BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Raising Cane's presented Southern University with a $1 million donation Tuesday morning during an announcement of a partnership between the university and the Baton Rouge-based chicken finger chain. The donated money will go to funding the university's academic and athletic programs as well as the Human Jukebox Band. A portion of the donation includes an endowed academic scholarship.
Raising Cane's Founder and CEO Todd Graves presented the check to Southern University President-Chancellor Dr. Ray Belton in front of the company's downtown restaurant. University officials, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, CEO of Southern University System Foundation Alfred Harrell, Metro Councilmember Tara Wicker whose district includes Southern, and the Southern University Marching Band were also on hand for the check presentation.
"The school needs scholarships quite a bit, so I want to be able to help support them, their athletics, and the jukebox band. They needed some new equipment, they needed some new uniforms. So, it's the pride of Southern University, which is one of the prides of Baton Rouge. And so I'm just glad to be a part of it," Graves said.
Harrel expressed gratitude for the donation especially with recent years of cuts in state funding saying, "I can tell you that Todd has sent a very strong message. Because his message is that he believes in Southern University, and he has confidence in Southern University."
Tre'Von Ceasar, a sophomore drum major for the Human Jukebox band, told WAFB he and his fellow students are thankful for the donation because it allows the university to recruit more students and future band members, "The more scholarship money we have to give, the more children that the band director is can allow to join the band. And that can make for a more efficient band. You know, more people."