University of New Orleans

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Not to be confused with New Orleans University.
The University of New Orleans
UNO University Center Front.JPG
UNO University Center
Former names
Louisiana State University in New Orleans (LSUNO)[1]
Established 1958[1]
Type Public
President Peter J. Fos
Provost James E. Payne
Administrative staff
Students 9,216[3]
Undergraduates 7,137[3]
Postgraduates 2,079[3]
Location New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
30°01′39″N 90°04′02″W / 30.0275°N 90.0671°W / 30.0275; -90.0671Coordinates: 30°01′39″N 90°04′02″W / 30.0275°N 90.0671°W / 30.0275; -90.0671
Campus Urban
195 acres (0.79 km2; 0.305 sq mi)[2]
Colors Reflex Blue & Silver[2]
Athletics NCAA Division ISouthland
Nickname Privateers
Mascot Lafitte, an alligator
Pierre the Pirate
Affiliations UL System
Urban 13/GCU

The University of New Orleans, often referred to locally as UNO, is a medium-sized public urban university located on the New Orleans Lakefront within New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It is a member of the University of Louisiana System and the Urban 13 association. In the fall of 2011 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges gave approval for the University of New Orleans to join the University of Louisiana System, concluding the five-month transition from the LSU System since ACT 419 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Regular Session was signed into law in July 2011. Soon after the transition was approved, the UNO Presidential Search Committee selected UNO alumnus Peter J. Fos (Class of 1972) as president.


The University of New Orleans was legally established by the Louisiana Legislature in 1956 as a branch campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The university was built on New Orleans' lakefront when the U.S. Navy relocated Naval Air Station New Orleans. The Orleans Levee Board leased the closed base to the LSU Board of Supervisors. The renovation went quicker than expected, allowing Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, or LSUNO for short, to open for classes in 1958, two years ahead of schedule. It was originally reckoned as an offsite department of the main campus in Baton Rouge, and as such its chief administrative officer was originally called a dean (1958-1961), then a vice president in charge (1961-1963). In 1963, the LSU System of Higher Education was established and UNO became a separate campus in that system. To signify that it was now a co-equal institution with LSU, its chief executive's title was changed from "vice president in charge" to "chancellor." After a decade of growth, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved a name change to the current University of New Orleans. Nearly fifty years later, in 2011, the University of New Orleans officially became part of the University of Louisiana system, and its chief executive's title was changed to "president."[4]

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

On August 29, 2005, the University suffered damage due to Hurricane Katrina. The main campus is on relatively high ground and the damage was caused mostly by winds, rain-driven-water, and human activity during the storm. (The University was used as an evacuation point and staging area by the National Guard.) A levee breach on the London Avenue Canal occurred just a few blocks south of the main campus and caused the flooding of the first floor of the Bienville Hall dormitories, the Lafitte Village couples apartments, and the Engineering Building.

UNO was the first of the large, damaged universities in New Orleans to re-open, albeit virtually, by using web-based courses starting in October 2005.[5] The university was able to offer classes in the fall semester immediately following Hurricane Katrina at satellite campuses; the main campus re-opened in December 2005.

Hurricane Katrina reduced enrollments at all colleges in New Orleans, but the University of New Orleans was particularly hard hit. This echoed the damage to New Orleans as a whole, since UNO serves as a leader in educating students from New Orleans. Since the hurricane, the student enrollment is on a steady increase toward pre-Katrina numbers. In 2011, State Senator Conrad Appel of Jefferson Parish, with the support of Governor Bobby Jindal, tried to combine UNO with the historically black Southern University at New Orleans as a way to save higher education dollars. His plan was withdrawn in both houses of the legislature because of a lack of support from his colleagues.

Student life[edit]


There are more than 120 registered clubs and organizations active at UNO, including 15 fraternities and sororities.[6] UNO Student Government, is the official student government association. Registered organizations are separated into categories of either religious, honorary, political, professional, social, service, organizations, or special interests.


Driftwood is the UNO weekly newspaper and is published every Thursday.[7] UNO also owns and operates WWNO, a local radio station.[8] WWNO began transmitting in 1972.[8]

Greek life[edit]

The Greek community at The University of New Orleans is composed of 16 organizations, governed by three councils.[9]

Panhellenic Association[10] National Pan-Hellenic Council[11] Interfraternity Council[12]


University rankings
Forbes[13] 571
U.S. News & World Report[14] RNP
Washington Monthly[15] 269

UNO has five colleges: College of Business Administration, College of Education and Human Development, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, and College of Sciences. The university also offers a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.


The university has four campuses in the New Orleans metropolitan area.


Lafitte the InstiGator, the university's official mascot, at a campus parade.

The University of New Orleans currently has 14 varsity sports teams, and is a Division I member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). UNO originally attempted to reclassify to Division II's Gulf South Conference.[16] On February 1, 2011, Provost Joe King submitted the Division II proposal to the LSU Board of Supervisors.[17] Previously, UNO competed at the Division II level from 1969-1975.[18] On March 9, 2012, New University President Peter J. Fos announced that UNO plans to remain a member of NCAA Division I, with potential homes being the Sun Belt or Southland Conference.[19] On August 21, 2012, UNO announced that it would be joining the Southland Conference, effective the 2013-2014 academic year.[20]


  • Baseball
  • Men's and Women's Basketball
  • Men's Golf
  • Men's and Women's Cross Country
  • Men's and Women's Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Men's and Women's Track & Field
  • Women's Sand Volleyball (Added Fall 2014)

Fight Song[edit]

The official fight song of The University of New Orleans is "Let's hear it for UNO."[21] The song was adopted after a competition in 1981. The winner was Lois Ostrolenk.[21] Before this, the melody from William Tell Overture was used. A variation of the overture is still played to honor this tradition.[21]

Club Sports[edit]

The University of New Orleans has many club sports provided by the Department of Recreation and Intramural Sports. Club sports are available to all UNO students who have an interest. Active club sports as of Fall 2013:

  • Cricket
  • Sailing
  • Kendo
  • Table Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Rugby
  • Men's Volleyball
  • Sportsman/Fishing

Research and Technology Park[edit]

The University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park.

The University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park is a research park whose tenants collaborate with the University to conduct research, provide training, and create education opportunities.[22] Tenants have many university services provided to them, such as child services, the university library and recreational facilities.[23]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Polly Thomas, Education Professor and perennial candidate for the District 9 seat in the Louisiana State Senate
  • Philip James DeVries, Biology Professor, MacArthur Fellow and Guggenheim Fellow, among other honors.
  • Stephen E. Ambrose (January 10, 1936 – October 13, 2002) was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. He was a longtime professor of history at the University of New Orleans and the author of many best selling volumes of American popular history.[27]
  • Joseph Logsdon, American historian.
  • Allan R. Millett, American historian.


  1. ^ a b "History of The University of New Orleans". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  2. ^ a b c "Fast Facts". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  3. ^ a b c "Preliminary Headcount Enrollment Summary". Louisiana Board of Regents. September 25, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-20. 
  4. ^ "History". University of New Orleans. 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ University of New Orleans reopens online - Networks - Breaking Business and Technology News at
  6. ^ "Student Organizations". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  7. ^ "Driftwood". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  8. ^ a b "History of WWNO". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  9. ^ "Greek Life". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  10. ^ "Panhellenic Association". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  11. ^ "Panhellenic Association". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  12. ^ "Interfraternity Council". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  13. ^ "America's Top Colleges". LLC™. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  15. ^ "About the Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  16. ^ Jacob Carpenter (2011-02-05). "Gulf South Conference could add University of New Orleans to fold". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  17. ^ "UNO Submits NCAA Division II Proposal to LSU Board". 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  18. ^ "New Orleans plans reclassification to Division II". 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  19. ^ "UNO remains Division I". 
  20. ^ "New Orleans Privateers will join Southland". August 21, 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c "University of New Orleans: 1958 - 2008". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  22. ^ "Who we are". Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  23. ^ "Opportunities". Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  24. ^ "Tony Guarisco". Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Stokes & Associates, Inc.". Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Wally Whitehurst". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  27. ^ Stephen E. Ambrose

External links[edit]