Thomas F. Ruffin (LSU '47) is a retired vice president of Smith Barney, Inc., and the author of more than seventy-five articles, including an eight-part series on LSU's history for LSU Magazine. Jo Jackson and Mary J. Hebert each held the position of University Archivist at LSU. Sean O'Keefe is Chancellor of Louisiana State University.
Under Stately Oaks: A Pictorial History of LSUby Thomas F. Ruffin, Mary Hebert, Mark A. Emmert, Jo Jackson, Mary J. Hebert
Nestled on a picturesque spot near the banks of the Mississippi River, Louisiana State University is a photographer's dream. From the red pantile roofs and honey-colored stucco of its Italian Renaissance architecture to the "stately oaks and broad magnolias" hailed in the alma mater, the distinct beauty of the campus is unrivaled. Few, however, realize that the history of the state's flagship university is as colorful as the azaleas that adorn its landscape every spring. Through an entertaining marriage of photographs and text, Under Stately Oaks showcases over 140 years of LSU's past and follows the evolution of the tiny Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana, founded near Pineville in 1853, into a university of well over thirty thousand students for the twenty-first century.
Though the book shows that much has changed over the years, it is primarily a celebration of the timeless aspects of the LSU experience: Saturday night football games in Tiger Stadium, sorority row homecoming decorations, frisbee games on the parade grounds, move-in day at the dorms, chat sessions in the quad between classes. LSU's past is firmly rooted in its military tradition, and early photographs of LSU cadets drilling and socializing near the Pentagon Barracks on the old campus join more recent snapshots of modern ROTC members and the campus's numerous war memorials to show why the nickname "The Ole War Skule" has endured. Of course, no history of LSU would be complete without a nod to the school's rich sports tradition, and all of the heralded highlights are here as well as less-celebrated athletic achievements that have shaped the legacy of the LSU Fighting Tigers.
This is an affectionate portrait of the university's past, but it is also an honest one. The notorious scandals of 1939, the university's desegregation struggles, free-speech alley confrontations during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War -- all are chronicled here as important episodes in LSU's past. These pictures, when paired with later photographs of a thriving, diverse collegiate community, are compelling testimony to LSU's ongoing commitment to progress.
Thomas F. Ruffin sets the images in historical context and offers fascinating information that will enlighten even the most ardent LSU fan. From the first LSU students in 1860 to the seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations of the current Baton Rouge campus in 2001, Under Stately Oaks captures the spirit of the university as never before.
- Louisiana State University Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.96(w) x 10.96(h) x 0.70(d)
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