Baton Rouge, LA – Dr. Leodrey Williams, Chancellor of the Southern University Ag Center, was presented with a Certificate of Recognition for 50 years of service in the field of Agriculture by the Baton Rouge Metro Council on June 10 during the council’s meeting.
East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden also honored Dr. Williams by proclaiming him ‘Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish’ for the day.
Dr. Williams has been an employee of the Cooperative Extension Service for 50 of its 100 years. He was the last person hired to hold the title of “assistant county agent for the work with Negroes” in Richland Parish in 1965. Six weeks after being hired the title was deemed illegal because of the passing of the Civil Rights Act.
During his lengthy career, Williams has held positions at both Southern University and Louisiana State University. He also served on several national committees and was appointment as the ombudsman of a national task force organized to ensure the “upward mobility of extension.” Williams would go on to become the national director of this task force where he was in charge of the funding for extension programs at 104 land-grant universities.
In 1995 Williams returned to Southern in the position of extension director. In 2001, Williams was asked to lead the newly-formed Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center as the fifth campus of the Southern University System.
Williams has been the only person to serve as Chancellor of the SU Ag Center since its inception. He will retire June 30.