NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will kick off Homecoming festivities with the dedication of the Seven Oaks Stage beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21. The event will involve a land acknowledgement, a Centennial Showcase featuring the National Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternities and Sororities, remarks from a 1965 alumni representative and a stage dedication and plaque unveiling.
The Seven Oaks Stage is at the former site of Sabine Hall, an area now referred to as Iberville Green. The stage name honors of the first seven Black students to attend Northwestern State, Steve Jackson, June Cofield, Doris Ann Roque-Robinson, Hyams J. Baptiste, James Johnson, Johnnye Britton-Paige and Pearl Jones-Burton.
The naming is part of NSU’s ongoing efforts to honor individuals who had a major impact on the growth, development and history of the institution. The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System approved the naming earlier this year.
Development for the stage took place over five years with input and support from the University Programming Council (formerly called the Student Activities Board), KNWD, the Student Government Association, Alumni and Development and the Student Union Life Concert Committee. The stage is equipped with four load bearing anchor points in order to hang industrial and concert lighting. The venue is open to recognized student organizations as well as departments and is designed for concerts and a variety of campus events.
Planning began in 2014 when NSU was awarded $10,000 from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation following a Lunchtime Likes competition. Students voted to use the award as seed money to develop an outdoor venue for concerts and other performances and chose the location at Iberville Green, a wide plateau next to Iberville Dining Hall conveniently close to university residence halls.
Information about other Homecoming events is available at www.northwesternstatealumni.com.