NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - Southern University is already winning this Bayou Classic weekend.
In addition to an anticipated gridiron victory in the 44th Bayou Classic, Southern University has won $1.6 million in support including a $1.1 million major gift from alumnus Antonio "Tony" Clayton for a football facility and a $500,000 grant from Capital One for school improvements, both who presented during the SU System Board of Supervisors meeting Friday in New Orleans.
With his recent gift, Clayton, a member of the SUS Board of Supervisors and a longtime SU supporter, will fund the construction of "Clayton Championship Plaza," and establish an endowed chair, that will support athletic programming, and benefit the marching band and music department.
"The Clayton Championship Plaza gives us something to be proud about. This permanent legacy separates us and puts on another level of greatness. We appreciate it very much," said Roman Banks, Director of Athletics.
The Capital One Community Impact Grant is a one-time gift designed to help recipients execute on critical parts of their long-term strategic plan.
Southern University has been a longtime partner of Capital One and will be awarded a $500,000 grant to help the University closely align its curriculum to current and future high skilled jobs, provide faculty externships with corporate partners, as well as support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camps for low income PreK-12 students.
"Capital One has been a friend and corporate partner to SU for a number of years. The company has been steadfast in its commitment to higher education and their appreciation for the value that Southern University brings to Louisiana and the rest of the world," said SU System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton. "This gift really demonstrates Capital One's commitment to SU over the years."
The university says the grant will focus on key areas throughout the SU System including student services development and workforce training; summer outreach programs and recruitment to provide pre-collegiate students with early exposure to college disciplines, especially in STEM and engage more prospective students; curriculum enhancement to align curriculum with workforce needs, based on Louisiana 4-5 star jobs report; faculty professional development; and provide an opportunity to broaden participation of underrepresented groups in the energy workforce through an energy training consortium.