Aswell and Dudley suites, new university housing units located on Adams Boulevard, will be renamed to honor James Earl Potts of Quitman and Bertha Bradford-Robinson of Jonesboro, the first male and female, African American students ever to attend Louisiana Tech University. Potts was admitted to Louisiana Tech in spring 1965, followed by Bradford-Robinson a few months later.
“I’m grateful we can celebrate the impact of Mr. Potts and Mrs. Bradford-Robinson by renaming two of our newest residential facilities in their honor,” said Dr. Les Guice, Louisiana Tech President. “They have been inspirational to me and so many of our students, faculty, and staff as our university works to honor those who have had transformative impacts on our campus.”
Bradford-Robinson spoke at Louisiana Tech’s Fall 2020 commencement where she used the opportunity to address her struggles and push for unity.
“The struggle was real, but it was also necessary,” Bradford-Robinson said. “To know that my classmate and I affected change so that African-American students could matriculate at this esteemed university is confirmation that our efforts were not in vain.”
Sam Speed, Dean of Student Engagement and Undergraduate Recruitment, shared his excitement as the first African American dean and a Louisiana Tech graduate. He said the renaming of the suites will represent the diverse students who reside within the building’s walls.
“The sheer courage, determination, grit, and perseverance that allowed these two pioneers to walk the halls of this valued institution will now hopefully inspire the students who reside in Potts Suites and Robinson Suites,” Speed said. “As an alum and administrator who has served Louisiana Tech Residential Life for over 25 years, I am incredibly proud of this particular moment in the history of our institution.”
The Potts and Robinson suites will house incoming freshmen during their first year at Louisiana Tech. The suites will remain to be a reminder of the growth and change that have taken place on Louisiana Tech’s campus over 127 years.
The historic Aswell and Dudley residence halls will retain their names.
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