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Dennis Shields: Bayou Classic shows “We Are Southern” | Opinions and Editorials

For practically 50 years, the Bayou Classic has been a homecoming for hundreds of alumni, college students, followers, households and extra. Many individuals who have not seen one another in many years are coming collectively like they only left the campuses of Southern University, A&M College and Grambling State University.

Some households sitting collectively on the Thanksgiving desk will pledge their allegiance to their respective alma maters and might be seated on reverse sides of Caesars Superdome subsequent Saturday, sporting blue and gold or black and gold. The pleasure is excessive in our host metropolis, New Orleans, and throughout the nation.

This is certainly among the best and biggest HBCU classics.

While it is a reunion for a lot of, it is an introduction to HBCUs for hundreds of others attending occasions just like the Battle of the Bands and the Greek Show and in fact the sport between the Jaguars and the Tigers. These showcases of our scholar expertise introduce followers and viewers to 2 of probably the most prolific universities within the nation. Hopefully they’re going to have an interest sufficient to go to our official web sites and social media to see the good issues taking place earlier than and after Bayou Classic.

For instance, Southern stays the one system of HBCU campuses within the United States. While Southern University’s campus in Baton Rouge helps direct Bayou Classic actions, all of our campuses—Southern University at New Orleans, Southern University Shreveport, Southern University Law Center, and Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center—are busy with recruitment and occasions Scope to see and assist workers, scholar management, alumni relations and extra.

It’s no secret that I’m “new” to Bayou Classic and the HBCU Classic expertise. I’ve been with Southern for a bit over 4 months. However, for me, Bayou Classic is in no way an introduction to the excellence of those two worthy public establishments.

Since starting my tenure at Southern, I’ve been immersed in its dynamic program choices within the high-demand STEM and arts disciplines. I had the chance to see our useful relationships with authorities companies such because the Louisiana Board of Regents and company companions from around the globe. I’ve a entrance row seat to the 12,000+ college students at Southern University who persistently make it by way of every semester to enroll.

I’ve discovered Southern to be a wonderful administrator in every of the three cities the place we now have campuses. The Southern University household’s volunteerism and neighborhood involvement is second to none. My household and I had been warmly welcomed from all campuses with heat hugs and sizzling bowls of gumbo. I can say with a transparent conscience: “We are Southern.”

When you suppose again dwelling of your time with us in New Orleans, consider our establishments as nicely.

Dennis J. Shields is Chancellor of Southern University and A&M College and President of the Southern University System.

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