Southern University Law Center Celebrates 70 Years of Access and Opportunity

On Friday, September 1, the Law Center celebrated 70 years of Access and Opportunity with a grand celebration of our legacy. To view the 70th Anniversary video click here.

Events began on Thursday, August 31, where significant contributors were invited to a reception with Chancellor Pierre to thank them for their support of the Law Center.

Pictured above are Preston Castille, Ron Austin, Chancellor Pierre
and Chief Federal Judge Brian Jackson.

A group of guests and students pose with Chancellor Pierre at the Chancellor’s Reception.


On Friday morning, September 1, the Law Center inducted Jody Amedee, Cleo Fields, Ted James, Charles D. Jones, Johnnie Jones, and the late Dick Turnley into our new Legislative Hall of Fame. The event was a celebration of the legacy of SULC graduates who have gone on to represent their communities in the Louisiana Legislature as well as the U.S. House of Representatives.

Former State Representative Johnnie Jones is applauded
as his pictures is unveiled.

Chancellor Pierre, former State Representative Charles D. Jones,
SU Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Ann Smith, State Representative
Barbara Carpenter, and current State Representative Edward “Ted” James
pose with the portraits of Jones and James that will hang
in the Legislative Hall of Fame.

After the induction of our legacy honorees, a CLE was held under the direction of the Director of Alumni Affairs, Cynthia Reed. Over 50 people attended the CLE which was followed by a fellowship lunch for alumni and guests.

The 70th Anniversary Cake

That evening was the highlight of the 70th Anniversary celebration, a gala at L’Auberge Casino event center in Baton Rouge. The sunset on the Mississippi River made a perfect backdrop for the over 300 guests who were in attendance. At the event Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson was honored with a portrait that was commissioned by the Law Center to hang in our Judicial Hallway, celebrating Chief Justice Johnson as the first black Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Chancellor Pierre presents the portrait to
Chief Justice Johnson.

Keynote speaker Claire Babineaux Fontenot talked about the impact of the school’s 70-year legacy, and a special film was debuted that celebrated the 70-year history. Chancellor Pierre then invited those connected to the first class of students, the first dean, and Mr. Charles Hatfield, to say a few words about their legacy.

Claire Babineaux Fontenot talks about the Law Center’s legacy
and how our graduates cannot help but walk tall.

SU Board of Supervisors member Domoine Rutledge remembers
Leroy White, one of the first students to attend what was
then Southern School of Law.

Chanda Crutcher, granddaughter of A. A. Lenoir, the schools first dean,
talks about her grandfather’s legacy.

Eric Hatfield, current 1L student, talks about his grandfather,
Charles Hatfield, who led the fight for access to a public legal education
for black students which led to the founding
of what is now Southern University Law Center.

Baton Rouge Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome with
Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson.