TSU Founders Day Marks 87 Years

    TSU Founders Day Marks 87 Years

    founders dayThe images and memory of Mickey Leland was on full display during the annual Founders Day celebration held September 19 in Sawyer Auditorium. George Thomas “Mickey” Leland, a Pharmacy alumnus and anti-poverty activist who later became congressman from the Texas 18th district was America’s most effective spokesman for hungry people in the United States and throughout the world.

    Two of Leland’s close associates, Texas Senator Rodney Ellis and Houston attorney Gene Locke were among the platform guest honoring Mickey Leland and inspiring the next generation of students in the audience. Others in attendance included Ethiopian American Saba Abashawl and Allison Leland.  

    Following a video tribute to Leland produced by School of Communications students that conjured up memories of the lives he touched and a poem performed Student Government President Terrance Bolton, Locke inspired the crowd with his keynote address.

    “Mickey was a special friend to me,” Locke pointed out. “He had a certain way about himself and was the type of person everyone loved.  If he were here today he could not resist the temptation of talking to the students about making a difference. He would stand here and challenge you to change this world, to be a part of making a difference in somebody’s life. But he would also say “Make a difference in your own life.”

    In 1989, Leland died in a plane crash during a mission trip to Ethiopia leaving behind a legacy of international service.  Following the Founders Day celebration, officials moved to the School of Public Affairs for the unveiling of the Mickey Leland Center Archives Collection. The exhibition has over 4,000 individual digital files and covers Leland’s views on apartheid and hunger as well as his legislative and international initiatives.