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The Ragin Cajuns Celebrate a Historical Graduation

Hundreds of graduates, family members and loved ones gathered in the Cajun Dome on Friday for the 173rd Commencement.
Posted at 6:18 PM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 21:37:39-04

Hundreds of smiling faces and tears of joy filled the Cajun Dome on Friday afternoon.

Family members, friends, faculty and staff applauded UL's graduates as they transitioned from students to alumni.

Anjolaoluwa (AJ) Oni said it's been a long time coming after traveling from his home in Nigeria to study civil engineering at UL.

"I learned a lot about myself," Oni said. "I've grown as a person. I've learned the importance of hard work and dedication and just the entire college experience as a whole, has just been an amazing experience."

Professor of Practice, Michael Pratt said he has enjoyed mentoring and teaching students through a rigorous engineering curriculum and is optimistic about the future.

"It's an exciting day to see your students finally come to culmination with their degrees and we're very close within our college, so it's exciting," Pratt said.

While UL is the last stop for some students pursuing higher education, others said they are going to keep going.

Onyi Ihesiulo said she will attend graduate school at New York University (NYU), to further her education in robotics.

"I'm grateful to my family and friends and the professors that helped me achieve this, but I'm glad I'm finally done," Ihesiulo said.

More Ragin Cajuns are expected to walk the stage on Saturday.

According to a press release, this year's undergraduates are among the highest number of summa cum laude graduates, earning 4.0 GPAs in a single semester in University history.