UL University of Louisiana students bid farewell to summer and flocked back to the campus and their classrooms Monday for the official first day of classes.

"It was an exhilarating time," said Joseph Savoie, who experienced his first fall opening as the university's new president.

Savoie said the campus was abuzz with new students who came with excited and anxious faces.

Earlier in the day, Savoie said, he went to Cajun Field to greet commuter students and rode on one of the buses back to campus.

He said the day was free of any major hiccups but that they would continue to monitor the process being followed for the opening of school.

"We want to make sure that it's as smooth and inviting as we can make it," he said.

He said other focuses and goals will be ensuring that the university is providing the kind of support services students need to succeed at the university.

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Advocate Acadiana bureau