HOUSTON – Texas Southern University (TSU) hosted its third annual Maroon & Gray Affairon Saturday, April 27 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Houston. The gala raised a record $1.2 million for student scholarships.

“The Texas Southern University community has delivered a strong helping hand through this event to students who are on their way to graduation,” said TSU President Austin A. Lane.  “This unparalleled generosity means that young people can concentrate and stay on a strong academic path to become leaders in today’s ever-changing society.”

Texas Southern alumni and students were honored during Saturday’s sold-out event.  Gerald Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Smith Graham and Chairman of the TSU Foundation Board, and Rep.Rhetta Andrews Bowers (D-District 113), were feted as Outstanding TSU Alumni. Orlando Sutton Jr. and Lashawn Hamb, Mr. and Miss Texas Southern University, were recognized as TSU’s Outstanding Students. Eight female graduates (Ronnisha Bowman, Sharon Burney, Linda Dunson, Tonia Finch, Angela Graves – Harrington, Erica Hughes, Germaine Tanner, LaShawn Williams) of the TSU’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law who made history by earning judgeships in Harris County received the Heart & Soul Spirit Award. “We are proud to celebrate our students and alumni in such a dynamic way,” said Loren Lane, first lady of Texas Southern University. 

The event is the signature, annual fundraiser for Texas Southern University and has grown in attendance and total dollars raised over the past three years.  “We are very grateful for the financial support of our sponsors, alumni and friends to help provide emergency scholarship assistance for our students,” said Melinda Spaulding, Vice President for University Advancement.  

“The TSU Foundation is proud to support the mission of the University. I would like to congratulate the host committee and everyone else who helped to make the gala a success and thank them for their efforts for our students,” said Gerald Smith, Chairman of the TSU Foundation Board. 

Maroon & Gray Affair guests were entertained by hit-making R&B trio SWV (“Weak,” “Right Here”) and Grammy Award-winning disc jockey and music producer Kid Capri (Def Comedy Jam), and TSU’s Ocean of Soul marching band.  Emcees were Billy Sorrells, comedian and TSU alumnus, and Syan Rhodes, weekend anchor at KPRC Houston.   


Texas Southern University (TSU) honors our designation as a special-purpose institution for urban programming and research. TSU is a comprehensive university providing higher education access to the nation’s underserved communities. TSU’s academic and research programs address critical urban issues, and prepares its diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees – organized into 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus nestled in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. The University’s enrollment has a population of more than 9,700 undergraduate and graduate-school academic candidates. Texas Southern has been a distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, and the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas. TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in educating underserved students and many who are the first in their family to attend college.