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Southern, LSU leaders sign A&M Agenda for Louisiana to enhance institutions' partnerships

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, leaders of Southern University and A&M College and Louisiana State University signed the LSU-SU A&M Agenda, a five-year agreement between the two institutions to expand their collective positive impact across the region. Southern University President-Chancellor Dennis J. Shields and LSU President William F. Tate IV were joined by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edward, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, student leaders and other stakeholders of both institutions. The signing precedes a historic football matchup of the two of the most prolific universities in the state.

“It’s important that great institutions like Louisiana State University and Southern University collaborate,” Shields said. “It’s fine to have a friendly competition, but in this era, collaboration is essential to our role as stewards of place.”

The A&M Agenda describes what is possible when two agricultural and mechanical universities come together to leverage their academic enterprise to yield tangible results for students and the community at large.

While there are numerous benefits of the A&M Agenda, they are broadly organized into three distinctive areas: partnership, opportunity and collaboration. Maximizing potential in these areas will place a premium on communication, collaboration and commitment. That starts this week with the community events planned leading up to Saturday’s game.

“This A&M Agenda is really important because it has the potential to be transformative in ways that very few things are,” Edwards said.

LSU and Southern have a combined 311 years of service to the community and hundreds of thousands of proud and successful graduates. Further, both institutions belong to systems that expand their footprints statewide.

“I believe that collaboration at all levels is key to our community’s success,” Weston Broome said. “This week represents a spirit of unity for the Baton Rouge community. It’s more than a game. The signing of the A&M Agenda is historic.”

Tate said that with this partnership, there is no reason why Baton Rouge should not be viewed as the foremost place in the world for the education of Black students.

“Now we have a distinctive opportunity in partnership together to make this the very best,” he said. “I could not be more pleased or honored to be part of something of this nature.”

Both Southern and LSU are land-grant universities as a result of the Morrill Act, which granted funds from the sale of federal lands to states in order to establish higher education institutions. The schools were to focus primarily on teaching agriculture, mechanics and military tactics — subjects that had not traditionally been taught at many universities at the time. Southern benefited from the 1890 Act and LSU benefited from the 1862 Act.  



Some information from LSU Media Relations