May 19, 2012
From: Laura J. Woodard, Director of Media Relations
ULM spring 2012 class sets record
In its largest graduating class ever, University of Louisiana at Monroe President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., awarded 891 degrees during the University of Louisiana at Monroe's spring commencement exercises today in Fant-Ewing Coliseum on the ULM campus.
ULM President Nick J. Bruno congratulates a ULM graduate as she receives her degree at ULM's Spring Commencement exercises.
Each spring commencement class size has increased since the spring 2009 commencement class of 639 graduates, and since spring 2005, each spring commencement class has exceeded 627 graduates.
In another first, ULM webcast its spring commencement online at www.ulm.edu/commencement. A full recording of the event is archived for viewing.
Rep. Charles “Bubba” Chaney delivered personal encouragement and advice to the graduates today.
Chaney is a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 19, which includes his home town of Rayville, and all or parts of East Carroll, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, and West Carroll parishes.
He began with congratulations to the graduates for their hard work and diligence. He urged them to remember everyone in their support systems who helped them gain this important milestone in their professional careers.
State Rep. Charles "Bubba' Chaney shares some advice with ULM graduates at ULM's Spring Commencement exercises.
“Your diploma is an important tool that will give you a chance to be more productive and successful in your life journey. Statistics show that a person with a bachelor's degree will earn nearly a million dollars more than someone with a high school diploma during their respective work lives."
Chaney advised the graduates that their learning was just beginning, but their ULM diplomas gave them a powerful tool to better their lives with.
“It is also important that you have several other tools in your tool chest: determination, flexibility, open-mindedness, faith, hard work, and sprinkle in a little common sense to make it all gel,” Chaney said. “Maybe the most important element you need to develop is a positive attitude. Attitude is everything.”
He related that failures and successes are both impermanent, but both offer much to the flexible mind. “A lot of times our failures help us to discover powers and talents we never knew we had,” he said. “You must learn from these mistakes, keep sight of your goals and dreams, and whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.”
“There are three kinds of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what is happening,” he advised.
Chaney read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s "The Meaning of Success" before he finished with, “I trust that your experiences and accomplishments at ULM have helped you to achieve these elements of success and that you will never forget the contributions ULM has made to your life.
“Without your degree from ULM, the future would not be so bright. Join the ULM alumni chapter wherever you might live. If there is not one, start one. Give back by your volunteerism and your financial assistance to benefit those who will come after you to this great university.”
He reminded the graduates that they have unique talents and have already displayed a willingness to work hard. “I am confident that one day you will be able to look back and say, ‘I dreamed it and I did it.’ May you realize all of your goals and all of your dreams in life.”
There are 6 top graduates in the class who all earned 4.00 grade point averages. They are:
Jennifer Ballard is a General Studies major receiving a Bachelor of General Studies degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is from Alexandria, Louisiana and is the daughter of James and Susan Ballard.
Jessica Cimino is a General Studies major receiving a Bachelor of General Studies degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is from Destrehan, Louisiana, and is the daughter of Andy and Lisa Cimino.
Fernando Cordova is an Accounting major receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in the College of Business Administration. He is from Monroe, Louisiana, and is the son of José and Kathy Cordova and Mayra and Ricardo Santa Maria.
Kendra Slover is a General Studies major receiving a Bachelor of General Studies degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is from Vidalia, Louisiana, and is the daughter of Ken and Melissa Kunkle and the wife of Colt Slover.
Mary Thiels is a Nursing major receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in the College of Health Sciences. She is from Monroe, Louisiana, and is the daughter of David Thiels and Kathy Thiels.
Alair Tudor is an Aviation major receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Business Administration. He is from Bridgetown, Barbados, and is the son of Philip and LeSondra Tudor.
Several honor graduates were recognized during the ceremonies. They were designated as summa cum laude (3.900-4.000), magna cum laude (3.750-3.899) and cum laude (3.500-3.749).
Army ROTC ULM Student Cadets Corey M. McCrary of Shreveport and Andrel O. Brandon of Monroe, both general studies majors, were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, May 18, at the ULM Student Union Building.
More about Chaney:
Chaney, who was elected in 2007, recently received the "2012 Legislator of the Year" honor, presented to him by Rural Hospital Coalition for his dedicated service to the citizens of rural Louisiana.
He is a member of the Louisiana House Committees on Agriculture, Appropriations, and Natural Resources.