Southern University Alumni Federation - Chicago Chapter
Southern University and A&M College
This is our HBCU!
Southern University and A&M College had its beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1880 when a group of Black politicians, led by former U.S. Senator P.B.S. Pinchback of New Orleans; a distinguished legislator, T.T. Allain of Iberville; and Henry Demas of St. John Parish petitioned the State Constitutional Convention to establish a school of higher learning for “colored” people. The University relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1914 (what was then Scotlandville, along Scott's Bluff facing the Mississippi River).
Today, the Southern University and A&M College System is the largest historically black college and university in the United States. Chicago has a large concentration of Southern University Alumni. Southern University Alumni Federation (SUAF) Chicago Chapter is the oldest chapter in the country. The chapter is committed to supporting Southern University and each year awards scholarships to aid local students interested in attending the university.
2020-2022 EXECUTIVE BOARD
DuWarn Porter, President
Natisha Johnson, Vice President
Dr. Patricia George, Treasurer
Stephanie Pender, Corresponding Secretary
Mattie Wolfolk-McGowen, Financial Secretary
Evelyn Byrdsong, Chaplain
Tracey Lassiter-Levy, Parliamentarian
Sam Tuck, Sergeant-At-Arms
Crystal Williams, SUYAN Coordinator
Darren Benton, Business Manager
Attorney Keyonn Pope, Legal Counsel
Florence Smith, Immediate Past President
CHICAGO CHAPTER - OUR HISTORY
A Chicago Chapter of the Southern University Alumni Association was a dream of the alumni members living and working in Chicago during the 1940s. The dream came to fruition under the leadership and wise counsel of the late Mrs. Mattie Booker Peary, a former teacher in the Music Department of Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With Mrs. Pearry as Founder and Sponsor, the initial meeting of the Southern University Club, Chicago Branch (the original name of the organization), was held at the Parkway Community House, 51st and South King Drive, on Tuesday, August 27, 1946. The objectives were as follows:
It was agreed that the meetings would be held semi-monthly on Monday evenings at 7:30 P.M., and dues would be $0.50 per month. We have come a long way from $0.50 a month to $100.00 per year plus other assessments and pledges.
After several years, Mrs. Mattie Booker Pearry turned over the sponsorship of the organization to Mrs. Charlotte Greenup, a former Southernite, who returned to and restored the family home in Clinton, Louisiana. When Mrs. Greenup left Chicago the sponsorship was turned over to her sister, Mrs. Maggie Purnell.
Following through on the original objectives of the organization, the members of the Chicago Chapter have used various ingenious means of raising funds such as teas, musical concerts, baby contests, Bar-B-Cues, Cabaret Party-Fashion Shows, Night at the Races, theater parties, art exhibits, Ho-Downs, Dinner-Dances, etc. The Chicago Chapter's main emphasis is on scholarships and each year contributes more than $3,000 in scholarships to the University. For Founder's Day, the group worships together at the church of one of their members and presents a donation to that church. The alumni chapter also sponsors a Christmas Toy Project, A Senior-Citizen Visitation Program, a Tutoring Program, and each year give a donation to some worthy religious, civic or charitable organization. Some of the organizations that have benefited from the Chapter's donation are the NAACP, The Chicago Urban League, Parkway Community House, YWCA and YMCA, Children's Division, and the Scholarship Program of the Cook County Department of Public Aid, Provident Hospital, Operation PUSH, etc. The Chicago Chapter has been privileged to have as their guest speakers the late Dr. Felton G. Clark, Dr. Jesse N. Stone, Jr., Dr. Leonard Barnes, Dr. Emmett Bashful, Dr. G. Leon Netterville, and Dr. Huel D. Perkins.
The individual members are making worthy contributions to society in their various fields of endeavor, and the Chicago Chapter continues to grow and assist the University in liberating young people to pursue the meaning of their existence; and for the Chapter to be, in its own community, a power of good in society.
Click HERE to view the first meeting minutes dated August 27, 1946.
Dear Windy City Jaguars and Southernites:
Thank you for electing me to another term as President of the Southern University Alumni Federation Chicago Chapter. As the oldest chapter within the Southern University Alumni Federation, I am proud to serve in such a prestigious position. The rich history, diverse culture, and mission of the Chicago Chapter are tremendous and a responsibility that I am proud to undertake.
You are invited and urged to browse the Chicago Chapters website and give us your feedback. More importantly, submit your updated contact information so we can reconnect you to the Southern University Agricultural & Mechanical College.
Above all, the Southern University Alumni Federation Chicago Chapter started with assisting students in attending our Alma Matter and we continue in that legacy today stronger than ever. As your President, I strongly encourage all Windy City Jaguars to come out and join me as we continue the proud and rich history of the greatest Chapter in the country. If you need anything Southern-related let us help.
As always, GEAUX JAGS!!!
DuWarn V. Porter, MBA
Southern University Alumni Federation
SUAF National Finance Secretary