Building Community

The Southern University Innovation Center (SUIC) is a collaboration between the SU System Foundation and the Southern University Baton Rouge campus. In 2012, the SU System Foundation received a grant award of $1.2 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to construct the Innovation Center at SU.


The SU Innovation Center nurtures the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period, when they are most vulnerable. These programs provide their client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms.

LSBDC-Louisiana Small Business Development Center

The LSBDC network has access to robust databases, business research resources, and knowledgeable experts who can help you successfully navigate the obstacles that come with innovating, launching, growing, renewing, and transitioning a business.


The Student Idea Village connects University students to innovation and provides an environment where students can be creative free of distraction. The Student Idea Village

incorporates technology and flexibility while providing students access to a wealth of resources guided by seasoned business counselors and mentors.


The Disaster Recover Center prepares your business in the event of extended service outages caused by factors beyond your control (e.g., natural disasters, man-made events), and to restore services to the fullest extent possible in a minimum timeframe. We provide to our companies on site as well as to businesses within the Baton Rouge community the

resources needed to implement preventive measures whenever possible to minimize operational disruptions and to recover as quickly as possible.

A Celebration of Philanthropy – Matthews Plaza

Matthews Plaza is an extension of the Jaguar Park project that is sponsored by the SU System Foundation (SUSF). Jaguar Park is a three-phase construction project launched to support the construction of a $1.2 million urban sport complex located on the University’s Baton Rouge campus. The Matthews Plaza official ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening took place the morning of Southern University’s homecoming football game, October 7, 2017, at the Eastside entrance of the A.W. Mumford Stadium on the SU Baton Rouge campus.

Irving and Darlene Matthews’ sizeable investment has helped the Jaguar Park project raise more than $500,000 to date. The Matthews also have established the Irving and Darlene Matthews Endowed Scholarships in the College of Business and the College of Engineering.

The event was attended by the Matthews family, Ray Belton, Southern University System Chancellor-President, Domoine D. Rutledge, Southern University System Foundation Chairman, Alfred E. Harrell, III, Southern University System Foundation CEO, and Southern University supporters.

JaguarPark boasts a lighted NCAA regulation soccer game field and football practice field, a soccer field-house and coaching observation tower, along with javelin and discus runways. JaguarPark is enclosed by fencing with 46 connecting brick columns.



Expanding Educational Horizons – Environmental Toxicology

Ph.D. candidates from the Southern University Environmental Toxicology Department are currently conducting research on the role of microvesicles/exosomes in smoke induced lung injury under the guidance of Sanjay Batra, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental toxicology. This research is made possible by a grant from the Southern University System

Foundation. The results of this important research will set a platform for the future submission of extramural grant application and a research article by PhD students in Toxicology at Southern University.

Through this support, experts within the Southern University System harness research methods from varying fields that provide space for discovery-based research.  The Southern University Department of Environmental Toxicology received funding and published “Immune-related Gene Polymorphisms in Pulmonary Diseases.” Project investigator and associate professor Sanjay Batra and a host of Southern University

students that worked diligently until their research was published with Elsevier, a scientific, technical, and medical information analytics company.

African American Male Achievement Initiative

The Southern University and A & M College System established the Honoré Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement (CUSA) with funding from the State of Louisiana and other sources to improve success rates for African-American males in Louisiana that attend college, while also increasing the number of male classroom teachers in urban settings.  A cohort of New Orleans area male high school graduates will be selected for the initiative that provides them substantial added support and resources to complete their college education at the Southern University New Orleans (SUNO) campus, and to become effective classroom teachers.


The initiative is named after Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, a Southern University alumnus, military hero, and expert on leadership development. Students with leadership potential and the motivation to make a difference in their communities are chosen ideally with ACT scores and GPA that qualify them for university admission with no more than one developmental course required. Honoré scholars are provided year-round campus housing at SUNO in a holistic living and learning environment. Additional support includes a personal computer, campus meal plans, a monthly $100 stipend, plus a $500 textbook voucher per semester for up to five years. Personal counseling, field trips, life skills, and tutoring resources are incorporated to help ensure their academic and personal success.


Spring, 2017 Honoré Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement (CUSA) graduates Jarred Jupiter (left) and Domonique Carter (right) are both teachers at Eisenhower Elementary School in New Orleans. Jupiter, a public administration major, is a 4th grade teacher and Carter, an English major, is a 2nd grade teacher.

Quinshala Ford, Anna Jones Scholarship Recipient

Major: Nursing
Classification: Junior
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

“I chose to attend Southern University because of the traditions and values the institution upholds. The University provides opportunities for new beginnings and a brighter future. I would like to thank the many donors and supporters who give to the Southern University System Foundation. I appreciate your generous support and for making this scholarship program possible. I strive to make a positive impact in the lives of others. As a nurse, I can do all this and more. I plan to pursue a master of science in nursing, and become a family nurse practitioner.”

Click here to support students like Quinshala.

Raising Cane’s Announces $1 Million Partnership with Southern University

Raising Cane’s Founder and CEO Todd Graves announced that the Baton Rouge-based restaurant company has agreed to a $1 Million partnership with Southern University. Joined by, Ray L. Belton, Chancellor-President of the Southern University System, Graves made the announcement at a news conference on October 17, 2017.

The agreement includes an endowed academic scholarship, an athletics partnership and a sponsorship of The Southern University Marching Band.

Band members kicked off the news conference and Southern University Marching Band Director Nathan B. Haymer announced that Raising Cane’s is now the “official chicken of The Human Jukebox.” To show their appreciation for the partnership, the Southern University Marching Band spelled C-A-N-E-S during their performance at their final home game of the season against Prairie View A&M University on November 4, 2017.

“We have supported Southern University for years and we are excited to deepen our commitment with this partnership. Southern is a big part of our hometown and many of our customers and crew are affiliated with the university so this was a natural fit for us,” Graves says.

“The support we receive from Raising Cane’s will benefit our students through many facets of their Southern University experience; including academics, band and athletic programs. The partnership undoubtedly will help to advance our mission,” says Al Harrell, Chief Executive Officer, Southern University System Foundation.

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Shreveport natives and Southern University (SU) alums Tony and Tina Williams donated $25,000 to Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA) to establish The Williams Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement. The new program, which is part of The Five-Fifths Agenda for America program (FFAA) will start in 2018, and will target underprivileged minority males who are driven and want to eventually achieve a four-year college degree. The donation took place during the 2017 Southern University Alumni Federation Leadership Summit at SUSLA.

“A lot of guys and gals I grew up with didn’t make it out, so we know this agenda is very important. Statistics show it’s important. That’s the reason we want to be a part of it,” said Tony Williams.

The Five-Fifths Agenda for America (FFAA), conceived by former SU System president Ronald Mason Jr., is a national effort with the dual goals of increasing the number of college degrees among black men and increasing the ranks of black male classroom teachers. The initiative also serves to increase the number of black male degree graduates, increase the number of black male teachers or STEM graduates, establish HBCUs as institutional bases for long term systemic change, and to influence the national dialogue on the relationship between black men and America.

“We are certainly grateful for his generous donation that will contribute to the facilitation of the FFAA project on our campus,” said SUSLA Chancellor Rodney A. Ellis. “We also encourage other alumni and friends of the college to consider matching this gift.”

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