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|The Department: History|
|By Brian Lock|
We reproduce here the results of some research I did a couple of years ago on the history of UL Lafayette's geology program. This was published in a College of Sciences alumni newsletter shortly after we transferred from Engineering but you may not have seen it. Since I have been asked about the date of origin of the department many times, I thought it worth passing on what I was able to find out. I would be glad to get more details from any of you who might be familiar with the early years.
The first geology courses were taught by Harry Jamison Chatterton, head of the Geography Department, which was then part of the College of Education; students taking geography were expected to become school teachers. In 1937, the renamed Department of Geography and Geology first appeared in the UL Bulletin, still offering only two courses in geology. By 1951, the courses available had increased to 13 and a B.S. degree in Geology was offered through the College of Liberal Arts, although the Department of Geography and Geology remained in the College of Education.
Harry Chatterton retired, and was replaced by Dr. John McCambell in the summer of 1954. At the same time, geology was split from Geography and transferred to the college of Engineering, and physically moved from the third floor of Girard Hall to a wooden building that stood where Griffin Hall stands today. The transfer to Engineering took place at the same time that an additional degree program, in Geological Engineering, was added. The latter never attracted many students and was dropped in 1959. The M.S. program in geology was started in 1958. During the summer of 1957, the department moved into the newly completed Madison Hall. This building was constructed "at a cost of $1,500,000." It was considered "modern in all respects" and "about 15% of the new structure is air conditioned. This area is sufficient for the normal operation of classes in the summer" (1957-8 S.L.I. Catalog).
Document last revised Friday, July 30, 2004 5:01 PM
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