Jul 31, 2014 7:15 PM by UL PRESS RELEASE
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is bringing back its summer Commencement.
About 160 graduates will receive diplomas during the University's Commencement on Friday, Aug. 8.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the Convention Center adjacent to the Cajundome. It will be held in Exhibit Hall B, which is on the first floor.
This will be the first summer Commencement since 1949.
Dr. DeWayne Bowie, vice president for Enrollment Services, said the University plans to continue to hold Commencement at the conclusion of summer semesters.
"Reintroduction of the ceremony gives graduating seniors and graduate students a chance to take part in the traditional exercise right away, rather than having to wait until the end of the fall semester," he said.
About 1,500 students graduate from UL Lafayette each spring and fall.
According to the July 15, 1938, issue of The Vermilion, the University's student newspaper, the summer tradition started for the benefit of future teachers. About 70 of the roughly 90 graduating seniors were receiving bachelor's degrees in education and would begin teaching careers at the beginning of the fall.
"In establishing this precedent, Southwestern Louisiana Institute honors the many teachers who come yearly to work toward degrees. In being allowed to receive their degrees immediately upon completion of their work, teachers will be saved the inconvenience of having to be absent from their work in order to participate in next June's exercises," The Vermilion states.
In 1938, graduation was held in Cypress Grove, which was then dry land. The area wasn't flooded until World War II, when there were fears of enemy bomb raids due to the school's designation as a training site for Army and Marine officers. A reservoir of water could be used to extinguish any fires caused by falling bombs. Now, Cypress Grove is Cypress Lake.