Blame It All On My Roots :: What Vintage Louisiana Means to Me

Blame It All On My Roots :: What Vintage Louisiana Means to Me

Do you know the history of our local University? Are you aware of the many names the educational institution has operated under since its groundbreaking year of 1898?

My Freshman year at ULL (UL for us real Cajun fans!), I chose to write a term paper on this exact topic. The reason for this being that my family has long been embedded in the history of this University. If you know me, you know I never wanted to go to college anywhere else and I am PROUD to be a Ragin’ Cajun Alumna.

History 101

When the University first broke ground in 1898 it was originally Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute (SLII). The University opened to only about 100 students in 1901. The name would then change to Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI) in 1921. (Fun fact: my Aunt and Uncle both attended the University under this name)

In 1960 the name would again change to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) until 1999 when the school finally became what we know it as today, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL or UL). Although the University tried for years to have the name change to the University of Louisiana this is as close as they could get.

Mascots Make the School

A few mascots have come and gone throughout the years (the beer man, the cajun chicken, the bulldog…. cayenne) but the one that seems to leave the biggest mark has always been the Bulldog. Some of my favorite memories are attending games with my dad as a kid and walking down closer to the field to get a glimpse of the mascot. Personally, I think this mascot should be brought back in full force!

Gear Up!

It’s a big week in Cajun country. This week we celebrate UL’s 125th anniversary and Homecoming. They have also thrown the most amazing curve ball with releasing the Vintage Louisiana Collection line of gear and merchandise! “Vintage Louisiana stitches together our rich academic and athletic history, and represents the evolution of the iconic Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns brand,” said Leslie Saloom, the University’s associate director of Trademark Licensing.

Let me explain why this launch is so important to the people.

1. We have NEVER been able to purchase merchandise with these logos or school names.

2. It brings pride for everyone who attended ALL of the schools, regardless of the name.

3. Who doesn’t love vintage gear?!

You’ll be able to find the bulldog on shirts, caps, pennants and more!

A few location locations in town to purchase the Vintage line:

The Ragin’ Cajun Store

Absolutely Embroidery & More

Louisiana Hot Stuff

That school down the road (ya know, the purple and yellow one? just joking!) has always had the opportunity to purchase vintage Tiger gear. I have been here in Lafayette since 2002 and have never been able to support my dad and sister’s college. They both graduated from USL, and I am so proud!

UL Vintage Louisiana Collection

The University has such a rich history that needs to be celebrated and remembered. I’m sure a lot of us have family members that attended SLII, SLI and USL. We should remember those alumni and support the traditions of years past. This line has brought so much joy already to the alumni in the area and beyond!

The University will have a pop up shop this Saturday for the Homecoming game at Russo Park with gear as well. There’s no doubt this is an exciting and highly demanded line, so make sure you get yours as soon as you can. Let’s hope with the hype this has caused they will continue this line for a while.


Patrice LaBauve
Patrice is a Baton Rouge native that moved to the area to attend UL Lafayette in 2002 and never looked back. Since graduating with a degree in Public Relations she has worked in the insurance business on both personal and commercial sides. Her love of her Cajun heritage made it an easy decision to marry her New Iberia born and raised husband, Matt. They now resides in Youngsville and have two daughters Jolie (9) and Amelie (5) and her bonus son, Eli (14). On most weekdays you will find her running the roads to the dance studio, soccer field or her favorite place, 220 Fitness. The weekends are her favorite family time and are usually spent cooking with her family, watching her daughter show off her goalie skills, checking out any festival around the area, and catching all Saints and Cajuns game. She and her husband are craft beer drinkers, but she also won’t turn down a good Pinot Noir or fancy cocktail. She loves a good philanthropic event, to-do lists, singing in front of people whenever she gets the chance, her gym family and live music. Lafayette has been the perfect place to raise her children and immerse them in the culture she loves.


  1. Outstanding “essay” about our UNIVERSITY!!! I am so proud of our university and my daughter’s piece on the “vintage” items celebrating ULL’s 125th anniversary!!! Way to go Sweetheart!


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