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Louisiana Tech University was founded in July of 1894 when Act Number 68 of the General Assembly of Louisiana was passed establishing a "first-class Industrial Institute and College for the education of the children of the State of Louisiana in arts and sciences."  This would become the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana with Col. Arthur T. Prescott presiding as the first president.  A single building, known as Old Main, housed the institution on 20 acres of land donated by the city of Ruston. The two story brick building consisted of eight classrooms, two offices, one lab and an auditorium.  Classes began on September 23, 1895 with six faculty members and 202 students each paying five dollars per semester for classes.  Harry Howard was the first graduate in 1897 receiving a Bachelors of Industry degree.

In 1921, Tech began offering its first Bachelors of Science degree in Engineering.  That same year, the Constitutional Convention met to change the name of the college to Louisiana Polytechnic Institute.  In 1922, L.P.I. began offering Bachelor of Arts degrees in Business, Education, and Home Economics.

On June 23, 1970, Governor John J. McKeithen signed a bill renaming the institution Louisiana Tech University in an effort to better reflect the University's mission and various academic programs.



Arthur T. Prescott (1895-1899)

W. C. Robinson (1900-1901)

James B. Aswell (1900-1904)

W. E. Taylor (1904-1905)

C. E. Byrd (1906-1907)

John Keeny (1908-1926)

John R. Conniff (1927-1928)

George W. Bond (1929-1936)

Edwin Richardson (1936-1941)

Claybrook Cottingham (1941-1949)

Ralph Ropp (1950-1962)

F. Jay Taylor (1962-1987)

Dan Reneau (1988-present)



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