As the world continues to recognize the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter has two reasons to celebrate this week.

Southern University and A&M College, the flagship campus of the world’s only HBCU System, relocated to Scott’s Bluff, along the banks of the Mississippi River, on March 9, 1914. Founded in 1945, the Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter is putting the finishing touches on its virtual 75th Anniversary Celebration, set for 2 p.m. (PST) on Sunday, March 14, 2021, according to chapter president Alicia S. Jones.

“The idea of the Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter was conceived by a small group of Southernites, including the late Elizabeth Cooper Profit, Juanita Lucien Jones and Bertha Harrell Sims, while standing on the steps of the 28th Street YMCA,” said Jones, a 1994 Psychology graduate.

“Other founders, including the late Ike Adams, Angus Bates, Cleo Adams Gransberry, Charles Jordon, John W. Redfud, Genevieve Taylor Redfud, Angele Battle-Thomas and Wilbert Woodruff helped to enhance that vision. Bertha Harrell Sims became the first president of the chapter,” according to current Historian, Brenda LaMotte, a 1971 Child Development graduate of Southern University.

“Though its founders have gone on to Glory, the mission of Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter: financially assisting prospective and current Southern University students, continues, more than 75 years later,” LaMotte, a Port Allen, La., native revealed.

“This is the chapter of, ‘Dreamers, Thinkers and Doers,’” Jones said, citing 88 Southern California-area students currently attending the university, and the chapter providing more than $10,000 in scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year, as evidence. More than 200 students have received more than $200,000 in scholarships since the chapter’s inception, she said.

Jones is a Baton Rouge native who describes Southern University and its Los Angeles alumni chapter as, “historical.” She said it was, “an honor and privilege to attend a historical Black college in my hometown. In addition, I knew it would provide a supportive environment and unique networking opportunities.”

LaMotte inviting Jones and Jones’ husband, Gregory, to the chapter’s holiday social at Los Angeles’ popular Alpha Phi Alpha Foundation Building prompted the couple to join the chapter. Alicia Jones said they were told about the “spirit of the members and (the chapter’s) unification.” They also saw how the chapter was, “a family home away from home.”

Chapter Vice President Alex Wade has similar thoughts about his introduction to the Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter. The 1992 Fine Arts graduate was introduced to the chapter by its former president, the late Keith Cox, who grew up with Wade in Compton.

Wade heard that the chapter was unified and committed to serving students and alumni in the Greater Los Angeles area, through recruiting prospective Southern University students, fellowshipping with fellow alumni and collaborating with other local HBCU chapters on various projects. Wade’s daughter urged him to join Southern’s Los Angeles Alumni chapter while she was attending Spelman College. He did.

He said he hopes Sunday’s event will “bring inactive members on board for future Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter endeavors.” He describes the celebration as an outreach opportunity, “while also coming together to commemorate our 75 years as a mighty chapter.”

Alicia Jones said the 75th Anniversary Celebration is not limited to Southern University alumni. Just like the chapter’s signature fundraiser, its annual Mardi Gras Ball, she said Sunday’s fete will not disappoint. “Everyone is invited to attend this epic virtual event, as we look back over our chapter’s history and raise funds to benefit student scholarships.”

Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter’s 75th Anniversary Celebration is set for 2 p.m., (PST), on Sunday, March 14, via Zoom. The last day to purchase tickets for the event is Saturday, March 13.

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