Dr. Tom Paul Southerland, member of Beta Omicron Chapter predecessor, passes to chapter eternal

Services for Dr. Thomas Paul Southerland, a long-time administrator at Northwestern, were held Friday, March 3 at First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches.

Southerland was born June 9, 1920, in Bossier City and passed away March 2, 2017, in Natchitoches.

As a student at Louisiana State Normal College (Northwestern State University), Southerland was a member of Phi Kappa Nu Fraternity, the predecessor of the Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. He served a term as vice president of the fraternity.

Southerland was the university’s dean of the College of Education from 1966 until 1975 and dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research from 1975 until 1978. In 1978, Southerland was appointed vice president for academic affairs and was named executive vice president in 1982. He was named vice president emeritus in 1987. He is a 2001 inductee in the NSU Hall of Distinguished Educators, received the President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and, along with his wife Maxine Aycock Southerland, a home economics professor at NSU, was inducted into NSU’s Long Purple Line in 2008. Mrs. Southerland would often teach an etiquette lesson to members of Pi Kappa Phi.

During his tenure as Dean of Education, he designed and oversaw construction of the Teacher Education Center. He was instrumental in establishing admissions standards for teacher education and developing 14 new programs for the College of Education, as well as securing a specialist and doctorate program.

In addition to being named Louisiana’s Educator of the Year, Southerland was Natchitoches’ Man of the Year and President of the Natchitoches Rotary Club.

Southerland was a U.S. Navy veteran who was honored by the university on Feb. 9. A video of his presentation can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krKp7fJs8DA

Southerland’s full obituary can be viewed here: https://www.meaningfulfunerals.net/home/obituary/4148600

[News release from the NSU News Bureau]

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