Honoring the Past While Committing to the Future

May 29, 2023

James P. Gregory Jr., New Director of the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum

BATON ROUGE - LSU has named James P. Gregory Jr. the Director for the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum. Gregory is an expert in military history, specifically World War I.

James Gregory, Director of the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum

– Photo: Eduardo Perez, LSU

“This museum is a hidden gem in Louisiana,” Gregory said.

Gregory, an award-winning, published military history author earned two Bachelor’s Degrees, in humanities and museum studies, and a Master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in museum studies. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oklahoma.

“This is what I built my career for—it’s military history, it’s a museum, and it’s on a university campus, so I get all three things that I’ve worked in and for. I really like that I get to be part of a museum and a university,” Gregory said.

In his role as Director, Gregory said he’s interested in collaborating with the different departments on LSU’s campus, engaging the students, and honoring the past while committing to the future.

“Everyone looks at a museum like it’s just a bunch of artifacts, but the way I look at it is the museum is its own living thing, it has to change and grow. So, I want to bring in the future, focusing on current students and alumni. I also want to include our ROTC and defense students, how they are a part of our country’s defense, and I want it to be used as an educational tool for all of our students. I want our students to get something out of it and give back to the university,” Gregory said.

Defense is part of LSU President William F. Tate IV’s Scholarship First Agenda. The defense priority focuses on producing the leaders and cyber warriors who are essential to protecting our economy, critical infrastructure, people, and borders. The university will reimagine the defense of our future, by building cybersecurity, ROTC, and technical leadership programs that are the best of their kind in the United States.

Gregory’s interest in the military started as a child.

“As a kid from my generation, we all played military-inspired video games, and I have always been interested in the history that inspired our pop culture, so, that’s how I fell into the military history realm,” Gregory said.

The William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum is free and open to the public Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

LSU’s military history as the “Ole War Skule” dates back to its opening in 1860, when it was called the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. It closed in 1861 because of the Civil War. The Seminary reopened on Oct. 2, 1865, only to be burned Oct. 15, 1869. On Nov. 1, 1869, the institution resumed its exercises in Baton Rouge, where it has since remained.

The William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum is made possible through the generous philanthropic support of many LSU alumni and friends, including leadership gifts by the Brookshire Foundation and family, Tiger Athletic Foundation, Art E. Favre, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, Laura and Buddy Leach, Susan and Richard A. Lipsey, Ann and Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., Frank W. Harrison Jr., Kathy and Roy O. Martin III, and Lillian and Jimmy Maurin.