Since the founding of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1898, there have been six presidents. While these presidents have served varying lengths of years (some relatively short and others remarkably long), each has left his mark on the university.
Starting out as the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute (SLII), this university was just a vocational school with only around 100 students enrolled. In 1921, SLII upgraded to a higher education institution, changing its name to the Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI). In the following years, SLI expanded, adding more degrees, obtaining more land, and acquiring college accreditation.
In 1960, SLI gained university status and the institution's name officially changed to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL). It was not until 1999 when the the institution changed its name once more to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). Today, UL Lafayette continues to prosper while strengthening its educational ambitions.
Today, with the great contributions of each of these presidents, UL Lafayette has grown beyond its original vision, with student enrollment exceeding 19,000 and alumni exceeding 103,000. These contributions include the construction of university buildings, the development of degrees (undergraduate, masters, and doctoral), and the implementation of various programs ranging from academics to athletics.
This exhibit explores each of UL Lafayette's presidents, presenting photographs, writings, articles, and some of their accomplishments. Items courtesy of the University Archives and Acadiana Manuscripts Collection at Edith Garland Dupré Library.
Special thanks to the Special Collections staff for helping find materials on the presidents: Archives Processing Specialist Jane Vidrine, Reference Archivist Neil Guilbeau, Archives Processing Assistant Lauren Feltner, and Louisiana Room Assistant Danielle Gautreaux. And a very special thanks to student aids Sarah Johnson and Jade Rouchon who assisted in scanning.