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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is recognizing the generosity of philanthropist, businessman and community leader James D. Moncus by naming a building on its Health Sciences Campus in his honor.
James D. Moncus Hall houses classrooms and office space for the College of Nursing & Health Sciences. The newly named Moncus Hall is among the buildings UL Lafayette acquired in its purchase of the former site of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, adjacent to the main campus.
The University celebrated the philanthropic naming – and a $7 million gift from the James Devin Moncus Family Foundation that will enable the Health Sciences Campus’ continued growth and fund an endowment to support the College of Nursing & Health Sciences – during a ceremony Wednesday.
“Many individuals and organizations could call Jim Moncus a friend, and the University is fortunate to have been among them,” said Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president. “His commitment to Lafayette stands as an example of the power one person has to touch the lives of many and shape a community for the better. His spirit of service is one we want our students – in nursing and health sciences and in every discipline – to emulate in their own lives and careers.”
“Over time – and thanks to the support of donors like the Moncus Family Foundation – the Health Sciences Campus will become a center for health sciences education, research and practice – and James D. Moncus Hall will be at its heart,” Savoie added.
A native of Houston, Moncus entered the oil and gas industry following service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He came to Lafayette in 1962, after his first oil and gas job in Casper, Wyoming, ended suddenly. Moncus worked for Lamb Oil for over a decade; in 1974, he founded Devin International, an oilfield equipment company. Moncus held patents for dozens of oilfield tools and procedures during an almost 50-year career in the industry.
He sold the company in 2008. Moncus shifted his focus to continuing his decades-long commitment to philanthropy, creating the James Devin Moncus Family Foundation.
Among many contributions to UL Lafayette, Moncus established scholarships and endowed professorships. His longstanding support of the University resonates in many corners of campus, including arts, nursing, sciences and athletics.
UL Lafayette previously honored Moncus with an honorary doctor of nursing practice degree. It was awarded posthumously in December 2021, shortly after his death at age 81. His wife, Ruth, a nurse for 35 years, accepted on his behalf. Ruth Moncus has continued her late husband’s philanthropic work through the Moncus Family Foundation; she was a driving force behind the latest gift to UL Lafayette.
Foundation Trustee Debbie Spallino said the University “always held a special place in Jim Moncus’ heart.”
“The Moncus Foundation is proud to carry on his legacy by investing in the College of Nursing & Health Sciences and helping to fulfill the University’s vision for the development of its Health Sciences Campus. We are confident that the students who learn within the walls of James D. Moncus Hall will improve the quality of life for so many in the communities in which they serve through this very vital career choice,” she added.
Upper-level nursing students began taking courses on the fourth floor of Moncus Hall – previously known as the 501 Building – at the start of the fall semester. Dr. Lisa Broussard, interim dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences and a professor in the LHC Group • Myers School of Nursing, called the Moncus Family Foundation gift “transformational.”
“Mr. Moncus was a person who dreamed big – and the support of the Moncus Family Foundation will enable the college to do the same. This gift provides opportunities that will benefit our students and faculty and enhance the college’s reputation as the primary producer of the region’s health care workforce. It opens a new chapter for us and we’re proud to call James D. Moncus Hall our home,” Broussard said.
The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved the hall’s naming at its Oct. 26 meeting.
The $7 million gift from the Moncus Family Foundation is part of Together: The Campaign for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It is the largest comprehensive fundraising initiative in University history. Learn more about the campaign by visiting together.louisiana.edu.