Linus A. Sims
|Linus Arthur Sims|
September 22, 1882|
Crossville, DeKalb County
|Died||September 15, 1949(aged 66)|
|Resting place||Greenlawn Cemetery in Hammond|
|Alma mater||Louisiana State University|
Founder, Southeastern Louisiana University
|Spouse(s)||Isabel Johnson Sims|
Linus Arthur Sims (September 22, 1882 – September 15, 1949) was an educator and administrator who was the driving force behind the establishment of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. In 1925, Sims created Hammond Junior College, which became the former Southeastern Louisiana College in 1928. In 1970, the institution was declared a university during the administration of Governor John J. McKeithen. During the 1990s, Southeastern was ranked as one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in the United States.
Sims was born in Crossville in DeKalb County in northeastern Alabama to the Methodist minister Levi Copedge Sims and the former Mary Emily Bussey. He was educated in public schools. He attended, first, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and then Methodist-affiliated Centenary College of Louisiana, then in Jackson in East Feliciana Parish. Centenary relocated to Shreveport in 1908. Sims later procured a master's degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Sims himself entered the Methodist ministry in 1907. In 1911, he became a teacher. He married the former Isabel Johnson of Monroe, the seat of Ouachita Parish, in northeastern Louisiana. They had two children, Joseph Arthur Sims, Sr., and Lydel Sims (born 1916). Joseph Sims was a prominent Hammond attorney and politician affiliated with the Long dynasty.
Sims taught in Gonzales in Ascension Parish, Cheneyville in Rapides Parish, Ponchatoula in Tangipahoa Parish and Bogalusa, the seat of Washington Parish. In 1923, he was appointed principal of Hammond High School. Two years later, he established the junior college in one wing of the high school structure. He urged the purchase of a new campus in 1927 and moved the institution to northern Hammond.
In 1933, Sims relocated to Natchitoches in north Louisiana to become the purchasing agent for Northwestern State College. After four years there, he returned to teaching. He was the Hammond postmaster from 1944 until his death in 1949, one week before his 67th birthday.
Sims is interred at Greenlawn Cemetery in Hammond. The Linus A. Sims Memorial Library on the Southeastern campus is named in his honor.
- "Linus Arthur Sims", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 2 (1988), pp. 745–746
- Margaret Smythe, "The Founding of Southeastern Louisiana College"
- Sims obituary, Hammond Vindicator, September 16, 23, 1949