breaux of Abbeville, La.

Marae Justine Courvelle, who majored in elementary education, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Education. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arder Courvelle of Branch, La.

Cynthia Ann Grimmett, who majored in elementary education, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Education. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Grimmett of Port Barre, La.

June Elizabeth Zaunbrecher, who majored in secondary education/biology, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Education. Ms. Zaunbrecher is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Zaunbrecher of Gueydan, La.

Janie Elizabeth Dufrene, who majored in speech pathology and audiology, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Liberal Arts. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jude Dufrene of Raceland, La.

Lauren Elizabeth Griffin, who majored in psychology, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Liberal Arts. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Griffin of Loreauville, La.

Janea Nicole Judge-Hemans, who majored in mass communication, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Liberal Arts. She is the daughter of Ms. Ulyssia Simien of Lake Charles, La. and Mr. Jesse Hemans of Plantation, Fla.

Sarah Lambert, who majored in criminal justice, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Liberal Arts. She is the daughter of Ms. Christine Hersick and Mr. Dino Saello of Irwin, Pa.

Maria Lucille Rachal, who majored in French and history, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Liberal Arts. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Rachal of New Roads, La.

Kristy Ann Langlinais, who majored in biology, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Justin Langlinais of Erath, La.

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