Three organizations that founded the Spring Street Museum in Shreveport have been named 2020 Pilots of the Year by the LSUS Foundation.
The National Society of Colonial Dames of America Shreveport and Red River Parishes; the Helen Mann Memorial Fund Committee; and the Friends of the Spring Street Museum were honored during the foundation’s RiverBend Revue gala Thursday night in Shreveport.
In October, those three groups donated the museum to the LSUS Foundation, which is now operating the museum on behalf of LSU Shreveport. Located in Shreveport’s oldest building, the museum is a cultural crown jewel. The Shreveport and Red River Parishes Colonial Dames chapter opened the museum in 1976 to preserve and showcase the city’s history.
Accepting the awards were Ellen Alley, representing the Colonia Dames of Louisiana Shreveport and Red River Parishes Chapter; Janie Richardson, representing the Helen Mann Memorial Fund Committee; and Lissa Grounsell, president of the Friends of the Spring Street Museum.
Also Thursday, the LSUS Foundation announced the creation of the Yancey Strain Endowed Professorship for the Spring Street Museum. Shreveport attorney Steve Yancey, president of the foundation board of directors, spent countless pro bono hours drafting the donation agreements. His mother was a member of the Colonial Dames and helped found the Spring Street Museum.
Yancey and his wife, Lynn, created the endowed professorship to support the academic coordinator for the museum.
“We are so thankful for this gift to the museum by the three organizations, and Steve Yancey’s expertise was essential in the process,” said Laura Perdue, LSUS Foundation executive director. “We thank both Steve and Lynn who made sacrifices of time for this cause, and the gift of the endowment speaks to their dedication to the museum, LSUS and the community.”
LSUS is creating new academic programs linked to the museum and expanding the museum’s community outreach.
During the gala, LSU Shreveport unveiled its Cultural Trail, a collection of resources and repositories for the region’s history and culture. The Cultural Trail consists of the Spring Street Museum, the Pioneer Heritage Center, the James S. Noel Collection, Red River Radio and the LSUS Northwest Louisiana Archives.
The university will work with other museums and cultural organizations in Shreveport-Bossier City to offer learning opportunities to students of all ages, according to LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark.
“We see the addition of the Spring Street Museum as a way to further of our mission of being a community leader,” said Clark. “But through these partnerships we need to do more to recognize the history of this region through all of its diverse voices and points of view. We want our offerings to be representative of the rich demographic and cultural makeup of the region.”