Centenary College of Louisiana is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The lineage of the college dates back to 1825, when the College of Louisiana was opened in Jackson, Louisiana. The school enjoyed an early success, but struggled financially until Centenary College of Clinton, Mississippi (founded in 1839) agreed to merge with the Jackson campus, creating Centenary College of Louisiana in 1845. It is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River.
Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) and is regularly recognized as one of the top colleges in the South. Princeton Review named Centenary one of the “Best 376 Colleges” and “Best Southeastern Colleges” for 2011, putting the College in the top 15% of all four-year colleges in the country. Forbes.com has recognized Centenary as one of “America’s Best Colleges” overall, “Best Private Colleges,” and “Best Colleges in the South.” Calling it one of the best liberals arts colleges in the nation, U. S. News & World Report placed the College in Tier One of its annual ranking.
In 2011-2012, 805 undergraduate students were enrolled with a 13:1 student/faculty ratio. Students can seek Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Science degrees. Centenary has two Graduate Programs: Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration.
Centenary is located south of downtown Shreveport in the historic Highland Area. The campus is noted for its distinctive Georgian architecture and well-maintained grounds. According to IMDB.Com, the film, The Initiation of Sarah, starring Jennifer Tilly was filmed using Centenary as fictional Temple Hill University. In 2010, the campus was used to film portions of the television series The Gates, using several of Centenary’s buildings as the fictional Gates Academy.
Shreveport is the third largest city in Louisiana. It is the seat of Caddo Parish and extends along the Red River (most notably at Wright Island, the Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park, and Bagley Island) into neighboring Bossier Parish. Shreveport was founded in 1836 by the Shreve Town Company, a corporation established to develop a town at the juncture of the newly navigable Red River and the Texas Trail, an overland route into the newly independent Republic of Texas and, prior to that time, into Mexico. Shreveport is the commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex, the area where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet.
Shreveport is home to several theatres, museums, and performing arts groups. Mardi Gras celebrations in Shreveport date to the mid-nineteenth century when krewes and parades were organized along the lines of those of New Orleans. Mardi Gras in Shreveport did not however survive the cancellations caused by World War I. Attempts to revive it in the 1920s were unsuccessful and the last Carnival celebrations in Shreveport for decades were held in 1927. Mardi Gras in Shreveport was revived in 1984 with the organization of the Krewe of Apollo. The first krewe to revive parading was Gemini in 1989. Today, Mardi Gras is again an important part of the cultural life of the Shreveport metropolitan area.
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