Simply the Best
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Ric Burns '78
Ronald Mason Jr. '74
Victor Wouk '39

Mason Named President at Jackson State
By Laura Butchy

Ronald Mason Jr. '74, '77L

On February 1, Ronald Mason Jr. '74, '77L assumed the presidency of Jackson State University in Mississippi. "I am delighted to be a part of a wonderful institution, a great university system and an outstanding state where higher education is an obvious priority," said Mason.

Previously, Mason was executive director of the Tulane-Xavier National Center for the Urban Community in New Orleans, an organization that he had founded in July 1998. He was responsible for coordinating the two universities' extensive involvement in public housing, economic development and public education. He had served in several capacities at Tulane from 1982-98 and was appointed by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros as executive monitor for the Housing Authority of New Orleans in 1996.

Mason has been a leader in local civic groups for years, including local committees and chapters of the NAACP and Planned Parenthood. In 1990, he received a grant from the Ford Foundation to bring together university leaders in the South to increase awareness of institutionalized racism.

"You can't grow up in America and not have racism in you in ways that none of us fully understand until we take the time to understand," Mason said. Attending a seminar such as the one he organized at Tulane "forces you to deal with your own racism without having the built-in defense mechanisms at your disposal," he said. "It deals with a gut issue at a gut level."

Mason is married to the former Belinda DeCuir and has a daughter, Nia, and two sons, Jared and Kenan.

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