Members of the SUSLA community came together to celebrate the legacy and contributions of the Southern University system’s 135 year history in the campus’ annual Founders’ Day celebration.
Southern University was officially chartered by Legislative Act 87 in 1880, opening in New Orleans, Louisiana with twelve (12) students. The current flagship institution opened in 1914 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, officially approved to receive land grant funds through the 1890 Morril Act. Southern University in Shreveport (SUSLA) was officially authorized and opened its doors in 1964. Today the Southern University System contains five campuses and is the only historically Black college and university (HBCU) system in the nation.
The celebration featured retired SUSLA staff member and professor, Dr. Phillip Pennywell, who praised the institution’s commitment, but challenged the SUSLA community to do more. “We must continue to work to sustain ourselves so that we will be of value now and beyond,” remarked Pennywell.
Several faculty and staff members were also recognized for their dedicated service to the university. They include: 40 year s of service – Jimmy Daniel; 20 years of service – Dr. Barry Hester; 10 years of service – Lonnie Hamilton, Jr., Katrina Harris, Bobbie Lattier, Denise Mitchell, Joslin Pickens, Willie Siglar, Bessie Whitehurst, Tuesday Williams Mahoney, Tiffany Williams Varner and Olden Wright.
Immediately following the ceremony, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University gathered for a community forum moderated by KSLA anchor, Charisse Gibson. The forum provided an opportunity for members of the SUSLA community to discuss the University’s future and course of action. Panelists included Attorney Ron Stamps, Dr. Phillip Pennywell, and Dr. Mary Jackson.