• The Rutherford-Atkins Realty Company offers 40-acre tract south of Shreveport for the new campus along with $110,000 in financial support.


  • The Board of Trustees meet and decide to take up the offer from Rutherford-Atkins Realty Company and move to Shreveport.
  • Construction of Jackson Hall begins on the Shreveport Campus - It cost $33,000 to build and initially housed every element of the school's operation.


  • Jackson Hall 1908

    September 16, 1908 - Classes begin in Jackson Hall on the new Shreveport Campus.

  • College President, Dr. William Lander Weber, takes his first order of business - raising $35,000 to equip the building with basic utilities as it still had no electricity, running water or heat.

  • During the first few decades in Shreveport, the campus was thickly wooded and full of wildflowers. Bayou Pierre also flowed along the southern edge of campus - thus the inspiration for the line "the sleepy sliver bayou" in today's Alma Mater.



  • First commencement exercises held on Shreveport Campus.


  • America enters WWI - Paul Brown, a 1917 graduate, long-active board member, and patron of the college fought in this war. Brown Chapel is named in honor of the Brown family and an endowed chair is named in honor of him and his wife.

  • Homer Norton 1917

    Homer Norton becomes athletic director in an effort to bring sports back to student life at Centenary.


  • A wood frame dining hall was built near Jackson Hall.



President George Sexton

  • George Sexton, Senior Minister at First Methodist, becomes President of the College — he planned to improve enrollment by bringing competitive football to Centenary.

  • Bo McMillin, former college football player from Centre College of Kentucky, is hired as head football coach.

  • A chapel is built that will later become the dramatics building — it stood where the gardens in front of the SUB are now.

  • College Hall, a classroom building that later became the women's dormitory known as Colonial Hall, is built.

  • Faculty Row - a dozen or so small frame houses for faculty members and their families - began to take shape on the site of today's Bynum Commons.

  • The first Centenary Yoncopin (yearbook) is printed. It is named for a native water lily.


  • Enrollment increases to 600+ from 43 the previous year.
  • The President's House is built on the corner of Centenary and Rutherford.


  • The Arts Building is completed - it originally housed liberal arts classes, but would later become the library, then the administration building and finally Meadows Museum, which it remains today.
  • The College paper - The Maroon and White - is renamed The Conglomerate which it remains today.


  • A frame gymnasium is completed.


Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Founders

  • The first men's basketball game was played in the new gymnasium - Centenary v. Texas A&M.
  • Dr. Sexton names the Centenary men's varsity sports teams "Gentlemen" (previously known as the "Ironsides"). Women's sports teams would later be known as the "Ladies."
  • Planning begins for Rotary Hall - the first building constructed specifically to be a dormitory.


  • Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority establishes a chapter on Centenary's Campus — it remains one of the two active sorority's on Centenary's campus


  • Chi Omega Women's Fraternity establishes a chapter on Centenary's Campus — it is the other sorority still active.



  • Alpha Xi Delta Sorority establishes a chapter at Centenary - it remained an active chapter through 1975
  • Centenary Maroon Jackets are formed.


  • Dr. Sexton resigns as President of the College - he and his wife move to a small home on faculty row where they resided until his death in 1937.

  • Bishop Angie Smith becomes Interim President of the College, and remains so for one year.

    Centenary Stadium

  • The Centenary Stadium, located on what it is known as today Centenary's baseball field, is completed. It held 15,000 spectators and was typically filled to capacity. This same year, Centenary beat LSU in the new stadium while Gov. Huey Long watched from the stands.


  • Dr. Pierce Cline becomes President of the College - he was a strong supporter of athletics (particularly football) and was responsible for keeping the college afloat during The Great Depression.
  • Kollege Kapers - a variety show put on by students - is founded. The group traveled by train or motor coach around the region performing for audiences in communities with little other live entertainment.


  • Haynes Gym is completed - given by Arch Haynes, who also gave the Centenary Stadium. It was re-named the Haynes Memorial Gymnasium after Arch Haynes' death in the 1950s.


  • Women join the Centenary Marching Band.
  • Homecoming game is broadcast nation-wide.
  • The frame chapel/playhouse is named the George S. Sexton Memorial Chapel in memory of the school's late President.


  • Virginia Carlton

  • Virginia Carlton graduates from Centenary and later becomes the 1st professor at Centenary to win a Fulbright Teaching Scholarship. She won two (1963 and 1970).



  • March 12, 1940 - a strong tornado sweeps through Shreveport badly damaging the roof and third floor of Jackson Hall. This third floor was subsequently removed leaving only two stories above its basement.


  • The US enters WWII and most male students enter the armed services .
  • The Centenary College Choir is formed by A.C. "Cheesy" Voran.
  • James Dean graduates from Centenary and later becomes the Vice-President of Exxon.


  • Dodd College, a short-lived Baptist Junior College for women, was purchased for the school by Arch Haynes. It was used for an Aviation Cadet Pre-Flight Program during WWII. The two buildings were later used as an auxiliary campus and many female students in the late 40s and early 50s lived on this campus. The land and buildings were later sold to First Baptist Church in the late 1950s.
  • Virginia K. Shehee graduates from Centenary and later becomes President and CEO of Kilpatrick Life Insurance and Kilpatrick's Rose-Neath Funeral Homes and Cemeteries, Inc., the first woman elected to Louisiana State Senate and a well-known philanthropist in the State of Louisiana.


  • Dr. Joe Mickle

  • Dr. Joe J. Mickle becomes President of the College. He was responsible for most of the campus we know today and raising the endowment.

1945-49 (Post War)

  • Fraternities dwindled and began moving from the West side to the East side of campus (where they remain today).
  • Other sports such as baseball and basketball grew in popularity and support.


  • The football stadium is razed following WWII.
  • A large number of men returned to Centenary at the end of the war on the G.I. Bill. Housing became a problem, so "VetsVilla" was constructed where the stadium previously stood. Vets Villa was the first housing for married couples on Centenary's Shreveport campus.


  • A football team was fielded, but only lasted one season.


  • February 17th - A groundbreaking ceremony takes place for the new Science Building to be built on the site of the original frame gymnasium. It would be the first of 11 buildings erected during Mickle's 19 years as President.


  • The main entrance of the College as we know it today is dedicated to John Baxter Atkins by his son, J.B. Atkins.
  • Beverly Lynds graduates from Centenary - she later becomes a published atmospheric astronomer.



  • The Kappa Alpha house on Centenary Blvd burns forcing the fraternity to move to its current location next to the Kappa Sigma house on East Washington Street.
  • John Bookout graduates from Centenary and later becomes the President and CEA of Shell.


Crumley Gardens ceremony

  • January 19th - 12 lives are lost in plane crash over Wallace Lake. Ten of the 12 were prominent businessmen in Shreveport and patrons of the College. Three of these 10 were trustees of the college - J.B. Atkins, R.H. Hargrove and J.R. Querbes. Twelve live oaks and a monument were erected in front of then Administration building (now Meadows Museum).
  • Brown Chapel is built memorializing the parents and brother of Paul & S. Perry Brown.
  • T. L. James Dormitory opens on the site of Colonial Hall.
  • Crumley Gardens are dedicated in memory of David Howard Crumley by his parents. Crumley would have graduated from Centenary in 1946 had he lived.
  • Frost Garden in front of the Student Union Building is dedicated to Edwin Ambrose Frost by his grandchildren. Frost was a longtime board member.


  • Bynam Commons - the dining hall and assembly center - is built, named for long-time supporter of Centenary, Robert Jesse Bynum.


  • Sexton Hall Women's Dormitory is built and named for President Sexton.
  • Marjorie Lyons Playhouse is completed and the first performance, The King and I, is performed on its stage. Given by the Charlton Lyons family.


Moore Student Center

  • The three-story Moore Student Center is built next to the old Student Union Building. It is a memorial to board member, Randle Thomas Moore, who died in 1957.
  • Centenary celebrates its golden anniversary of being in Shreveport. Numerous events took place in celebration in the fall, including a time capsule that was buried near Mickle Hall under a sundial that was given to Centenary by the Chamber of Commerce. The time capsule is to be opened in February of 2008.
  • William Bradford graduates from Centenary and goes on to become the President and CEO of Dresser Industries and Halliburton.



  • Hoyt Duggan graduates from Centenary and becomes Centenary's first and only Rhodes Scholar. Hoyt is a distinguished professor and researched at the University of Virginia.


  • The R.E. Smith Religious Building is built - named in memory of Robert E. Smith, former Dean of the College and professor of religion.


  • The cornerstone of Magale Library is laid - endowed by oilman John Magale and wife, Joanna.


  • All the books are brought to the new library from across campus by hand. Students, faculty and staff all participated the now famous Book Walk.
  • The wooden amphitheater in the middle of campus is rebuilt with concrete and the frame stage is replaced by an acoustic band shell. It was given in memory of R H. Hargrove - a trustee who died in the 1954 plane crash over Wallace Lake.
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity establishes a chapter at Centenary.
  • Paul Michael Mann graduates from Centenary. He went on to medical school and was later a pioneer in laser eye surgeries founding the Mann Eye Institute in Texas.


Dr. Jack Stauffer Wilkes

  • The Science Building is named for Dr. Mickle upon his retirement.
  • Dr. Jack Stauffer Wilkes becomes President - he was previously the mayor of Oklahoma City and President of Oklahoma City University.
  • The Hurley School of Music is constructed - given by Mrs. Gladys F. Hurley in memory of her late husband, oilman Ed. E. Hurley.
  • Cline Hall men's dormitory (named for President Pierce Cline) is built on the site of old Sorority Row.


  • Centenary admits the first African American students.


  • The Moore Student Center is remodeled to include a café.
  • Jesse Marshall is the first African American basketball player to start for the Gents.


  • Dr. John Horton Allen and Hamilton Hall construction

  • Dr. John Horton Allen becomes President of the College.

  • Theta Chi Fraternity establishes a chapter on Centenary's campus.

  • Mary Celeste Reagan is the first African American graduate of Centenary.



Gold Dome

  • Kenneth Fisher is the first African American male graduate of Centenary.
  • The Gold Dome is completed.


  • Hamilton Hall (the administration building) is completed - it was given by oilman David Philip Hamilton '12 and wife, Ruth Lucille Atkins Hamilton.


  • Rick Hawkins graduates from Centenary and goes on to write for such television shows as "Punky Bruster", "Welcome Back Kotter", "Mama's House" and "The Carol Burnett Show."


  • The Church Careers Program is started with 104 students enrolled.
  • Intramural Soccer is introduced to the campus - it gained so much popularity, it was later became a varsity sport in the early 80s.
  • Centenary becomes a part of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program, which eventually brings to the campus more distinguished lecturers than to any other participating institution.


  • The Meadows Museum of Art is established in the old administration building on Centenary Boulevard, thanks to a gift from oilman alumnus Algur H. Meadows. The museum houses a collection of 360 pieces by French artist Jean Despujols and also frequently shows traveling exhibits.


  • Robert Parish ("The Chief") graduates from Centenary and goes to play for the Boston Celtics. Later inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.


Dr. Donald A. Webb

  • Dr. Donald A. Webb becomes President of Centenary College. Webb goes on to be chiefly responsible for saving the College from financial ruin.


  • Elaine Ades Clark graduates from Centenary and goes on to become an award winning actor, director, producer, teacher, playwright and author of the quintessential voice-over book There's Money Where Your Mouth Is. She is also the founder of Voice One.



  • October - Presidential Candidate Ronald Reagan speaks in the Gold Dome.


  • Pro Golfer Hall Sutton graduates from Centenary.
  • Centenary's Women's Gymnastics program produces Olympic Medalist Kathy Johnson


  • A fire guts most of the fourth floor of Mickle Science Building destroying many choir archival items.
  • Centenary Camerata is founded.


  • The Frost Foundation gives $900,000 to Centenary to renovate Jackson Hall - the largest gift for building renovation given to the College.


Dr. Patrick Sewell

  • Patrick Sewell graduates from Centenary, attends medical school and later becomes known as one of "America's Best Doctors" after co-founding the Sapheneia Medical Minimally Invasive Therapy Institute.


  • Jackson Hall is renovated to form the structure we know today.



  • The Peters Research Center is built for the college archives, the archives of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, the papers of writer John William Corrington, and the Jack London and American Literature Research Center founded by English professor Dr. Earle Labor. Currently, it houses the admission office and Howdy Inc., the office of author, illustrator and filmmaker, William Joyce.
  • The Hurley School of Music Library is dedicated


Dr. Kenneth Schwab

  • Dr. Kenneth L. Schwab becomes the 29th President of Centenary. During his Presidency, the endowment has nearly tripled, the number of endowed chairs (endowed at $1 million or $2 million each) has doubled and 40 endowed professorships (endowed at $100,000 each) have been funded.
  • The Centenary Plan curriculum is introduced to include three components: Intercultural Experience, Service Learning and Career Exploration
  • Eudora Welty is the first recipient of the Corrington Award. The John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence is presented annually by the Department of English on behalf of the Centenary student body and faculty to an established writer who has earned the critical esteem of readers who distinguish artistic accomplishment from commercial success.
  • Dr. Earle Labor, professor of English, is chosen LEH Humanist of the Year.
  • Ladies Soccer begins.


  • The Frost Foundation funds computer labs.
  • Funds are given to preserve the Despujols Collection at Meadows Museum of Art.
  • 22 students get All-Academic honors in TAAC.


  • The Centenary Danceline, known as "The Leading Ladies," is established.
  • Michael DeBakey delivers commencement address and receives second honorary degree. He is quoted as saying, "No student can be truly educated without having studied the liberal arts."
  • The Centenary College Choir tours Scandinavia, Netherlands and Russia.
  • The first three endowed professorships are awarded.
  • Dr. Rosemary Seidler receives national recognition for Outstanding Academic Advising.


  • Athletics observes 100th year anniversary.
  • The first phase of fiber-optic network is installed on campus.
  • Two endowed chairs are announced — the Mattie Allen Broyles Inaugural Chair and the Arthur and Emily Webb Chair of International Studies.


  • The Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) awards 6 of 18 French scholarships to Centenary Students.
  • The Rudy and Jeannie Linco Chair of Business Adminstration and the Allen Harvey Broyles Chair of Computer Science and Mathematics are endowed.
  • Robert Buseick directs Kennedy Center play.


  • French students create the only student-run French language newspaper and the first student-run French language radio program in the United States.
  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute selects Centenary among 52 colleges and universities for a $600,000 grant - the largest science grant ever received by Centenary.
  • New softball field constructed.


  • Joby Ogwyn graduates from Centenary - three years later he becomes the youngest person in the world to summit the "Big Seven" - the highest mountains on each continent.
  • December 5: The Centenary College Choir sings at The White House — the first six performances there to date.
  • Centenary receives an anonymous donation of $10 million - the largest single donation to date.
  • Various large gifts are received from the estate of Nan Christian that later established the Nan Christian Scholarships (five) that are awarded annually to incoming first-year students covering tuition, fees, room and board for four years. The first five Nan Christian Scholarships were awarded in March 2001.
  • The newly renovated Rotary Hall brings apartment style and coed housing to Centenary.
  • Patrick Peavy Jr. Memorial Climbing Tower is dedicated.
  • The Centenary College Choir sings at The White House.


  • Herbert "Herb" Lang graduates from Centenary and becomes a Harlem Globetrotter.
  • The Chemistry Club is among nation's top 8%
  • Dr. Dana Kress, professor of French, is named Louisiana's Professor of the Year
  • New "First-Year Experience" Program is implemented into the curriculum


  • The R.Z. Biedenharn Chair in Communications is endowed - one year later Regents complete funding and award the first "Super Chair" ($2 million) in the state
  • Mickle Hall 114 is renovated into a state-of-the-art audiovisual facility
  • Hurley Recording Studio opens
  • Public Announcement of A Vision for the Future: The Campaign for Centenary, a comprehensive campaign, is made. The goal is $70 million



  • Centenary celebrates 175 years.
  • 12 endowed professorships are established.
  • Mrs. Barbara Bush speaks at commencement.
  • The French Government honors Dr. Dana Kress with the highest academic distinction offered by the French Government.
  • New Core Curriculum completed.
  • The A Vision for the Future campaign is concluded with a total of nearly $103 million raised.


  • The W. Peyton Shehee, Jr. Baseball Stadium is dedicated.
  • Kilpatrick Auditorium undergoes major refurbishment.
  • The Gold Dome is re-sealed and refurbished.
  • Church Relations sponsors inaugural Youth Leadership Conference.


  • Centenaryís literary magazine Pandora is named among nationís top 5.
  • Two students earn Fulbright Scholarships.
  • Anderson Choral Building, Feazel Instrumental Hall and a newly renovated Anderson Auditorium are dedicated.


Bush speaks

  • President George W. Bush visits the Gold Dome and speaks on Social Security.


  • Centenary Camerata sings at Carnegie Hall.

Camerata at Carnegie Hall


  • Newsweek call Centenary one of "25 Hottest Schools in the Country" for 2008.
  • Princeton Review names Centenary A "Best 366 College" for 2008.
  • Students and alumni vote to add "Catahoulas" as a mascot to complement the school's Ladies and Gents nicknames. The school acquires a catahoula cur, Skeeter, from a Houston dog rescue mission.


  • Centenary celebrates Centennial of its relocation to Shreveport/Bossier.

Find Out More

Much of the information in this timeline was gathered from Eric J. Brock's excellent book, Centenary College of Louisiana, published in 2000 by Arcadia Pub. Find out more about this book.

find out more about Brock\'s book

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