Conference Location (2024)

Southern University at New Orleans

Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) was founded as a branch unit of Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College in Baton Rouge (SUBR) on September 4, 1956. On September 21, 1959, SUNO opened its doors on a 17-acre site located in historic Pontchartrain Park, a subdivision of primarily African American single-family residents in eastern New Orleans. Today, SUNO is one of five campuses under the Southern University System.


More than a decade before the Civil Rights Act between 1955 and 1961, New Orleans developed Pontchartrain Park around a 200-acre green space consisting of a golf course and park on land reclaimed from lowlying swamps. Iit offered two or three-bedroom ranch-style houses with ample entertaining space and open floorplans. There was a school, churches, the golf course, a tennis court, and the park. For the new residents, it seemed like the American dream was in reach. The neighborhood was settled in part by veterans who could afford housing on the Gl bill but couldn’t obtain home loans because of redlining. And was marketed to a professional African American public who had been subjected to inferior housing all their lives. Pontchartrain Park welcomed them. Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO), a Historically Black College, opened in Pontchartrain Park’s northwest corner in 1959 as Black students could not attend the nearby all-white state University of New Orleans formerly (LSUNO) , or Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge nor afford tuition at private black schools like Dillard University and Xavier University of New Orleans. SUNO gave these young people a chance for an education, a mission it continues. The community is closely tied to SUNO’s cultural identity. They have been interrelated for the last sixty (60) years. Even at a time when the country moved painfully toward integration, Pontchartrain Park and SUNO created a safe haven for minorities.