NSU student government honoring the university’s first African American students

NSU student government honoring the university’s first African American students
The University Louisiana System board members have approved naming the stage pictured above "The Seven Oaks Stage." It's located in the Iberville Green area at Northwestern State University. It will be named after the seven Black students who enrolled in the university in 1965. It honors these students: Steven Jackson, June Cofield, Doris Ann Roque Robinson, Hyams J. Baptiste, James Johnson, Johnnye Britton-Paige, and Pearl Jones Burton. (Source: China Brown/The Current Sauce)

NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) - The Northwestern State University Student Government Association is making a big proposal to honor the university’s first African American students.

BLACK HISTORY MOMENTS: NSU stage to honor first seven African-American students

The association aims to name The Seven Oaks Stage after those seven black students who came to NSU following integration:

  • Steve Jackson
  • June Cofield
  • Doris Ann Roque-Robinson
  • Hyams J. Baptiste
  • James Johnson
  • Johnnye Britton-Paige
  • Pearl Jones-Burton

NSU Student Government Association President Nicholas Hopkins explains how they plan to make this happen:

“The student government association built a stage and when it came time to figure out the name of the stage we really thought we would pay homage to the seven black students to integrate Northwestern State University and so we decided to name the stage the Seven Oaks Stage,” Hopkins said. “So what thoughts went into that? We really wanted to name the stage after these students to honor the courage and spirit that they had as pioneers at this university. When we were trying to decide on a name for the stage we really fell upon this idea and knew this was a great way to honor these students. And these students are integral to the story of Northwestern State and we wanted to celebrate the path they set forth that helped our university become the richly diverse institution that it is today.”

The Seven Oaks Stage at NSU

Hopkins said they’ve had great support from the community at large, students, and faculty.

Next, the Student Government Association passed a bill requesting that the stage’s official naming. The bill was signed by Hopkins, the dean of students and the university’s president.

Then, the bill was sent to the university’s naming committee and it was voted on by the university’s naming committee. Board members approved the proposal Feb. 25.

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