Louisiana’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: Louisiana State University
In 1853, the Louisiana General Assembly established the Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana in Rapides Parish, modeled after the Virginia Military Institute. The institution opened in 1860 with Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as its superintendent. In 1861, Sherman resigned his position when Louisiana became the sixth state to secede from the Union, and the school subsequently closed with the start of the American Civil War. The seminary officially reopened in 1865, and then burned to the ground in 1869. It was reestablished later that same year in Baton Rouge. In 1870, the name of the institution was officially changed to Louisiana State University. In 1874, the Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College was established in New Orleans by the Louisiana legislature. It operated until 1877,when it merged with Louisiana State University and was moved to the Baton Rouge site. This prompted the final name change for the university to the Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College. However, the short-form name Louisiana State University has widespread usage, including official documents such as diplomas.
President: F. King Alexander was named the president of Louisiana State University in 2013. President Alexander has many land-grant roots, including a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also was a president within California’s land-grant system, leading California State University prior to his appointment at LSU. Further, he was a faculty member at the land-grant institution the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. @lsuprez
Louisiana’s 1890 Land-Grant Institution: Southern University and A&M College
In 1880, the Louisiana General Assembly chartered Southern College, and the school opened in New Orleans in 1881. In 1890, the legislature established an Agricultural and Mechanical department and designated Southern as the land-grant college for African-American students. In 1974, the legislature established the Southern University System consisting of: Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge; Southern University, New Orleans; Southern University Law Center; Southern University Agricultural Center; and Southern University, Shreveport.
President: In 2015, Ray L. Belton was named the president of Southern University and the chancellor of the Southern University system, the nation’s only historically black university system. President Belton is a product of this 1890 land-grant system, having graduated with degrees from Southern University at Shreveport and Southern University in Baton Rouge. @SUSprez