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For other Southern University campuses, see Southern University System.
Southern University and A&M College is a historically black college located in Baton Rouge, Louisianamarker.


The concept of Southern University was put forth by P. B. S. Pinchback, T. T. Allain, and Henry Demas as an institution "for the education of persons of color" at the 1879 Louisiana State Constitutional Convention.

In April 1880, the Louisiana General Assembly chartered Southern University, originally located in New Orleansmarker. Southern opened its doors on with twelve students. One of the original locations of the early campus was the former Israel Sinai Temple on Calliope Street, between St. Charles and Camp streets in New Orleans. Southern became a land grant school in 1890, and an Agricultural and Mechanical department was established. Because of continued growth and a lack of land for expansion, the university relocated to what was then Scotlandville, along Scott's Bluff facing the Mississippi River in 1914. It is included as a destination of the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.

A.R. Gourrier 1881
George Fayerweather 1881-1882
Rev. C.H. Thompson 1882-1883
Rev. J.H. Harrisond 1883-
George W. Bathwell 1886-1887
H.A. Hill 1887-1899
Dr. Joseph S. Clark 1914-1938
Dr. Felton G. Clark 1938-1969
Dr. George L. Netterville 1969-1974
Dr. Jesse N. Stone 1974-1985
Dr. Joffre T. Whisenton 1985-1988
Dr. Dolores Spikes* 1988-1996
Dr. Leon Tarver II 1997-2005
Dr. Edward Jackson, (interim) 2005-2006
Dr. Ralph Slaughter 2006-present
*First female head of any college system in the U.S.

In 1969, the university saw a changing of the guard, when Clark retired and Dr. Leon G. Netterville took over the reins of leadership. On November 16, 1972, two students involved with "Students United", a student protest group on the campus, Denver Smith and Leonard Brown, were shot and killed outside the Old Auditorium (now the Southern University Museum of Art). The murder, apparently committed by a patrolman, has never been solved.

The institution continued to grow and in 1974 a special session in the Louisiana Legislature established the Southern University System. The Southern University System consists of Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, (SUBR); Southern University, New Orleans (SUNO); Southern University Law Center; Southern University Agricultural Center; and Southern University, Shreveportmarker (SUSLA is a two-year, commuter college). The Southern University Museum of Art at Shreveport is another destination of the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.


Colleges within the University
  • Honors College
  • University College
  • College of Agriculture, Family, and Consumer Sciences
  • College of Arts and Humanities
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Sciences
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Nursing
  • The Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Student activities


The Southern Jaguars represent the university in NCAA intercollegiate athletics. Southern's sports teams participate in Division I (FCS for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Southern University and its northern Louisiana rival, Grambling State Universitymarker, annually participate in the Bayou Classic on the Thanksgiving Day weekend in New Orleans. NBC has carried the game live for over 15 years.

Marching band

The first season of the reality television series College Hill on BET premiered in 2004 with the Southern University campus as its locale.

Notable alumni


Entertainers and personalities


Military commanders


External links

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