More than 8,500 students graduated from the University of Louisiana System during its nine universities’ spring commencement ceremonies.

“There is no better time to be a part of a university than on commencement day,” UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson said.  “It’s the culmination of an investment made by the student, the faculty, the staff, the state and the entire university community. Each of these graduates is remarkably better prepared for life and career success.”

Among their graduates in the past year, universities in the UL System produced more than 1,500 nurses, nearly 1,400 engineers, more than 1,300 teachers, 515 accountants and nearly 400 computer scientists.

“Our universities have ensured our degree earners are well equipped to meet the rapidly advancing demands of the 21st century economy,” Henderson said. “Our graduates produce immense value across all economic sectors while enjoying significant increases in employability, job security, and quality of life.”

The UL System has a $4 billion direct economic impact annually. That equates to $12 of impact for every dollar of state investment in the System. During the past decade, graduates from the System’s universities earned $6.5 billion in new and increased salary in Louisiana.

Commencements were held throughout the state at eight of the System’s universities May 13 and May 14. Louisiana Tech will hold its commencement Saturday.