In celebration of LSUP’s 80th anniversary the staff selected 80 of our most memorable titles. Adding to our “Around the Press in 80 Books” blog series, Assistant Marketing Manager Kate Barton writes about Under Stately Oaks.
Growing up in Baton Rouge with parents who are LSU alums, I always knew that I would make LSU my home during my college years. Like most tigers-in-training, I donned the purple and gold proudly, watched football and baseball games with my dad, and learned all the cheers and chants that fill the air on game day. However, LSU is more than just purple and gold and sports. It has a rich history that is intricately tied with the history of Louisiana and the nation.
Under Stately Oaks details LSU’s growth over the years, from its military roots to its academic achievements. I have always thought that one of the unique characteristics of LSU students and alumni is their dedication to service of others, whether through ROTC and the military or through public service and volunteer opportunities. This book explains how that culture came to be. LSU’s roots in military service and its status as a land grant institution intricately tied it to the community around it. Education was no longer reserved for the rich or devoted to classical studies. Land grants and funding from the government allowed the university to grow and offer more classes in emerging fields related to agriculture and industry. The educational connection to Louisiana’s needs continues at the university today, with classes and research facilities dedicated to studying the coast or preparing students for careers in the entertainment industry.
This revised edition carries LSU’s history through the university’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Soon after the hurricane swept through Louisiana, LSU became the center of many relief efforts. The Pete Maravich Assembly Center housed emergency medical operations, the Parker Coliseum served as the temporary home for many displaced animals, and many students and staff members volunteered to help the hurricane victims. I started working at LSU Press in April 2005, about four months before the hurricane. The atmosphere at the university after the hurricane was strange. We often heard helicopters flying overhead, breaking the peace in our usually quiet offices on the lake. However, I think most would agree that, although it was a bit hectic around the university at that time, we couldn’t imagine doing anything else but giving back to those in need. It made me even more proud to be an LSU tiger.
This book serves as a sort of family photo album, highlighting the highs and lows of LSU over the years. Readers will enjoy learning more about the people, buildings, and traditions that make LSU the great university that it is.
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