100 Years, 100 Milestones

Loyola students, faculty, and staff came together for a memorable photo.
Loyola students, faculty, and staff came together for a memorable photo.

Loyola University New Orleans — A Brief History

For 100 years, Loyola University New Orleans has helped shape the lives of its students, as well as the history of New Orleans and the world, through educating men and women in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence. The university’s rich history dates back to the early 18th century, when the Jesuits first arrived among the earliest settlers in New Orleans and Louisiana.

Years later, the desire for a Jesuit college in New Orleans intensified, leading to the Jesuits buying a small piece of land in 1847 and establishing the College of the Immaculate Conception in 1849 at the corner of Baronne and Common streets. Fearing that the downtown area would eventually become too congested for a college, in 1889, the Jesuits purchased a section of the Foucher Plantation across from Audubon Park, which was to be the university’s future home.

In 1904, the long-planned Loyola College, together with a preparatory academy, opened its doors. The Rev. Albert H. Biever, S.J., became the first president. In 1911, the Jesuit schools in New Orleans were reorganized, and the College of the Immaculate Conception became exclusively a college preparatory school and was given the preparatory students of Loyola College. The downtown institution relinquished its higher departments—what are now known as college programs—to Loyola, which was in the process of becoming a university. On April 15, 1912, Loyola University’s charter was signed by the 11 Jesuits who constituted the governing corporation. Three days later, the charter was approved by Orleans Parish, with state approval eventually taking place on July 10, 1912.

Since that time, Loyola University New Orleans has continued to remain an integral part of the city of New Orleans and has achieved a national reputation of success, ranking for the last 21 years among the Top 10 Southern regional schools by U.S.News & World Report. Loyola has graduated more than 45,000 students, who serve as catalysts for change in their communities as they exemplify the ethical and values-laden education they received at the university. With its five colleges (Business, Humanities and Natural Sciences, Law, Music and Fine Arts, and Social Sciences); two professional schools (Mass Communication and Nursing); and 63 undergraduate and 12 graduate programs, the university continues to build upon its Jesuit tradition, expanding its programs and ensuring the success of its second century.

The year-long centennial celebration begins with Centennial Kick-Off Weekend/Alumni Weekend April 13 – 15.

Top 100 Milestones

  1. The State of Louisiana grants a charter for the Catholic Society for Religious and Literary Education. (1848)
  2. The College of the Immaculate Conception opens. (1849)
  3. The College of the Immaculate Conception confers its first A.B. degree. (1856)
  4. The Church of the Immaculate Conception is dedicated. (1857)
  5. Jesuits purchase the land on which Loyola University will be built. (1889)
  6. The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus is dedicated. (1892)
  7. The Rev. Albert H. Biever, S.J., founds Loyola College and becomes its first president. (1904)
  8. The first wireless receiver is set up on the St. Charles Avenue campus. (1909)
  9. Marquette Hall is completed. (1911)
  10. Thomas Hall is completed. (1912)
  11. Loyola University is chartered. (1912)
  12. The pharmacy professional school is added. (1913)
  13. Lucrecia Landa and Lillian Maloney become the first women to graduate from the School of Pharmacy. (1913)
  14. Dentistry and law professional schools are added. (1914)
  15. The School of Dentistry graduates its first class. (1915)
  16. The School of Law graduates its first class. (1917)
  17. Holy Name of Jesus Church is completed. (1918)
  18. Mary Jane Howard becomes the first woman to graduate from the School of Dentistry. (1918)
  19. The extension program is formalized. (1919)
  20. Alice A. Allen becomes the first woman to graduate from the School of Law. (1921)
  21. WWL radio is launched with the first voice transmissions from Marquette Hall. (1922)
  22. The BEGGARS, Loyola’s first fraternity, is founded. (1923)
  23. The Maroon, Loyola’s student newspaper, begins publication. (1923)
  24. The Wolf, Loyola’s yearbook, is launched. (1924)
  25. Lambda Tau Lambda, Loyola’s first sorority, is founded. (1924)
  26. Bobet Hall is completed. (1924)
  27. The School of Law establishes a full-time day program. (1925)
  28. A Department of Commerce and Finance is established. (1926)
  29. The undefeated Wolves outscore all other football teams in the nation. (1926)
  30. Loyola gains accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (1929)
  31. WWL radio moves to the Monteleone Hotel in the French Quarter. (1930)
  32. Governor Huey Long is awarded an honorary doctorate of law. (1931)
  33. The School of Law is accredited. (1932)
  34. WWL radio broadcasts from the Roosevelt Hotel. (1932)
  35. The College of Music is established. (1932)
  36. Loyola athletes Emmett Toppino (track) and Eddie Flynn (boxing) win gold medals at the Olympics. (1932)
  37. The Department of Medical Technology is launched. (1935)
  38. WWL affiliates with CBS. (1935)
  39. Ethelyn Conzelman is crowned the first homecoming queen. (1938)
  40. The Department of Education is established. (1938)
  41. The football team wins the Dixie Conference Championship, but football at Loyola ends. (1939)
  42. The Loyola Law Review is founded. (1941)
  43. The basketball team wins the Dixie Conference crown (1942), and claims victory at the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball tournament. (1945)
  44. Stallings Hall is completed. (1947)
  45. The College of Business Administration is established. (1947)
  46. The ROTC unit is established at Loyola. (1947)
  47. The Evening Division is established. (1949)
  48. The Main Library is dedicated. (1950)
  49. Norman Francis and Benjamin Johnson become the first African-Americans to be admitted to the School of Law. (1952)
  50. Janet Mary Riley begins teaching at the School of Law, becoming the first full-time female law professor in the New Orleans area and the seventh in the nation. (1952)
  51. Joan Barrios is appointed the first dean of women. (1953)
  52. Loyola integrates its field house and holds interracial sporting events. (1954)
  53. WWL-TV is born. (1957)
  54. The College of Business Administration is admitted to full membership in the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). (1957)
  55. Loyola integrates its undergraduate day programs. (1962)
  56. Biever Hall opens. (1963)
  57. The Danna Center is completed. (1963)
  58. The School of Pharmacy is closed. (1965)
  59. Buddig Hall opens. (1965)
  60. The J. Edgar Monroe Memorial Science Building opens. (1969)
  61. Loyola’s Institute of Politics is established. (1969)
  62. Edgar “Dooky” Chase III becomes the first African-American president to be elected to Loyola’s Student Council. (1970)
  63. The Evening Division becomes City College, with its own full-time faculty. (1970)
  64. The School of Dentistry is closed. (1971)
  65. The Loyola Law Clinic is established. (1971)
  66. Loyola ends intercollegiate sports. (1972)
  67. The School of Law moves to the Branch-Knox-Miller Hall building. (1973)
  68. John Oulliber, the first lay chair of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, is appointed. (1975)
  69. The new Common Curriculum is launched. (1975)
  70. Maria Falco, the first female dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is appointed. (1976)
  71. The Loyola University Community Action Program (LUCAP) is established. (1976)
  72. Norman Roussell, Loyola’s first African-American administrator, is appointed. (1976)
  73. Novelist Walker Percy teaches at Loyola. (1976)
  74. The university decides to tear down the Loyola Field House. (1977)
  75. The College of Business Administration is renamed the Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business Administration. (1983)
  76. Dominican College is purchased. (1984)
  77. The School of Law moves to the Broadway campus. (1985)
  78. The Gillis W. Long Poverty Law Center is founded. (1985)
  79. The Communications/Music Complex opens. (1986)
  80. The Recreational Sports Complex opens. (1988)
  81. The Activities Quad, between Bobet Hall and the Danna Center, is renamed the Plaza De Los Martires De La Paz to honor the six Jesuits, their cook, and her daughter who were slain in El Salvador. (1989)
  82. Loyola sells WWL. (1989)
  83. Greenville Hall is renovated and houses the Division of Institutional Advancement. (1989)
  84. Louis Westerfield, the first tenured African-American on the Loyola law faculty, becomes the first African-American law dean. (1990)
  85. Mercy Academy at the corner of Calhoun and Freret streets is purchased. (1992)
  86. The Jesuit Center is established. (1995)
  87. The Center for Environmental Communication is established. (1995)
  88. Loyola University New Orleans becomes the university’s official name. (1996)
  89. The West Road Parking Garage opens. (1996)
  90. Loyola celebrates its first Rhodes Scholar. (1998)
  91. The J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library opens. (1999)
  92. Carrollton Hall opens. (1999)
  93. Athletic scholarships are once again awarded to men’s and women’s basketball players. (2003)
  94. Under Pathways: Toward Our Second Century, the Colleges of Business, Humanities and Natural Sciences, Law, Music and Fine Arts, and Social Sciences, and the Schools of Mass Communication and Nursing, become official. (2006)
  95. The College of Law opens the Wendell H. and Anne B. Gauthier Family Wing. (2007)
  96. The women’s basketball team wins the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship (2007 and 2009).
  97. The Danna Center is renovated and renamed the Danna Student Center. (2008)
  98. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) Degree Program is established. (2010)
  99. The Carnegie Foundation recognizes Loyola for community engagement. (2011)

 100. The Thomas Hall Visitor Center and The College of Law Broadway Building open, and
         renovations begin on Monroe Hall. (2011)

 101. Loyola’s year-long centennial celebration begins. (2012)

For the complete history of Loyola University New Orleans (from which the milestones were taken), you can order your copy of Founded on Faith: A History of Loyola University New Orleans, by Dr. Bernard Cook, at www.loyno.bkstr.com




View the complete spring 2012 issue of LOYNO.

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