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Northwestern State University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Northwestern State University
of Louisiana
Northwestern State University seal.svg
MottoDedicated to one goal. Yours.
TypePublic university
Parent institution
UL System
Academic affiliations
Endowment$18 million (2020) [1]
PresidentDr. Marcus Jones (Interim)
Location, ,
United States

31°45′00″N 93°05′50″W / 31.750°N 93.0972°W / 31.750; -93.0972
CampusRural, 916 acres (371 ha)
ColorsPurple and White
Orange accent[3]
NicknameDemons / Lady Demons
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FCSSouthland
MascotVic the Demon
Northwestern State University logo.svg

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is a public university primarily situated in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with a nursing campus in Shreveport and general campuses in Leesville/Fort Polk and Alexandria. It is a part of the University of Louisiana System.

The Friedman Student Union Building is named for the late Louisiana State Senator Sylvan Friedman of Natchitoches.
The Friedman Student Union Building is named for the late Louisiana State Senator Sylvan Friedman of Natchitoches.
The NSU Business Building
The NSU Business Building
Fournet Hall at NSU is the center of instruction in chemistry and physics.
Fournet Hall at NSU is the center of instruction in chemistry and physics.
Culinary Arts Building at NSU
Culinary Arts Building at NSU
John S. Kyser Hall, named for the NSU president John S. Kyser from 1953 to 1966, houses a variety of academic programs, including history, mathematics, and journalism.
John S. Kyser Hall, named for the NSU president John S. Kyser from 1953 to 1966, houses a variety of academic programs, including history, mathematics, and journalism.
Williamson Hall houses the NSU engineering program.
Williamson Hall houses the NSU engineering program.
NSU Wellness Recreation and Activity Center
NSU Wellness Recreation and Activity Center
The three columns of Northwestern State University
The three columns of Northwestern State University

NSU was founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School. It was the first school in Louisiana to offer degree programs in nursing and business education. NSU, along with numerous other state colleges, gained university status in 1970 during the administration of President Arnold R. Kilpatrick, a Northwestern State alumnus who served from 1966 to 1978. Kilpatrick succeeded the 12-year president, John S. Kyser, a native of El Paso, Illinois.[4]

NSU was one of the first six colleges to enter into NASA's Joint Venture Program. Students worked with NASA scientists to help analyze data and do research for the 1996 Space Shuttle Columbia shuttle mission. NSU also hosts the Louisiana Scholars' College, Louisiana's designated honors college in the liberal arts and sciences. The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, a state-supported residential high school for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, is also located on the campus. It was a brainchild of former State Representative Jimmy D. Long of Natchitoches, who also attended NSU.

NSU offers more than 50 degree programs. Fall 2018 total enrollment was 11,081, the largest in the university's 133-year history.[5] NSU also claims more than 70,000 alumni.


Main entrance to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana
Main entrance to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana

Northwestern State University stands on ground that has been dedicated to learning for well over 100 years. Prior to the American Civil War, a portion of the present campus was the property of the Bullard family of Natchitoches. As early as 1856, the Bullard mansion was in use as a convent by the Religious Society of the Sacred Heart. The following year, a school building was erected at the convent, and in 1884, the town and parish of Natchitoches purchased the property. Three of the four great white columns that once supported the east gable of the mansion still stand on "The Hill" and serve as the unofficial symbols of the university. The campus, developed upon rolling hills and high river bottomland, may be one of the most spacious and attractive in the South.[citation needed]

In 1884, the Louisiana State Legislature by Act 51 created the Louisiana State Normal School for the preparation of teachers. Shortly thereafter, a freshman member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, Leopold Caspari of Natchitoches, offered the convent site as a campus for the school with the anticipated approval of the citizens of Natchitoches. The offer was accepted, and from 1885 to 1918, the school offered two years of study for the training of teachers. Baccalaureate programs were inaugurated, and the Louisiana Constitution of 1921 changed the name of the school to Louisiana State Normal College. The resources and curricula of "Normal" grew steadily to meet the increasingly diverse requirements of Louisiana's expanding population. In 1944, the institution's excellent service in its broader role was accorded formal recognition by Act 326 of the Legislature, which changed its name to Northwestern State College of Louisiana.

Northwestern State maintained and strengthened its long tradition of leadership in public service and academic endeavor and became, in 1954, the first college under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Board of Education to offer a master's degree. The Specialist in Education degree was first offered in 1966 and the Doctor of Philosophy in Education degrees were authorized in 1967. On June 18, 1970, Governor John J. McKeithen signed a legislative act that brought the old campus its greatest distinction, changing its title to Northwestern State University of Louisiana. In 1980, the old campus quadrangle where the columns stand was entered into the National Register of Historic Places under the title "Normal Hill Historic District."

Although primarily a regional institution, Northwestern State also offers an opportunity for education at satellite locations, including Leesville, Shreveport, and Alexandria. In addition to academics, these centers are also developing student-life programs. The Nursing Education Center, located in Shreveport, provides the educational environment for nursing majors enrolled in clinical courses, as well as general education courses. The center houses departments administering masters, baccalaureate, and associate degree programs. The campus includes academic facilities, office space for faculty and staff, a bookstore, and facilities for activities and organizations.[6]

A. A. Fredericks was president of NSU from 1934 to 1941. He was later a member of the Louisiana State Senate and the private secretary on two occasions to Governor Earl Kemp Long. Fredericks obtained his teaching credentials from Northwestern Normal in 1912. The A. A. Fredericks Auditorium on campus commemorates him.

Eugene P. Watson of Natchitoches, for whom the NSU library is named, was head librarian and professor of library science from 1940 until his death in 1964. He founded Alpha Beta Alpha, the national library science fraternity. The group held its first biennial convention on the NSU campus in 1952.

The centennial history of NSU (1884–1984) was published by the NSU Press in 1985 by the historian Marietta LeBreton, who taught 45 years at the institution, from 1963 until her sudden death in 2009.

Vic the Demon

On November 8, 1922, by proclamation of President V. L. Roy and Coach H. Lee Prather, all athletic teams became known as the Demons. The name was decided upon by a contest open to all students, with a grand prize of $10. A committee was appointed by the president to narrow down the names submitted by the student body. The final selection was decided by a vote of the students. The two most popular choices were Braves and Demons. Among other names submitted by students were Sharks, Daredevils, Musketeers, Pelicans, Prather's Ground Hogs, Bloodhounds, Cyclops, and Serpents. The official winners were Aileen Ritter and Truett Scarborough.

On September 22, 1984, the Demon received his official given name by means of another contest sponsored by the athletic department. The contest was open to faculty, staff, and students. The objective was to find a name for the Demon. Over 300 entries were submitted to the committee. The grand prize was an all-expenses-paid weekend at the Louisiana State Fair Classic. Ray Carney, an alumnus of the university, was the official winner with "Vic", which is short for "Victory".

Jim Croce

Singer-songwriter Jim Croce died in a plane crash hours after finishing a 1973 concert on the NSU campus.[7]



In 1954, State Representatives Monnie T. Cheves and Curtis Boozman, along with State Senator Sylvan Friedman, pushed for passage of legislation to permit Northwestern State to confer master of education degrees. The measure, known as House Bill 343, was signed into law by Governor Robert F. Kennon. Originally known as "Normal", Northwestern State University was for many years the only state-supported teacher-education institution in the state.[10]

Student media


Its student-run weekly newspaper, The Current Sauce, was founded in 1914. Its annual student-run yearbook is called The Potpourri.[11]

Radio and television

The student-run radio station is The Demon (KNWD 91.7 FM)[12] and a faculty-administered and student-operated local television station is NSU22, on which can be found biweekly student-produced newscasts.


NSU's literary magazine is called The Argus. It is student-run and published during the spring semester. The magazine content is provided by competitions in various fields of writing and artwork.


The Northwestern State athletic teams go by the Demons, with women's athletic teams generally called the Lady Demons, and its mascot is Vic the Demon. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes in the Southland Conference at the NCAA Division I level. Northwestern State sponsors 12 varsity athletic teams, five men's teams and seven women's teams.[13]

Greek life


National Panhellenic Conference affiliates

National Pan-Hellenic Council affiliates

Music sororities


National Pan-Hellenic Council affiliates

North American Interfraternity Conference affiliates

Music fraternities

Academic and professional

Lady of the Bracelet pageant

The Lady of the Bracelet pageant (commonly referred to as LOB) is a long-standing competition in which scholarships are awarded to female students. The first-place winner of the pageant is awarded the title of "Lady of the Bracelet" for one year.

The program is under the direction of the Director of Student Activities and the Assistant Director of Student Activities of Northwestern State University. Contestants compete in several categories, including interview, evening wear, and swimsuit competition. In addition to being bestowed the title of "Lady of the Bracelet" for the following year, the first-place contestant receives a full scholarship and goes on to compete in the Miss Louisiana pageant, which can ultimately result in a berth to the Miss America pageant. It is traditionally held on the first Friday in February.

In the early 1920s, The Potpourri, Northwestern State's yearbook, sponsored the first beauty pageant held on the university campus. The contestants were selected from photographs submitted to well-known producers for judgment, and were chosen for their charm and beauty. In 1958, Miss Kahne Dipola was crowned the first Miss Lady of the Bracelet, and she received a gold bracelet to wear when she represented the university in public. Over the years, the bracelet has been passed down to each holder of the title.

Through the efforts of Mr. Robert W. Wilson, Sr., the Student Union Governing Board purchased the first franchise from the Miss Louisiana Pageant in 1971, enabling Northwestern State's Lady of the Bracelet to enter the state contest. The Student Activities Board, formerly the Student Union Governing Board, has continued the tradition of sponsoring the Lady of the Bracelet Pageant for the enjoyment of the Northwestern State community. The Lady of the Bracelet pageant has gained state recognition for production, scholarship, and quality of contestants.


With an agreement signed between Northwestern State College and the Department of the United States Army, an antiaircraft field artillery unit of the Reserve Officers Training Corps was established in the fall of 1950. In August 1950, the building to house the ROTC unit was authorized. The new military science program, under President Prather, enrolled its first students in the fall of 1950 with one officer and five enlisted men on the staff. By the end of the 1950–51 academic year, 220 men had selected military training. In 1965, NSC under President Kyser signed an agreement with the Army stating that the Military Science Senior ROTC program would be provided with a university secretary, armory, and utilities. The NSU ROTC Department and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, mutually support Cadet Command by identifying quality soldiers with officer potential and in assisting them in transition from active duty under the college ROTC Green to Gold program. The NSU ROTC Demon Battalion has commissioned nearly 1000 second lieutenants into the United States Armed Services. Quite a few graduates have become distinguished Army officers, including several general officers.

A hall of fame was begun in 1983. Portraits and biographies of the hall of fame members are on permanent display in the ROTC office foyer. NSU ROTC cadets have been selected to attend specialty schools in Germany and at West Point. Cadets have also participated in ceremonies commemorating the Bataan March, in New Mexico, and supporting the Habitat for Humanity and Loggers conventions; several renovation projects have been completed. The cadets have been able to enjoy a TV lounge, kitchen area, and game room to include a billiards, ping pong, and foosball. Notably, five NSU ROTC commissioned officers have been inducted into NSU's highest Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line.


NSU maintains an archive through the Cammie G. Henry Research Center. Collections cover a diversity of individuals and topics. Materials may be accessed on such figures as Ethma Odum, the pioneering woman television personality at KALB-TV in Alexandria;[15]James B. Aswell, Kate Chopin, Robert DeBlieux, Caroline Dormon, and the Cane River.[16]

Notable alumni

The former "Line Avenue School" now houses part of the Northwestern State University nursing program in Shreveport.
The former "Line Avenue School" now houses part of the Northwestern State University nursing program in Shreveport.

Notable faculty and administrators

  • James B. Aswell, president of NSU from 1908 to 1911, was the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 8th congressional district (since defunct) from 1913 until his death in office in 1931.
  • Thomas Duckett Boyd (1854–1932), president of NSU from 1888 to 1896; president of Louisiana State University from 1896 to 1926, professor of English and history
  • Medford Bryan Evans (1907–1989), English professor and conservative activist, at NSU from 1955 to 1959
  • Julie Kane (born 1952), poet
  • J.E. Keeny (1860–1939), on NSU faculty from 1900 to 1904; later president of Louisiana Tech[47]
  • Marietta LeBreton (1936–2009), Louisiana historian
  • Jay Luneau (born 1962), Alexandria lawyer and state senator; adjunct professor at NSU[48]
  • Donald Rawson (1925–2014), historian of the 19th-century United States; professor (1960–1980) and dean of the Graduate School at NSU (1980–1984)[49]
  • Ralph L. Ropp, professor of speech and head of the forensics department, 1923–1949; president of Louisiana Tech from 1949 to 1962
  • Dale Thorn (1943–2014), former NSU vice president for academic affairs; earlier press secretary to Governor Edwin Edwards[50]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Northwestern State University Visual Branding Guidelines (PDF). May 13, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  4. ^ Kyser, John S. "A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography". Louisiana Historical Association. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
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  6. ^ "NSU Student Handbook". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  7. ^ "Jim Croce Biography". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  8. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  9. ^ "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  10. ^ "Master's Degree to Be Conferred by N.S.C." N.S.C. Alumni Columns. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  11. ^ " Is For Sale". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
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  14. ^ Archived January 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
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  16. ^ "Cammie G. Henry Research Center". Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  17. ^ "William B. Atkins". Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "Larry Bagley". Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  19. ^ "Tom Kelly, Winnfield opens Civic Center with Hall of Fame event: Renovated forestry building is modern, ready to serve for years into the future, January 2005". The Piney Woods Journal. Archived from the original on June 28, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
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  22. ^ "Kenny Ray Cox". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  23. ^ "Hon. Robert Campbell Culpepper". Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  24. ^ "Charles Milton Cunningham". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  25. ^ "William Tharp Cunningham". Archived from the original on October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  26. ^ "Israel "Bo" Curtis obituary". The Alexandria Town Talk. February 24, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  27. ^ "Louisiana: Davis, Jackson Beauregard", Who's Who in American Politics, 2003–2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), p. 775
  28. ^ "Herbert Bernard Dixon". Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  29. ^ Li, David K. (October 19, 2008). "Beauty and the Bust". New York Post.
  30. ^ "H. M. "Mutt" Fowler". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  31. ^ Kim Hubbard, Robert Harling, Author of a Hit Comedy Based on a Family Tragedy, People, Vol. 29, No. 3, January 25, 1988
  32. ^ Julia Reed, The Interview: Robert Harling, Garden & Gun, December 2012 – January 2013
  33. ^ "Lance Harris's Biography". Project Vote Smart. May 27, 2015.
  34. ^ "Longtime NSU booster Horton dies, June 6, 2013". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Archived from the original on July 5, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  35. ^ "Carolyn L. Huntoon". Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  36. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Honored". Alumni Columns. Natchitoches, LA: Northwestern State University Alumni Association. Winter 1992. p. 17.
  37. ^ "M. E. Lafargue, Former District Attorney, Dies – Succumbs in Sleep Here at Age 54; Services Saturday". Shreveport Journal. March 28, 1963. pp. 1-A, 4-A. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  38. ^ "ACLU of Louisiana: Abortion Protests: Free Speech, Privacy and Clinic Access: Centenary Political Science Honor Society Sponsors Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Centenary, October 9, 2002". Centenary College of Louisiana. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  39. ^ "Moffett biosketch on the ULS web site". Archived from the original on March 24, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  40. ^ Matt McKinney (January 17, 2015). "Mary Evelyn Parker, longtime Louisiana treasurer, dies at age 94". Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  41. ^ "Honorable John S. Pickett, Sr., Honorable John S. Pickett, Jr., and Honorable Elizabeth A. Pickett, acknowledging three generation of service by the Pickett family". Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
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  50. ^ "Jesse Dale Thorn". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved May 17, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 August 2021, at 16:08
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