On Campus with Curt: The University of Louisiana at Lafayette

On Campus with Curt: The University of Louisiana at Lafayette

University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus)

Founded in 1898 as Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette underwent a series of name changes over that 100 year period before settling on its present name in 1999. The school motto is Fortiter, Feliciter, Fideliter (Boldly, Happily, Faithfully).

In 2008, Ray Paul Authement, the university president became the longest serving president of a public university in the United States after serving 34 years.

Within months of the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 by the U.S. Supreme Court, SLI admitted 70 African-American students, becoming the first all-white public college in the deep south to desegregate.

Bricks lining the Walk of Honor

The university boasts every one of its graduates with an engraved brick along its Walk of Honor originating in front of Old Martin Hall, the first building on campus. 

Cypress Lake swamp

Nearby is Cypress Lake, a swamp at the heart of campus adjacent the Student Union. This unique university landmark is a habitat for native irises, alligators, turtles, birds and fish. "The Swamp" is the nickname of the football stadium and the Cajundome is home to Ragin' Cajun basketball, competing in the Sun Belt Conference.

Famous Ragin' Cajuns include: mystery author and Pulitzer Prize nominee James Lee Burke; model/actress Ali Landry, choreographer Marc Breaux ("Mary Poppins," "The Sound of Music," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"); Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and rapper Frank Ocean; former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco; American celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme; NY Yankee and AL Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry; former Carolina Panther and Super Bowl QB Jake Delhomme; Houston Comet and WNBA champ Kim Perrot; and fitness celebrity Richard Simmons.