State Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, will give the summer commencement address at Southern University.

Smith, who chairs the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, will be the guest of honor at the summer semester commencement at 10:30 a.m. July 29 in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

As caucus chairwoman, Smith helped lead the fight to defeat the proposed merger of Southern University at New Orleans and the University of New Orleans.

Gov. Bobby Jindal proposed the merger but it was killed in the House, where Smith sits, after bill sponsor and House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Terrytown, decided he had fallen just short of the necessary two-thirds support.

As a compromise, Smith instead supported the successful legislation to move UNO out of the LSU System and into the University of Louisiana System.