On Tuesday, April 20, Southern University held its annual Day at the Capitol, where all five campuses are given the chance to highlight what they have achieved during the year. Usually, this event would have been held at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, but due to COVID, this year’s event was held virtually through all Southern University platforms. Since the year’s Day at the Capitol was held virtual, students and faculty members were encouraged to post and share why they are Southern. This led to videos from some students, SGA President, Kevin Taylor-Jarrell II, 91st Miss Southern, Jaden Johnson, and Band Director, Mr. Kedric Taylor.
During this virtual event, the chancellors from SUSLA, SULC, the SU Ag Center and the main Baton Rouge campus create and posted videos on the Southern University System YouTube page to explain what has occurred on their campuses over the year. On the SUSLA campus, Chancellor Dr. Rodney Ellis shared a few of their accomplishments. With SUSLA, they signed a partnership with a company called Avants International, which is in Uganda, Africa. As well they had become a regional hub for Apple’s Propel Center. This allows them to serve individuals throughout the region when it comes to coding. The last two accomplishments that Dr. Ellis shared were SUSLA becoming a small business center from the northwest Louisiana region, and being the site for this year’s Bayou Classic.
Through their extension programs, the SU Ag Center has a statewide presence in 34 parishes across Louisiana. One of their extensions On the Go uses their mobile unit, which is a unique traveling classroom that allows us to our programs and services to the people. Last month, the Ag Center held their 79th livestock show by using a virtual platform. Chancellor McMeans states that “The SU Ag Center is the only 1890 institution that still conducts a livestock show.” The Ag Center’s Chancellor also reports on their Southern University Cooperative Extension Program where they work with minority and disadvantaged farmers. In this program, the Ag Center collaborates with farmers about their day-to-day operations and provides them with technical aid.
The SU Law Center Chancellor Mr. John Pierre, like the other chancellors, stated what his campus has been up to during the year. Over the past year the Law Center, just as other campuses in the system, have effectively transitioned their instructional models from in-person to remote hybrid learning models. Through advancing technology and teamwork, they ensure that their students continue to advance through their courses and receive a quality education. A high point for the Law Center is that they experienced their highest enrollment of 812 law students. The Law Center has also experienced the development of their mixed reality virtual innovation gaming and Esports institute, and the cultivation of partnerships with HP Life, Pharaoh’s Conclave, and more. Chancellor Pierre states that “With the support of our external stakeholders we can continue to live out the mission of the Law Center and mold thriving transformational legal professionals.”
When it comes to the main Baton Rouge campus, Ray Belton, the Chancellor of Southern University and A&M College and President of the Southern University System talked about what Southern University has done during its 141 years. Along with being the leading producer of black graduates in Louisiana, Southern University has graduated from top-rated programs like the engineering and award-winning nursing program. President Belton also mentions how the university has produced prolific figures in subjects like public policy and law, and about the university’s showstopping brand ambassadors, the Human Jukebox, and the Fabulous Dancing Dolls. President Belton states that “With exceptional students and alumni from around world, nation and of course this state, we are Southern University.”
Even though this year’s SU Day at the Capitol was held virtual, it was still a success. Like the earlier events, this gave an insight to the public, on the five campuses and how they are continuing to strive for the future.