Louisiana native Leon Valdry says, “people may come and go, but the University has remained for over 100 years.” The 1957 technical engineering graduate, believes that continued support of the University is the key to its success. “It is imperative that we give back to our University,” says Valdry. Philanthropy for Leon has been a way of life for over 50 years.

Leon’s journey began at Southern University where pride, moral values, and academic achievement were underscored. The education he received motivated him to accept his first job as a designer of graphic art at the Litho Art Company in Los Angeles, California. Since that time, he has made a name for himself in real estate development throughout the states of Louisiana and California. His real estate ventures consist of residential, commercial and industrial properties. He is the President/CEO of Holly Park Plaza in Inglewood, California which is one of the largest shopping centers in the city.

Leon is a long-time supporter of the Southern University College of Business and has recently become member of the 1880 Society P.B.S. Pinchback Circle. The P.B.S. Pinchback Circle requires an annual cash contribution of $25,000 dollars or more to the Society. Leon was recently honored at 11th annual Gala on the Bluff which is the principle fundraiser for the Southern University – Baton Rouge Campus College of Business.

The mission of the 1880 Society is to create a culture of philanthropy at Southern University A&M College and spirit of giving among its alumni and constituents to expand its network of supporters, in order to form a mechanism for the University to become financially self sustaining. The 1880 Society has awarded $121,009 in student scholarships, campus grants and emergency assistance during this calendar year. These awards represent 62 percent of the cash revenue raised by the society of donors during the same period.