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To the consternation of his critics, Long essentially diverted million for LSU's expansion and increased the annual operating budget to .8 million. The federal courts mandated full integration for LSU in 1964.
LSU was hit by scandal in 1939 when James Monroe Smith, appointed by Huey Long as president of LSU, was charged with embezzling a half-million dollars. A classroom building on the LSU campus is named for his father, the late A. The first African-American graduate of the LSU Law School was New Orleans's first African-American mayor, the late Ernest N. In 1969, mandatory ROTC for freshmen and sophomores was abolished; however, LSU continues to maintain Air Force and Army ROTC.
In 2017, the university enrolled over 25,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 graduate students in 14 schools and colleges. LSU's athletics department fields teams in 21 varsity sports (9 men's, 12 women's), and is a member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the SEC (Southeastern Conference).
It was a place where the homeless went, because for 35 cents they could sleep there all day.
In 1930, Huey Pierce Long, Jr., the governor, initiated a massive building program to expand the physical plant and add departments.
By 1936, LSU had the finest facilities in the South, a top-notch faculty of 394 professors, a new medical school, more than 6,000 students, and a winning football team.
During the course of the war, the university reopened briefly in April 1863, but was closed once again with the invasion of the Red River Valley by the Union Army.
The losses sustained by the institution during the Union occupation were heavy, and after 1863 the seminary remained closed for the remainder of the Civil War.