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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 United Methodist
Endowment $89.5 million[1]
President B. David Rowe
Staff 228
Undergraduates 887
Postgraduates 107
Location Shreveport, Louisiana, USA 32°29′02″N 93°43′55″W / 32.484°N 93.732°W / 32.484; -93.732Coordinates: 32°29′02″N 93°43′55″W / 32.484°N 93.732°W / 32.484; -93.732
Campus Urban, 117 acres (162,000 m²)
Athletics 16 Division I varsity teams
Colors Maroon & White          
Nickname Gents and Ladies
Mascot Skeeter the Catahoula
Entrance to Centenary College in Shreveport
Magale Library at Centenary College
Anderson Choral Building at Centenary College
Entrance to Meadows Museum at Centenary College
Decorative sculpture on the grounds of Centenary College
The geodesic Gold Dome houses Centenary basketball and gymnastics.
Shehee Stadium for baseball on campus of Centenary College is named for Shreveport businessman William Peyton Shehee, Jr. (1919-2004).

Centenary College of Louisiana is an independent United Methodist, primarily undergraduate, liberal arts and sciences college in Shreveport, Louisiana. The college is one of the founding members of the Associated Colleges of the South, a pedagogical organization consisting of sixteen Southern liberal arts colleges.



Centenary College of Louisiana is the oldest chartered liberal arts college in the United States west of the Mississippi River.[2] The lineage of the college dates back to 1825, when the College of Louisiana was opened in Jackson, Louisiana. The school enjoyed early success, but struggled financially until Centenary College of Clinton, Mississippi (founded 1839) agreed to merge with the Jackson campus, creating Centenary College of Louisiana in 1845.[3][4] The college prospered until the beginning of the American Civil War. Three lines, written in a large bold hand, cover the entire page of the faculty minute-book dated October 7, 1861: "Students have all gone to war--College suspended, and God Help the Right!" During this time, the Jackson campus was used as a Confederate hospital, and was sacked upon arrival of Union troops in 1863. The old campus is presently operated and preserved as a state historic site by the Louisiana Office of State Parks.

Never regaining the footing it had in the 1840s and 1850s, the college moved to Shreveport in 1908 and immediately enjoyed success. Mansfield Female College, the first women's college founded west of the Mississippi (1855), merged with Centenary in 1930.[5] President George Sexton outlined campus growth and prosperity in the 1920s and 1930s, including the architectural design that largely remains today. During that time, Centenary was a football powerhouse, whose fame included wins over Louisiana State University, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Notre Dame.

The academic reputation of Centenary has remained strong since the 1920s. Centenary is now regularly found at the top of its category in the annual college and university rankings published by U.S. News and World Report magazine. In 2007, Newsweek named Centenary the "Hottest Liberal Arts School You Never Heard Of" in its "25 Hottest Universities" feature.


Centenary is just south of downtown Shreveport, in the historic Highland Area. The campus is noted for its distinctive Georgian architecture and well-maintained grounds. According to IMDB.Com, the film, The Initiation of Sarah, starring Jennifer Tilly was filmed using Centenary as fictional Temple Hill University.


Major buildings

  • Magale Library is the most visible landmark on campus.
  • Hargrove Memorial Amphitheatre is a 2,000-seat band shell and host of traditional campus events, including the annual Summer Band Concert Series.
  • Hurley Music Building is home to the Hurley School of Music.
  • Anderson Choral Building houses a state-of-the-art auditorium and practice facilities designed for various ensembles, including the Centenary Camerata, a choir dedicated to high level performances of choral works from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, and the Centenary College Choir, a choral group that has performed on six continents and received seven consecutive invitations to perform at the White House for two presidents.
  • Feazel Instrumental Hall house state-of-the-art orchestral music space.
  • The Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, named for the wife of Louisiana Republican politician Charlton Lyons, is home to the Department of Theatre and Dance and hosts several productions each year.
  • Mickle Hall, constructed in 1949-50, has been renovated to offer cutting-edge science classrooms and labs.
  • The Samuel Peters Research Center houses the only Jack London museum east of San Francisco, California.
  • The geodesic Gold Dome sports arena is host to numerous events, including basketball, volleyball and gymnastics competitions.
  • Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College offers exhibitions throughout the year and hosts area school children for morning visits and arts education activities.
  • The Centenary Fitness Center contains a competition-size swimming pool, an indoor running track, gymnasium, exercise and free-weight equipment areas and racquetball courts as well as specially equipped rooms for dance, aerobics, and classroom instruction.


The university offers 43 majors and 9 interdisciplinary minors in the traditional liberal arts and sciences, fine arts, and select professional programs in business administration, communication, education, and Christian Leadership Center. Across all disciplines, Centenary stresses close interaction between students and faculty members. Undergraduate research is particularly emphasized.

Radio station KSCL 91.3FM broadcasts from the campus, a progressive community station dedicated to community events and alternative music, from college rock and jazz to local Cajun music and zydeco.

The Conglomerate, Centenary's independent press, is a weekly publication that circulates 20 issues per academic year. The paper is staffed entirely by students, and is paid for by student fees and advertisement. Originally called The Maroon and White, the paper changed its name to The Conglomerate in 1923.

On Feb. 8th, 2010 Centenary's President Rowe announced that he was seeking to remove 22 of the college's majors. If these changes are approved by the board of trustees, the number of major offerings will be reduced by almost 50%. Programs in German, Latin, most levels of Education, all Bachelor of Music degrees, and several other programs will no longer be offered by the college.

Student life

As of 2004, the university enrolled 905 undergraduate and 107 graduate students. 59% of the first-year students came from the state of Louisiana, while 3% came from outside the United States. The median composite ACT score of incoming students was 26. Full-time faculty numbered 96, 94% of whom held a terminal degree in their field.

Centenary hosts six social fraternities and sororities. For the women there is Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha. For the men there is the Kappa Alpha Order, Theta Chi, Kappa Sigma, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Alpha Phi Alpha, who has a joint charter from Centenary and Louisiana State University in Shreveport. The school hosts chapters of several academic honor organizations, including Sigma Alpha Iota, Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Chi, Kappa Pi, and Sigma Tau Delta.


Centenary Gents.png

Centenary is currently a member of the NCAA Division I's The Summit League, however the school recently gave the Summit League notice that they will be leaving in 2011 [1]. Centenary will be moving its athletics from Division I to Division III within the next two to three years [2]. The American Southwest Conference is one possibility [3] for Division III affiliation. Fellow Associated Colleges of the South member Birmingham-Southern College made a similar move, to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, in 2006. Centenary is the smallest Division I school in the country.

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. The school sport's nickname is the gentleman; the women's sports' nickname is the lady. Prior to adopting the Gentleman 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 Gentleman nickname.

Recently, a student driven initiative asked for a mascot to compliment to the Ladies and Gents. From Centenary's website, "In recent years, Centenary has examined the role and impact of the mascot through informal SGA student/faculty forums, alumni surveys and questionnaires, the campus diversity climate assessment and so on. At the end of last school year, a Mascot Inquiry committee was formed by SGA to discuss this ongoing issue. The students have been asking for a mascot that inspires enthusiasm. We respect the student’s request for the addition of a mascot for the school and want to create an identity that embodies our history, tradition and uniqueness." [4] The new mascot was announced at halftime of the Men's Basketball game 6 December 2007. The winner was Catahoula and Rick DelaHaya, Director of Marketing, surprised the crowd by bringing out a Catahoula named Skeeter (SKEE-Tur) which the College has rescued from an animal shelter in Houston, Texas. Now the school goes by both the Gentlemen and the Catahoulas. [5]



  • William Lander Weber (1908?-1921)
  • George Sexton (1921-1932)
  • Bishop Angie Smith (interim, 1932-1933)
  • Pierce Cline (1933-1945)
  • Joe J. Mickle (1945-1964)
  • Jack Stauffer Wilkes (1964-1969)
  • John Horton Allen (1969-1976)
  • Donald A. Webb (1977-1991)
  • Kenneth L. Schwab (1991-2009)
  • B. David Rowe (2009-present)

Notable alumni


  • Bill Joyce - Creator of Rolie Polie Olie cartoon series; noted children's author and illustrator.
  • Earle Labor - Official biographer of novelist Jack London; curator of the Jack London Museum in Shreveport.
  • Jefferson Hendricks - Famous wordsmith; known for his wise aphorisms, not the least of which include: "Men are like race cars....*uncomfortable thirty second pause*... THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!" Also the assistant director behind the cult film "Return to Savage Beach".


External links


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