UL Lafayette's traditions express our Ragin' Cajun pride, a zest for life, and commitment to serving others.
It's a tradition — and our favorite color. Every Friday, students, faculty, staff and community members show their Ragin' Cajun spirit by wearing red.
Other tradtions have come and gone, along with name changes and spirit leaders, but red has always been the University's school color. In fact, we are the only university to have vermilion as an official color.
Held the first week of classes in the fall, Welcome Week consists of activities meant to greet students as they come back to campus or arrive for the first time. On the first day students are greeted with doughnuts and fruit at the corner of Rex Street and St. Mary Boulevard. University administrators, coaches, and student leaders hand out the treats. Other plans throughout the week include Get on Board Day where students can learn about campus organizations in the Quad. Students, faculty and staff also get a chance to enjoy free breakfast in the Quad, followed by the annual Block Party.
The annual Block Party held on the corner of Rex. Street and St. Mary Boulevard ends Welcome Week, a series of activities during the first week of classes in the fall. Students line up on Rex Street to get free shirts, drinks, bags, and sometimes even free rides on a mechanical bull.
Our students love crawfish and have many crawfish boils throughout the season, but the biggest and most excited boil of the year happens during Lagniappe Week. Each year the University Program Council boils over 10,000 pounds of crawfish that students get to enjoy for free, along with music, dancing, and a lot of laughter.
Get On Board Day
During Welcome Week, student organizations across campus set up tables in the Quad to promote their organizations. Students are able to walk from table to table to help find the organization(s) that would be best for them to join. Get On Board Day gives students the opportunity to discover ways to get involved and make new connections.
Whether you graduated in 1962 or 2012, Homecoming gives Ragin’ Cajuns a perfect opportunity to reconnect with campus. During Homecoming Week, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and fans can take part in activities such as Paint the Town Red, Yell Like Hell, an alumni tennis or golf tournament, or the Ragin’ Road Race.
You can also enjoy some Homecoming cake, help out with a food drive or watch a student karaoke contest or a Greek step show. Enjoy the parade and tailgating on Saturday morning, Homecoming Day. And, of course, stay for the big game on Saturday afternoon.
Remember, Ragin’ Cajuns have a gift for bringing people together. Come back home and celebrate with us each fall.
Something extra. That's what Lagniappe Week is all about. Each spring, students take a break from studying with fun activities: canoe races in Cypress Lake, the annual lake jump, and a crawfish boil.
Ready. Set. Splash! Each year a student jumps feet-first into the murky waters of Cypress Lake as part of Lagniappe Week. A memorial jump took place in 2007 after long-time lake jumper Philip Beridon passed away in 2006. Phillip made his first splash back in 1977.
Official University Ring
The University's official ring is designed to embody the spirit of UL Lafayette. The red stone represents the university's primary color, vermilion, and also features its fleur-de-lis. The university has used fleurs-de-lis in its insignia since the 1920s, signifying the region's French heritage. Additional imagery includes cypress and oak trees; the university's seal; and Martin Hall, the main administrative building. Inside each ring is the inscription "heart and hand," the final three words of the university's alma mater.
Students who order rings can participate in the official ring ceremony each fall.
Spirit. That's what Ragin' Roar is all about. Students gather on campus before the first home football game for Ragin’ Roar, UL Lafayette’s biggest pep rally of the year. The event, sponsored by the University Program Council, is a long-standing tradition. In 2012 it was rescheduled due to Hurricane Isaac.
Established in the fall of 2012, the Ring Ceremony celebrates the bond between all UL graduates. Students and past graduates are presented with the rings they ordered by President Savoie, as they walk across the stage in Angelle Hall.
The night before the ceremony, the rings are carried across Cajun Field during halftime at a Saturday night football game. After the game, members of UL Lafayette's Army ROTC escort the rings to Cypress Lake. There, the rings are loaded onto a custom-built, metal pirogue to spend the night on the water, guarded by students.
The snow may not be real but the holiday spirit is genuine. Each December, the University celebrates Sneaux Day at Martin Hall with jambalaya, ice skating, a visit from Santa and the lighting of the campus tree. A snow machine pulls up to Martin Hall and covers the front lawn with shaved ice, perfect for snowball fights! Students, faculty, staff, and their children get to enjoy this time together.
The Spirit of Service
Service to others is a tradition at UL Lafayette. Since 2009, Dr. David Yarbrough, dean of Community Service, has tallied the University's efforts. Each year, on average, students and faculty provide more than 150,000 service hours — those hours have an economic value of about $3 million. They work with agencies such as United Way and Habitat for Humanity to help meet community needs. UL Lafayette students tutor schoolchildren to help them succeed. And, they help keep Lafayette's primary waterway, the Bayou Vermilion, clear of debris and invasive plants.
UL Lafayette's AmeriCorps
Students provide community support through UL Lafayette's AmeriCorps program. It is one of the oldest in the nation and the only campus-based AmeriCorps program in Louisiana. One avenue of service: students assist disabled residents by adding wheelchair ramps to their homes.