UL Lafayette celebrates R1 status, far-reaching significance of designation
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association has recognized bank president and CEO John Bordelon and strategic policy advisor Dr. Cindy Courville with the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award.
Bordelon and Courville received their awards during a reception held on Thursday, Oct. 28, at the UL Lafayette Alumni Center.
The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor UL Lafayette gives to a former student. It recognizes professional and personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the University. Graduates and former students who attended no less than 10 years ago are eligible to receive this award.
“Both honorees have distinguished themselves as influential leaders whose professional success and dedication to serving others exemplifies what it means to be an ‘Outstanding Alumni,’” said John Claude Arceneaux, the UL Lafayette Alumni Association’s interim executive director.
Bordelon has spent four decades at Home Bank, he served in a variety of management positions before becoming president and CEO in 1993. Under Bordelon’s leadership, Home Bank has grown to 40 locations across the state and in Mississippi, and employs more than 460 people. It is the fourth-largest bank in Louisiana. He is also chairman of the board of Home Bancorp, Inc.
Bordelon, who was raised in New Orleans, earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University in 1977. He played outside linebacker as a four-year member of the Ragin’ Cajuns football team.
Bordelon spent several years working as a Medicare auditor for hospitals in Louisiana before deciding banking was his calling. He joined a local savings and loan financial institution as a comptroller. That institution evolved into Home Bank.
His service to the community – and his alma mater – is far-reaching. He was chairman of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce board. Bordelon also served as president of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association and is past chairman of the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation. He is a co-founder of the RCAF, which was established in 2009.
Bordelon has been a board member for the Community Foundation of Acadiana, Southwest Medical Center, United Way of Acadiana, Chitimacha Louisiana Open, Ascension Day School, and Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
He has been married to Suzanne Bordelon for 44 years. The couple has three daughters and three grandchildren.
Courville has more than three decades of experience in national security and international affairs policy, academia, conflict management, and international strategic public and private partnerships. She has served in many national security diplomatic and policy positions, including as the first U.S. Ambassador to the African Union.
Courville, who is from Opelousas, La., lives in Arlington, Va. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in political science from the University, in 1975 and 1977. She holds master's and doctoral degrees in international studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in Denver. UL Lafayette awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2010.
Courville served as the special assistant and senior director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House. She was director for East African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Her many roles at the Defense Intelligence Agency include chair of the Department of Geostrategic Studies at the National Intelligence University; senior intelligence officer in the Office of the Chief of Staff; deputy assistant defense intelligence officer for Africa Policy; and senior intelligence officer for defense operations in Africa.
Courville belongs to many advisory boards, including the Leadership for Women in National Security, the National Senior Executives and Professional Association, and the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
Prior to her career in government, she was an assistant professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles and Hanover College in Indiana.
Photo caption: John Bordelon and Dr. Cindy Courville are the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s 2021 Outstanding Alumni. The honorees were recognized during an October 28, reception at the Alumni Center. (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)