The Hawkeye

ULM Foundation, Alumni Association introduce new Laird-Weems Center

photo+courtesy+of+Raven+Adcox
photo courtesy of Raven Adcox

photo courtesy of Raven Adcox

photo courtesy of Raven Adcox

Raven Adcox, [email protected]

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Renovations to the ULM Foundation and Alumni Affairs Center have been completed.

The Anna Gray Noe Alumni Center was built in 1974 and named after the First Lady of Louisiana. A plan to renovate the building began in 2014, and through fundraisers and donations that plan became a reality.

Alumni who donated $1,000 or more to the renovations had their name engraved in a brick that was then incorporated into the building. 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Oct. 13 of last year, and the building was completed earlier this summer.

Along with renovations, the new center also received a name change. The Laird-Weems Center was named after two former employees of ULM. Billy Laird was the Executive Director of the ULM Foundation for more than 30 years, while the late Don Weems served as ULM’s Alumni Director.

ULM welcomed, not only a new building, but new employees to campus, as well. Melissa Kiper and Jenny Pankey said they are both excited to be a part of the ULM family. Kiper will be serving as the new Director of Alumni Affairs with Pankey working as the Associate Director of Alumni Affairs.

Pankey said that one of the most important aspects of being an alumnus is supporting the community from which you graduated. “Once you are part of something great, you want to see it succeed in every aspect. We have such a large alumni base and we would like to utilize them in helping ULM grow to it’s greatest potential,” Pankey said.

Both women have held jobs at ULM before and are “happy to feel at home again.”

According to ULM’s website, Kiper previously worked as an academic advisor in the Student Success Center on campus, and Pankey worked as a student worker and later, as a graduate assistant.

“Going forward we hope to bring enthusiasm and integrity to our membership,” Kiper said of future plans for the Alumni Association, “we want our alumni to continue to be proud of our University as much as we are.”

There are several benefits to becoming an alumnus after graduating, according to Kiper. Information about local events, projects and opportunities is gathered and put up on the alumni website for easy reading. As an ULM alumnus, the opportunities to help students stretch far and wide. From student mentorships to staring new scholarship funds, the importance of dedicated alumni is clear.

One thing both Kiper and Pankey can agree on is the beauty of ULM’s campus and how ready they are to get to work. “That’s why the saying ‘The Best is on the Bayou’ resonates with those that come in touch with our University,” said Pankey.

“It describes the beauty of our campus, our outstanding students and the exceptional people that work here.”

The Laird-Weems Center includes offices for foundation and alumni staff, as well as separate areas for board meetings. More information about the Alumni Association and the new Laird-Weems Center, including future events, can be found at their website.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
ULM Foundation, Alumni Association introduce new Laird-Weems Center