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Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) was founded as a branch unit of Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College in Baton Rouge (SUBR) on September 4, 1956.
On September 21, 1959, SUNO opened its doors on a 17-acre site located in historic Pontchartrain Park, a subdivision of primarily African American single-family residents in eastern New Orleans.
Established as an open community of learners, classes began with 158 freshmen, one building, and a motivated faculty of 15. The University offered 10 courses in four academic disciplines: Humanities, Science, Social Science, and Commerce.
Today, SUNO serves as a beacon for those looking for educational advancement in an environment that provides the personal attention students need for success.
Suno continues its legacy as one of America’s premier institutions of higher learning and to graduate students ready to contribute to the city and nation.
Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) is a public historically black university located in the Gentilly area of New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1956, SUNO has a rich history of perseverance and dedication to providing higher education opportunities for African American students in the Gulf Coast region.
The idea for SUNO began to take shape in the 1940s, when local black leaders began advocating for a public college for African American students in New Orleans. At the time, segregation was still the norm in Louisiana, and black students were denied access to many of the state's public universities.
Despite these obstacles, a group of community activists, led by attorney A.P. Tureaud, continued to push for the establishment of a black college in New Orleans. Their efforts finally paid off in 1956, when the Louisiana Legislature approved the creation of Southern University at New Orleans.
SUNO opened its doors to students in the fall of 1959, with an initial enrollment of just over 160 students. The university's first president, Dr. Felton G. Clark, was a dynamic leader who worked tirelessly to build the institution's academic programs and facilities.
In the early years, SUNO faced many challenges. The university struggled with limited funding and a shortage of qualified faculty and staff. But despite these obstacles, the institution persevered, thanks in large part to the dedication of its students and faculty.
Over the years, SUNO continued to expand its academic programs and facilities. The university added new buildings, including a library, student center, and science building, and developed a wide range of degree programs, including business, education, and nursing.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, SUNO faced perhaps its greatest challenge yet. The storm devastated much of New Orleans, including the university's campus, which suffered extensive damage.
But once again, SUNO proved its resilience. The university's faculty and staff worked tirelessly to rebuild the campus and restore its academic programs. Thanks to their efforts, SUNO reopened its doors just two months after the storm, and has continued to thrive in the years since.
Today, SUNO remains an important institution of higher learning in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. The university continues to provide educational opportunities for African American students, and has expanded its mission to serve a diverse student body from all backgrounds.
In recognition of its contributions to higher education and the community, SUNO has received numerous accolades over the years. In 2016, the university was ranked among the top 10 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
As SUNO approaches its 70th anniversary, it remains a testament to the resilience and perseverance of its founders, faculty, staff, and students. The university's rich history is a source of inspiration for all who seek to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams.