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November 14, 2008

Annual event celebrates all things ULM

ULM faculty, staff, alumni, and an array of notable supporters lauded ULM's achievements Thursday night during the annual Envision ULM event.

Though the event was a celebration of all things ULM, it was also a peek into the university's future, as ULM President James Cofer urged patrons to continue their support of the university and help build on its past success.

"We need your help to sustain our culture of excellence, to differentiate ULM among its peers and to shine our 'Jewel on the Bayou',"he said.

"This much I do know," Cofer told the crowd of more than 600 assembled at the Monroe Civic Center. "Because of your leadership and loyalty, ULM isn't just a good university — it's a great one."

CenturyTel was named the 2008 recipient of the University's Hall of Distinction Award, which recognizes individuals, companies or foundations that have given to ULM.

In earning the designation, CenturyTel joined four prior, and equally distinguished, recipients: Kitty DeGree, the families and foundations of Emy-Lou Biedenharn, Tom and Mayme Scott, and Nelson and Bennie Abell.

Third District Judge Jay McCallum, a 1982 ULM graduate, got laughs again as this year's emcee.

"I haven't accomplished much in my life," McCallum joked. "But imagine where I'd be if I didn't go to ULM.

When McCallum asked the crowd to cheer loudly for the legislators in attendance at Envision ULM, he jokingly told them, "Ahh, I can feel the purse strings open now."

Following a cocktail reception, the ULM Choral Singers offered a stirring rendition of the alma mater and "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The sounds of ULM's Jazz Ensemble filled the packed room as attendees enjoyed a full dinner surrounded by ULM memorabilia and collectibles.

"I want to thank you for joining me tonight to celebrate all that is happening and to applaud all that has already happened at the ULM," said Cofer, in his closing remarks.

"But more than anything, thank you for all that can happen as we put excellence into action with your continued support."

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