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Mary Holly Ducharme and Robert “Bud” Ducharme – Health & Physical Education, 1942

Mary Elizabeth Holly Ducharme

Robert James “Bud” Ducharme

(Written by Mary Ducharme)

                I graduated from Tioga High School in 1937.  In the Fall of 1938, I entered S.L.I. This was the beginning of my future as an educator.  My freshman year was spent becoming acclimated to the culture, environment and my new independence.  After a month of living on the campus, freshmen were permitted to go home for a visit.  At this time students were not permitted to have cars on the campus.  Strict supervision by the housemothers was accepted by students and parents.  Signing in and out, even to go to the library after 6 P.M., was a rule not to be broken.  There was only one phone for everyone in the dorm and it was located on the first floor.  Gumbo was as foreign to me as red beans and rice.

                Meals were served family style in the O.K. Allen Dining Hall.  One night each month a band played at meal time.  The waiters who served their designated tables were all U.S.L. students.

                On special holidays, we walked from the dormitory to the dining hall carrying lighted candles.

                There was a dress code which each student was required to follow.  When you walked on the campus you were expected to dress appropriately.  Socks or stockings were an important part of this attire.  If the housemother saw you improperly dressed, you were called in for a conference.

                My sophomore year was indeed a turning point in my career.  During this time, I met Robert James Ducharme in a psychology class.  We secretly married in our junior year.  In April of 1942, Bud was granted an early graduation and became a chemist for the Federal Government in Little Rock, Arkansas.  I received my bachelors degree in May 1942.  Graduation was held in the beautifully decorated Earl K. Long Gymnasium.  As Dr. Fletcher presented my diploma, he said,” Mary Elizabeth Holly, or is it?”  This was a shock that the president of the university knew me personally.

                Bud spent two and one-half years in the Air Force.  After returning to Opelousas as coach and teacher, he pursued his masters degree at L.S.U.  In 1963 we moved to Lafayette as Bud was appointed principal of the Hamilton Laboratory School.  Later I was employed by Mrs. Vesta Bourgeois in the Department of Health and Physical Education for Women.

                Bud later became Head of the Teacher Education Department.  After receiving his doctorate in education from L.S.U., he became Dean of the College of Education.  Since retirement I teach in the Health and Physical Education Department periodically as an adjunct professor and remain active in several community organizations.  I am involved in planning activities for the Centennial.

                The years at Southwestern for me and Bud were enjoyable and exciting and  provided a foundation for our future, both personally and professionally.