The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Afrikan-American Affairs, a UT student organization, hosted a rededication ceremony for the statue of former Congresswoman and UT faculty member Barbara Jordan.
The evening not only marked the rededication of Jordan’s statue, but also the centennial of the sorority’s founding. Jordan pledged to Delta Sigma Theta as an undergraduate at Texas Southern University.
Jordan’s memorial, located at the intersection of 24th Street and Whitis Avenue, is the only statue of a woman on the UT campus. The rededication was the statue’s first since its erection five years ago. Although the ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in front of the outdoor statue, the event was moved into the Flawn Academic Center because of rain.
Jordan was the first black woman elected to the Texas Senate and first black woman from the South to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. She delivered the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention.
The rededication program featured several prominent speakers, such as President William Powers Jr., Student Body President Thor Lund, state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, and Gregory Vincent, vice president for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
Each of the speakers lauded Jordan’s leadership ability and eloquence while calling for a renewal of her vision of equality and justice.
“Barbara Jordan would want us to rededicate ourselves to the work she did,” Powers said. “We must continue to fight for equality for all through higher education.”
Alexius Thomas, president of Delta Sigma Theta’s Epsilon Beta chapter, announced the winner of a scholarship from the Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation. Thomas said the sorority remains committed to Jordan’s mission.
“All of our programs focus on education and political issues, which is what Barbara Jordan would want,” Thomas said.