BOSSIER CITY – When Dr. Anil Veluvolu came to North Louisiana as a child from New York City, one thing persuaded him to stay: The people.
Veluvolu, an LSUS graduate and oncologist at Willis-Knighton, started his college education in Shreveport in 1992 and has never left. Veluvolu will be the commencement speaker at his alma mater’s summer graduation Friday.
“My family is really close, and this community has provided me with so much,” said Veluvolu, who grew up in Winnfield and attended the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches before starting his college journey at LSUS. “I’ve never even thought about leaving, and I wanted to give something back to the community.
“When we were looking for places to relocate, our family chose Winnfield because of the people. It’s the same for me in Shreveport. The education I received was very good, and I’ve never thought about leaving.”
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology in LSUS’s accelerated medicine program, Veluvolu stayed in the city to attend medical school at LSU Health Shreveport.
He stayed to do his internship and residency before starting his fellowship in hematology and oncology at LSUHC in 2002.
“When I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my fellowship, the patients in that field were so brave,” said Velovolu, who treats a variety of cancers but specializes in gastrointestinal ailments. “They are so brave to come up (to the hospital or clinic) every day to fight their diseases – which are sometimes incurable.
“It’s different than most other specialties. But there are so many new drugs and molecular mechanisms to fight cancer. People that might have been living only a few months just 10 years ago are now living for years.”
Always hyper focused on his mission to become a doctor, Veluvolu said he might have pursued his path a little more slowly if he were doing it again.
“I went so fast when I came through LSUS, I would slow down a little bit,” Veluvolu said. “I would study more outside of my primary focus. I would have liked to study more history.
“When you’re young, you’re focused on one goal sometimes and lose sight of everything else out there.”
LSUS to graduate more than 1,100 students
LSUS will award 1,106 college degrees and 10 certificates Friday during the university’s summer commencement exercises at Brookshire Grocery Arena on Friday
The majority of those graduates participated in LSUS’s online masters programs, but 458 are scheduled to attend the 2 p.m. ceremony in person.
All but 38 of those degrees are master’s degrees (1,068). Thirty-six students will receive bachelor’s degrees and two will receive doctorates.
The Master of Business Administration (694), the Master of Health Administration (166) and the Master of Education (148) are the most popular degree programs in terms of number of graduates.
No tickets are required to attend the event, and graduates can invite as many guests as they would like to the 14,000-seat arena. Parking is free.
The ADA entrance is located on the north side of the building, which includes a wheelchair accessible ramp. Parking lot A is reserved for handicapped guests.
The ceremony will be livestreamed through the LSUS YouTube channel.
New chancellor Dr. Robert Smith will conduct his first graduation exercises at LSUS after taking over this July.
WHERE ARE GRADUTES FROM?
LSUS summer graduates hail from 45 states/territories and 28 countries.
Louisiana (333 graduates) leads the way in total number of graduates with Texas (141), Florida (90), California (51) and Georgia (49) rounding out the top five.
Forty-six graduates are from outside the United States with India (7) having the most students of any international country.