ULM logo
Envision 2023: Achieving the Impossible Dream

Published December 6, 2023

Whitaker 2023

CAPTION: Special guest Nita Whitaker performs at Envision 2023.  

MONROE, LA – On November 2, 2023, the University of Louisiana Monroe hosted Envision 2023 at the ULM Clarke M. Williams Innovation Campus. Hosted by ULM President Dr. Ron Berry and First Lady Dr. Christine Berry, the annual celebration of the past, present, and future of ULM was enjoyed by alumni, community members, and university advocates. This year’s theme was “Achieving the Impossible Dream.” Attendees were treated to cocktails, dinner, and a program featuring musical performances from ULM students, staff, alumni, and special guest speaker and performer Nita Whitaker. 

ULM alumna Maxine Moreau, President of Mass Markets at Lumen Technologies, was a guest speaker at the event. The ULM Clarke M. Williams Innovation Campus was made possible by Lumen’s generous donation of their corporate headquarters. Moreau spoke about the legacy of Lumen founder Clarke M. Williams. “Mr. Willams’ commitment to paying it forward has given numerous individuals, including myself, the chance to dream beyond what we ever thought possible,” said Moreau. “I am proud to have graduated from a university that upholds this same mission of providing students and our entire community with opportunities to soar.”  

Miss ULM 2023 Leslie Hobgood performed a rendition of the song “I Lived” with the ULM Chamber Choir before introducing special guest speaker and performer Nita Whitaker. Whitaker is an alumna of NLU and a former Miss Louisiana who has performed on Broadway and recorded alongside several internationally known artists. Whitaker shared a short speech with the crowd, which she closed by saying “In a world that may try to limit you and say that your dreams are impossible, remember that the word impossible says ‘I’m possible.’ This wonderful university agrees that with education and dedication, that I’m possible and so are you.” Whitaker then performed “The Impossible Dream.”  

The evening closed with words from Dr. Ron Berry, a champagne toast, and a fireworks show. Throughout the night, music was provided by a live band featuring ULM employees and students, the ULM Choir, and a featured group of ULM alumni and employees known as The Envision Singers. There was also a featured performance by The Centennial Scholars, local 5th graders who will make up the incoming freshman class of 2031, the university’s 100th year.  

The program for Envision was produced by Greg Baccarini and Sarah Siereveld. Baccarini is the Director of Recruitment and Placement for the College of Business and Social Sciences and Siereveld is a Development Officer with the ULM Foundation. The Envision planning committee was chaired by Lisa Miller, Vice President for Enrollment Management and University Relations.  

Funding supported University priorities including the Centennial Scholars program. For more information, visit https://ulm.edu/president/progress/future.html. 

Envision has become an annual tradition at ULM and plans are already underway for Envision 2024. A date will be announced next year. Visit ulm.edu/envision for more information.  

Click here to view more photos from Envision 2023.