Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, or simply Louisiana State University or LSU is a public 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 is more than 30,000 students, and there are 1,300 full-time faculty members. LSU is one of six American universities designated as Land-grant, Sea-grant and Space-grant.
The main campus is located on the banks of the Mississippi River and boasts more than 250 principal buildings grouped on a 650 acre (2.6 kmē) plateau. LSU's landscaping was called "a botanical joy" in its listing among the 20 best campuses in America in Thomas Gaines' The Campus as a Work of Art. The live oak trees on LSU's 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.
The Louisiana General Assembly passed legislation in 1853 creating a state institution of higher education, named The Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana (French translation: l'Universite' 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" (French translation: le Lycee Scientifique et Militaire de l'Etat de la Louisiane). At the beginning of the American Civil War in this 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 U.S. Army. Later that year, Louisiana seceded from the Union, and the school was shuttered.
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 in 1865. That autumn, classes resumed in Pineville.
The Pineville campus building burned down in 1869. Classes resumed 2 weeks later at the "Institute for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind" in Baton Rouge. In 1870, the seminary officially became "The Louisiana State University" (French translation: l'Universite' de l'Etat de la Louisiane).
Meanwhile, in 1874, the Louisiana State Agricultural & Mechanical College (later Louisiana A&M) is 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. LSU became a land-grant institution.
In 1886, the Department of the Interior transferred title of the Baton Rouge Arsenal, which was 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.
LSU adopted the tiger as the official mascot in 1896.
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.
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 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 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. Mike I reigned for 20 years before dying of pneumonia. The current mascot is Mike V.
In 1978 LSU became a sea-grant institution.
LSU is a member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the Southeastern Conference. It fields teams in all major men's and women's sports. Its official team 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 ever game, they lost to Tulane 34-0.
Since then, LSU has won national and SEC titles in nearly every sport.
- Men's Basketball - 1935
- Boxing - 1949
- Football - 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
- 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 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
Source: LSUSports.net Athletics Information page (http://www.lsusports.net/ad/randomlink.cfm?pagecode=athletics)
Famous and Important Alumni
- Hubert Humphrey, 38th Vice President of the United States
- Lodwrick M. Cook, co-chairman of the Board of Global Crossing Inc.
- M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr., governor of the state of Louisiana
- John Breaux, United States Senator
- Mary Landrieu, United States Senator
- Carlos Roberto Flores, president of Honduras
- Paul M. Hebert, Civilian Judge during Nuremberg War Trials
- General John A. Lejeune, Namesake of Camp Lejeune North Carolina
- General Claire Chennault, Commander of World War II's "Flying Tigers"
- Thomas Ryder, Chairman and CEO of Reader's Digest Magazine
- Jimmy Andrews, M.D., founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute
- Shaquille O'Neal, center for the Miami Heat
- Bill Conti, Oscar-winning composer
- John Ed Bradley, novelist
- James Carville, political strategist
- Harry J. Longwell, Sr., vice-president of ExxonMobil U.S.A.
- Joanne Woodward, Academy Award-winning actress
- Reinosuke Hara, vice chairman of the Board of Seiko Instruments, Inc.
- Julie Giroux, Emmy Award-winning composer
- Dolores Spikes, president of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore
- Rex Reed, New York author and film critic
- "Pistol" Pete Maravich, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame
- Maxime Faget, Engineering & Development Director, NASA
- David Toms, Professional Golfer
- Mahmoud Abdur-Rauf, Professional basketball player
- Edwin Edwards, governor of the state of Louisiana
- David Duke, candidate for governor of the state of Louisiana
- Russell B. Long, United States Senator
- LSU Home Page (http://www.lsu.edu/) and assorted pages within that domain
- LSU Athletics (http://www.lsusports.net/)
- LSU Faculty Handbook (http://www.is.lsuhsc.edu/isvcs/fh/contents.htm)
- Louisiana Board Of Regents (http://www.regents.state.la.us/)