NFL All-Pro Tillman commencement speaker at UL-Lafayette _lowres

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (33) talks to reporters after an NFL football practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: OTKNH114

Former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun Charles “Peanut” Tillman returns to campus Saturday to deliver the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s commencement address during the 11 a.m. general assembly ceremony in the Cajundome.

Tillman, 33, is a two-time All-Pro in the National Football League. Since being drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2003, he is the league’s only player with more than 30 interceptions and as many forced fumbles.

His work off the field has affected more than 1 million Chicago-area children through the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, started in 2005. The charity has raised more than $1 million to provide opportunities and resources to pediatric patients and their families.

Through his own personal experience, Tillman has raised awareness of organ donation and the importance of helping others.

His daughter, Tiana, was diagnosed in 2008 with dilated cardiomyopathy and received a heart transplant several months after her birth.

“I believe we all have a responsibility to lend a helping hand in the service of others in times of need,” Tillman said during his acceptance speech for the Walter Payton Award earlier this year. “Because of a donor, my daughter Tiana is alive and healthy and she’s thriving.”

Tillman has supported U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East during visits to Iraq and Kuwait and volunteered with the USO of Illinois. He and his wife, Jackie, also have helped build a school in Cambodia.

All graduates attend the general assembly at UL-Lafayette, while each respective college holds its own ceremony at different times throughout the day. This year, the university will have a live stream of the general assembly and updates and photos will be posted online via Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag: #RaginGrads14.

The university created a web page for those interested in following social media posts about graduation at

The live stream of the general assembly is available at:

The UL-Lafayette commencement schedule:


  • 8 a.m.: College of Education
  • 1:30 p.m.: B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration
  • 4 p.m.: College of Liberal Arts

Cajundome Convention Center Festival Ballroom (second floor):

  • 8 a.m.: Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

Cajundome Convention Center Exhibit Hall B ( first floor)

  • 8 a.m.: College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions
  • 1:30 p.m.: College of General Studies
  • 4 p.m.: College of Engineering

Angelle Hall (Main campus):

  • 8 a.m.: College of the Arts