Former President of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Dr. Ray Authement has died. Authement, who led the University for a record 34 years, was 91 years old. Authement held the distinction of being the nation's longest-serving university president. He retired in 2008.

Current UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie announced Authement's death in a statement released Sunday evening.

You can read the full statement below.

Dr. Ray P. Authement was president of this University for 34 years, yet longevity alone is an insufficient measure by which to assess the transformational nature of his tenure.

Through dedication, determination and selflessness, he changed how the University saw itself and how others perceived it as well. He guided our growth from a strong regional University to one recognized nationally and globally for its research and scholarship.

During Dr. Authement’s presidency, we became the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a significant center of learning, an engine of economic growth, and a place that prioritizes student success and academic excellence.

Our University’s achievements today – and its importance to Louisiana’s future – are rooted in the foundation he built. UL Lafayette stands as a monument to his visionary leadership.

Gail and I join the University community in offering our condolences to Barbara, Julie and the entire Authement family.