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Centenary College of Louisiana

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Title: Centenary College of Louisiana  
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Subject: NAIA national women's gymnastics championship, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women championships, Gold Dome (Centenary), W. Darrell Overdyke
Collection: 1825 Establishments in the United States, Buildings and Structures in Shreveport, Louisiana, Centenary College of Louisiana, Education in Shreveport, Louisiana, Educational Institutions Established in 1825, Liberal Arts Colleges, Liberal Arts Colleges in Louisiana, National Register of Historic Places in Louisiana, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Universities and Colleges Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges in Louisiana
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Centenary College of Louisiana

For other institutions of higher education using the name Centenary College, see Centenary College
Centenary College of Louisiana
Motto Labor Omnia Vincit (Work Conquers All)
Established 1825
Type Private liberal arts
Affiliation United Methodist
Endowment $89.5 million[1]
President B. David Rowe
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 501
Postgraduates 107
Location Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
Campus Urban, 117 acres (162,000 m²)
Colors Maroon & White          
Athletics NCAA Division IIISCAC
Nickname Gentlemen & Ladies
Website .edu.centenarywww

Centenary College of Louisiana is a private, four-year arts and sciences college located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).


  • History 1
  • Campus 2
    • Major buildings 2.1
  • Academics 3
    • Accreditation 3.1
    • Programs 3.2
    • Reputation 3.3
    • Statistics (as of 2013) 3.4
  • Student life 4
    • Greek Life 4.1
    • Living Learning Communities 4.2
    • Fitness and Intramurals 4.3
  • Athletics 5
  • People 6
    • Presidents 6.1
    • Notable alumni 6.2
    • Faculty and staff 6.3
    • Other 6.4
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Centenary College in Jackson, Louisiana, circa 1900

Centenary College of Louisiana is the oldest college in Louisiana and is the nation's oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River.[2] Centenary traces its origins to two earlier institutions. In 1825, the Louisiana state legislature issued a charter for the College of Louisiana in Jackson.[3] Its curriculum included courses in English, French, Greek, Latin, logic, rhetoric, ancient and modern history, mathematics, and natural, moral, and political philosophy.[4] In 1839, the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, established Centenary College, first located in Clinton, Mississippi, then relocated to Brandon Springs.[5] When the College of Louisiana lost the financial support from the state legislature in 1845, Centenary College purchased the facility and moved to Jackson.[6]

Centenary College in Shreveport, circa 1915

In 1846, the college’s trustees changed the institution’s name to Centenary College of Louisiana and adopted the alumni of the two predecessor colleges.[7] During the 1850s, enrollment reached 260, and the college constructed a large central building, which included classrooms, laboratories, literary society rooms, a library, a chapel, offices, and an auditorium with seating for over 2,000 people.[8] This prosperity halted with the American Civil War. Following a meeting on October 7, 1861, the faculty minute book states, “Students have all gone to war. College suspended; and God help the right![9]” During the war, both Confederate and Union troops occupied the campus’s buildings.[10] Centenary reopened in the fall of 1865, though struggled financially through the remainder of the nineteenth century. In 1906, the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, accepted an offer from the Shreveport Progressive League to relocate the college.[11] The Jackson campus now serves as the Centenary State Historic Site operated by the Louisiana Office of State Parks; it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[10]

Centenary opened in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1908. Enrollment and course offerings increased during the 1920s, and Centenary received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1925.[12] During the 1920s and 1930s, the college’s football program earned fame for defeating such teams as Baylor, LSU, Rice, SMU, and Texas A & M.[13] The Centenary College Choir, formed in 1941, began performing throughout the region and eventually expanded to making national as well as international tours.[14] In 1942, Centenary acquired a satellite campus, the former Dodd College, which served as a pre-flight training facility for air force cadets.[15] Following the Second World War, the college undertook many new construction projects – dormitories, a cafeteria, a science building, a religious education center, a chapel, an expanded student center, a library, a theater, and a music building.[16]


Centenary College's campus spans sixty-five acres and is located two miles south of downtown Shreveport. The Dr. Ed Leuck Academic Arboretum, located in the heart of campus, is home to more than 300 species of plant life. [17]

Aboretum Bridge: The Dr. Ed Leuck Academic Arboretum, located in the heart of campus, is home to more than 300 species of plant life.

Major buildings

  • The Anderson Choral Building, named in memory of G. M. “Jake” and Dr. Gertie Anderson, longtime trustees and benefactors of the College, the building houses the Nancy Mikell Carruth Choir Room, the Dr. Alberta E. Broyles Choral Room, and the Harvey and Alberta Broyles Choral Lounge. The Anderson building also contains a soundproof practice room and atrium.[18]
  • The Brown Memorial Chapel was erected in 1955, after a gift was made by the late Paul M. Brown, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, and his brother, Colonel S. Perry Brown, a life member of the Board, in honor of their parents. The Chapel was renovated and rededicated in January 2003 and hosts religious services and special events.[18]
Brown Memorial Chapel
  • Bynum Memorial Commons, the cafeteria, built in 1956, was named in 1974 to honor Robert Jesse Bynum, New Orleans businessman and benefactor of the College.[19] A generous grant from the Frost Foundation funded a 2006 renovation of the entire building, including the Edwin Frost Whited Room and the Centenary Alumni Hall of Fame.
The Centenary Fitness Center provides exercise equipment, two racquetball courts, an aerobics room, a dance studio, an indoor running track, free-weights area, and a 25-yard, six-lane pool.
Mickle Hall: Home of natural and physical science.
  • The Gold Dome, completed in 1971,[20] is a physical education facility. The geodesic dome has a capacity of 3,000 and serves as the home basketball and volleyball court and gymnastics arena. After a recent renovation in 2011, the Gold Dome features a new hardwood painted floor, updated sub-floor electronics, premium seating, and a new Hi-Fi public address system.[21]
  • Hamilton Hall, the administration building completed in 1971, was largely the result of gifts by the late Mr. and Mrs. David Philip Hamilton.[22] Mrs. Hamilton was a trustee of the College and a member of the first Centenary class to graduate in Shreveport.[23]
  • The Hargrove Memorial Amphitheatre was a gift of Mrs. R. H. Hargrove and her children and was built in memory of her husband, Mr. Reginald H. Hargrove. It is used for convocations, plays, and concerts.
  • The Meadows Museum of Art, established in 1975, was created from the gift of Centenary alumnus Algur H. Meadows. After donating 360 works by the French artist Jean Despujols, Meadows also provided funding to renovate the former administrative building into a museum. The museum's permanent collection now includes around 1500 works by various artists and regularly hosts exhibits that aim to educate students and the public on the importance of art.[24]


Centenary is a selective liberal arts college with 22 majors in the arts and sciences, numerous academic concentrations, a variety of pre-professional programs, and two graduate programs.


Centenary College of Louisiana is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelors’ and masters’ degrees. The College also maintains membership in the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the American Association of University Women, the Conference of Louisiana Colleges and Universities, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Institute of International Education, the Louisiana Academy of Science, the Association of Departments of English of the Modern Language Association, the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages of the Modern Language Association, the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, the Associated Colleges of the South, and the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Centenary College is a participant in the Common Application Program. The music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.



Bachelor of Arts: Studio Arts, Art History & Visual Studies, Biology, Communication, Economics, English, French, Geology, History, Individualized Major, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Theatre.

Bachelor of Science: Biochemistry, Biology, Biophysics, Business Administration, Chemistry, Geology, Individualized Major, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Psychology. B.S., B.A. combined degree in Engineering.

Pre-Professional Programs

Christian Leadership Center, Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Mathematics, Medical Technology, Medicine/Pre-medicine, Museum Management, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Veterinary Medicine

Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration


University rankings
Forbes[25] 434
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[26] 148
Washington Monthly[27] 133

In 2013 Princeton Review named Centenary one of the “Best 376 Colleges” and “Best Southeastern Colleges," putting the College in the top 15% of all four-year colleges in the country.[28] recognized Centenary as one of "America's Best Colleges" overall, “Best Private Colleges,” and “Best Colleges in the South,” and awarded an "A" grade for financial fitness.[29] U.S. News & World Report placed the College in Tier One of its annual National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings.[30] Other accolades include recognition for community service [31][32] and financial sustainability.[33]

Statistics (as of 2013)

Total Enrollment: 583

Full-time Undergraduate Enrollment: 510 (fall, 2014)

Student/Faculty Ratio: 9:1

Men/Women Ratio: 44/56

Louisiana Residents: 63%

Minority Students: 30%

States Represented: 27

Countries Represented: 8

First Year Students: 140

ACT (Middle 50%): 22-28

Average Core High School GPA: 3.52

Student life

Centenary puts emphasis on co-curricular activities and gives its students an unlimited number of opportunities on and off campus from Greek life to student media, and service to politics.

Greek Life

The Greek social organizations at Centenary College are four national fraternities:Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Theta Chi; and two national sororities: Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha. In addition to encouraging academic excellence, the Greek system provides opportunities to form lifelong friendships, develop leadership skills, and participate in community service projects and social activities.

Living Learning Communities

Centenary students are working to address some of the 21st Century’s greatest challenges through Living Learning Communities.

LLC students join with a team of faculty, professionals, and community members to "identify a problem, understand it, and take steps to overcome it." To be effective, students work together to employ the wide range of skills and knowledge provided by a Centenary liberal-arts education. Taking responsibility for all stages of their project, students step beyond the classroom to engage community members, government officials, and anyone else who can help them complete their work.

Current Communities:

  • Le Quartier Français — immersion in the French language experience
  • GreenHouse — seeking sustainability in the community
  • Santé — partnering with the community to improve the health of some of the least advantaged people
  • Node — engaging technology to produce social change


Fitness and Intramurals

The Centenary Fitness Center contains a basketball/volleyball court, a 6 lane 25 yard swimming pool, an indoor track, an exercise area with weight machines and cardiovascular equipment, an aerobic room, a dance studio, and two racquetball courts. The center offers exercise classes, such as spinning, abs, yoga, and Pilates. There is also a 52’ climbing tower outside the fitness center.

Intramural activities are offered through the fitness center. Some of the sports the students participate in are flag football, bowling, outdoor soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, racquetball, and swimming.


The geodesic Gold Dome houses Centenary basketball, volleyball and gymnastics.
Shehee Stadium for baseball is named for Shreveport businessman William Peyton Shehee, Jr. (1919-2004), husband of Virginia Shehee.

Centenary is currently a member of the NCAA Division III's Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC),[35] having moved from the American Southwest Conference (ASC)[36] after the 2011–12 academic year. Prior to July 2011, the college was a member of The Summit League in NCAA Division I.[37]

The first official records of athletic teams at Centenary College are to be found in the 1908-1909 college catalog and the November 1909 issue of the Maroon and White, a monthly publication edited by the students.[38]

Centenary fields 17 intercollegiate athletic teams including baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, and tennis for men; and basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball for women.

The school is well known for its basketball prominence in the late 1970s being the college for NBA great Robert Parish, and golf ability—in the early 1980s PGA Tour golfer Hal Sutton played there.

U.S. Olympics Women's Gymnastics Coach (Tokyo, 1964) Vannie Edwards coached the Centenary women's gymnastics team from 1964 to 1968 and again from 1977 to 1985. Coach Edwards was also the team manager for the U.S. Olympics Women's Gymnastics teams in 1968 (Mexico City) and 1972 (Munich). He was inducted into the U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1986.[39]

Centenary fielded college football teams until 1941, including undefeated seasons in 1927 and 1932. The Centenary football team was discontinued for the duration of World War II due to budget deficits, and declining fan interest. An attempt to reinstate the football program was halted in 1947.[38]

The school sport's nickname is the Gents; the women's sports' nickname is the Ladies. Prior to adopting the Gents nickname, Centenary's football team was known as the Old Ironsides and had a reputation as a fearsome and powerful team with a penchant for playing rough. To clean up their image, they selected the Gents nickname.

In 2013, the Centenary Gents baseball team won the SCAC regular season. It was the school's first regular season championship in any sport since 1988.



College of Louisiana (Jackson, LA)

Centenary College (Brandon Springs, MS)

Centenary College of Louisiana (Jackson, LA)

Centenary College of Louisiana (Shreveport, LA)

Notable alumni

Faculty and staff



  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Centenary State Historic Site". LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE RECREATION AND TOURISM. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 3. 
  4. ^ Fay, Edwin Whitfield (1898). The History of Education in Louisiana. Washington: Government Print. p. 46. 
  5. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 23. 
  6. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 20. 
  7. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 27. 
  8. ^ Lowrey, Walter McGehee (1975). Centenary College of Louisiana: Sesquicentennial, 1825-1975. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 5. 
  9. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 38. 
  10. ^ a b "Centenary State Historic Site". Louisiana Office of State Parks. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. pp. 74–81. 
  12. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 95. 
  13. ^ Sloane, Bentley (2000). Glory Years of Football, Centenary College of Louisiana, 1922-1942. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. 
  14. ^ "History of the Choir". Centenary College of Louisiana. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 124. 
  16. ^ Lowrey, Walter McGehee (1975). Centenary College of Louisiana: Sesquicentennial, 1825-1975. Shreveport, La: Centenary College Alumni Association. p. 25. 
  17. ^ "Arb Net: The Interactive Community of Arboreta". Featured Arboreta. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Centenary College Academic Catalogue (PDF). 2013. p. 9. 
  19. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 143. 
  20. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 161. 
  21. ^ "Facilities". GoCentenary. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  22. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 198. 
  23. ^ Centenary College Academic Catalogue. 2013. p. 9. 
  24. ^ Morgan, Lee (2008). Centenary College of Louisiana, 1825-2000 : the biography of an American academy. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College of Louisiana Press. p. 205. 
  25. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  27. ^ "The Washington Monthly Liberal Arts Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  28. ^ Centenary recognized among top 15 percent of all U.S. colleges
  29. ^ Centenary scores top financial marks in Forbes national ranking
  30. ^ Centenary named Tier One for third straight year
  31. ^ Washington Monthly Recognizes Centenary's Contribution to the Public Good
  32. ^ Centenary named to 2013 President's Community Service Honor Roll
  33. ^ Centenary Heralds Financial Sustainability Marks
  34. ^ "Living Learning Center". Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  35. ^ Centenary College to Join Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
  36. ^ Watson, Jimmy (June 30, 2011). "Centenary officially enters the ASC".  
  37. ^ Centenary Approved for NCAA Division III Reclassification
  38. ^ a b "The Glory Years of Football:Centenary College of Louisiana 1922-1942". Internet Archive.  
  39. ^ Vannie Edards Biography, USGHOF
  40. ^ "This Is Centenary: Alumni News". March 1942. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  41. ^ "James L. Cathey, Jr.". findagrave. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  42. ^ J. Cleveland Fruge (1971). "Biographies of Louisiana Judges: Judge William J. Fleniken". Louisiana District Judges Association. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Funeral for Pike Hall at 11 A.M. Today – Prominent Attorney, Civic Leader Succumbs After Brief Illness".  
  44. ^ "Patrick Williams". Retrieved April 23, 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Centenary College Athletics website
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