Southern University Foundation Receives the Largest Gift in Its History

The Southern University Foundation has received a gift of $1.3 million from the estate of two Southern University graduates. The gift is the largest in the foundation’s history.

The gift came from the James and Ruth Smith Trust. The Smiths met on the campus of Southern University in Baton Rouge and were married for 44 years. Ruth Smith held master’s and doctoral degrees in education and was a teacher and administrator in the public school system of Santa Barbara, California. She died in 2006 at the age of 79.

James Smith was an artist and a teacher. At the time of his death in 2008, he was professor emeritus of art at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He also taught Black studies courses at the university. Dr. Smith held a master of fine arts degree from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

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