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A Message from the Dean

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Dear all,

This has been for me, and probably for all of you, the most unusual year imaginable. Faced with a pandemic across the globe and a growing number of cases in Louisiana, the University went remote last spring semester turning ourselves inside-out to make our students, faculty and staff safe. We devised new delivery methods for the fall semester that had some face-to-face instruction but mostly some form of remote or online. Then came the hurricanes - three of them effecting our campus and the hometowns of many of our students. Then the election. I don’t know about you, but I am worn out with all of it - pandemic, hurricanes and elections. When can we get back to normal?

In spite of the turmoil, as you will see from this and the previous eNews, you and your students did amazing things. Thank you. The recent spike in cases had a dampening effect on how we finish out the semester but thankfully, the vast majority of activities, rehearsals and such were already accomplished. I believe, and everyone else believes, that the protocols we put into place were more than adequate to protect our students, faculty and staff. Thank you for being so diligent.

We just announced our 2020 SPARK Lifetime Achievement award winner - architect and master waterworks designer James Garland. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree here at UL Lafayette (then USL) and his Master of Architecture degree at UCLA. Worked as an architect, taught architecture in California, and opened his award winning firm, Fluidity, in Los Angeles. We will also grant him an Honorary Doctorate in the Arts in May, 2021. This year we have two new awards. Shelia Beasley, longtime Administrative Assistant in the SOM+PFAR, was selected to receive the SPARK Lifetime Faculty and Staff Award. Lauren Duffy was selected to receive the SPARK Young Alumni Award. She graduated from VIAR, finished graduate school and is presently teaching at a University in Wisconsin. Congratulations to all of these outstanding award winners.

I wish you luck as you finish out this semester and I hope you have a good holiday.

 All the best,