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About Southern University

The History of Southern University
A National Treasure

Southern University opened its doors in 1880 in New Orleans, Louisiana, with twelve students, five faculty, and a budget totaling $10,000. In 1914, the University was relocated to Louisiana's capital city - Baton Rouge, and in 1947, a public law school was also opened at this site. Today, the Southern University Law Center (SULC) graduates the majority of the state's African-American lawyers.

The University later expanded to other cities in the state, establishing Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO), Southern University at Shreveport (SUSLA), and a cooperative extension livestock and horse facility in Baker. The System's major land-grant programs are primarily conducted through cooperative extension and agricultural programs, which date back to 1890.

In 1974, the Southern University and A&M College System was created by the state legislature under the management of the Southern University Board of Supervisors. In order for the Southern University Law Center to enjoy professional standing in the legal education community, it was necessary to make the Law Center an independent budgetary unit within the Southern University System. Hence, the Southern University Law Center became the fourth campus of the System.

The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SUAREC) was established on July 1, 2001, out of the need to enhance the impact of our land-grant programs on the citizenry of the State of Louisiana. In July 2001, the agricultural research program was relocated to the newly established Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SUAREC), the fifth campus of the Southern University and A&M College System.

From its humble beginnings, Southern University is the only historically black university system in America.  Its annual operating budget is more than $200.5 million, and the combined physical plant, valued at approximately $382.5 million. The Southern University System offers 86 baccalaureate degree programs, 23 associate degrees, and 12 certificate programs. Although the majority of the programs are offered at the undergraduate level, the University currently offers 26 masters, 1 post master, 1 professional and 5 doctoral (Ph.D.) degree programs. The System encompasses five institutions offering two-year, four-year, graduate, professional and doctoral degrees. Southern University at Baton Rouge, Southern University at New Orleans, and Southern University at Shreveport are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; telephone number - 404.679.4501) to award certificate, associate, baccalaureate, master, doctorate, and professional degrees. Southern University Law Center is accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the American Bar Association (750 N. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611; telephone number - 312.988.6738).

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Washington, DC Chapter of SU Alumni Federation
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