BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The LSU Board of Supervisors voted to honor a few outstanding individuals whose impact on LSU deserves recognition. These Black pioneers showed determination and strength when it came to breaking barriers to shape the university. These pioneers include Lutrill and Pearl Payne, Dr. Pinkie Gordon Lane, and Julian T. White. Two academic programs and one building will be named in their honor.
The Lutrill and Pearl Payne School of Education honor Lutrill Payne and his wife, Pearl, whose work to integrate the LSU Graduate School has opened the doors for others. Payne was denied enrollment into the graduate program because of his race, however, after a successful legal suit, he was admitted in 1951. His wife enrolled soon after, becoming the first Black woman to earn a Master’s degree in Education from LSU in 1956.
The Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate School honors Pinkie Gordon Lane, as she was the first African American to earn her doctorate from LSU in 1967. Lane was an accomplished educator and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet and author. She was also Southern University’s first English Department chair and was appointed by Governor Buddy Roemer as Louisiana’s first Black Poet Laureate.
Julian T. White Hall, formerly known as the Design building, honors Julian T. White as the second Black licensed architect in the state. White was also LSU’s first Black professor who taught in LSU’s Architecture Department in 1971. In 2020, the LSU College of Art revealed a mural of White in the lobby.
LSU President, Dr. William Tate IV, encourages students to read more about these pioneers and the university’s history.