McNeese State University

Kathie Bordelon

ca. 19,20
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Surrounded by live oaks and azaleas, McNeese State University has served Southwest Louisiana for over sixty years. Founded in 1939 by area businessmen and cattlemen, the university has grown and thrived side by side with the city of Lake Charles. Alumni, faculty, staff, and students alike take pride in the heritage of their evolving university, and the city embraces the school as a treasured landmark of the community. McNeese State University began as Lake Charles Junior College, a division of Louisiana State University. Just one year after its inception, the name was changed to John McNeese Junior College in honor of one of the area,s foremost pioneer educators. In 1950 the name was changed to McNeese State College when four-year status was obtained, and university status was achieved in 1970. The campus has enjoyed phenomenal expansion, from its initial three buildings constructed on the site of the town,s Poor Farm to the vibrant and sprawling 68 buildings and over 500 acres it consists of today. Scenes of student life,in classrooms, dormitories, club meetings, and at athletic events,as well as memorable events throughout the course of the school,s history are the focus of this visual journey. Students are pictured during lighter moments, enjoying the camaraderie of their classmates, but their serious side is also displayed during such trials as the disastrous hurricane that forced over 1,000 refugees to shelter on campus and the period during World War II when the campus became the headquarters of the Louisiana Maneuvers. Notable alumni of McNeese State include Dr. Cecil Cyrus Vaughn, a pioneer in cardiovascular medicine and artificial transplant surgery; Sheryl L. Abshire, one of the first five inductees into the National Teacher Hall of Fame and a Christa McAuliffe Fellow; and Andre Dubus, a critically acclaimed writer.

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