Southern University is a historically black university with a main campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Originally founded in 1880 in New Orleans as Southern University in New Orleans, it began its mission of providing post-secondary education for African Americans with 12 students and 5 faculty members. In 1890 the school’s name was changed to Southern University, and in 1892 it was recognized as a land grant college. In 1912 the school awarded its first baccalaureate degree, and in 1914 the campus was moved to the state capitol in Baton Rouge.
The new campus in Baton Rouge included 884 acres of land, which now supports the Agricultural Experiment Farm, the site of the school’s agricultural teaching and research programs. Other programs at this campus include arts and humanities, home economics, business, education, law, nursing, public policy and urban affairs, the sciences, and Army and Navy ROTC. In 2009 the Baton Rouge campus had 10,300 students. This campus focuses on research and classic liberal arts training for students to prepare them for careers.
The Southern University System also includes another four-year campus in New Orleans, a two-year campus in Shreveport, and a law school in Baton Rouge. The four campuses were united as a system in 1975 by the state legislature, creating the largest historically black university in the United States. The combined enrollment of the four campuses in 2009 was 16,229.
During the civil rights movement, Southern University, Baton Rouge was a focus for student protests. On November 16, 1972, two students were shot and killed by police who were trying to remove them from an administration building that protesters had occupied. Although this happened only two years after the Kent State shootings, the Southern University shootings received much less media attention.
Southern University, New Orleans (SUNO) was established in 1956 and is one of the first historically black schools to be established after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision which