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Our Timeline

Welcome to our College Timeline


1940 | 1944 | 1949 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 |1956 | 1957 | 1960 | 1963 |


Photo (Click on Photo to Enlarge) Description

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In 1901, Ashby Woodson was the first teacher of manual training at the newly opened Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute, now known as UL Lafayette. Manual training was to eventually become known as the College of Engineering.

Under a 1920 legislative act, Dr. Edwin L. Stephens, president of the university, organized departments that would eventually develop into colleges. The new engineering department was part of the College of Liberal Arts.

Between 1930 and 1940, the addition of faculty members and course offerings enabled SLI to form four branches of engineering: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.

In 1940, the College of Engineering was officially designated, and Parker Hall was completed in 1940 for engineering and industrial arts classrooms. It was named after John M. Parker, a former governor of Louisiana who initiated a severance tax to benefit education in the state.

The graphic is a sketch representing engineering from the University's 1956 L’Acadien Yearbook.

Dean: George Griffin Hughes, B.S., M.E.
Department of Engineering Faculty:
Professor of Electrical Engineering: Hiram Russel Mason, B.E.E., M.S., E.E.
Professor of Civil Engineering: Carl Harold Kindig, B.S., M.C.E., D.C.E.
Associate Professor of Applied Mechanics: William J. Starr, B.S., M.E., M.S.E.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering: R. Franklin Parker, B.S. IN M.E.




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In 1944, the college had four departments and nine faculty members. Dr. George Griffin Hughes served as the college's dean and the department head for mechanical engineering. This picture is taken from the  University's 1944 L’Acadien Yearbook.

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On January 13, 1949, the Engineers' Club of S. L. I.

received its charter as Student Chapter No. 1, of the Louisiana Engineering Society. The L. E. S. is com­ posed of members in all branches of engineering and is organized primarily to promote harmony between and interest in all branches of this science. It is the interest of Student Chapter 1  to  aid  in that object in that it  is  open  to  Juniors and Seniors in all branches  of  Engineering who are in good standing and who maintain  an  average  of   "C" or  better.
  President: VAL. D. BREAUX JR.
  Vice President: JULES PATOUT
  Secretary: ALLEN VAUGHAN
  Treasurer: FLOYD KEENEY

This picture is taken from the  University's 1949 L’Acadien Yearbook.


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Dr.  Frederick William Zur Burg became Dean of Engineering in 1952.  He was formally the Department Head for the Chemical Engineering Department.  He served as Dean from 1952 until 1963. This picture is taken from the  University's 1954 L’Acadien Yearbook.

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The Petroleum Engineering curriculum was created in 1953.  The first picture is from the  University's 1949 L’Acadien Yearbook. It is a picture of a Scaled Model of a working rig built by Mr. Elmo Broussard in 1949 for the college.  The model is still used by the college today for Engineering & Technology Week to showcase PETE to High School Students.  The second picture is a plaque on the model as seen in 2020.  The third picture is the model in 2020 after being refurbished by the Louisiana PETE Foundation some years back.
1954 The Department of Geology joins the College of Engineering.  Photo from UL Lafayette. James E. Martin, curator of paleontology and research professor in the School of Geosciences completed excavation of a 7 million-year-old camel in South-Central Oregon. Dr. Martin said, "The specimen is the most complete skeleton known of the giant camel, Megatylopus, a creature that was 12-14 feet tall and functioned much like the giraffe."

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In 1956, the four engineering curriculums were accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

The departments accredited are Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

The graphics show the logo for ABET in 1956 and the logo for ABET in 2020.



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Madison Hall was completed in 1957 as the engineering and geology building. It was named for H. Flood Madison, a past president of the state Board of Education and president of Bastrop Bank from 1900-1926.

Graduate Programs: By 1956, UL Lafayette had received approval for beginning graduate programs, and that was the beginning of the end of the college years. Four years later UL Lafayette became a university.

Pictures shown are taken from the  University's 1957 and 1958 L’Acadien Yearbook.


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In 1960, the state legislature approved renaming Southwest Louisiana Institute to the University of Southwestern Louisiana. At this time UL Lafayette was composed of a graduate school and six colleges: agriculture, business administration, education, engineering, liberal arts, and nursing. Enrollment was approaching 5,000.

The first master's degree awarded was in chemical engineering in May 1960.

1960, John Browning Finley
"Evaluation of studies of Swenson Research Spray Driver." Library Call #:LD 3091.L665 1960f

This picture is taken from the  University's 1960 L’Acadien Yearbook.  From left to right:


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Dr. Wayne P. Wallace became the Dean of Engineering in 1963. He was formally the Department Head for the Civil Engineering Department.  He served as Dean from 1963 until 1971. This picture is taken from the  University's 1964 L’Acadien Yearbook.

A curriculum of petroleum engineering was drawn up in 1953 and was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in 1963.



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PETE uses life sized well to study gas lift and pump theory.  The rig is still in use today and fully functioning, pumping water.

This picture is taken from the  University's 1968 L’Acadien Yearbook.



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Dr. James W. Reeves became the Dean of Engineering in 1971. He was formally an Associate Professor in the Civil Engineering Department.  He served as Dean from 1971 until 1990. This picture is taken from the  University's 1971 L’Acadien Yearbook.

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The slide rule has a long and distinguished ancestry … from William Oughtred in 1622 to the Apollo missions to the moon ... a span of three and a half centuries … it was used to perform design calculations for virtually all the major structures built on this earth during that long period of our history … an amazing legacy for something so mechanically simple.

Here, Mr. N.E. Jenkins, Professor in Mechanical Engineering, explains the use of the slide rule to his MCHE class.

The slide ruler in this picture has been preserved and is on display in the Huval's Material Testing and Development Lab - Madison Hall, Room 136-C

This picture is taken from the  University's 1973 L’Acadien Yearbook.


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The University’s history with the Baja SAE Series goes all the way back to the beginning, when USL were one of 10 teams competing in the first Mini Baja competition in 1976. The University, then known as USL, hosted the second Mini Baja competition in May 1977.

All student chapters of SAE and ASME received invitations to participate in Mini Baja on a “first-come” basis. The number of entrants was limited to sixteen so that the judging and performance events could be comprehensive. Initially, the entries were slow in arriving due to marginal faculty interest, but when the students learned of the competition, their interest was so significant that all the competition slots were full within two weeks. The competition was a two-day event with the first day dedicated to judging the vehicles on appearance, safety, design, and cost. The second day included all the performance events such as hill climb, draw-bar pull, acceleration, maneuverability, and the 15-mile endurance run.

Picture is from UL Lafayette's collection.


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Pictures of books used in the engineering curriculum in 1979.

This picture is taken from the  University's 1979 L’Acadien Yearbook.


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A CAD/CAM facility added to Madison completed in1986.  This same area was renovated in 2020 and is now Guidry's Material Testing and Development Lab.

This picture is taken from the  University's 1986 L’Acadien Yearbook.


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In 1987, the department of Industrial Technology became part of the College of Engineering moving from the College of Liberal Arts.

Pictured here is Mr. Lawrence Granger overseeing as the lathe spins out a computerized creation in the CAD/CAM laboratory.

This picture is taken from the  University's 1987 L’Acadien Yearbook


Rougeou Hall was named for Clyde L. Rougeou who joined the College of Agriculture faculty in 1937 and then served as the university’s fourth president, 1966-1974.

This picture is taken from the  University's 1988 L’Acadien Yearbook