Emergence of esports at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU)
Podcast | Collegiate Athletics and Esports

Higher Ed Advisor: Southern University creates innovative footprint in the esports metaverse

Welcome to Higher Ed Advisor, the Baker Tilly podcast series where we speak with higher education industry leaders about practical and proactive guidance to help colleges and universities protect and enhance their value.

What started as a K-12 level esports program at the Southern University Lab School (SU Lab) in the summer of 2019 launched into one of the most successful collegiate esports programs at Southern University (SU), a historically black university (HBCU), in September 2020. Under the management of Head Esports Coach Chris Turner, SU opened one of the first major esports facilities that now hosts more than 100 student gamers.

Coach Turner and Director of Development, Robert Harrison, share SU’s esports journey, including the process of soliciting and receiving leadership and funding support to build the esports lab and grow the program. From engaging corporate donors for sponsorships and grants to hosting an annual crawfish boil, they demonstrated how investing in collegiate esports enhances the student experience and aligns with the university’s mission to prepare students for the world and workforce.

Learn about SU’s vision for building a student-centered, opportunity-driven esports program that provides numerous avenues for student success and their commitment to these four pillars:

  1. Careers
  2. Competition
  3. Community
  4. Health and wellness

Interested in more podcasts on collegiate athletics and esports?

Meet this episode’s guest speakers
  • Christopher Turner, General Manager and Head Esports Coach, Southern University and Southern University Laboratory School
  • Robert Harrison, Director of Development, Southern University System Foundation
Team watches results of an esports tournament

Esports in higher education: key considerations for starting a program at your college or university

Baker Tilly’s esports evaluation guide helps colleges and universities establishing or enhancing an esports program.

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