A Look Back
Past LSU presidents
1859-1861 - Col. W.T. Sherman
1862-1863 - The Rev. W.E.M. Linfield (acting)
1863-1865 - Prof. William A. Seay
1865-1880 - David F. Boyd
1880-1883 - Col. William Preston Johnson
1883-1884 - James W. Nicholson
1884-1886 - David F. Boyd
1886-1887 - Thomas D. Boyd (interim)
1887-1896 - James W. Nicholson
1896-1926 - Thomas D. Boyd
1927-1929 - Campbell Hodges
1929-1930 - Thomas W. Atkinson
1930-1939 - James Monroe Smith
1939-1941 - Paul Hebert (interim)
1941-1944 - Gen. Campbell Hodges
1944-1947 - William B. Hatcher
1947-1947 - Fred C. Frey (acting)
1947-1951 - Dr. Harold W. Stoke
1951-1962 - Gen. Troy H. Middleton
1962-1972 - John A. Hunter
1972-1985 - Martin Woodin
1985-1999 - Allen A. Copping
1999-2007 - Williams L. Jenkins
2007-2012 - John Lombardi
2012-2013 - William L. Jenkins (interim)
2013-2019 - F. King Alexander
2020-2021 - Thomas C. Galligan Jr.
1859 (November) - The institution’s main building is completed near Pineville, Louisiana. Col. W.T. Sherman accepts position as superintendent.
1861 (January) - State militia takes control of the federal garrison known as the Baton Rouge Arsenal. Only later would Louisiana officially secede from the Union. Col. Sherman resigns.
1862 (April 1) - Seminary reopens under the Rev. W.E.M. Linfield as acting superintendent.
1863 (April 1) Prof. William A. Seay becomes superintendent.
1865 (October 2) Seminary reopens and David F. Boyd is superintendent.
1877 Title of superintendent changes to president.
1880 David F. Boyd resigns. Gov. Wiltz appoints a new faculty and Col. William Preston Johnson appointed president.
1883 Col. Johnson resigns and James W. Nicholson is appointed president.
1884 J. Nicholson returns to teaching and resigns position. David F. Boyd returns from Alabama A&M and assumes presidency.
1886 D.F. Boyd conducts repairs on new campus without reimbursement from the Board
of Supervisors and resigns to teach.
Thomas D. Boyd is named interim president and withdraws his name so that David may be rehired.
1887 James W. Nicholson renamed president.
1888 The Boyd brothers depart: Thomas to the State Normal School (Natchitoches); David resigns.
1896 James W. Nicholson resigns. Thomas D. Boyd returns as president.
1899 David F. Boyd dies.
1917 Prof. James W. Nicholson dies.
1919 Thomas D. Boyd elected president of Association of State Universities.
1921 Thomas D. Boyd elected president of Association of Land Grant Colleges.
1926 (June) Thomas D. Boyd offers resignation.
1927 Campbell Hodges chosen as president, but Dean Thomas W. Atkinson retained pro term status.
1929 (June) Board of Supervisors terminates Gen. C. Hodges for failure to appear. Atkinson is appointed president.
- (November 5) Atkinson resigns due to failing health.
(November 17) Board meeting held at the Executive Mansion votes James Monroe Smith from SLI (Lafayette) into presidency.
1932 Thomas D. Boyd dies and is buried at Magnolia Cemetery.
- President Smith resigns due to scandal.
- (June 27) Paul Hebert assumes interim presidency.
1941 Gen. Campbell Hodges named president, again, and appears for service.
1944 Gen. Campbell Hodges resigns. William B. Hatcher assumes presidency.
1947 Pres. Hatcher dies, Fred C. Frey acts in presidential capacity until Dr. Harold W. Stoke is finally appointed president.
1951 Dr. Stoke steps down and Gen. Troy H. Middleton is appointed president.
1962 Gen. Middleton resigns and John A. Hunter is named president.
1965 (February 6) By act of Legislature, LSU System established, Hunter becomes president
of the LSU System.
Cecil Grady Taylor becomes first chancellor of LSU (main campus in Baton Rouge).
1972 John Hunter resigns as president of the LSU System and Martin Woodin accepts presidency.
1974 Chancellor Taylor resigns and Paul W. Murrill becomes chancellor.
New state constitution officially creates the LSU System.
- (January) Chancellor Murrill resigns and Otis B. Wheeler is named acting chancellor.
- (June) James H. Wharton becomes chancellor.
1985 (March 16) Allen A. Copping becomes third president of the LSU System.
- Chancellor Wharton resigns.
- (Jan. 4) LSU-Shreveport Chancellor E. Grady Bogue becomes interim chancellor of LSU-Baton Rouge.
1989 (July) Williams E. “Bud” Davis becomes chancellor.
- (November 1) Chancellor William E. Davis resigns chancellorship.
- (November 9) William L. Jenkins appointed the sixth LSU chancellor.
- Williams L. Jenkins resigns as LSU chancellor and is appointed president of LSU System.
- (April 16) Mark Emmert is appointed chancellor of LSU.
2004 (June) Mark Emmert resigns as LSU chancellor. William L. Jenkins appointed interim chancellor.
2005 (February 21) Honorable Sean O’Keefe becomes chancellor of LSU.
- (July) William L. Jenkins announces retirement as president of the LSU System.
- (July) John Lombardi named president of the LSU System, begins Sept. 1.
- (January) Sean O’Keefe resigns as LSU chancellor.
- (February) William L. Jenkins appointed acting chancellor.
- (August) Michael V. Martin becomes chancellor of LSU.
- (April) John Lombardi relieved of duties as LSU System president. William L. Jenkins named interim president.
- (July) Michael V. Martin resigns as LSU chancellor.
- (August) William L. Jenkins appointed interim chancellor.
- (June) William L. Jenkins retires as interim president and chancellor.
- (June 24) F. King Alexander appointed president and chancellor.
2015 (July) LSU chancellor position and LSU System president position are consolidated into "LSU President" position
2019 (December) F. King Alexander resigns as LSU President.
2020 (January) Thomas C. Galligan Jr. appointed interim president.