TSU Accomplishing Dual Purpose
“Oh, what a glorious history we have created.”
- TSU Board Chairman Glenn O. Lewis
For Founders Day 2015, Texas Southern University Board of Regents chairman Glenn O. Lewis enlightened an audience of eager freshman and transfer students on the dual purpose of the university, dating back to its founding in 1927, and its role for the future of America. Founders Day, a university tradition designed to indoctrinate incoming students on the history of the university and introduce them to the administration, faculty and staff, was held September 10, in the Granville Sawyer Auditorium.
Regent Lewis began his address by outlining that in 1927 (62 years after the end of slavery), "when the Houston Independent School District provided funding for the Houston Colored Junior College for Negroes, its purpose for doing so was to simply provide a basic education to produce teachers to go back into their communities and make others literate. And while TSU has remained true to that purpose and has served that purpose we also had high aspirations of our own," he stated.
“Texas Southern University is a very special place and the thing that makes us special is the fact that we have had to serve a dual purpose almost from the very beginning,” Lewis remarked. “We had to serve the purpose that our resources required that we do while at the same time feed our own aspirations. The members of the HISD board of trustees in 1927 could not have possibly envisioned that graduates of Texas Southern University would become the world changers that they have become.”
Regent Lewis further explained that the purpose of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, created in 1946 by the Texas Legislature, was to allow them a vehicle to avoid integrating the University of Texas School of Law. But despite what their purpose was we had a purpose of our own which was to create a law school that would provide legal communities some of the greatest scholars around.
“Though time won’t permit me with the opportunity to name the honor roll of graduates who have matriculated through TSU’s various programs, think for a moment about what this city, this nation, and this world would be today without the graduates of Texas Southern University. How different would the world have been had Texas Southern University not exceeded those purposes that were set out for us and produced those world champions.”
In addition to Regent Lewis, remarks were given by TSU National Alumni Association President Julia Askew, Staff Council Chair Derrick Wilson, Faculty Assembly/Senate Chair Rasoul Saneifard,and Student Government President Crystal Owens. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James W. Ward presided over the ceremony and Director of the TSU Wesley Foundation Julius Wardley offered the invocation and benediction. Musical selections by University Band, led by Conductors Richard Lee and Clarence K. Gibson, and the University Choir, led by Conductor Dr. Roy Belfield and Accompanist Lucian Zidaru, provided the entertainment.