Southern University alumnus, Irving Matthews, gifts Southern University $1MM to expand programming for the Southern University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, Southern University alumnus and Southern University System Foundation (SUSF) Trustee Irving Matthews will gift $1M to expand programming creating the Southern University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. The gift will also provide seed funding for the construction of a new state-of-the-art 14,000 square foot building that will house the Center’s operations.

In recognition of his gift, the Center will be named the Matthews Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His philanthropic efforts benefitting Southern University spans three decades totaling $916K. With this gift, Matthews’ lifetime giving to Southern will exceed $2M.

“I believe that the long-term success of Southern University is tied to the support it receives from the students that attended the University,” Matthews said. “It is imperative that all alums give back to the University that has given so much to them. Southern has been there for us, so let’s keep it around for future generations. I will forever be committed to giving back to my cherished alma mater.”

The current Southern University Innovation Center is a collaboration between the Southern University System Foundation and Southern University and A&M College. In 2012, the SUSF received an award of $1.2 million from the Economic Development Administration to construct the Innovation Center at Southern. The 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.

“I say with tremendous gratitude, on behalf of the entirety of the SU System, how profoundly grateful we are for Mr. Irving Matthews’ generosity and his unselfish giving as a dedicated alumnus of Southern University,” said Ray L. Belton, president-chancellor of the Southern University System. “His benevolence to the System Foundation, in the form of large and enduring gifts, supports an important vision and creates a lasting legacy that will benefit generations to come. We thank him for his commitment to Southern University and to our mission of offering quality educational programs, conducting innovative research, and promoting valuable community engagement.”

Matthews earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering technology. He is the president and owner of The Matthews Automotive Group, employing more than 300 employees, consisting of four automobile dealerships representing four franchises — Ford, Kia, Toyota, and Mazda.

Alfred Harrell, Southern University System Foundation CEO, echoed Belton’s sentiments, “Irving’s leadership at the governance level at Southern and other HBCUs continue to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of students, faculty, and University programming. We are profoundly grateful for his generosity, and I’m glad to know him as both a friend and mentor.”

This is the second $1M gift directed to the University in a month. Last week alumnus Mark and Dawn Malveaux made a gift of $1M to establish an endowed scholarship in College of Business at the University.

Construction of the Matthews facility is expected to be complete in late 2022.

The press conference and gift announcement is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, at noon on the front of the lawn of the Southern University Innovation Center located at 616 Harding Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70807.

Southern University alums gift College of Business $1M as an endowed scholarship

Southern University alumni Mark and Dawn Malveaux today announced a $1 million gift to the Southern University College of Business. The gift will establish an endowed scholarship and name the Master of Business program in honor of the benefactors.

“Dawn and I owe so much not only to Southern University but also to the communities that nurtured us,” Mark Malveaux said. “This gift is a tribute to a great university and the people who have committed themselves to uplift, including my amazing economics professor, the late Dr. Fred Temple. The gift is also a recognition of our parents and those aunts and uncles who did not have the opportunity to complete high school. They sacrificed much for my generation and set an example of humble dignity.”

Mark Malveaux graduated magna cum laude from Southern with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics in 1989. While at Southern, Malveaux was the first student in the University’s history awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He was also named the “Outstanding Student in the College of Business.” He then attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor in 1992. While in law school, Malveaux was also awarded the Bracewell and Patterson Oral Advocacy Award.

Upon graduation, he began his law practice at an international law firm. At the public finance firm of McCall, Parkhurst and Horton, he became the first Black partner at a nationally recognized public finance firm in Texas. An active angel investor, Malveaux is currently on the advisory board of technology firm Filtari and a significant investor in specialty pizza company Zalat Pizza. He is also on the board of directors for the $2 billion Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund.

Dawn Dillion Malveaux graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science in 1984. Dawn Malveaux is a third-generation Southern University alum with her late grandfather graduating in 1935. Upon graduation, she enjoyed a nearly 20-year career in computer science before devoting her time and energy to her two children, Jordan and Dillon. She is an active member of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and enjoyed her time as an active member of Jack and Jill of America.

“We are extremely grateful to the Malveaux family for this sizable gift to our College of Business and the students it continues to serve,” said Ray L. Belton, president-chancellor of the Southern University System. “This intentional gift is a shining example of how our alumni have a consistent appreciation and love for the university that shaped them. It is also a deep commitment to seeing that Southern can offer boundless opportunities to students for years to come.”

Alfred Harrell, Southern University System Foundation CEO, echoed Belton’s sentiments. “Mark and Dawn’s gift to their alma mater provides strategic investment in an area of great need, directing sizable resources to talented students in our College of Business in perpetuity.”, Harrell said.

Since its inception in 1937, the College of Business has evolved into one of the largest colleges at Southern University. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the college maintains high standards of teaching, research, and services. More than 70 percent of the faculty members have terminal degrees; faculty members regularly publish in national journals and present papers at conferences.


The Southern University System Foundation has commissioned artist Terrance Osborne to complete an original painting of Scott’s Bluff. The original artwork will be displayed at the Valdry Center for Philanthropy, and limited edition signed and/or numbered prints will be available for purchase. The silkscreen created prints, using archival UV protected inks, measure 18” x 32”.


Terrance Osborne, a native New Orleanian, grew up in the heart of his culturally rich city being inspired by his diverse and colorful social surroundings. Osborne always held an undercurrent interest in art, largely fueled by his mother and his older brother. while in high school, under the guidance of artist Richard Thomas, Osborne was able to paint with the passion and expression that he had been so avid about.

Osborne attended the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (N.O.C.C.A.) and later graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Xavier University. For the following five years he taught art at Alice Harte Elementary until Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and he relocated his family to Georgia. From then on, with his wife Stephanie running the business end of his art career, Osborne decided to dedicate his time completely to art. After two years in Georgia, he moved his family back to New Orleans and because of his new works, depicting scenes of a colorful New Orleans saturated by Hurricane Katrina imagery, his work quickly became international recognized.

Over the years, Osborne would be been featured in a slew of public media for his vivid and delightfully dynamic works glorifying New Orleans culture. His 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018 Official Jazz & Heritage Festival Posters are a handful of the most collected posters in the world. In 2006, Osborne gained partnerships with Nike to design a poster and the first New Orleans Air Force 1 tennis shoe. Osborne’s partnerships continued over the years with companies like NBA, CocaCola, Heineken and Coup De Fondré winery. In 2017 he officially opened Terrance Osborne Gallery in uptown New Orleans. His gallery remains one of the top galleries in the city. Be it art connoisseur or causal collector, Terrance Osborne’s art continues a delight the eyes cross all divides.

Unsigned and Numbered Limited Edition Prints – $100 – Only 200 Prints Available
Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Prints – $200 – Only 200 Prints Available
Numbered Original Sketch Remarque – Limited Edition Prints – $500 – Only 50 Prints Available
Worked Giclees – $3,500 – Only 10 Prints Available
Reworked Giclees – $5,500 – Only 10 Prints Available


Chevron has donated $1million to the Southern University College of Sciences and Engineering to support the Chevron Scholars program at the University. The program supports students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines who demonstrate knowledge and interest in Chevron and the energy industry.

The contribution was awarded on September 30, 2020 during SU GIVE DAY at the Valdry Center for Philanthropy located on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus.


At the heart of The Chevron way is our vision … to be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance.
Enabling Human Progress we develop the energy that improves lives and powers the world forward.

Our company’s foundation is built on our values, which distinguish us and guide our actions to deliver results. we conduct our business in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, respecting the law and universal human rights to benefit the communities where we work.


CareSouth Medical and Dental Health Center of Baton Rouge donated $1.4 million to the Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR) campus.

The five-year commitment will support the CareSouth/SU Employee wellness Clinic, the SU College of Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship, SU Athletic programs, SU Marching Band, and the Valdry Center for Philanthropy.

CareSouth Medical and Dental is a private, non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center that provides a comprehensive range of community-based medical, dental, and behavioral health services including primary care, pediatrics, HIV health testing and care, OB/GYN, immunizations, podiatry, chronic disease management, and individual, group, and family therapy. CareSouth also provides wIC services. Services are provided for the insured and the uninsured. Clinics are located in Baton Rouge, Plaquemine, Zachary, and Donaldsonville.
Medical and dental services are also offered at Iberville Charter Academy and South Baton Rouge Charter Academy.


The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, in partnership with Ilera Holistic Healthcare (Ilera Holistic), became the nation’s first historically Black university (HBCU) to launch its own THC medical cannabis products. The University holds one of two cannabis licenses in the state of Louisiana. The launch of this historic brand, called AYO, comes on the heels of Louisiana’s unprecedented extension in June, 2020, of its own medical marijuana program.

“This is yet another great and historic day for the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center,” said Orlando McMeans, chancellor of the Ag Center. “The goal of this program is to provide quality medicine for the citizens of the state of Louisiana through education, research, and outreach, all of which are included in the mission of the Ag Center. The release of AYO, along with our CBD products, will enable us to help patients better manage their medical issues and improve their quality of life.”

The AYO line joins the ALAFIA product brand, a hemp-derived tincture developed by Southern and Ilera. ALAFIA launched on January 25, 2020, in the Louisiana market, making Southern University the first HBCU producer in both cannabis and hemp. ALAFIA was available online nationwide last summer.

“With the launch of both CBD and THC medical marijuana products, Southern continues to set precedents in innovation,” said Ray L. Belton, president of the Southern University System. “In addition to providing healthcare options for Louisiana residents, our valued partner, Ilera, is able to hire local talent. All of this impacts our state’s economy directly while expanding the Southern University brand”, Belton added.

Southern’s medical marijuana program is part of the Ag Center’s Southern Institute for Medicinal Plants, helmed by Janana Snowden, the institute’s director and an assistant professor of agriculture at Southern University Baton Rouge. The institute and Ag Center have long researched plants such as hibiscus in addition to cannabis.

“The very important research we conduct on medicinal plants helps us to address health problems that affect communities,” Snowden said. “Our products derived from medicinal plants offer patients another way to alleviate symptoms. we are proud that we can be part of many potential solutions.”

AYO launched at a time when Louisiana expanded laws to potentially allow more patients to choose medical marijuana for treatment. On June 11, 2020, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law ACT No 286, allowing any state-licensed physician to recommend medical marijuana to any of their patients to find relief for any condition.


The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and the Valdry Center for Philanthropy (VCP) at Southern University have partnered to connect TMCF, the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community and its 47 member-schools, including the public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI), with VCP, the only such Center for Philanthropy at a HBCU. The partnership addresses capacity building programs, research initiatives, and HBCU, and PBI-specialized programming.

Partnership services will include postgraduate degree programs (MPA and Executive PhD), a specialized curriculum in philanthropy for undergraduate and graduate students; seminar, certificate, and CTE programs for faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and volunteers; student social entrepreneurship fellowships; knowledge-based research for member institutions; teaching opportunities for faculty and staff; and year-round access to scholars and experts in philanthropy and nonprofit management.

“TMCF is excited to collaborate with the VCP,” said Harry L. williams, president and CEO of TMCF. “we believe that this partnership will yield great results for our students and for the overall Black College community.”

Undergraduate students will be offered a specialized curriculum designed to integrate philanthropic education during their freshmen through senior year instruction, with the idea that giving back is a learned behavior. Seminar and certificate programs for advancement professionals, faculty, administrators, alumni, and volunteers will also be available.

In addition, postgraduate degree (MPA and Executive PhD) programs in public policy and philanthropic studies will be offered through the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences at SU. The partnership also supports the social entrepreneurship fellowship program for undergraduate and graduate students, through the SU Law Center’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Clinic.

“we are thrilled about the programming and research that this partnership will facilitate with TMCF member institutions, as it seeks to activate new dimensions of philanthropic studies and volunteer services at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Alfred E. Harrell III, CEO, SU System Foundation and the Valdry Center for Philanthropy.

Pictured left to right: Alfred E. Harrell, III, Southern University System Foundation CEO and Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO.


Raegan Anderson
Classification: Freshman
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
1880 Society/Entergy Scholarship

“Technology is the way of the future, and I want to be a part of that competitive society as much as possible. Southern University makes that possible. There is an underrepresentation of African-American women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics industry, and it is my desire to decrease those numbers.”

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 8,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and approximately 13,600 employees.


Ryan West
Classification: Senior
Major: Civil Engineering
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Thurgood Marshall College Fund

“I have always been a problem solver, and I have always been infatuated with the design and structuring of roads and highways. I chose to major in civil engineering at Southern University because it is the best place to hone my skills. This is my last semester at the University and I’m proud to say that I have accepted a job offer from Entergy upon graduating. Earning a scholarship can change the lives of students, and create more opportunities for future success.”

TMCF Mission:

To ensure student success by promoting educational excellence and preparing the next generation of workforce talent through leadership


The Southern University Innovation Center’s Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship provides education and support for local social entrepreneurs. The fellowship encourages young entrepreneurs to propose creative initiatives and/or organizations that will be designed to work on issues that are not being adequately addressed by existing nonprofits in the local community. The fellowship provides office space and business start-up support to assist two Southern University Baton Rouge campus student entrepreneurs launching their ventures.

Over a 24-month period, social entrepreneurs will receive training, coaching, mentorship, and various forms of capital support to help shape their ideas and turn them into viable efforts. Fellows will live on campus, attend Valdry Center seminars, take courses, and receive targeted assistance. They will receive a modest stipend in addition to having their living expenses and tuition and fees covered.

The Social Entrepreneur Fellowship provides office space and business start-up support to assist two Southern University Baton Rouge campus student entrepreneurs to develop and launch new ideas at the Innovation Center.

Fellowship Criteria:

Must be a full-time undergraduate SUBR student
Must be a campus resident
Must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher
Must be a rising Junior (having completed at least 60 credit
hours and no more than 70 credit hours)

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