Louisiana State University

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Template:Infobox University Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge, or simply Louisiana State University (LSU) is a public, coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the main campus of the Louisiana State University System. LSU currently includes 9 senior colleges and 3 schools, in addition to specialized centers, divisions, institutes, and offices. Enrollment, which has increased approximately 5% recently to host students from New Orleans displaced by Hurricane Katrina, stands at more than 30,000 students, and there are 1,300 full-time faculty members. LSU is one of only six American universities designated as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research center.


Campus

The LSU main campus occupies a 650-acre (2.6 km²) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River; overall, LSU is located on 2,000 acres (8.1 km²) of land just south of downtown Baton Rouge. The campus boasts more than 250 principal buildings. Many of the buildings are built in Italian Renaissance style, which is marked by red pantile roofs, overhanging eaves, and honey-colored stucco. Thomas Gaines's The Campus as a Work of Art praises LSU's landscaping as "a botanical joy" in its listing among the 20 best campuses in America . The live oak trees on campus have been valued at $36 million. Through the LSU Foundation's "Endow an Oak" program, individuals or groups are able to endow live oaks across campus.

Other campuses in the LSU system include the LSU Agricultural Center, Tiger Stadium (home of the fighting tigers), Pennington Biomedical Research Center, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, University of New Orleans, LSU Shreveport, LSU at Eunice, LSU Alexandria, and the LSU Health Sciences Centers: LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Health Care Services Division (Public Hospital System), and LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.[1]

File:French house.jpg
The French House, home to the LSU Honors College

History

In 1853 the Louisiana General Assembly passed legislation creating a state institution of higher education named The Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana (French: l'Université de l'Etat de la Louisiane) near Pineville. The institution's first building was completed in 1859, and classes began in 1860. In 1861, the school's name was changed to "Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy" (le Lycée Scientifique et Militaire de l'Etat de la Louisiane).

When the American Civil War broke out later that year, the school, like the rest of the country, was deeply affected. Faculty, administration, and students alike left the school, most to join or support the Confederate Army, but the school's first president, William Tecumseh Sherman resigned from the university and accepted a commission as a colonel in the Union Army. Later that year, Louisiana seceded from the Union, and the school was closed.

The seminary re-opened for the spring session in 1862 only to close again less than a month later following military action by federal forces. The library's contents and many other items were destroyed, but the building was saved. The school remained closed until the conclusion of the war and reopened in the autumn of 1865. After the Pineville campus building burned down in 1865, classes resumed two weeks later at the "Institute for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind" in Baton Rouge. In 1870, the seminary officially became "The Louisiana State University."

Meanwhile, in 1874, the Louisiana State Agricultural & Mechanical College (later Louisiana A&M) opened as a separate school on the University of Louisiana campus in New Orleans. Classes were held there until the new campus in Chalmette, near New Orleans, was completed. This campus was racially integrated. Louisiana State University and Louisiana A&M College were combined in 1876 by the Louisiana Legislature, which prompted a title change to the current name. The legislature also made LSU the state's land-grant institution.

In 1886, the Department of the Interior transferred title of the Baton Rouge Arsenal, which had been seized by Louisiana militia during the Civil War, to the state of Louisiana. The former arsenal became the new campus. University President David F. Boyd paid for much of the repair and construction himself, without reimbursement.

Olivia Davis became LSU's first female student in 1901. She graduated in 1905.

Architect Theodore Link's campus plan was approved and construction of present buildings began in 1922.

In the fall of 1925, classes began on the Baton Rouge campus. It was dedicated the next year, and remains the primary campus of the University.

In 1978, LSU became a sea-grant institution.


File:Lawbuild.jpg
The Old Law Building, modeled after the Supreme Court


The Flagship Agenda

In 2003 Chancellor Mark Emmert spearheaded the creation of the Flagship Agenda, a plan to reverse the low morale, lack of competitiveness, and lack of available resources that had plagued LSU during the 1990s. Its focus is to have LSU better serve Louisiana and the world by increasing student quality and research productivity, thereby vaulting LSU into placement as one of the finest public universities in the country. However, in the 2006 US News college rankings LSU was ranked in the third tier and not listed among the top public universities. Because the improvements put a higher financial strain on students, the Agenda has had some controversy. However, many people involved with the university agree that LSU has become a far higher-quality institution since the Agenda's implementation, which Sean O' Keefe, who in 2005 left his post as head of NASA to become LSU's new chancellor, pledged to continue until its conclusion in 2010.

Flagship Agenda Action Plan

  1. Increase research productivity by hiring a significant number of new, high-quality faculty and improving technology infrastructure.
  2. Increase number and quality of graduate students and programs through targeted investments and program review.
  3. Increase quality of undergraduate students and programs by raising admissions standards, improving recruitment, and reviewing courses of study.
  4. Increase quality of campus life by increasing diversity, inclusiveness, and facilities investments.
  5. Increase funding to support the previous actions through more state and private support.

Colleges and Schools

File:Towermem.jpg
The Memorial Tower and Veteran's Memorial
  • College of Agriculture
  • College of Art and Design
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Basic Sciences
  • E.J. Ourso College of Business
  • School of the Coast and Environment
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • Honors College
  • Manship School of Mass Communication
  • College of Music and Dramatic Arts
  • School of Veterinary Medicine

Athletics

LSU is a member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the Southeastern Conference. It fields teams in 14 varsity sports (5 men's, 7 women's, 2 coed). Its official team nickname is the Tigers and Lady Tigers, and its school colors are purple and gold.

According to a study by LSU economics professor Loren Scott, the existence of LSU Athletics generates $131 million in sales for businesses in the Baton Rouge community, another $40 million in household earnings and supports over 2,100 jobs in the Baton Rouge area.

LSU fielded its first football team in 1893. In their first game, they lost to Tulane 34-0. LSU football is an important part of life in Baton Rouge during the fall. Every home game, the campus is mobbed by well over 100,000 fans for a day of festivities, drunkeness, tailgating, and football. The games themselves are held usually at night in Tiger Stadium, a venue long-recognized as a fearsome place for opposing teams to play. LSU's traditional rivals include Tulane, Ole Miss, and Alabama; however, LSU recently has had more bitter matches with Southeastern Conference members Auburn, Georgia, and Florida. In 2003 LSU beat Oklahoma 21-14 for its first national title since 1958.


National Titles

  • Men's Basketball - 1935
  • Boxing - 1949
  • Football - 1908, 1958, 2003
  • Men's Golf - 1940, 1942, 1947, 1955
  • Men's Indoor Track - 2001, 2004
  • Women's Indoor Track - 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Men's Outdoor Track - 1933, 1989, 1990, 2002
  • Women's Outdoor Track - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996,1997, 2000, 2003
  • Baseball - 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000

SEC titles

  • Baseball - 1939, 1943, 1946, 1961, 1975, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2003
  • Men's Basketball - 1934-35, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1978-79, 1980-81, 1984-85, 1990-91, 1999-2000
  • Football - 1935, 1936, 1958, 1961, 1970, 1986, 1988, 2001, 2003
  • Men's Golf - 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1953, 1954, 1960, 1966, 1967, 1986, 1987
  • Women's Basketball - 2003 earlier?
  • Women's Golf - 1992
  • Gymnastics - 1981
  • Men's Swimming - 1988
  • Men's Tennis - 1976, 1985, 1998, 1999
  • Men's Indoor Track - 1957, 1963, 1989, 1990
  • Women's Indoor Track - 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999
  • Men's Outdoor Track - 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1988, 1989, 1990
  • Women's Outdoor Track - 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996
  • Softball - 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
  • Volleyball - 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991

LSU adopted the tiger as the official mascot in 1896. The tiger was chosen as the mascot in honor of "Lee's Tigers," a Louisiana regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia known for their fighting spirit on and off the battlefield. LSU received its first live mascot, named "Little-Eat-'Em-Up", a black bobtailed tiger, in 1924 from an alumnus living in South America. Tulane and LSU played the first football game on the new campus on Thanksgiving Day of that year. LSU lost. The field was "temporarily" named Tiger Stadium. That name is still in use today.

In 1936, a live Bengal Tiger was purchased from the Little Rock Zoo for $750, with money contributed by the student body. The tiger's name was changed to Mike for Mike Chambers, LSU's athletic trainer when the mascot was purchased, who had been instrumental in organizing the drive to purchase the tiger. A permanent home was constructed near Tiger Stadium where all of the succeeding mascots have resided. It is currently under renovations to meet zoological standards, as well as to provide a more natural and hospitable habitat for the many Mike's of LSU. Mike I reigned for 20 years before dying of pneumonia. The current mascot is Mike V.

Source: LSUSports.net Athletics Information page

Notable Alumni

Academia

  • Jimmy Andrews, M.D., founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute
  • Dolores Spikes, president of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore

Arts, Entertainment, and Humanities

Business and Economics

Government, Politics, and Activism

Military

Sports

Achievements

  • The venerable Southern Review was first published by the university in 1935.
  • Former Professor Robert Penn Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel All the King's Men in 1947.
  • In 1970 LSU Professor T. Harry Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Louisiana governor Huey Long.
  • In 1970 LSU's "Golden Band from Tigerland" was named the All-American College TV Band in a one-time national contest sponsored by General Motors. Additionally, in 2002 the LSU Tiger Marching Band received the Sudler Trophy, the "Heisman Trophy of college marching bands," as they were voted the best college marching band in the country.
  • John Kennedy Toole posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for his fictional work, A Confederacy of Dunces. (The book was written while Toole was a professor at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and subsequently published by LSU Press in 1980.)
  • LSU became the site of the largest acute-care field hospital in U.S. history during the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

See also

External links