Aug. 20, 2002
Today, the University of Louisiana at Monroe held the first ever University-Wide Convocation, a celebration of the opening of the academic year. The event began at 4:00 p.m. in Fant-Ewing Coliseum. Immediately following the Convocation was GroveStock, a celebration of food, music, and fun for all in "The Grove".
At the Convocation, the Class of 2006 received recognition for their dedication to academic excellence in choosing ULM. The new faculty members were also introduced along with ULM's athletic teams and cheerleaders. There were several ULM representatives on hand to speak to the freshman.
Charlie Cheatham, ULM's Student Government Association President, told the crowd of nearly 500 that the SGA was ready and willing to help where needed on campus; all students had to do was ask.
Miss ULM, Rachel Lowe, told the audience about her personal struggles with a learning disability and how on-campus tutoring has helped. She said, "It made a difference for me to get involved on this campus and I encourage all of you to do so as well."
Paxton Oliver, Professor and Head of the Department of Communicative Disorders, talked about the importance of mentoring by saying, " We all have something to bring to the table-students and faculty alike."
Dr. James E. Cofer, Sr., President of ULM, told the new and returning students and faculty, "I meant it when I said I missed you in my letter. It's great to have you back on campus. I like seeing familiar faces. I like to see unfamiliar ones as well."
The University's new alma mater was also unveiled. The Sound of Today Marching Band was on hand to play the alma mater and other music. Each student was given a bookmark bearing the new words of the alma mater to commemorate the occasion.
Derle Long, Director of Bands at ULM, said the alma mater took about a year to complete. A committee worked to rewrite the University's original alma mater to reflect the institution's new name.
"We wanted to try to keep as much of the old alma mater as we could. We also tried to use new words that were specific to ULM, " said Long.
The words to the new alma mater are:
"By the bayou's tranquil water, where friendships
thrive and grow, Proudly stands our Alma Mater, ever home
for us to go.