Larger, louder and Long-er.These words emulate the theme of Huey Pierce Long's reign as governor and senator of Louisiana, Kingfish to the people and self-proclaimed father of the University."Huey viewed LSU as politically useful to him," said Paul Hoffman, a history professor sanctioned by the University to study it "He was showing that if a poor state like Louisiana can have a good university with open access and a lot of support for students who can't afford to go because of the depression, [then] that fit in with his larger political agenda.""HIS" UNIVERSITYLong was elected governor of Louisiana in 1928. At that time, the University had 1,985 students enrolled for the year and 1,204 students enrolled for summer school, Hoffman said in an e-mail to The Daily Reveille.Long didn't become closely involved with the University until 1930, when then-University president Thomas Atkinson fell ill, according to T. Harry Williams' book, "Huey Long." To keep his political enemies at bay and elect a University president with whom he could work well, Long finally began looking at LSU as "his" university and intervened in academic affairs. The book said Long asked his cronies for suggestions for a new University president, and James Monroe Smith, who was selected, became the main candidate instead of Col. Campbell Hodges."[James Monroe Smith] in various ways influenced Huey to save more money for in-state operations," Hoffman said. "And part of that was expanding faculty and expanding offerings, so this is a more well-rounded institution and not so much a technical school."Long's arm reached into the University's day-to-day operations in 1934 when he had seven members of The Daily Reveille expelled for printing content critical of the then senator.Under Long, the University received class A accreditation from the Association of American Universities, which was eventually dropped, Hoffman said.The Music and Dramatic Arts Building, Pleasant Hall, the Huey P. Long Field House and dormitories around Tiger Stadium were built under the Long machine. Long funded some of the construction by selling property and buildings of the University's downtown campus to the State Highway Commission for $1.8 million.THE MYTHSMissy Korduner, first year experience assistant director teaches the story of Tiger Stadium's construction during an annual freshman retreat. She told The Daily Reveille in an e-mail many people believe Long told the Legislature he wanted to build new dorms with a grassy courtyard in the center, but instead built a football stadium with dorms around it. However, this version is one of many Long urban myths. In reality, the University received loans from the federal government to build dorms under the stadium, and fees from students living in the dorms eventually paid off the loans.Emmett David, Facility Development director, said the stadium dorms on the south end zone side are used as offices for the Art Department, and the other dorm rooms are empty or used for storage.Long added 10,000 seats to the 13,000-seat stadium by 1934. For his love of LSU football, he even arranged for students to ride the train for reduced fares for out-of-town games. BIGGER AND LOUDERConstructing buildings wasn't Long's only contribution to Tiger Stadium. With his interest in the University's band and football team, Long started the tradition of bigger and louder is better among University students.Roy King, assistant director of bands, said Long's interest in the LSU band changed it from a military ceremonial band to the "Show Band of the South" under the direction of Castro Carazo, whom Long hired.Long introduced the purple and gold colors and increased the band to nearly 250 members, according to the LSU Department of Bands Web site. King said the band currently has 325 members.Long composed songs for the band with Carazo, such as "Darling of LSU" and "Touchdown for LSU," which the band still plays at every game."[Long] certainly has a place in [the band's] legacy, and deservedly so," King said.LONG'S SIGNATURELong also included his personality to other buildings on campus, such as his signature Huey P. Long Field House and Pool.The pool is 180 feet long and 48 feet wide, which was the largest pool in the country in the early 1930s. The pool, which was once the Student Union, was drained in 2003 because of a leak.Awareness for the pool's condition has resurfaced in recent years.Aimee Schmitt, wife of LSU swimming coach Adam Schmitt, founded saveHPL.org, a Web site dedicated to raising awareness and money to renovate the Field House pool. The Student Government Senate also created the Huey P. Long Restoration Committee to advocate restoring the Field House and two student organizations — Landmark LSU and Preservationists Around Campus —  aim to bring the Fieldhouse to the forefront of University officials' minds.David estimated renovations for the pool to cost $5 million and restorations to the Field House building to cost $20 million, according to a Sept. 16, 2008, article in The Daily Reveille.In September 2008, The Foundation for Historical Louisiana added the Fieldhouse to its list of "Treasures in Trouble," but at the time, the crumbling building was listed at No. 13 on the University's restoration list, according to a Sept. 16 article in The Daily Reveille. Schmitt said both the building and the pool have historical significance for their connection to Long and an architectural significance for resemblance to the Roman Baths.Hoffman said Long gets a lot more credit than he deserves for the accomplishments at the University.Many books give Long credit for the University's inexpensive tuition, but Hoffman said idea goes back to 1872. Hoffman said the Board of Supervisors made LSU as affordable as possible for its students back in the 19th century.Hoffman said Long gets the  credit for expanding student work-study during the Great Depression, but those programs were already in place."He was mostly interested in a scholarship that could be given to a student without strings attached," Hoffman said. "He gets credit for building this campus, and he doesn't deserve it. The Huey P. Long Field House and Pool were the only structures built while Huey was alive. The others were built by the Long machine, but not by Huey."Despite the facts, people in and around the campus give Long credit for making the University the largest in the state, with the loudest fans and the longest reputation of success."When you get on LSU's campus, you realize, as a student, the impact that [Long] did have," said Stuart Watkins, Student Government president. "Much of what makes LSU the amazing institution it is today is because of the insight and the drive Huey P. Long had."----Contact Mary Walker Baus at mwbaus@lsureveille.com

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