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Former Southern history professor Arthur Tolson has died

11 months 3 days 20 hours ago November 19, 2015 Nov 19, 2015 Thursday, November 19 2015 November 19, 2015 4:40 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Kevin Dupuy

BATON ROUGE – The Southern University Department of History is mourning the loss of a longtime faculty member Thursday. 

Dr. Arthur Tolsen, who served as a faculty member in the Department of History at Southern Univeristy for 45 years, died Wednesday at the age of 91.

According to a 2008 SU Digest article, Tolson was the first African American to attain a master’s degree in history from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in history from the University of Oklahoma.

In a statement released Thursday, SU System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton said that the entire university system was saddened by Toldon’s passing.

“A true scholar and intellectual, Dr. Tolson touched the lives of countless students and was a trusted mentor to many of his colleagues and fellow SU faculty members,” Belton said. “His legacy of teaching and commitment remains an exemplary model for others. We extend our deepest sympathy to Dr. Tolson’s family, colleagues, and friends.”

Tolson was the son of Melvin B. Tolson, an American Modernist poet, educator, columnist, and politician.

“Dr. Arthur Tolson was truly a mentor and an inspiration to numerous students,” SUBR history chair Shawn Comminey said. “His philosophy, wisdom, humor; the encouragement and support he displayed through the years, go without saying.”

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