LSU honors Black pioneers, names building, programs in their honor

LSU campus (Source: WAFB)
LSU campus (Source: WAFB)
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 10:31 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU is honoring Black pioneers by naming two programs and one building in their honor.

The university’s design building will take on the name Julian T. White Hall. Meanwhile, LSU announced the naming of the Lutrill and Pearl Payne School of Education and the Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate School.

“In the past year, we have made tangible progress to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at LSU,” said LSU President William Tate. “As we move into the new year, I look forward to more conversations with our campus community around efforts to recognize our past and celebrate our future.”

Officials said Julian T. White was the second Black licensed architect in Louisiana and LSU’s first Black professor. They added he began teaching in LSU’s Architecture Department in 1971.

Lutrill and Pearl Payne both worked to integrate the LSU Graduate School and opened the door for others to do so. Lutrill Payne was initially denied admission to the LSU Graduate School because of his race but enrolled following a successful legal defense. Pearl Payne became the first Black woman to earn a degree from LSU.

Pinkie Gordon Lane was the first Black person to earn a doctorate from LSU in 1967. She was also the first woman to serve as the chair for Southern University’s English Department and was appointed Louisiana’s first Black Poet Laureate.

“I encourage you to read about these men and women to pursue greater understanding of the forces that shaped our university,” Tate added. “In the coming weeks, we will share more information about events to appropriately celebrate these pioneers and involve our entire community in the naming.”

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