Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, generally known as Louisiana State University or LSU, is a public, coeducational, Level l Research University located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the main campus of the Louisiana State University System. LSU includes nine senior colleges and three schools, in addition to specialized centers, divisions, institutes, and offices. Enrollment stands at more than 32,000 students, and there are 1,300 full-time faculty members.
The LSU main campus occupies a 650-acre (2.6 km²) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River; overall, LSU is located on 2,000 acres (8.1 km²) of land just south of downtown Baton Rouge. The campus boasts more than 250 principal buildings. Many of the buildings are built in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and are marked by red pantiled roofs, overhanging eaves, rolling arches, and honey-colored stucco. Most were built between 1925 and 1940. Thomas Gaines' The Campus as a Work of Art praises LSU's landscaping as "a botanical joy" and lists it among the 20 best campuses in America. The live oak trees on campus have been valued at $36 million. Through the LSU Foundation's "Endow an Oak" program, individuals or groups are able to endow live oaks across campus.
Other campuses in the LSU system include the LSU Agricultural Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, University of New Orleans, LSU Shreveport, LSU at Eunice, LSU Alexandria, and the LSU Health Sciences Centers: LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans (LSU School of Dentistry, which is a part of LSUHSC NO is one of the few dental schools in the United States to have its own separate campus), Health Care Services Division (Public Hospital System), and LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. In addition, LSU owns and operates the J. Bennett Johnston, Sr. Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), which is a 1.3 GeV synchrotron radiation facility.
Several LSU buildings, including the Student Union and the Pennington Research Center, were designed by the Baton Rouge architect John Desmond, who also taught architecture part-time at LSU.
LSU, with school colors purple and gold, is a member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the Southeastern Conference. It fields teams in 20 varsity sports (9 men's, 11 women's). The school colors of purple and gold originated from the city's Mardi Gras tradition. Yellow, purple, and green are the official colors of the celebration; Tulane took the traditions remaining color, green, as their official color.Its official team nickname is the Fighting Tigers; and Lady Tigers for women's teams that have a male counterpart (the term "Bayou Bengals" is also heard at times, but not officially recognized). LSU's mascot refers to its Confederate heritage, drawing from the fame of two Louisiana brigades whose fierce fighting earned them the nickname "the Louisiana Tigers." Based on winning percentage, the University's athletics program is consistently one of the best in the nation.
LSU Tigers football began in 1893, with national championship wins in the 1958, 2003 and 2007 seasons. LSU won a Co-national championship in 2003 with a 21-14 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners. The LSU Fighting Tigers won their second BCS National Championship in 2007 with a 38-24 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. In 2006, the Tigers defeated Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, 41–14. They also beat Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, ULL, Tulane, Fresno State, and Arizona. Their two losses were to the national champion Florida Gators, and to Auburn. LSU ended the season with the 10th ranked offense and 3rd ranked defense. Their quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, had the third best passer rating. He decided to skip his senior year to go to the NFL. He was the number one overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. Free safety LaRon Landry, WR Dwayne Bowe, and WR Craig Davis also went in the first round.
LSU Athletics is represented by its mascot, a Bengal tiger named Mike the Tiger. The tiger was named after Mike Chambers, LSU's athletic trainer in 1936, when Mike I was bought for $750 from the Little Rock (Ark.) Zoo. Mike I was introduced on October 21, 1936. Mike V reigned from 1990–2007. It was announced in March 2007 that Mike V had entered into the first stage of retirement. He remained housed in his on-campus habitat until his death due to kidney failure on May 18, 2007 at age 17. The latest in the line is two years old, weighs 300 pounds and was acquired from an Indiana big-cat sanctuary. Previously known as Roscoe, "Mike VI" is a Bengal-Siberian mix and was officially named Mike on September 8, 2007. He was introduced to fans at the home game against Florida on October 6 2007.
LSU's arenas include Tiger Stadium (football, also known as "Death Valley"), Pete Maravich Assembly Center (basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics, also known as the PMAC), Carl Maddox Fieldhouse (indoor track), Bernie Moore Stadium (outdoor track), Tiger Park (softball), and Alex Box Stadium (baseball). The new Alex Box Stadium was officially opened in a home game against Villanova on Friday, February 20 2009.(source: Wikipedia)