Leonard C. Barnes was the first football coach at Booker T. Washington, the first to have the title of Chancellor at Southern University-Shreveport, the first Chancellor-Emeritus at SUSLA, and the first to have a high school football stadium named after him.
Leonard received his high school diploma from Central High School in Bogalusa. He earned a B.S. Degree from Southern University Baton Rouge; his Master Degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, and a Honorary Doctorate from Southern University Baton Rouge.
He then served his country in the United States Army as a 1st Lieutenant Infantry Officer.
In 1949, Leonard assumed the position of Head Athletic Coach at Booker T. Washington High School until he excelled to the position of Assistant Principal in charge of administration.
In 1967, he became Director of Student Personnel at Southern University at Shreveport-Bossier. In 1969, Dr. Barnes was named Vice-President of the Shreveport-Bossier campus, a position that was later promoted to Chancellor for Southern University at Shreveport-Bossier, a post he held for 17 years.
As a multifaceted and exceptional man, Leonard extended his ability and resources as a member of Delta Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Board of Director of the Southern University Foundation, the Louisiana Community Technical College Board, the Friends Board of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, and Independence Bowl Board.
The Leonard C. Barnes Administration Building was named in honor of the longest serving Chancellor at Southern University at Shreveport-Bossier campus. The dedication ceremony was held on March 18, 2005.
He was a member of the Antioch Baptist Church in Shreveport for more than 50 years. He served as a Sunday School teacher and a Trustee.