50 Year History
Alumni & Visitors
Earl K. Long Louisiana & Special Collections
How to Participate
Robert L. Dupont
"Fifty Year History"
Dept of History
University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA 70148
Fax: (504) 280-7038
Homer L. Hitt, Founding Chancellor & First Employee
Excerpted from George Branam's July 11, 1983 interview with Homer Hitt
for UNO's Silver Anniversary
(Photo of Homer L. Hitt below.)
General Troy H. Middleton, President of LSU, called Homer Hitt in early December of 1957 and arranged a meeting. Without beating around the bush, the General asked, "Homer, how would you like to head the new college that is to be established by LSU in New Orleans?"
At that time, Dr. Hitt was serving as Associate Dean of the Graduate School at LSU and chaired two departments: Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences and Rural Sociology in the College of Agriculture. He also taught a favorite course each semester in Sociology.
This new appointment became effective on December 15, 1957 making Dr. Homer Hitt Dean of Louisiana State University in New Orleans and its first employee. Dr. Hitt, a sociologist and renowned population expert, had a doctorate from Harvard University and held masters degrees from both Harvard and LSU. One of only five U.S. scholars to be elected to the International Union of the Scientific Study of Population in 1952, his most important publication wasThe People of Louisiana.
Homer L. Hitt died Sunday, January 27, 2008. In remarks to the University community, Chancellor Tim Ryan said, "Dr. Hitt fought many battles to make UNO grow and prosper into the fine academic institution it is today. In the early 1970s, he fought to establish the university's identity as The University of New Orleans, setting it apart as a beacon of higher education."