University of New Orleans
Former names
Louisiana State University in New Orleans (1956–1974)[1]
TypePublic research university
Established1956; 68 years ago (1956)[1]
Parent institution
University of Louisiana System
Academic affiliations
Endowment$25.8 million (2021)[2]
PresidentKathy Johnson
ProvostDarrell P. Kruger
Academic staff
571 full-time and 160 part-time[3]

30°01′39″N 90°04′02″W / 30.0275°N 90.0671°W / 30.0275; -90.0671
CampusUrban, 195 acres (79 ha)[4]
ColorsReflex blue & silver[5]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division ISouthland
MascotCaptain BrUNO

The University of New Orleans (UNO) is a public research university in New Orleans, Louisiana. First opened in 1958 as Louisiana State University in New Orleans, it is the largest public university and one of two doctoral research universities in the Greater New Orleans region. UNO is a member of the University of Louisiana System and is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".[6] The university consists of 8 schools and colleges offering 40 bachelor's, 45 master's and 17 doctoral degrees.[7] Among its academic offerings are the only civil, mechanical and electrical engineering programs in New Orleans, the only graduate hospitality and tourism program and PAB-accredited urban planning program in the state of Louisiana, and one of the only schools of naval architecture and engineering in the United States.

UNO's 195-acre main campus is located on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in Gentilly, New Orleans. The university's East Campus houses athletic facilities including Maestri Field and the UNO Lakefront Arena. UNO also owns and operates The Beach, a research and technology park adjacent to its main campus.

The university's athletic teams are the Privateers. A total of 14 Privateer teams compete in the NCAA Division I Southland Conference.


State Senator Theodore M. Hickey of New Orleans in 1956 authored the act which established the University of New Orleans. At the time New Orleans was the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a public university though it had several private universities, such as Tulane (which was originally a state-supported university before being privatized in 1884), Loyola, and Dillard. The institution was a branch of Louisiana State University, and as such was originally named Louisiana State University in New Orleans or LSUNO. The UNO University Ballroom was named in Hickey's honor late in 2014, more than two decades after his death.[8]

The university was built on the New Orleans Lakefront when the United States Navy relocated Naval Air Station New Orleans. The Orleans Levee Board leased the closed base to the LSU Board of Supervisors. The renovation went quicker than expected. LSUNO opened for classes in 1958, two years ahead of schedule. It was the first racially integrated public university in the South. For its first five years, it was reckoned as an offsite department of the main campus in Baton Rouge, and as such its chief administrative officer was originally called a dean (1958–1961), then a vice president in charge (1961–1962). In 1962, the LSU System of Higher Education was established, and LSUNO became a separate campus in that system. To signify that it was now a co-equal institution with LSU, its chief executive's title was changed from "vice president in charge" to "chancellor." After a decade of growth, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved a name change to the current University of New Orleans. Nearly fifty years later, in 2011, the University of New Orleans was transferred from LSU to the University of Louisiana system, and its chief executive's title was changed to "president."[9]

Hurricane Katrina

On August 29, 2005, the university suffered damage due to Hurricane Katrina. The main campus is on relatively high ground and the damage was caused mostly by winds, rain-driven-water, and human activity during the storm. The university was used as an evacuation point and staging area by the National Guard. A levee breach on the London Avenue Canal occurred just a few blocks south of the main campus and caused the flooding of the first floor of the Bienville Hall dormitories, the Lafitte Village couples apartments, and the Engineering Building.

UNO was the first of the large, damaged universities in New Orleans to re-open, albeit virtually, by using web-based courses starting in October 2005.[10] The university was able to offer classes in the fall semester immediately following Hurricane Katrina at satellite campuses; the main campus re-opened in December 2005.

Hurricane Katrina reduced enrollments at all colleges in New Orleans, but the University of New Orleans was particularly hard hit. This echoed the damage to New Orleans as a whole, since UNO serves as a leader in educating students from New Orleans. Since the hurricane, the student enrollment is on a steady increase toward pre-Katrina numbers.

Chief executives

Student life


There are more than 120 registered clubs and organizations active at UNO, including 15 fraternities and sororities.[11] UNO Student Government is the official student government association. Registered organizations are separated into categories of either religious, honorary, political, professional, social, service, organizations, or special interests.


The Driftwood was the UNO weekly newspaper and was published every Thursday.[12] UNO also owns and operates WWNO, a local radio station.[13] WWNO began transmitting in 1972.[13]

Greek life

The Greek community at the University of New Orleans is composed of 16 organizations, governed by three councils.[14]

Panhellenic Association[15] National Pan-Hellenic Council[16] Interfraternity Council[17]


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[19]293–381
Washington Monthly[20]269

UNO has four colleges: College of Business Administration, College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development, College of Engineering, and College of Sciences. The university also offers a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.


The entrance to the University of New Orleans on the Lake Pontchartrain side

The university's campus is located in the New Orleans metropolitan area, sitting on Lake Pontchartrain at the end of Elysian Fields Avenue and on the former site of NAS New Orleans. The UNO Research and Technology Park, referred to as "The Beach" is located adjacent to campus on the former site of the Pontchartrain Beach amusement park. The Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena and Maestri Field at Privateer Park, UNO's basketball and baseball facilities, are located at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Leon C. Simon Boulevard.

UNO's classes were originally housed in the remaining buildings following the closure of NAS New Orleans at that site. As a nod to campus' time as a Naval base, the oldest lecture buildings completed in 1960, the Liberal Arts Building and the Science Building, are both numbered and laid-out like a ship with Liberal Arts featuring exterior balconies for access to the classrooms as opposed to interior hallways, and both Liberal Arts and Science featuring two central courtyards in each building.[21] UNO's newer chemical-sciences annex is designed like a steam boat and many of the newer lecture buildings on campus have similar shapes to the original science and liberal arts buildings without the interior courtyards due to limited space on the main campus.

Throughout the years, additional permanent buildings were built to accommodate a larger student body. These include Milneburg Hall (1969), the University Center (1969), the Earl K. Long Library (1970), the Geology/Psychology Building (1972), the Engineering Building (1987), the Life Sciences Complex (Phase 1: the Computer Center, Phase 2: the Biology Building, and Phase 3: the Mathematics Building; All completed between 1979 and 1984), the Chemical-Sciences Annex (1997), and Kirschman Hall (2004).

The College of Engineering building is the tallest building on campus. It has a total of nine floors and is home to the university's Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME) Program (making it one of very few universities in the United States offering this program) among other engineering programs. The first floor is the largest floor featuring large workshop, labs, lobbies, and study spaces as well as the towing tank for the NAME program. Through the breezeway on the first floor is the home of the Dohse Auditorium. Floors two through nine are all part of one large tower in a straight line and are each not as big as the first floor.[22]

Two buildings on campus feature atrium designs as opposed to hallways. Kirschman Hall, the newest lecture building on campus and home of the College of Business Administration, features a large atrium in the center with a few satellite hallways connecting to it. It is considered to be the second largest lecture building on campus (after the engineering building).[23]

Furthermore, the University Center building, one of the centers of campus life, has an atrium in the center with dining locations and event spaces on one side and hallways with offices on the other.

UNO's Homer Hitt Alumni Center is built around a smoke-stack which remains from when campus was a Naval Base. The smoke-stack is the oldest structure on campus.

The campus features a large central "mall" between the Earl K Long Library and Lake Pontchartrain. Before the campus was completed, there was a large portion of open green space as the original buildings were built in the corners, a move by Louisiana State University to prevent the city from taking additional land around the Naval Air Station. The Library, originally having two floors, had a third and fourth floor added mostly due to a grant by the family of former governor Earl K. Long. They proclaimed to prevent obstruction of the view, no buildings could ever be constructed between the library. It is modernly referred to as the quad and features many outdoor seating areas complete with a UNO Seal in the middle.

Campus Life Centers

The University of New Orleans features three buildings that are considered to be the centers of campus life:

Earl K. Long Library

Earl K. Long Library

The Earl K. Long Library is home to the Privateer Enrollment Center, which is "a one-stop shop for all your enrollment needs." This location includes offices of Enrollment, Orientation, the Bursar, Financial Aid, and Academic Advising. Not only is this building home to many enrollment services, but this building also has a Coffee Shop run by dining services and different academic resources on each floor. The first floor is home to a large study area known as the "Learning Commons" which is home to a large computer lab in the front, an open-concept study area in the rear, the offices of Student Accountability/Disability Services & the Learning Resource Center, and group study room. The second floor is home to quiet computers, additional group study rooms, periodicals, the Women's Center, and the UNO Press. The third floor houses the silent study room, the honors program, the innovation suite, the meditation area, and private study rooms for faculty and graduate students. The fourth floor is where the quiet study area, the special collections/archives, the reading room, various conferences rooms, and additional offices are located.[24]

University Center

University Center

The university center is "the center of campus life at UNO." The building is home to dining services locations, the grand ball room, the Captain's Quarter's Game Room, the UNO Bookstore, and various meeting spaces. University offices located here include counseling services, career services, student involvement and leadership, Greek life, student government association, student affairs, the HUB, the student pantry, student transitions, and the Juan LaFonta Diversity Engagement Center. It is also home to an Oschner Health Clinic and various leisure spaces. The lobby of the building features a large atrium with flags hanging down. These are placed the first time a student comes to the university from another nation.[24]

Administration Building

The Administration Building consists of two sections: The original administration building and the newer administration annex, an addition to the building that was built later. Many university administrative offices are located here though these are typically administrative and not often visited by students. However, it is important to note that the main office for the graduate school is located here and not in the Library.

Residential life

Pontchartrain Hall

The university's campus is home to three on-campus housing options for students all located on UNO's main campus:[25]

Dining services

The university's dining services are currently managed by Chartwells Higher Ed, a branch of Compass Group. They manage all dining locations on campus including the university's buffet-styled cafeteria is known as the Food Hall at the Galley. Retail dining locations are mainly located on the Deck (which is in the university center on the east side of campus) and the Cove (which is a building located on the west side of campus). Retail franchises include Subway, Chick Fil A, Privateer Sushi, Jamba Juice, Moe's Southwestern Grill, Fry Shack, and Brewed Awakening (which brews Starbucks Coffee). Additionally, Chartwells manages three convenience "Markets" on campus known as the Market NOLA (which is located in the university center and serves PJ's coffee), Market Cove (located in the cove), and Market Pontchartrain (located in the residence hall on campus).[26]


Main article: New Orleans Privateers

A Privateers women's basketball game in 2024

The University of New Orleans currently has 14 varsity sports teams, and is a Division I member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), competing in the Southland Conference. UNO originally attempted to reclassify to Division II's Gulf South Conference.[27] On February 1, 2011, Provost Joe King submitted the Division II proposal to the LSU Board of Supervisors.[28] Previously, UNO competed at the Division II level from 1969 to 1975.[29] On March 9, 2012, President Peter J. Fos announced that UNO plans to remain a member of NCAA Division I, with potential homes being the Sun Belt or Southland Conference.[30] On August 21, 2012, UNO announced that it would be joining the Southland Conference, effective the 2013–2014 academic year.[31]

In November 2022, students overwhelmingly voted against a fee increase to add football, women's soccer, women's golf, and marching band to the campus.[32]


Fight song

The official fight song of The University of New Orleans is "Let's Hear It For UNO".[33] The song was adopted after a competition in 1981. The winner was Lois Ostrolenk.[33] Before this, the melody from William Tell Overture was used. A variation of the overture is still played to honor this tradition.[33]

Club sports

The University of New Orleans has many club sports provided by the Department of Recreation and Intramural Sports. Club sports are available to all UNO students who have an interest. Active club sports include:

  • Cricket
  • Sailing
  • Kendo
  • Table tennis
  • Soccer
  • Rugby
  • Men's volleyball
  • Sportsman/fishing

The Beach (Research and Technology Park)

The University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park

The University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park is a research park whose tenants collaborate with the university to conduct research, provide training, and create education opportunities.[34] Tenants have many university services provided to them, including the university library and recreational facilities.[35]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


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  2. ^ "Data USA: University of New Orleans". Data USA. October 21, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d "University of New Orleans". College Navigator. National Center for Education Statistics. Fall 2022. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  4. ^ "Fast Facts". Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  5. ^ Interim Identity Standards (PDF). Office of Communications, Public Relations, and Marketing, University of New Orleans. April 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "Carnegie Classifications Institution Lookup". Center for Postsecondary Education. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  7. ^ "University Profile, Next is Now Campaign for the University of New Orleans". University of New Orleans Office of University Advancement. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
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  10. ^ "University of New Orleans reopens online - Networks - Breaking Business and Technology News at". Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2006.
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  16. ^ "Panhellenic Association". Retrieved July 21, 2015.
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  19. ^ "2023-2024 Best National Universities". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  20. ^ "2022 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
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  23. ^ "Virtual Tour: Kirschman Hall". The University of New Orleans. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c "UNO Virtual Tour". The University of New Orleans. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  25. ^ "Office of Residential Life". The University of New Orleans. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  26. ^ "Dine On Campus". Retrieved June 5, 2020.
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  30. ^ "UNO remains Division I".
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  35. ^ "Opportunities". Archived from the original on November 2, 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
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  37. ^ "Tony Guarisco". Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  38. ^ "Stokes & Associates, Inc". Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  39. ^ "Wally Whitehurst". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  40. ^ Judy Walker, "Richard H. Collin, 'the New Orleans underground gourmet,' dies at age 78", The Times-Picayune, January 22, 2010.