The LSU Laboratory School will commemorate its upcoming centennial by celebrating the school’s rich history and long tradition of excellence throughout the 2015-16 school year. Originally located at the LSU campus in downtown Baton Rouge, U-High opened in 1915 as Demonstration High School. The school provides teachers and pre-service teaching candidates with opportunities to obtain practical classroom experience and to study and observe effective teaching methods.

The breadth and depth of the school’s academic and extracurricular experiences has positioned U-High at the forefront of education. For the past several years, Newsweek has included U-High in its annual roster of Best High Schools in the U.S.

U-High graduate and Orlando Magic forward-center Glen “Big Baby” Davis said his experience at the school changed his life. Raised in a single-parent household with five other family members, Davis credits U-High with providing a strong foundation for his future success.

“Coming to U-High helped me see a whole different world,” said Davis, who graduated in 2004. He shared that his education there opened the door for several opportunities, including his professional basketball career.

In gratitude for those opportunities, Davis founded the Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation, which works to steer inner-city youth away from defiant behavior through a focus on literacy, healthy lifestyles and recreational activities. The foundation is supported by individuals, corporations, grants and fundraising.

Through his foundation, Davis joins several donors as an underwriter of U-High’s centennial celebration, which will boast a birthday celebration, an alumni recognition celebration, a homecoming reunion tailgate, school tours and a gala celebration, as well as other celebratory programs.

Davis shared, “I’m always in debt to that school because of what they showed me. I just wanted to be a part of what they’re doing.”

At press time, underwriters for the centennial and their respective U-High graduation years, if applicable, include the Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation; Coastal Bridge Company, LLC; Jonalyn and Raoul Robert;Susan and Richard (1957) Lipsey, Laurie (1985) and Mark Aronson, and Wendy (1988) and John Shiroda; Richard and Claire Manship; Sharon and Claude Pennington and Paige Pennington (2011); and Betsy and Newton (1962) Thomas. An underwriting gift was also made in memory of Dr. Peter A. Soderbergh.

The year-long celebration will focus on highlighting the school’s contributions to the community; increasing public awareness of the school’s specific contributions to improved educational practices; recognizing individual and curriculum achievements; developing stronger connections with constituents; increasing awareness and participation in scholarship, general endowment and planned giving initiatives; and providing a historical record of the school’s first century through the collection and archiving of memorabilia, photographs and information provided by alumni and friends.

Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.

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