Baltimore-Washington Ragin' Cajun Alumni Club

Serving UL Cajun Alumni in Md, Va, & DC

31st year of Alumni Service








The Baltimore Washington, DC Chapter

This site is for alumni and friends to keep up with happens in the Baltimore & Washington Dc area.  Where we can remember the good times we had in college and at alumni club events.  Maintain friendships, and dream of the food and comradary at future socials. 



Transferring to Maryland in early 1979 with the government from Louisiana, it became frustrating to find information on U(S)L sports and Cajun food.  So, in the fall of 1980, Chuck Allen contacted the Alumni Association at the then University of Southwestern Louisiana about what was required to start an alumni club in the area.  OBtaining the information, which included a printout of some 500 alumni in a 4 state area plus D.C., letters were generated and sent about a new Alumni club in the area.  After meeting with the Alumni Director at the '81 Washington DC Mardi Gras, the development for the initial gathering was set in motion.  With a 20 some positive responses a diner-meeting was set for June 1981, at a hotel near BWI Airport.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Thus the club was formed with 9 Alumni and a Charter was granted from the USL Alumni Association.  At the meeting, Officers were elected:  Chuck Allen as President, James Shay as Vice-President and Tom Kelly as Secretary-Treasurer.  

During the next year, there were many phone calls and more mail outs as direction was being  determined with the aid of the Alumni Association.  New members showed interest, those who could not attended the first meeting and those who learned of the Chapter from the Alumni Association.

As we entered the end of our first year, the cornerstone event for the Club was born, thanks to the help of our own Congressman John Breaux.  What is more Cajun than a crawfish boil.  John helped to arrange for us to use the Coast Guard Station at Alexandria, he obtained the crawfish and got them to us and then, along with Johnny Broussard one of his aids, boiled the guest of honor for some 30 Alumni and friends.



With an increasing membership, the new Officers decied to meet their needs and decided to expand our funtions and meet more than once a year.  Ideas were developed and tried for a second event to include a social honoring John Breaux, a Christmas Party, attending an Orioles game with the Yankees and meeting Ron Guidry after the game, an outdoor cookout and finally the Gumbo Cooking Cook-off Adult Social.

The one constant was the Spring Crawfish Boil.  This festival evolved from an event put on by Congressman Breaux to one held at private residences the next couple years.  First at Gen. Masrk's on Bolling AFB and then at Col. Tom Kelly's farm).  This evnt was to then find a home for many years at the to numerous functions at Meredyth Vinyards in Middleburg, Va.

For a second event for our second year, It was decided to have a function at the home of the Harringtons in the fall of 1982 to honor Congressman John Breaux.  Not only as being an outstanding alumni serving the state and the people of  Louisana, but for his efforts in helping the Chapter get on its feet at the end of the 1st. year.

As indicated, the Second Annual Crawfish Boil was held at the home of  Lt. Gen John Marks on Bolling Air Force Base.  It was this event that first saw the cooking abilities of Mo Cheramie that would be the main stay for many of the Chapters events in future years.

Trying to find the right second yearly event, a Christmas Dinner was scheduled for December, 1982, at the Sir Water Raleigh Inn in NW Washington. 

The next years Crawfish Boil was held at Col. Tom Kelly's farm in south central Vriginia.  All the alumni and their familes enjoyed this mid June event, the hospitality of the Kelly's and being in the country and away from the city life of Baltimore and Washington, DC.

For the fall of 1983, new ideas were discussed, Chuck indicated that he had kept in touch with the Yankee's Ron Guidry and his agent, also from USL.  Arrangements were made for our Alumni and families to attended an Orioles' game during their season final home stand and meet with Ron Guidry after the game.

Looking for a place for our Annual Crawfish Boils brought the Chapter to the Meredyth Vineyards in Middleburg, Virginia, owned by Archie Smith, who was originally from New Orleans.  Scheduled as a Crawfish Boil for July, 1985, the event became a Cajun Feast due to the dry weather in Louisana and thus the lack of crawfish.  Moe Cheramie provided the food consisting of gumbo, jambalaya, crabs, shrimp and fired catfish.

As our growing Chapter enter the latter half of the decade, the spring Crawfish Boil became the main event that our Alumni looked forward to.  Looking for a second event, A Cajun Festival was scheduled for October, 1886.  This event continued and was to become the first of its kind Alumni Gumbo Cook-off in the fall of 1989.  Thus we have our two annual social events that have become the Tradition of this Chapter.

It was also during the late 80s when the area saw a huge increase of Alumni moving to the area, many coming from the University's computer degree programs, who found the government looking for their talents.





9/11 brings changes to our activities.  With government (military) establishments putting restrictive entrance to their facilities, the Club needed to find a new location for the crawfish boils.  Ft. Hunt, near Mt. Vernon proved to serve our interests well.


Thank you for Visiting our Baltimore Washington Ragin Cajun Alumni Site.