Longtime Southern University educator Julia Brogdon Purnell will be honored with a historical marker from the state of Louisiana on June 2.
The dedication ceremony will be held on the Southern University campus, where she was a professor of education.
Purnell originally was from Belton, South Carolina, but spent many years living in Baton Rouge. She earned an undergraduate degree from Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina; a master’s degree from Atlanta University; and studied further at LSU, Syracuse University and the University of Illinois at Urbana. She received nine honorary doctorate degrees and several professional citations during the course of her career in education.
Purnell was active with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. South Central Region, serving as president, and as the seventh international president of The Links, Inc. She was known as a champion of civil rights, participating in the White House Conference of Three Hundred Women in 1963 after receiving an invitation from President John F. Kennedy.
In the community, Purnell belonged to Bethel AME Church, serving as co-founder and director of the Bethel AME Scott-Gilchrist Quality of Life Center.
Purnell died Oct. 21, 2013, at the age of 97.