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Darius Rucker Introduces Latta University – PSA 2008

Latta University Site: 1892-1922

Founded in 1892 by Reverend Morgan London Latta, the University primarily served orphaned African-American boys and girls. A former slave and Shaw student, Reverend Latta built his home on this site in 1905. Latta University operated until 1922 and included an industrial department and night school that believed in the principle of achieving economic power through education. At its height Latta University contained up to 23 buildings and could accommodate 1400 students. After the university closed the land was sold and dispersed and only the Latta House remained. The house was destroyed by fire in 2007. The archaeological site has been designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Who We Are

A Proud Past Bridging Toward the Future…
The Latta House Foundation was founded by William Shepard in 1997. The non- profit that was created out of the need to educate and promote the history of a former national landmark and its founder. Our commitment is to share, educate and engage. Our priority is to ensure this gem of Raleigh history radiates beyond its community’s border of Oberlin Village and beyond. Many near and far come annually to visit the site for program enrichment, community service projects, special events or to simply relax and take in its serenity.

Our Mission Statement

As a steward to the community; we will serve as a vessel to promote the history of Latta University, its founder and other historic facets of Oberlin Village. These offerings will be rendered through educational and cultural opportunities for all.

Board of Directors

Judith Guest

Judith Guest, is Executive Director of the Latta House Foundation. She has volunteered with the non profit organization for the past 15 years providing youth programs, publicity and outreach services. Ms. Guest owns Perfecting The Persona where she offers professional writing services and media consultations. The former news reporter and music publicist is a New Jersey native. Ms. Guest attended Lyndon State College in Vermont where she received a Bachelors Degree in Communication. Her professional career has been in the media and non-profit sector that has afforded her the opportunity to work on a management level with diverse populations. Ms. Guest possesses experience in fundraising, event planning, program development, and establishing community and corporate partnerships.

Brandi Neuwirth

Brandi Neuwirth, is the great-great-granddaughter of the Rev. Morgan Latta, founder of Latta University. Mrs. Neuwirth earned her BA in English from Williams College in Massachusetts and a Masters of Fine Arts in Film from the University of California at Los Angeles. Ms. Neuwirth has been an Acquisitions Executive at 20th Century Fox, a film producer for DreamWorks and editor for Bon Appétit Magazine. She now serves as Art Coordinator at the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

Eric Phoenix

Eric Phoenix, owns the construction management business, Phoenix & Associates. The East Carolina University Alumnus has a long standing commitment to the Latta House Foundation as a patron of special events to serving as a volunteer, consultant and supporter of its youth enrichment programs and projects. The Ohio native, believes in family first and is married with two children.

Greg Paige

Greg Paige, is a long standing friend and advocate of the Latta House Foundation. The professional artist has shared his talent with our youth over the years. His interactive projects extract self expression while showcasing the strength and compatibility of collaborative artistic works. Under Paige’s instruction, youth learn various techniques while he incorporates educational discussion, self-discipline and project management. Paige attended Virginia Commonwealth University specializing in charcoal and oil paint. Paige Portraits is his home-based business and studio. He often travels the country to do commissioned projects, trade shows and festivals.

Dwight Coleman

Dwight Coleman, is a health care professional originally from South Carolina. Mr. Coleman received a BS from South Carolina State University in Business; followed by an MBA from North Carolina Central University. An entrepreneur and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Mr. Coleman is deeply committed to uplifting the Triangle community.