2017 Alumna of the Year
On May 17, 2017, Sister Renée Daigle, was honored as our 2017 Alumna of the Year. She is the oldest of Jerome and Carmel Daigle’s five children. A product of Catholic school, Renée began grade school at St. Agnes in New Orleans, then, when her family moved to Houma, she attended St. Francis de Sales before entering Vandebilt Catholic High School.
During her years of formation at Vandebilt, Renée was a member of the National Honor Society, newspaper staff, and participated in both district and state literary rallies. She was a homeroom representative and volleyball manager and statistician.
After graduating with honors from Vandebilt Catholic in 1981, Renée attended Nicholls State University. There she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 1985. In September of that same year, she moved to New Orleans to enter the Marianites of Holy Cross. For ten years she lived her ministry teaching children from kindergarten to second grade at schools including St. Cletus and St. Andrew, both Westbank New Orleans schools, St. Mary of the Angels, near the Desire Housing Project, and Holy Family in Port Allen, Louisiana.
In 1988, Sr. Renée professed her “temporary vows,” which is an initial commitment that sisters make showing they can live the Apostolic Religious Life of the Marianites of Holy Cross. Five years later, she professed her perpetual vows, which marks the total incorporation of the sister into the congregation.
In 1995, Sr. Renée was called to San Antonio, Texas to learn Spanish. She then helped to begin a program for street children in Granada, Nicaragua. Cristo Sana a Los Ninos is still in operation today, as a residential program for boys ages 6-18.
The next year the Marianites called Sr. Renée back to New Orleans to do vocational ministry. During her eleven years as full-time vocation director, Renée served six years on the executive board of the National Religious Vocation Conference and completed two Master’s Degrees, one in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans and one in Pastoral Studies from Loyola.
In January 2008, Sr. Renée moved to Hammond, Louisiana to begin serving as Assistant Director and Campus Minister at St. Albert Catholic Student Center at Southeastern Louisiana University, where she presently ministers.
Through the years, Sr. Renée has held leadership roles in the Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat program, both in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and on the national level. She has led several mission trips to Central America, and served on the team for the International Session in Holy Cross Spirituality in LeMans, France. She presently serves the Diocese of Baton Rouge on the Pastoral Planning Task Force, as well as the Diaconate Formation Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of Holy Cross in New Orleans (formerly Our Lady of Holy Cross College) sponsored by the Marianites.
Sister Renée Daigle epitomizes the qualities that a Catholic educational institution strives to instill in its students. She serves as a role model for young people, demonstrating ways that a Vandebilt graduate can make a difference in this world. Vandebilt Catholic High School is extremely proud to add to the accolades of Sister Renée Daigle the distinction of Alumna of the Year 2017.
Alum of the Year
Each year at the Vandebilt Catholic Senior Honors Convocation, a graduate of Vandebilt, Houma Central Catholic High, or St. Francis High School who is outstanding by the manifestation of lessons about service to others, wholeness of character, and living as a Christian example learned as a Catholic school student is recognized.
1977 Mr. Conrad Picou, Jr. ’60
1978 Mr. David Keife ’67
1979 Mr. Peter Broussard ’60
1980 Dr. Bobby Haydel ’57
1981 Mr. Ray Marcello ’40
1982 Mr. Ronnie Haydel ’54
1983 Mr. Lou Gehrig Burnett ’59
1984 Mr. John Schoonenberg ’68
1985 Dr. Dickey Haydel ’61
1991 Sr. Fatima Robichaux, MSC ’47
1992 Judge J. Louis Watkins, Jr. ’45
1993 Mr. Martin Folse ’78
1994 Dr. Walter Benoit Comeaux, Jr. ’39
1995 Dr. Connie Lirette Casente, RN ’58
1996 Ms. Leslie Johnson Van Osdale ’56
1997 Rev. Msgr. Philip Whitney ’39
1998 Ms. Glenny Lee Castagnos Buquet ’54
1999 Mr. Eddie Pullaro ’61
2000 Ms. Tracy Duplantis ’23
1996 Ms. Marian Hamilton ’72
1997 Mrs. Shirley Rome Watkins ’45
1998 Mr. Leslie Daigle ’53
1999 Judge Randy Bethancourt ’71
Mr. Ken Watkins ’47
2000 Dr. Ann Barker ’55
2001 Fr. Jay Baker ’79
2002 Dr. Leo Hebert ’58
2003 Mrs. Alexis and Mr. Berwick Duval ’73
2004 Dr. John “Jay” Clune ’82
2010 Rev. Glenn LeCompte ’76
2011 Dr. Michelle Simon ’82
2012 Mrs. Phyllis Peoples ’80
2013 Mrs. Laurie Calhoun Robichaux ’84
2014 Mr. Philip “Phe” McMahon ’83
2015 Father André Melancon ’02
2016 Mr. Robért LeBlanc ‘95
2017 Sister Renee Daigle '81