Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Grace Napolitano: 1936—: Politician to Richard (Wayne) Peck (1934-) Biography - Career » Lester C. Newman Biography - Raised With High Expectations, Remained In Academia, Left Alma Mater, Guided Mvsu Into The Twenty-first Century - Selected writings

Lester C. Newman - Raised With High Expectations

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Born on February 18, 1952, in Shreveport, Louisiana, Lester C. Newman and his brother and five sisters were raised by their grandparents. The family lived in the Cooper Road Community, a close-knit, active, predominately black, and economically diverse community on the north side of Shreveport. Newman told Eric Stringfellow of Mississippi's state newspaper, the Clarion-Ledger, in September of 2004, that the Cooper Road Community was a comfortable, fun, and exciting place to grow up.

Newman's grandfather served as his role model. With only a third-grade education, he had become a successful contractor and owned his own community water business. Above all else, Newman's grandparents stressed the importance of a good education, of sharing, and of helping others. During their daily family time, the grandparents read to the children from newspapers and magazines, turning reading into an adventure.

Newman's family, teachers, and, indeed, the entire community assumed that he would earn a college degree. In high school Newman spent two weeks at Bayou Boys' State at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The experience convinced him that he wanted to become a college professor and, eventually, a college president. He planned to major in political science and Southern University had one of the best political science programs in the country. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Southern in 1973. As an undergraduate Newman was active in the civil rights and antiwar movements. He told the Clarion-Ledger: "I do believe that people from my generation need to do a better job at helping students become more civically engaged." During 1972 Newman worked as a staff assistant intern in Washington, D.C., in the office of U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

Lester C. Newman - Remained In Academia [next]

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