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Memory Lane


Robert L. Dupont
UNO Historian

"Fifty Year History"

Dept of History
Education Building
Room 158
University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA 70148

Fax: (504) 280-7038

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University of New Orleans: 1958 - 2008

From Commuters' College to Major Urban Research University

In ACT 60, the 1956 Louisiana Legislature approved a "commuters' college" in New Orleans. In the fall of 1958, the Louisiana State University in New Orleans (or LSUNO) began operations using an abandoned U.S. Navy base for offices and classrooms. That first semester, 1460 students registered.

In 1974, the LSU portion of the name was dropped and the institution became the University of New Orleans. By fall of 2005, the "Katrina Semester," enrollments topped 17,000 students - the highest number ever attained. But the damage from the hurricane and flooding brought fresh challenges as all institutions of higher education in the city closed. UNO, however, fought its way back in the aftermath of the storm to become the only New Orleans university to reopen in a delayed Fall Semester 2005.

Over the years UNO provided the New Orleans community and the greater metropolitan area with graduates of high quality, energy and work habits - over 68,000 degrees conferred; over 100,000 students.

Robert Dupont, Associate Professor of History and former Dean of Metropolitan College, has written the history of UNO commemorating its 50th anniversary. On Higher Ground: The University of New Orleans at 50 provides insight into the legislation leading to the development of UNO, how it came to be at the Lakefront, its early years of operation, and subsequent development into one of the state's leading institutions. Published by the UNO Press, the book will be released on September 6 at the Lindy Boggs Conference Center with a book-signing and reading.

A slideshow presentation to the UNO Foundation Board of Directors featured some of the people instrumental in the early years, shepherding the university's creation and expansion.

M o r e
Homer Hitt - Founding Chancellor
Recollections to Share
Additional UNO history resources



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