Almost 40 years after helping to integrate LSU, the civil rights lawyer who successfully represented the first black student who sought enrollment was honored by a new chapter of the LSU Alumni Association. The Alexander Pierre Tureaud, Sr., Chapter, established by black alumni during their first reunion in November 1988, was named, by unanimous vote, for the late civil rights attorney from New Orleans.
The chapter officially joined the LSU Alumni Association when the association’s board of directors met in March of 1989. In a letter dated in July of that year, the association president, on behalf of the board, welcomed the Tureaud Chapter into the LSU association.
The original Chapter officers and board of directors were: Mamye L. Hall, president; Leo C. Hamilton, vice president; Felicia Burchell Harry, secretary, and Mary Scott, treasurer; Wanda Anderson Davis, Gideon Carter, Juanita Baranco, Gregory Hamilton, Lutrill Payne (LSU’s first black graduate student), Collis Temple Jr., A. P. Tureaud, Jr., and Nagatha Wallace, board members.
For the next 13 years, the Chapter encouraged active participation in both the Chapter and the LSU Alumni Association. Unlike other chapters of the association, the Tureaud Chapter’s dues structure has always provided for dual membership in both the Chapter and in the Association. Initial commit- tees were formed to design activities and programs that would increase the number of black students, administrators, faculty, and staff at LSU. Additionally, programs were developed to improve their quality of life and working conditions on the campus. A newsletter, “Alumni Triumphs,” was started to communicate the Tureaud Chapter’s goals and objectives, and promote its members and activities.
The Chapter activities, programs, and recognitions included:
- Reception for the naming of A. P. Tureaud Hall, the first and only building on the LSU campus honoring an African American
- P. Tureaud Milestone Awards
- Production of Journey for Justice: the A. P. Tureaud Story, a documentary.
- Student scholarships
- Prospective Students & Alumni Receptions
- Telephone banks
- General support to LSU Programs and initiatives for a more diverse campus.
After six years of inactivity, in 2009 the A.P. Tureaud, Sr., Chapter of the LSU Alumni Association was reconstituted as the A. P. Tureaud, Sr., Black Alumni Chapter, with the institutional initiative and support of Katrice Albert, LSU vice provost for Equity, Diversity, & Community Outreach.
In 2010, new officers and board members created a new Constitution, which spelled out the following Chapter mission:
- To provide a medium for alumni and friends of LSU to engage with faculty, staff, and students through professional, social, academic and cultural activities for the purpose of building lasting relationships, instilling pride, and fostering diversity as an integral part of the University’s agenda. It would do so by promoting the participation of Black people in the LSU Community and supporting and further promoting the improved relations among diverse peoples throughout the LSU Community.
- To foster, protect, and promote the welfare of LSU and its Black alumni through participation in the Association.
The initial officers and board members of the re-constituted Chapter were:
Perry Franklin, president; Brandon M. Smith, vice-president, president-elect; Rachel L. Emanuel, secretary; and Chaunda M. Allen, treasurer; Marco Barker, Jan Barker-Alexander, Westley Bayas, III, Kirt Bennett, Gideon Carter, III, Mamye L. Hall, Ron Johnson, Shaun Mena, and Melody Robinson. Ex-officio members were Katrice A. Albert, Verge Ausberry, Linda Smith Griffin, Jason Ramezan, and C. Johnson.
Today, Chapter activities, programs, and recognitions include:
- Annual LSU Legends Awards
- Annual LSU Legends Forum
- Student & Alumni Receptions
- Student Scholarships
- General support to LSU programs and initiatives to meet diversity goals