Pictured from left to right: Southern University System Foundation honorees, Leon E. Valdry ’57, Joseph M. Stewart ’65, and Irving J. Matthews ’70
The Southern University System Foundation (SUSF) honored Southern University alums Irving J. Matthews ’70, Joseph M. Stewart ’65, and Leon E. Valdry ’57, on Friday, May 15, 2015, during a ceremony at the Donald C. Wade House on the campus of Southern University Baton Rouge. Collectively, over the course of the past two years, Matthews, Stewart, and Valdry have made philanthropic contributions to (SUSF) totaling $1.2 million.
The event celebrated the honorees as pillars of leadership and applauded the impact of their personal investments to their alma mater.
Matthews, president and owner of The Matthews Automotive Group located in Mt. Dora and Stuart Florida, stated, “it is his duty to give back to the institution that has given so much to him.”
Matthews, an engineering graduate and Lake Charles, Louisiana native, and his wife Darlene have made a sizable investment in the future of SU. The establishment of the Irving and Darlene Matthews Endowed Scholarship in the SU College of Business and the SU College of Engineering and Computer Science have a net value of more than $200,000. The Matthews contributed the single largest gift to the Southern University Baton Rouge campus’ Centennial Fund.
Stewart, senior vice president of the Kellogg Company (retired), co-founder of Stewart Industries, LLC, and Trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation said, “I owe my success to SU and investing in the University is vital for its long-term sustainability.”
The Maringouin, Louisiana native earned a degree in food and nutrition from SU and has been awarded an honorary doctorate of science from SU, and an honorary doctorate of public service from Albion College.
Valdry is president and CEO of Holly Park Plaza in Inglewood, California, one of the largest shopping centers in the city. Valdry is a college of engeneering graduate.
Valdry is a long-time supporter of the Southern University College of Business and is a member of the Southern University System 1880 Society P.B.S. Pinchback Circle. The P.B.S. Pinchback Circle requires an annual cash contribution of $25,000 or more to the Society. Recently Valdry made an unrestricted cash gift of $100,000 to the Southern University system Foundation.
Southern University System Foundation Board Chairman, Domoine D. Rutledge, stated, “Our honorees are true philanthropists. It is because of their support and many others who are like-minded, that Southern University remains a stable bridge over troubled waters for many young men and women.”