UL System Sees Record Diplomas


McNeese and Nicholls latest ULS campuses to make history with graduating class

BATON ROUGE, La. – The nine institutions in the University of Louisiana System awarded some 8,278 undergraduate and graduate degrees at commencement ceremonies this spring, an increase of more than 400 over spring 2012 and the largest graduating class ever for the 92,000-student system.  As universities also hold summer and fall commencements, this only represents about half of the degrees awarded each year.

McNeese State University in Lake Charles and Nicholls State University in Thibodaux broke records, graduating 825 students and 687, respectively, at spring 2013 commencements.  Last spring, the University of Louisiana at Monroe also awarded degrees to a record number of graduates.

“We are proud of the hard earned increased success rates for UL System universities that yielded so many new graduates to the Louisiana workforce this spring. We are energized by these increases, especially in light of the ongoing funding challenges which make these productivity gains increasingly more difficult to achieve. We believe our success demonstrates a deep commitment to students above all else,” said UL System President Sandra K. Woodley.

Woodley, who took the helm of the state’s largest university system in January, gave remarks at three UL System commencements: Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches and the University of New Orleans.

The system, which also includes Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and UL Lafayette, produces the majority of graduates in education, business, engineering, nursing and pharmacy. The Legislature voted to make UNO the ninth UL System school in 2011.

UL System schools and their numbers of spring 2013 and 2012 graduates include:

UL System Institution

Spring 2013 graduates

Spring 2012 graduates




Louisiana Tech















UL Lafayette



UL Monroe









Among the graduates Woodley encountered when she delivered commencement addresses at the campuses were:

  • Jasmine Hoskins, a nursing graduate from Nicholls, who was one of the first student athletes to fulfill four years of athletic eligibility while completing a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree. Her work ethic and perseverance was what helped her succeed. Up by 5 a.m. for clinicals that began at 6 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m., Hoskins would rush back to Stopher Gymnasium, to suit up and warm up for a 6:30 p.m. game tip-off. She plans to return to Nicholls in January to pursue a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree.
  • Stephen Thompson, a computer information systems graduate from the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern, who was part of a Northwestern team that finished first in the nation at the Association of Information Technology Professionals National Collegiate Conference. He has developed an app that will be field tested this summer by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training for use at sites damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Joshua Moffett, a psychology major from Nicholls and a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger with five combat deployments – 3 in Iraq and 2 in Afghanistan – and about 300 combat missions throughout his six year active enlistment, who came to Nicholls because of it’s close proximity to his home in Morgan City. Joshua credits the Veteran’s Affairs Office with helping him transition from combat to college. Joshua plans to pursue a career in teaching.

A gallery of photos from Spring 2013 graduation ceremonies at the nine campuses can be found here on the UL System’s Facebook page.


The largest higher education system in Louisiana, the UL system enrolls over 92,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of New Orleans.