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Louisiana State University

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_State_University

Louisiana State University (officially Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, often referred to as LSU) is a public coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[7] The University was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. The current LSU main campus was dedicated in 1926, and consists of more than 250 buildings constructed in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and occupies a 650-acre (2.6 km²) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River.

LSU is the flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System, and the largest institution of higher education in Louisiana in terms of student enrollment. In 2011, the University enrolled nearly 24,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 graduate students in 14 schools and colleges. Several of LSU's graduate schools, such as the E.J. Ourso College of Business and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, have received national recognition in their respective fields of study.[8] Designated as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant institution, LSU is also noted for its extensive research facilities, operating some 800 sponsored research projects funded by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.[9][10]

LSU's athletics department fields teams in 21 varsity sports (9 men's, 12 women's), and is a member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the SEC (Southeastern Conference). The University is represented by its mascot, Mike the Tiger.

The current LSU campus is located on 2,000 acres (8.1 km²) just south of downtown Baton Rouge. A majority of the university's 250 buildings, most of which were built between 1925 and 1940, occupy a 650-acre (2.6 km²) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River.

The Olmsted Brothers Firm of Brookline, Massachusetts, designed the current campus around 1921 when LSU was planning to move its campus from downtown Baton Rouge. The Olmsted firm originally designed the campus for up to 3,000 students, but state officials asked the firm to scale the plan back due to budgetary constraints; subsequently, the new plan presented to the state by the Olmsted Brothers centered the campus around a cruciform quadrangle similar to the one that exists on campus today.

For unknown reasons, the Olmsted Brothers firm was dropped from the project, and an architect named Theodore Link, who was well known for designing Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri, took over the campus master plan. Link collaborated with Wilbur Tyson Trueblood on the project, but remained faithful to the campus that the Olmsted firm had designed. Unfortunately, Link died in 1923 before the plan was completed. New Orleans architects Wogan and Bernard completed Link's work and the campus was dedicated on April 30, 1926.[23]

The first building actually constructed on the present campus was the Swine Palace, the former livestock barn that is now the Reilly Theater. Most of the current buildings that occupy the university's Quad were completed between 1922 and 1925. Because the original campus was designed to accommodate 1,500 students, space is now at a premium at LSU. During the 1990s, LSU officials created a set of design guidelines that call for all newly constructed buildings to have an Italian Renaissance flavor.

Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College had its origin in several land grants made by the United States government in 1806, 1811, and 1827 for use as a seminary of learning. It was founded as a military academy and is still today steeped in military tradition, giving rise to the school's nickname "The Ole War Skule." In 1853, the Louisiana General Assembly established the Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana near Pineville, Louisiana. The institution opened January 2, 1860, with Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent. A year later, Sherman resigned his position after Louisiana became the sixth state to secede from the Union, on January 26, 1861. The school was forced to close on June 30, 1861, with the start of the American Civil War.

During the course of the war, the University reopened briefly in April 1863, but was closed once again with the invasion of the Red River Valley by the Union Army. The losses sustained by the institution during the Union occupation were heavy, and after 1863 the seminary remained closed for the remainder of the Civil War. Following the surrender of the Confederates at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, General Sherman donated two cannons to the institution. These cannons had been captured from Confederate forces after the close of the war and had been used during the initial firing upon Fort Sumter in April 1861. The cannons are still displayed in front of LSU's Military Science/Aerospace Studies Building.[12]

The seminary officially reopened its doors on October 2, 1865, only to be burned October 15, 1869. On November 1, 1869, the institution resumed its exercises in Baton Rouge, where it has since remained. In 1870, the name of the institution was officially changed to Louisiana State University.[13]

Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College was established by an act of the legislature, approved April 7, 1874, to carry out the United States Morrill Act of 1862, granting lands for this purpose. It temporarily opened in New Orleans, June 1, 1874, where it remained until it merged with Louisiana State University in 1877. This prompted the final name change for the University to the Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College.