Discover Lafayette’s Past: SLI’s Department of Engineering

In 1901, Ashby Woodson was the first teacher of manual training at the newly opened Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute, now known as UL Lafayette. Manual training was to eventually become known as the College of Engineering.

Under a 1920 legislative act, Dr. Edwin L. Stephens, president of the university, organized departments that would eventually develop into colleges. The new engineering department was part of the College of Liberal Arts.

Between 1930 and 1940, the addition of sufficient faculty members and course offerings enabled SLI to form four branches of engineering: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.

In 1939, the College of Engineering was officially designated, and Parker Hall was completed in 1940 for engineering and industrial arts classrooms. It was named after John M. Parker, a former governor of Louisiana who initiated a severance tax to benefit education in the state.

In 1956, the four engineering curriculums were accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. A curriculum of petroleum engineering was developed in 1953 and the Department of Geology became a part of the College of Engineering in 1954. In 1958, master’s degree programs were implemented in the College of Engineering.

UL-Lafayette’s College of Engineering continues to graduate outstanding students ready to address the world’s changing engineer needs. We thank them for their contribution to education!

Vermilion file photo by Kailey Broussard.