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Commemorative History of LSUA Available in Hardcover Book

Released: 09/01/2010

A 144-page history of LSU Alexandria written by Dr. Jerry Sanson to commemorate the university’s Golden Anniversary is available in a hardcover book at the LSUA bookstore and online at The cost for “LSU Alexandria: Celebrating 50 years” is $40 plus shipping if applicable. Proceeds will be used for scholarships administered through the LSUA Foundation.

Sanson, interim chairman of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at LSUA, spent three years researching and writing the book. Some of the primary sources were Dudley Frickie, the school’s first registrar, and Fran Bolton Davis, whose father, James C. Bolton, was a pioneer supporter of establishing a branch of the state flagship university in Central Louisiana. Sanson also extracted an extensive amount of information from records of the LSU Board of Supervisors, LSUA Archives, The Alexandria Town Talk and Sentry, the campus student newspaper.

The book contains more than 125 pictures, most of which were selected by LSUA archivist Michelle Riggs. It was published by Donning Co. Publishers of Virginia Beach, Va.

“One of the constant themes I discovered during the research process was that the state seemed almost embarrassed to provide higher education in Central Louisiana,” Sanson said. “What LSUA is today was accomplished in the face of incredible odds.”

The book chronicles LSUA’s history – which is the second oldest outside Baton Rouge in the LSU System -- in seven chapters. It also includes lists of the original 25 faculty members, chancellors and deans, and presidents of the Student Government Association since the university’s founding in 1960. There are 1,500 copies available for purchase.

Dr. David Manuel, LSUA’s ninth chancellor, wrote in the book’s forward that Sanson “has offered the color and interpretations that only a career faculty member and historian can craft. His account … is both accurate and nuanced so that the reader will mark the significant points of interest and appreciate the interplay of all parties involved.”

Sanson, a long-time professor of history and political science, also has written books on state and local government and Louisiana during World War II, and he compiled “Camp Beauregard and Central Louisiana” for the Louisiana National Guard. He has contributed sections to 10 books on such topics as national security, Louisiana governors, European imperialism, military history, American civil rights and the politics of government.

The author, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees from LSU, has held two endowed professorships and is a winner of the Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence at LSUA. He is a member of the prestigious Company of Fellows of the Louisiana Historical Association.