UL Lafayette is the second largest university in Louisiana and growing all the time. That's because we're all about inclusion. Sure we embrace diversity, but more importantly, we celebrate it. We are smart, spirited and seeking solutions. You don't get that way without inviting those differences to sit at the same table. We recognize the richness and depth of the human experience. We believe that the power and potential in sharing experiences, passions and ideas is inspiration. And we know that the only way to solve tomorrow's big challenges is together—by honoring the past, living fully in the present and mapping out a bold future. It's that joie de vivre that begins within our learning environment and spreads outward to make the world better.
Founded at the dawn of a new century, UL Lafayette began as the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute (SLII). Classes started in 1900 with 100 students gathering in a handful of classrooms dotting a barren patch of farmland. SLII's first president, 27-year-old Edwin Stephens, planted a grove of live oak trees near the entrance.
To fast forward, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is now a thriving and diverse academic community of about 18,000 students that offers more degree programs than the number of students in its inaugural class. We have become an international leader in computer science, engineering and nursing.
Our students learn from some of the world's foremost academics and researchers in their fields. A testament to our strong roots and fertile soil, both literally and metaphorically, that grove of live oaks planted by our first president is now a sprawling canopy of green on our thriving campus—a reminder that the nourishment we provide today grows and sustains our thriving community for generations to come.