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UL President Joseph Savoie speaks to reporters during a press conference to announce that LHC Group, a Lafayette-based home health care company, will donate $20 million to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to benefit the College of Nursing and Allied Health, Thursday, March 25, 2021, at UL in Lafayette, La.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has changed the names of its College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions and its nursing department, recognizing the growth of its programs as well as the largest private contribution in the institution’s history.

In a message to faculty, staff and students, UL Lafayette President E. Joseph Savoie formally made the announcement Thursday through an issued statement.

The College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions is now the College of Nursing & Health Sciences. The Department of Nursing is now the LHC Group • Myers School of Nursing. Both name changes are the first in those entities in more than two decades; Savoie said, adding they “reflect the programmatic and reputational growth experienced during that period.”

LHC donated $20 million to UL Lafayette in March 2021. Keith Myers, LHC Group chair, and his wife, Ginger, a nurse who has inspired that company’s growth and mission, announced the donation then. Savoie announced it as the “largest private philanthropic investment in University history.”

“These changes are more than a statement of institutional maturity, however,” Savoie said. “They indicate a trajectory of future development as the college continues to strengthen its standing as the primary creator of the region’s health care workforce.

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“The changes we’re announcing today are more than a rebranding. … We’re also committing ourselves to future growth that will deepen our decades-long commitment to the well-being of every resident who depends on the region’s health care providers.

Melinda Oberleitner, dean, said last year that UL Lafayette’s nursing program enrolls 2,100 students and includes bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.

UL Lafayette last month added to its five-year plan the construction of a Sciences Education Collaboration Building would be on land that UL is seeking to purchase from Our Lady of Lourdes. It would involve new facilities for the school’s growing nursing program.

The agreement, not yet formally announced, would involve cash and exchange of land on campus and would accommodate the projected rapid growth in the nursing school and related programs.


Email Ken Stickney at kstickney@theadvocate.com.