For other universities with a similar name, see Northwestern University (disambiguation).
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
TypePublic, Co-ed
ChancellorDr. Randall J. Webb
LocationNatchitoches, Louisiana, United States
Sports teamsDemons
ColorsPurple & White         
MascotVic The Demon

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is a four-year public university primarily situated in Natchitoches, Louisiana, United States, with a nursing campus in Shreveport and general campuses in Leesville/Fort Polk and Alexandria. It is a part of the University of Louisiana System.

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Main entrance to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana

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The Friedman Student Union Building is named for the late Louisiana State Senator Sylvan Friedman of Natchitoches.

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The NSU Business Building

File:Fournet Hall at NSU in Natchitoches, LA IMG 1988.JPG

Fournet Hall at NSU is the center of instruction in chemistry and physics.

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Culinary Arts Building at NSU

File:John S. Kyser Hall at NSU, Natchitoches IMG 1993.JPG

John S. Kyser Hall, named for the NSU president John S. Kyser from 1953-1966, houses a variety of academic programs, including history, mathematics, and journalism.

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Williamson Hall houses the NSU engineering program.

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NSU Student Recreation Center

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The three columns of Northwestern State University

NSU was founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School to train teachers. It was the first school in Louisiana to offer degree programs in nursing and business education. NSU, along with numerous other state colleges, gained university status in 1970 during the administration of President Arnold R. Kilpatrick, a Northwestern alumnus who served from 1966-1978. Kilpatrick succeeded the 12-year president, John S. Kyser, a native of El Paso, Illinois.[2]

NSU was one of the first six colleges to enter into NASA's Joint Venture Program ("JOVE"). Students worked with NASA scientists to help analyze data and do research for the 1996 Space Shuttle Columbia shuttle mission.

NSU also hosts Louisiana's designated honors college in the liberal arts and sciences, called the Louisiana Scholars' College. The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, a state supported residential high school for sophomores, juniors and seniors, is also located on the campus. It was a brainchild of former State Representative Jimmy D. Long of Natchitoches, who also attended NSU.

NSU currently offers more than 50 degree programs and complete accreditation of all of its accreditable degree programs. Fall 2011 total enrollment was 9,191 (8,080 undergraduates), a decline from Fall 2004's record enrollment of 10,546.[3] NSU also claims more than 70,000 alumni.

History[edit | edit source]

Northwestern State University stands on ground that has been dedicated to learning for well over a hundred years. Prior to the American Civil War, a portion of the present campus was the property of the Bullard family of Natchitoches. As early as 1856, the Bullard mansion was in use as a convent by the Religious Society of the Sacred Heart. The following year a school building was erected at the convent and in 1884 the town and parish of Natchitoches purchased the property. Three of the four great white columns that once supported the east gable of the mansion still stand on “The Hill” and serve as the unofficial symbols of the university. The campus, developed upon rolling hills and high river bottomland, is acknowledged to be one of the most spacious and attractive in the South. The natural beauty of the site drew people to it even in prehistoric times. Long the home of a major Indian tribe for which it was named, the French fortified Natchitoches in 1714 as an outpost of their New World Empire facing Spanish Texas to the west.

In 1884, the Louisiana State Legislature by Act 51 created the Louisiana State Normal School for the preparation of teachers. Shortly thereafter, a freshman member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, Leopold Caspari of Natchitoches, offered the convent site as a campus for the school with the anticipated approval of the citizens of Natchitoches. The offer was accepted, and from 1885 to 1918 the Normal School offered two years of study for the training of teachers. Baccalaureate programs were inaugurated, and the Louisiana Constitution of 1921, changed the name of the school to Louisiana State Normal College. The resources and curricula of "Normal" grew steadily to meet the increasingly diverse requirements of Louisiana’s expanding population. In 1944, the institution’s excellent service in its broader role was accorded formal recognition by Act 326 of the Legislature, which changed its name to Northwestern State College of Louisiana.

Northwestern maintained and strengthened its long tradition of leadership in public service and academic endeavor and became, in 1954, the first college under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Board of Education to offer the Master’s degree. The Specialist in Education degree was first offered in 1966 and the Doctor of Philosophy in Education degrees were authorized in 1967. On June 18, 1970, Governor John J. McKeithen signed a legislative act that brought the old campus its greatest distinction, changing its title to Northwestern State University of Louisiana. In 1980, the old campus quadrangle where the columns stand was entered into the National Register of Historic Places under the title “Normal Hill Historic District.”

Although primarily a regional institution, Northwestern also offers an opportunity for education at other satellite locations, including Leesville, Shreveport, and Alexandria. In addition to academics, these centers are also developing student life programs. The Nursing Education Center, located in Shreveport, provides the educational environment for nursing majors enrolled in clinical courses as well as general education courses. The Center houses departments administering masters, baccalaureate and associate degree programs. The campus includes state-of-the-art academic facilities, office space for faculty and staff, a bookstore, and facilities for activities and organizations. Excerpt from University Student Handbook

A.A. Fredericks was president of NSU from 1934-1941. He was later a member of the Louisiana State Senate and the private secretary on two occasions to Governor Earl Kemp Long. Fredericks obtained his teaching credentials from Northwestern "Normal" in 1912. The A.A. Fredericks Auditorium on campus commemorates his memory.

Eugene P. Watson of Natchitoches, for whom the NSU library is named, was head librarian and professor of library science from 1940 until his death in 1964. He founded Alpha Beta Alpha, the national library science fraternity. The group held its first biennial convention on the NSU campus in 1952.

The centennial history of NSU (1884–1984) was published by the NSU Press in 1985 by the historian Marietta LeBreton, who taught forty-five years at the institution, from 1963 until her sudden death in 2009.

The Legend of Isabella[edit | edit source]

Isabella was a young French maiden, renowned for her beauty, who once lived in the original Bullard mansion after the Bullards were gone. The young lady had many suitors but preferred the company of a young man from the East, sent to Louisiana on business. They fell in love and were to be married. Shortly before the wedding date arrived, the young man was killed in a duel. Legend has it that the duel concerned a dispute over another woman.

Isabella, overcome by grief, became a nun, and the French maiden’s beauty wasted away through constant mourning of her intended. Everyone believed she had gone mad from grief and mourning. One stormy night she ended her mourning by plunging a dagger into her heart. Soon after she was found dead in her room, with a bloody handprint on the wall.

Her spirit roamed Bullard mansion until it was torn down. Since then she has roamed various buildings on campus. She lived in East Hall until it was torn down in 1926. This was evidenced by the eyewitness accounts of girls who lived in East Hall. From there, Isabella's spirit moved to the Music Hall and resided there until 1948 then that building was also torn down. Just before the Music Hall was dismantled, a group of young men, dressed in sheets, coaxed Isabella from the doomed building.

From there she wandered aimlessly around campus from building to building (including East Varnado) for almost three years, until, becoming weary, she chose Caldwell Hall as her next residence. Speculation has it that Caldwell was chosen because of its close proximity to the original Bullard dwelling. According to newspaper articles, the official date of the move was January 15, 1949. Reportedly a letter from the ghost was found on the steps of Caldwell along with a few drops of blood.

Isabella's current residence is the Old Women’s Gym located on College Avenue beside Varnado Hall. When Caldwell Hall burned in October 1982, a group of 750 students gathered and performed a ceremony on Halloween night that aided Isabella in her transition to her present location.

Vic the Demon[edit | edit source]

On November 8, 1922, by proclamation of President V. L. Roy and Coach H. Lee Prather, all athletic teams became known as the Demons. The name was decided upon by a contest open to all students with a grand prize of $10. A committee was appointed by the President to narrow down the names submitted by the student body. The final selection was decided by a vote of the students. The two most popular choices were Braves and Demons. Among other names submitted by students were Sharks, Daredevils, Musketeers, Pelicans, Prather’s Ground Hogs, Bloodhounds, Cyclops and Serpents. The official winners were Aileen Ritter and Truett Scarborough.

On September 22, 1984, the Demon received his official given name by means of another contest sponsored by the Athletic Department. The contest was open to faculty, staff, and students. The objective: to find a name for the Demon. Over 300 entries were submitted to the committee. The grand prize was an all expense paid weekend at the Louisiana State Fair Classic. Ray Carney, an alumnus of the university, was the official winner with "Vic," which is short for "Victory".

Jim Croce[edit | edit source]

Singer-songwriter Jim Croce died in a plane crash hours after finishing a 1973 concert on the NSU campus.

Academics[edit | edit source]

Associate[edit | edit source]

  • Associate Degree (A.D.)
    • Business Administration
    • Veterinary Technology
  • Associate of Arts (A.A.)
    • Criminal Justice, with concentration in: Emergency Management
  • Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.)
    • General Studies, with concentrations: Child Development, Radiological Sciences
  • Associate of Science in Nursing (A.S.N.)
    • Nursing

Baccalaureate[edit | edit source]

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.)
    • Allied Health, with concentrations in Health Science and Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
    • Communication, with concentrations in: Mass Communication, Organizational Communication, Rhetoric
    • Criminal Justice
    • English, with concentrations in: Film Studies, Folklife-Southern Culture, Literature, Professional Writing
    • History
    • Liberal Arts, with concentrations in: Entertainment Technology, Ethnoarchaeology, Fine and Performing Arts, Foreign Language, Geography, Humanities and Social Thought, International Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Law, Scientific Inquiry, Social Issues
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
    • Fine and Graphic Arts, with concentrations: Graphic Communication, Studio Art
  • Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.)
    • General Studies, with concentrations in: Arts and Communication, Computer and Natural science, Creole Studies, Professional Studies, Social Science
  • Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
    • Music, with concentrations in: Performance, Sacred Music
  • Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.)
    • Music Education-Instrumental, Grades K-12
    • Music Education-Vocal, Grades K-12
    • Music Education-Vocal/Instrumental, Grades K-12
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
    • Accounting
    • Addiction Studies
    • Biology, with concentrations in: Bioinformatics, Biomedical, Clinical Laboratory Science, Forensic Science, Natural Science, Veterinary Technology
    • Business Administration, with concentrations in: Finance, Management, Marketing
    • Computer Information Systems
    • Early Childhood Education, Grades Pre-K-3
    • Electronics Engineering Technology, with concentrations in: Biomedical, Electronics
    • Elementary Education, Grades 1-5
    • Family and Consumer Sciences, with concentrations in: Child Development and Family Relations, Consumer Services
    • Health and Exercise Science, with concentration in: Health Science
    • Health and Physical Education, Grades K-12
    • Hospitality Management and Tourism, with concentrations in: Culinary Arts, Hospitality Services, Travel and Tourism
    • Industrial Engineering Technology
    • Mathematics, with concentration in: Healthcare Informatics
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology, with concentrations in: Prevention Specialist, Substance Abuse
    • Radiologic Sciences
    • Secondary Education and Teaching, with concentrations in: Biology Education, Business Education, English Education, Mathematics Education, Social Studies Education
    • Theatre, with concentrations in: Dance Performance, Design/Technology, Musical Theatre Performance, Performance/Directing
    • Unified Public Safety Administration, with concentrations in: Law Enforcement Administration, Fire and Emergency Medical Services Administration, Emergency Management Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
    • Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work (B.S.W.)
    • Social Work

Graduate[edit | edit source]

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
    • Adult Education, with concentrations in: Continuing Education, Homeland Security, Technology Management
    • Art
    • English, with concentrations in: folklife/southern culture, literature, writing and linguistics, on-line
    • School Counseling
    • Student Personnel Services
  • Master of Arts in Technology (M.A.T.)
    • Early Childhood Education Grades PK-3, with a concentration in: professional studies
    • Elementary Education Grades 1-5, with a concentration in: professional studies
    • Elementary Education & Special Education Mild/Moderate, Grades 1-5, with a concentration in: professional studies
    • Middle School Education Grades 4-8, with a concentration in: professional studies
    • Middle School Education & Special Education Mild/Moderate, Grades 4-8, with a concentration in: professional studies
    • Secondary Education Grades 6-12, with a concentration in: professional studies
    • Secondary Education & Special Education Mild/Moderate, Grades 6-12, with a concentration in: professional studies
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
    • Curriculum and Instruction, with concentrations in: English education, professional teaching standards for the teacher leader, reading, school librarian, transition to teaching
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Educational Leadership
    • Educational Technology Leadership
    • Special Education, with concentrations in: early intervention, gifted education, elementary (grades 1-5)mild/moderate special education, middle school (grades 4-8) and secondary (grades 6-12) mild/moderate special education
  • Master of Music (M.M.)
    • Music, with concentrations in: music education, performance
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
    • Psychology, Clinical, with concentration in: substance abuse
    • Health and Human Performance, with concentrations in: health promotion, physical education, sport administration
    • Radiologic Sciences, with concentrations in: radiologic sciences education, radiologic sciences administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)
    • Nursing, with concentrations in: acute care nurse practitioner, adult nursing, critical care nursing of the adult, family nurse practitioner, maternal child and family nursing, mental health/psychiatric, neonatal nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, women’s health nurse practitioner
  • Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)
    • Educational Leadership & Instruction, with concentrations in: educational leadership, educational technology, special education

College of Science, Technology & Business[edit | edit source]

  • School of Business
    • Associate of Science in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Department of Biological Sciences
    • Biology
    • Microbiology

Student media[edit | edit source]

Its student-run weekly newspaper, The Current Sauce, was founded in 1914. Its annual student-run yearbook is called The Potpourri. There is also a student-run radio station, KNWD "The Demon" 91.7FM, and a faculty-administrated and student-operated local television station, NSU22, on which can be found bi-weekly student-produced newscasts.

NSU's literary magazine is called The Argus. It is student-run and published during the spring semester. The magazine content is provided by competitions in various fields of writing and artwork.

Athletics[edit | edit source]

The Northwestern State athletic teams go by the Demons, with women's athletic teams generally called the Lady Demons, and its mascot is Vic the Demon. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes in the Southland Conference at the NCAA Division I level. Northwestern State sponsors 12 varsity athletic teams, 5 men's teams and 7 women's teams.[4]

Greek life[edit | edit source]

Sororities[edit | edit source]

National Panhellenic Conference Affiliates[edit | edit source]

National Pan-Hellenic Council Affiliates[edit | edit source]

Music Sororities[edit | edit source]

Fraternities[edit | edit source]

National Pan-Hellenic Council Affiliates[edit | edit source]

North-American Interfraternity Conference Affiliates[edit | edit source]

Music Fraternities[edit | edit source]

Lady of the Bracelet pageant[edit | edit source]

The Lady of the Bracelet pageant (commonly referred to as LOB) is a long-standing competition which scholarships are awarded to female students. The first place winner of the pageant is awarded the title of "Lady of the Bracelet" for one year.

The program is under the direction of the Director of Student Activities and the Assistant Director of Student Activities of Northwestern State University. Contestants compete in several categories including interview, evening wear, and swimsuit competition. In addition to being bestowed the title of "Lady of the Bracelet" for the following year, the first place contestant receives a full scholarship and goes on to compete in the Miss Louisiana pageant, which can ultimately result in a berth to the Miss America pageant. It is traditionally held on the first Friday in February.

In the early 1920s, the Potpourri, Northwestern’s yearbook, sponsored the first beauty pageant held on the university campus. The contestants were selected from photographs submitted to well-known producers for judgment and were chosen for their charm and beauty. In 1958, Miss Kahne Dipola was crowned the first Miss Lady of the Bracelet and she received a gold bracelet to wear when she represented the university in public. Over the years, the bracelet has been passed down to each holder of the title.

Through the efforts of Mr. Robert W. Wilson, Sr., the Student Union Governing Board purchased the first franchise from the Miss Louisiana Pageant in 1971, enabling Northwestern’s Lady of the Bracelet to enter the state contest. The Student Activities Board, formerly the Student Union Governing Board, has continued the tradition of sponsoring the Lady of the Bracelet Pageant for the enjoyment of the Northwestern community. The Lady of the Bracelet pageant has gained state recognition for production, scholarship, and quality of contestants.

The current Lady of the Bracelet is Tori Thompson of Houston, Texas.

ROTC Program[edit | edit source]

With an agreement signed between Northwestern State College and the Department of the United States Army, an anti-aircraft field artillery unit of the Reserve Officers Training Corps was established in the fall of 1950. In August 1950, the building to house the ROTC unit was authorized. The new military science program, under President Prather, enrolled its first students in the fall of 1950 with one officer and five enlisted men on the staff. By the end of the 1950-51 academic year 220 men had selected military training and the future of the program looked promising. In 1965, NSC under President Kyser signed an agreement with the department of Army stating that the Military Science Senior ROTC program would be provided with a university secretary, armory, and utilities. The NSU ROTC Department and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana mutually support Cadet Command by identifying quality soldiers with officer potential and in assisting them in transition from active duty under the college ROTC Green to Gold program. The NSU ROTC Demon Battalion has commissioned nearly 1000 Second Lieutenants in to the United States Armed Services. Quite a few graduates have become distinguished Army Officers, including several General Officers. A Hall of Fame was begun in 1983. Portraits and biographies of the Hall of Fame members are on permanent display in the ROTC office foyer . NSU ROTC cadets have been selected to attend specialty schools in Germany and at West Point. Cadets have also participated in ceremonies commemorating the Bataan March in New Mexico, and supporting the Habitat for Humanity and Loggers Conventions. During the past two years, several renovation projects have been completed. The cadets have been able to enjoy a TV lounge, kitchen area and game room to include a billiards, ping pong and foosball. Notably, five NSU ROTC commissioned officers have been inducted into NSU’s highest Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line.

Notable alumni[edit | edit source]

File:Former Line Avenue School in Shreveport, LA IMG 1570.JPG

The former "Line Avenue School" now houses part of the Northwestern State University nursing program in Shreveport.

Notable NSU faculty and administrators[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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