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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

A Super Thank You for our TSU Heroes

Interim President Huewitt extended a super thank you to the employees who served during the winter storm. Thank you to Residential Life and Housing, Buildings and Grounds, KTSU, Enterprise Risk Management, Life Safety Systems, Facilities, Dining Services, Department of Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety and OIT for being heroes!  
News Around Campus

TSU Celebrates Women’s History Month

It's Women's History Month and Texas Southern University is commemorating how the women of Texas Southern have made history and continue to excel. Join us throughout the month of March as we highlight phenomenal women on our social media pages. For more information about Women's History Month, click here

Houston Rockets Honor TSU

The Houston Rockets celebrated Texas Southern University Night on Saturday, February 27th. Interim President Ken Huewitt was invited to take the first shot. TSU and its students were recognized for its pivotal role during the Civil Rights era. A video was aired at the game featuring Dr. Halcyon Sadberry Watkins, a TSU alumnus and participant in the Weingarten's sit-in, and Dr. Serbino Sandifer-Walker, a professor in TSU’s School of Communication.

"To stand on the same platform with one of the Texas Southern University pioneers who helped organized the sit-in movement of the ‘60s and be recognized for my work as the storyteller was extraordinary," Dr. Sandifer-Walker said. "This movement was one of the greatest social-justice movements of Houston and American history. It changed everything. It paved the path for a better Houston and a better America. It's a testimony to the courage, determination and grit of the TSU student pioneers who believed a non-violent movement would create a fairer and more just society."

Dr. Sandifer-Walker organized the campaign to get a state historic marker placed at the original sit-in location to honor TSU’s Civil Rights pioneers. Her work came to fruition on March 4, 2010 – the 50th anniversary of the Weingarten's sit-in. She said that the marker serves as a reminder of the powerful role TSU students pioneers played in Houston’s Civil Rights Movement.

"I stand on their shoulders, and I'm humbled, honored and grateful for the recognition. At last, these laudable pioneers are being celebrated and recognized for being true heroes of American social justice," she said.

View the TSU sit-in video here.

Community Members Gather to Commemorate the TSU Sit-Ins






To commemorate the 61st anniversary of the historic Texas Southern University sit-ins, over 100 marchers took to the streets where 13 TSU students walked and held Houston’s first sit-in. On Thursday, March 4th, members of the TSU and Houston community gathered to honor the students who started a movement to desegregate the city they called home. Guests included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Bishop James W. Dixon and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, TSU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Click here to view the full event.

Glen Austin Jr. named as TSU’s new director of government relations

Glen Austin Jr. is Texas Southern’s new executive director of Government and Community Relations. Austin will coordinate and implement TSU’s local, state, and national legislative advocacy efforts. His duties will include cultivating and maintaining strategic partnerships with local and national nonprofits, chambers of commerce, community organizations and other public and private stakeholders.
Austin earned his Juris Doctor degree and a certification in Government Law from TSU’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
He served as a staff member for senior legislators during multiple Texas legislative sessions and managed several successful political campaigns. Austin was a property tax and school finance attorney for government entities and school districts. He is a member and volunteer with the State Bar of Texas’ Legislative Committee, Houston Young Lawyers Association, Houston Lawyers Association, International Cannabis Bar Association and Houston Black Leadership Institute.
Austin received Mediation certifications from the University of Houston Law Center and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is a member of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and enjoys fishing, mentoring and practicing jiu-jitsu.

TSU Professor Joins Harris Health System Board of Trustees

Marcia Johnson, a Thurgood Marshall School of Law professor, has been appointed to the Harris Health System Board of Trustees. She was seated by the Harris County Commissioners Court on January 26. Johnson founded TSU’s Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy in 1992 and has been with the University for nearly 30 years. She has served on numerous public boards including the Texas High Speed Rail, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO), Texas Bar Ethics Commission, Annam Community Development Corporation, and organizations serving the Third Ward and Acres Homes.
“I am honored to become a member of the Harris Health Board of Trustees, particularly at this time in our history when we more universally recognize the importance of a health care system that provides for all – equitably, compassionately and competently,”  Johnson said.

The Thomas F. Freeman Honors College Fall 2020 Newsletter

View the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College Fall 2020 Newsletter here


TSU Alumnus Makes History

Dr. Trina C. Burkes-Jones (’85) has been named executive chief of investigators for the Harris County District Attorney's Office. Dr. Burkes-Jones is the first African American and first woman to hold this position. Learn more about her appointment here.

Dr. Luzine Benjamin Bickham, Sr. Family Man-Trailblazer-Scholar-Educator-American Hero-Alpha Phi Alpha

Luzine Benjamin Bickham Sr. was born on March 2, 1923, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Ruby Higginbotham and Benjamin Bickham.  He passed away peacefully on Friday, February 26, 2021 at the age of 97.   He was the oldest of five children and was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brother, Augustus and sister Paula Mack.

During World War II, Dr. Bickham was drafted by the American Armed Forces and was trained as a Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black military aviators in the United States Army Air Field in Alabama. Like many other young black men, he was willing to go to war for his country and others around the globe while he faced racial discrimination at home, both in and out of the military.  In March 2007, Dr. Bickham was awarded along with other Tuskegee Airmen, the United States Congressional Gold Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush and Congress.    

“Finish your school, Zinnie” was his mother’s wish and his pursuit for an education was undeniable.  When given the option to continue a long career in the military or use the GI Bill to begin post-secondary studies, Dr. Bickham headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He earned his Bachelors of Business Administration and his Masters of Business Administration in Accounting at the University of Michigan’s School of Business.  Subsequently, he completed a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Texas in Austin.

While in Ann Arbor, Dr. Bickham met his future wife, Dorothy Barbara Williams, a graduate student in the School of Music at the University of Michigan.  After graduation, Dorothy returned to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Dr. Bickham headed to Chicago, Illinois to work with a private accounting firm.  Dr. Bickham decided cold weather was not for him, so he returned to New Orleans to teach accounting at Dillard University.  He described his life in New Orleans as empty and he missed “his girl”.  Dr. Bickham and Dorothy married in Oklahoma City.  Shortly afterwards, they moved to Houston, Texas and began a wonderful married journey of 64 years until Dorothy’s passing in 2013.  From this union were born a son, Luzine, Jr., and a daughter, Nedra. 

In 1951, Dr. Bickham and Dorothy joined Pilgrim Congregational Church of Houston, Texas. It is now known as Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ and it brought joy to him hearing his wife’s musical accompaniment during Sunday service. In addition, he contributed his business acumen to the operations and finances of the church.

Dr. Bickham began his career as an instructor at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas.  Known as an exceptional, thought provoking faculty member, he inspired thousands of students, inside and outside of the classroom and in his community.  While at TSU, he decided to pursue his Ph.D. and expand his career to become a tenured professor.  He eventually served as Dean of the Jesse H. Jones School of Business (1970-79).  It was through his vision, commitment, and leadership that the Jesse H. Jones School of Business secured AACSB accreditation. In May 1999, the 76th Legislative Branch of the Senate of the State of Texas recognized his work ethic and commitment to students and to Texas Southern University, where he served nearly 50 years of loyal service as a phenomenal educator.

Later in life, Dr. Bickham accepted the baton of keeping the rich history of his Red Tail brothers alive.  His authentic experiences navigating the segregated military forces, training for combat in the P-47 fighter plane among others and managing post World War II life as a Black American veteran, resonated with many during his speaking engagements.

Dr. Bickham was the keeper of his family’s oral history and often took children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews on excursions to visit Bickham - Higginbotham family land in St. Helena Parish, Louisiana. On those country trips, his family recognized and appreciated the abundance of his knowledge, courage, and the adventurous spirit.

Dr. Bickham is survived by his son, Luzine, Jr. (Mary), his daughter, Nedra, who resides in Sweden; his daughter in law Cynthia; his grandsons Luzine, III (Kim), Sean (Keisha), Cody (Sharon), Shane, Binta, and Louis; his great-grandchildren, Julia, Legend, Augustus and Lahli; his sisters, Bennie DeBois of Gary, Indiana, Yvette Pierce of Tuskegee, Alabama; his sister-in-law, Evelyn Williams Clark of Columbus, Ohio; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made by check to the Jesse H. Jones School of Business, Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne Street, Houston, Texas 77004 or click here to donate which will assist in student support.

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The Student Health Services (SHS) designed a COVID-19 Hotline for faculty, staff, and students in March. Anyone on campus can report or have their COVID-19 concerns addressed by TSU medical practitioners if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.


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