Julian T. (Thaddeus) White was born on August 12, 1937 in Alexandria, LA. After graduating from Peabody High School in Alexandria in 1955, Julian attended the University of Illinois in Urbana for his undergraduate studies in architecture. It was there that he met Loretta M. Jones, who was originally from Brockley, Massachusetts. The two married on June 23, 1961. After finishing his undergraduate studies in 1961, White began working at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as an assistant professor of architecture. During this time, he also was a partner in the Hunt Thurman and Associates architectural firm in Baton Rouge. In 1964, he returned to the University of Illinois to begin his graduate studies in architecture and to work as an instructor and graduate teaching assistant. He also worked as a design architect for Roy D. Murphy & Associates in Urbana while he was a graduate student.
After finishing his graduate studies in 1966, he returned to Southern University to work as an associate professor and as acting head of the architecture department there. Soon after that, he accepted a position as a visiting associate professor at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama from 1967 to 1968. After finishing his teaching position there, he moved to Houston, Texas to work as a design architect for Caudill, Rowlett, Scott (CRS) from 1968 to 1971. He then returned to Baton Rouge to accept a position at Louisiana State University (LSU) as an assistant professor of architecture. In accepting the position, he became the first African American faculty member at LSU.
He became an associate professor in 1973 and formed the White & Kaple Architectural Association in 1978. He retired from LSU in 2004. After retiring, he continued to work as an architect until his death on July 19, 2011. White participated in professional organizations throughout his career, holding several board, committee, and juror positions in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at the local, regional, and national levels. He also served as vice chairman of the Louisiana State Architects Selection Board (1990-1991) and as president of the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners (2006-2007).
Biography by librarian Nick Skaggs
Image from Alexandria News Leader, April 18, 1964
Capitol Middle School, Baton Rouge, LA
Woodlawn Elementary School, Baton Rouge, LA
These are just two examples of schools that White designed over his long career.
Note: Images of schools from Julian T. White Papers, Mss. 5083, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA.
For many years, LSU students lobbied the administration to hire more black faculty members, create African American studies courses, and to establish a gathering place for black students on campus. The Harambe House is the precursor to today's Clarence L. Barney Jr. African American Cultural Center.
White was among the board members listed on the proposed Harambe House Corporation Charter.