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Highlights of Tulane's History

  • 1834 The Medical College of Louisiana is founded in New Orleans by seven young doctors.

  • 1847 The state legislature establishes the University of Louisiana.

  • 1847 The Medical College of Louisiana becomes the Medical Department of the University of Louisiana.   

  • 1847 The University of Louisiana adds a law department, the 12th such department in the United States.   

  • 1851 An academic department for men opens. Its first students are enrolled — 12 freshmen and two sophomores.   

  • 1861 The university closes its doors because of the Civil War. Classes resume in 1865.  

  • 1882 Paul Tulane donates extensive real estate in New Orleans for the support of education. A Board of Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund is appointed and holds its first meeting. The board decides to support and incorporate with the University of Louisiana rather than create a separate institution.  

  • 1884 The Louisiana Legislature passes a bill transferring the University of Louisiana at New Orleans to the control of the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, thus creating the Tulane University of Louisiana, a private, nonsectarian university.  

  • 1885 The university establishes a graduate division, later to become the Graduate School.   

  • 1886 Newcomb College is established within Tulane University. Josephine Louise Newcomb gave the gifts to found the college in memory of her daughter, Harriott Sophie Newcomb.   

  • 1894 The university organizes the College of Technology, which later will become the School of Engineering.  

  • 1894 The university moves to its uptown campus on St. Charles Avenue, five miles by streetcar from downtown New Orleans.   

  • 1894 The Newcomb Pottery is established.  

  • 1907 The College of Technology organizes an architecture department, which will evolve into the School of Architecture.   

  • 1912 The School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is established. It later merges with the College of Medicine.   

  • 1914 The College of Commerce is established. It is the first business school in the South and the forerunner of the A. B. Freeman School of Business.   

  • 1925 The Graduate School is established.   

  • 1927 The School of Social Work is established — the first in the Deep South.   

  • 1942 University College is founded as Tulane's division of continuing education.   

  • 1950 The Department of Architecture separates from the School of Engineering and becomes the School of Architecture.  

  • 1967 The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is established.   

  • 1976 The Tulane Medical Center, a 300-bed teaching hospital and ambulatory clinic, opens.   

  • 1993 The name of the College of Arts and Sciences changes to Paul M. Tulane College and is referred to as Tulane College.   

  • 2005 The university cancels the fall semester because of Hurricane Katrina. Tulane University announces a bold renewal plan in December.        

    • Strategic initiatives: Newcomb and Tulane colleges are combined to form Newcomb-Tulane College for all undergraduates.
    • The H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute is established.       
    • University College is renamed the School of Professional Advancement.
    • The Faculty of the Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering are reorganized into two schools: the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Science & Engineering.
    • A public service graduation requirement for all students is initiated.
    • The Partnership for the Transformation of Urban Communities is established.
  • 2006 Classes resume in the spring with 93 percent of all students returning to Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina.   

  • 2007 The university's incoming freshman class of 1,400 students is almost 60 percent larger than in 2006, marking the largest one-year increase in first-year students in the history of the university.   

  • 2010 "Tulane Empowers" begins, a campaign to build resources that will help people build a better world.

  • 2014 Mike Fitts is named the 15th President of Tulane University.

  • 2017: The School of Continuing Studies relaunches as the School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) with a renewed focus on working adults, career advancement, and applied and innovative programs that are relevant to the workplace.

  • 2017: "Only the Audacious: The campaign for an ever bolder Tulane" begins. This is the university's most ambitious fundraising campaign to date — with a goal of raising $1.3 billion.