Honoring Sue Turner


Woman in graduation robe and cap

Dr. Sue Turner (left) at 2017 LSU Commencement ceremony.

The LSU College of Art & Design is saddened by the passing of Sue Turner, a devoted preservationist and philanthropist who supported LSU and the Louisiana arts community for many years. She was 93.

The LSU College of Art & Design presented Dr. Turner with the Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2017, honoring her long-standing philanthropic commitment to LSU and her exemplary support of the arts and culture of Louisiana.

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Carol Gikas, who served as the president and executive director of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum for thirty-nine years, said:

“Sue Turner’s distinctively quiet leadership style would keep organizations true to their mission. Her keen ability to discern who to bring to the table and how to motivate a governing body, along with her style, grace, and beauty, was a persuasive formula. When Sue committed to an organization, it would be for life.

Such was the case with her beloved Louisiana Art and Science Museum (LASM) that she helped get off the ground in the early 1960s. In the more than 50 years that followed, she played a role in securing and renovating two historic buildings in downtown Baton Rouge for LASM’s home (the Old Governor’s Mansion and then the Illinois Central Train Station), building two planetariums, growing an art collection, and securing governmental funding that stabilized LASM through the decades.

She said that when she discovered museums as an adult it opened her world. She wanted Louisiana schoolchildren and families to have cultural opportunities that she wished she could have had as a child. This very personal vision assured that today LASM is still fulfilling its mission.”

The LSU community respectfully honors the Turner family at this time of grief.

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