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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Northwestern State University, often called NSU, is a public four-year university primarily situated in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with a nursing campus in Shreveport and general campuses in Leesville/Fort Polk and Alexandria. It is a part of the University of Louisiana System.
NSU was founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School to train teachers. NSU was the first school in Louisiana to offer degree programs in nursing and business education. It gained university status in 1970 during the administration of President Arnold R. Kilpatrick, a Northwestern alumnus who served from 1966-1978.
NSU was one of the first six colleges to enter into NASA's Joint Venture Program ("JOVE"). Students work with NASA scientists to help analyze data and do research for Nasa and the 1996 Space Shuttle Columbia shuttle mission.
NSU also hosts Louisiana's designated honors college in the liberal arts and sciences, called the Louisiana Scholars' College. The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is also located on the campus. It was a brainchild of former State Representative Jimmy D. Long of Natchitoches, who also attended NSU.
NSU currently offers more than 50 degree programs and complete accreditation of all of its accreditable degree programs. Fall 2005 total enrollment was 9,847, a decline from Fall 2004's record enrollment of 10,546 that university administrators said was due to the application and enforcement of new admissions standards[1]. NSU also claims more than 70,000 alumni.
Its student-run weekly newspaper, The Current Sauce, was founded in 1914. Its annual student-run yearbook is called The Potpourri. There is also a student-run radio station, KNWD The Demon 91.7FM, and a faculty-administrated and student-operated local television station, NSU22.
NSU's literary magazine is called The Argus. It is student-run and published during the spring semester. The magazine content is provided by competitions in various fields of writing and artwork.
Singer-songwriter Jim Croce died in a plane crash hours after finishing a 1973 concert on the NSU campus.
A.A. Fredericks was president of NSU from 1934-1941. He was later a member of the Louisiana State Senate and the private secretary on two occasions to Governor Earl Kemp Long. Fredericks obtained his teaching credentials from Northwestern "Normal" in 1912. The A.A. Fredericks Auditorium on campus commemorates his memory.
Eugene P. Watson of Natchitoches, for whom the NSU library is named, was head librarian and professor of library science from 1940 until his death in 1964. He founded Alpha Beta Alpha, the national library science fraternity. The group held its first biennial convention on the NSU campus in 1952.

Notable alumni
Northwestern State University stands on ground that has been dedicated to learning for well over a hundred years. Prior to the American Civil War, a portion of the present campus was the property of the Bullard family of Natchitoches. As early as 1856, the Bullard mansion was in use as a convent by the Religious Society of the Sacred Heart. The following year a school building was erected at the convent and in 1884 the town and parish of Natchitoches purchased the property. Three of the four great white columns that once supported the east gable of the mansion still stand on "The Hill" and serve as the unofficial symbols of the university. The campus, developed upon rolling hills and high river bottomland, is acknowledged to be one of the most spacious and attractive in the South. The natural beauty of the site drew people to it even in prehistoric times. Long the home of a major Indian tribe for which it was named, the French fortified Natchitoches in 1714 as an outpost of their New World Empire facing Spanish Texas to the west.
In 1884, the state Legislature by Act 51 created the Louisiana State Normal School for the preparation of teachers. Shortly after, a member of the Legislature, Leopold Caspari, offered the convent site as a campus for the school with the anticipated approval of the citizens of Natchitoches. The offer was accepted, and from 1885 to 1918 the Normal School offered two years of study for the training of teachers. Baccalaureate programs were inaugurated, and the State Constitution, adopted in 1921, changed the name of the school to Louisiana State Normal College. The resources and curricula of "Normal" grew steadily to meet the increasingly diverse requirements of Louisiana's expanding population. In 1944, the institution's excellent service in its broader role was accorded formal recognition by Act 326 of the Legislature, which changed its name to Northwestern State College of Louisiana.
Northwestern maintained and strengthened its long tradition of leadership in public service and academic endeavor and became, in 1954, the first college under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Board of Education to offer the Master's degree. The Specialist in Education degree was first offered in 1966 and the Doctor of Philosophy in Education degrees were authorized in 1967. On June 18, 1970, Governor John J. McKeithen signed a legislative act that brought the old campus its greatest distinction, changing its title to Northwestern State University of Louisiana. In 1980, the old campus quadrangle where the columns stand was entered into the National Register of Historic Places under the title "Normal Hill Historic District."
Although primarily a regional institution, Northwestern also offers an opportunity for education at other satellite locations, including Leesville, Shreveport, and Alexandria. In addition to academics, these centers are also developing student life programs. The Nursing Education Center, located in Shreveport, provides the educational environment for nursing majors enrolled in clinical courses as well as general education courses. The Center houses departments administering masters, baccalaureate and associate degree programs. The campus includes state-of-the-art academic facilities, office space for faculty and staff, a bookstore, and facilities for activities and organizations. Excerpt from University Student Handbook

Northwestern State University History
Isabella was a young French maiden, renowned for her beauty, who once lived in the original Bullard mansion after the Bullards were gone. The young lady had many suitors but preferred the company of a young man from the East, sent to Louisiana on business. They fell in love and were to be married. Shortly before the wedding date arrived, the young man was killed in a duel. Legend has it that the duel concerned a dispute over another woman.
Isabella, overcome by grief, became a nun, and the French maiden's beauty wasted away through constant mourning of her intended. Everyone believed she had gone mad from grief and mourning. One stormy night she ended her mourning by plunging a dagger into her heart. Soon after she was found dead in her room, with a bloody handprint on the wall.
Her spirit roamed Bullard mansion until it was torn down. Since then she has roamed various buildings on campus. She lived in East Hall until it was torn down in 1932. This was evidenced by the eyewitness accounts of girls who lived in East Hall. From there, Isabella's spirit moved to the Music Hall and resided there until 1946 then that building was also torn down. Just before the Music Hall was dismantled, a group of young men, dressed in sheets, coaxed Isabella from the doomed building.
From there she wandered aimlessly around campus from building to building (including East Varnado) for almost three years, until, becoming weary, she chose Caldwell Hall as her next residence. Speculation has it that Caldwell was chosen because of its close proximity to the original Bullard dwelling. According to newspaper articles, the official date of the move was January 15, 1949. Reportedly a letter from the ghost was found on the steps of Caldwell along with a few drops of blood.
Isabella's current residence is the Old Women's Gym located on College Avenue beside Varnado Hall. When Caldwell Hall burned in October 1982, a group of 750 students gathered and performed a ceremony on Halloween night that aided Isabella in her transition to her present location.

The Legend of Isabella
On November 8, 1922, by proclamation of President V. L. Roy and Coach H. Lee Prather, all athletic teams became known as the Demons. The name was decided upon by a contest open to all students with a grand prize of $10. A committee was appointed by the President to narrow down the names submitted by the student body. The final selection was decided by a vote of the students. The two most popular choices were Braves and Demons. Among other names submitted by students were Sharks, Daredevils, Musketeers, Pelicans, Prather's Ground Hogs, Bloodhounds, Cyclops and Serpents. The official winners were Aileen Ritter and Truett Scarborough.
On September 22, 1984, the Demon received his official given name by means of another contest sponsored by the Athletic Department. The contest was open to faculty, staff, and students. The objective: to find a name for the Demon. Over 300 entries were submitted to the committee. The grand prize was an all expense paid weekend at the Louisiana State Fair Classic. Ray Carney, an alumnus of the university, was the official winner with "Vic," which is short for "Victory".

Vic the Demon
In recent years, Chaplin's Lake, which is an oxbow of the Red River, has been home to sporadic anaconda or python encounters. It has been surmised the reptiles might have been pets kept by students in the adjacent fraternity house or Natchitoches residents living on the other side of the lake. Doubt has also been expressed that these sightings might be alcohol-fueled figments of the student population's imagination. It has been speculated that the sightings might actually be misidentified alligator or nutria. The sightings have failed to deter the university rowing team from using the lake. However, use by the general student population has declined in recent years.

Don't Go in the Water
NSU's athletic teams go by the Demons, with women's athletic teams generally called the Lady Demons, and its mascot is Vic the Demon. The school competes in the Southland Conference. NSU is rivaled by Stephen F. Austin State University
"Fork 'em" is a hand gesture and slogan used by students at Northwestern State University in their celebration of sports teams. The gesture is performed by curling the ring and middle fingers under the thumb against the palm, and extending the pinky and index fingers – identical in fashion to the University of Texas "Hook 'em Horns" gesture.
On March 17, 2006, NSU's 14th-seeded basketball team shocked the college basketball world by defeating 3rd-seeded and Big Ten Conference tournament champion Iowa in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on a late three-pointer by Jermaine Wallace. NSU was the lowest-seeded team to advance to the second round in 2006. NSU's men's basketball team also won the inaugural play-in game, beating the Winthrop University Eagles 71-67 in 2001 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament [2].
Prominent athletic alumni include former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, former Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe Delaney, former NFL Rookie of the Year John Stephens, former Houston Oilers wide receiver Charlie Hennigan, and Major League Baseball pitcher Brian Lawrence.
The NSU athletic offices are housed in the George Doherty Wing, named for George Doherty (1920-1987), a former head football coach of the Demons.

Each season, Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, Texas) and Northwestern State play for the country's largest football trophy. In 1961, longtime rivals SFA and Northwestern State decided to award the winner of the game a trophy, the game was won by Northwestern State University. According to the stipulations of that particular match, the loser would have to present the winner with a tree chopped down from a nearby forest.
In March 1962, the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, presented NSU with a black gum tree trunk from the SFA campus from which a statue was to be carved. The black gum tree weighed over a ton and was thirty inches in diameter. An Indian statue, Chief Caddo, was chosen because of the historic founding of Natchitoches, Louisiana and Nacogdoches, Texas by Indian tribes. Natchitoches means chinquapin eaters and Nacogdoches means persimmon eaters. It was carved by Harold Greene in Logansport and required over 200 hours of labor. The name "Chief Caddo" was selected in honor of the ancient federation of Caddo Indian tribes, which once inhabited the northern Louisiana area. The final painting of the statue was done at Northwestern. The finished product stands around 7.5 feet tall and weighs about 320 pounds. The first game for Chief Caddo was September 15, 1962. Northwestern won 23-6. Tradition has it that the winner of the annual NSU and SFA football game keeps Chief Caddo on their respective campus. Currently, Chief Caddo is the largest college football trophy in the nation.
As of the November 17, 2007 meeting of the two teams, Chief Caddo resides at Northwestern State University. The final score was 31-12, NSU.

Chief Caddo
Go ye Demons take the field. Northwestern Demons never yield. So, fight Demons win tonight, victory is on our side! Go! Fight! Win! Purple and white shall ever reign, filling the air with battle strain. So, Demons forever stand and fight for dear old Demonland.
Fight Song

Greek Life


Delta Zeta 1927 (closed since 1985)
Sigma Sigma Sigma 1928
Alpha Sigma Alpha 1930-1971; reinstalled 2002
Alpha Gamma Delta 1959 (closed since 1963)
Sigma Kappa 1959 (closed since 1995)
Phi Mu 1968
Alpha Omicron Pi 1997 National Panhellenic Conference Affiliates

Alpha Kappa Alpha 1973
Sigma Gamma Rho
Delta Sigma Theta
Zeta Phi Beta 1974 National Pan-Hellenic Council Affiliates

Sigma Alpha Iota 1950
Tau Beta Sigma 1987 Northwestern State University Music Sororities

National Pan-Hellenic Council Affiliates

Pi Kappa Phi 1956
Tau Kappa Epsilon 1957
Kappa Alpha Order 1963
Kappa Sigma 1966
Theta Chi 1973
Sigma Nu 1997
Delta Upsilon (closed 2004)
Sigma Tau Gamma 1929 (closed 1991) Music Fraternities
The Lady of the Bracelet pageant (commonly referred to as LOB) is a long-standing competition which scholarships are awarded to female students. The first place winner of the pageant is awarded the title of "Lady of the Bracelet" for one year.
The program is under the direction of the Director of Student Activities and the Assistant Director of Student Activities of Northwestern State Universtity. Contestants compete in several categories including interview, evening wear, and swimsuit competition. In addition to being bestowed the title of "Lady of the Bracelet" for the following year, the first place contestant receives a full scholarship and goes on to compete in the Miss Louisiana pageant, which can ultimately result in a berth to the Miss America pageant. It is traditionally held during on the first Friday in February.
In the early 1920s, the Potpourri, Northwestern's yearbook, sponsored the first beauty pageant held on the university campus. The contestants were selected from photographs submitted to well-known producers for judgment and were chosen for their charm and beauty. In 1958, Miss Kahne Dipola was crowned the first Miss Lady of the Bracelet and she received a gold bracelet to wear when she represented the university in public. Over the years, the bracelet has been passed down to each holder of the title.
Through the efforts of Mr. Robert W. Wilson, Sr., the Student Union Governing Board purchased the first franchise from the Miss Louisiana Pageant in 1971, enabling Northwestern's Lady of the Bracelet to enter the state contest. The Student Activities Board, formerly the Student Union Governing Board, has continued the tradition of sponsoring the Lady of the Bracelet Pageant for the enjoyment of the Northwestern community. The Lady of the Bracelet pageant has gained state recognition for production, scholarship, and quality of contestants.

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