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Sept. 10, 2004

"Envision ULM 2004" Brings ULM and Community Together

The first ever community event for the University of Louisiana at Monroe, "Envision ULM 2004", brought the community and the university together at the Monroe Civic Center last night.

During an auction of several university related items, Monroe Chamber President Eric Hogan and former Monroe City Council woman Ann Raines won the chance to administer the ceremonial pushing of the plunger to implode Olin Hall. Their winning bid was $8,000. Hogan said they paid that much for the privilege because "it is a great opportunity to support one of the best assets we have in our community and have an awful lot of fun doing it." Hogan continued "I told Ann if she would pay half, I'll pay half."

Hogan and Raines will implode the building during "Bringing Down the House" ULM's event to view the implosion of Olin Hall on Saturday, Sept. 25th at 10 a.m. at the ULM Library.

Guests of Envision enjoyed music by the LA Trio and listened to ULM representatives, including President James E. Cofer and community leaders during dinner. Following the event Cofer said "This is the most significant event we've had at ULM during my administration. The overwhelming response from the community is a clear indication of their support for ULM."

ULM Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs, Don Skelton, said "The Envision ULM 2004 event is the exclamation point to the tremendous changes that have been and are taking place at the university." Skelton mentioned, too, his surprise at the community support. "I honestly don't know how it could have gone any better. It was impressive to see the support provided by this community."

The Hall of Distinction Award was presented to Monroe Philanthropist Kitty Degree. Degree is the first-ever recipient of this award. Anne Lockhart, Director of Development at ULM, said Degree was selected through a committee at ULM as the recipient for several reasons. "Through her exceptionally distinguished record of service and support for our University, Kitty DeGree sets the standard for and is most deserving of this inaugural award. With sincerest appreciation, we are proud to welcome her as our first member of the ULM Hall of Distinction."

The Kiwanis Clubs, the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, the Chambers of Commerce, and the School Boards were also recognized for their role in establishing the university in 1931 as Ouachita Junior College.

Sponsors of the event were the ULM Foundation, the City of Monroe, Regions Bank, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce.

Throughout the evening, guests at the kick-off event for ULM's 75th anniversary, placed silent bids for items including: two VIP Passes to the Activity Center, two VIP Passes to the Natatorium, two Madrigal Dinner Tickets with VIP Seating, two Faculty Artist Concert Series Tickets, plus the opportunity to direct the Sound of Today, ULM's Marching Band, on the field during half time this season.

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