LSCO Through the Years - Lamar State College Orange 50th Anniversary


The Orange County Chamber of Commerce approaches Lamar State College of Technology about creating an extension center in Orange. In 1969 a lower-division center opens and 362 students enroll.
Dr. Joe Ben Welch serves as the President of the Orange Extension Branch of the Lamar School of Technology and Lamar University-Orange.


July 30, 1970
Orange Leader Tuition costs at Tilly Tech (No out-of- state fees for Louisiana)
one course   $36
two courses  $72
three courses  $108
four courses  $144
five courses  $180
February 21, 1971
LU Branch on the grow
Donated to school
  • Gulf State Theaters donated the old Stand Theater
  • two surplus Navy ships donated by the Navy Base
  • eight acres of land on Destroyer Dr. in Riverside donated by Navy Base (old Navy Base pool, gym and tennis courts)
  • a building donated by American Bridge Shipbuilding to be used as a welding lab
May 5, 1971
A fire destroys Lamar University-Orange’s Tilley Tech building and final exams are held at the National Guard Armory. In July, a community-wide student-led fundraising project nets more than $250,000 for Lamar University-Orange to purchase the Sabine Supply Company building, where classes are to be held. Drafting was added as one of the first two technical programs in the LSCO curriculum. The second program was radiology. In 1972 both programs were offered as complete two-year courses of study, with students receiving associate of applied science degrees
July 28, 1971
A contract for the former Sabine Supply Company building at the corner of 4th and Front St. was signed. The contract was signed by officials of a nonprofit corporation, Lamar University in Orange County Capital Foundation, set up by the Chamber to solicit funds for a Lamar Extension Building in Orange.
August 1, 1971
Editorial by J. Cullen Browning on the major achievement of the Lamar extension in Orange
October 18, 1971
Sabine River News full page about Lamar U. Extension
Lamar University-Orange begins to offer degrees
LU-O offers Real Estate courses
LU-O will have a completely different fee schedule now that it is a legislative approved branch of Lamar.
Four day work week set for Lamar Branch. Dropping Friday classes will save fuel.
November 15, 1973
A clear title to the building which houses the Lamar Branch in Orange was signed over to the Lamar University officials
The Legislature renames the State Senior College Board of Regents as the Texas State University System Board of Regents.
The Brown family donates the estate of E. W. Brown, a prominent local businessman and philanthropist to the Lamar University Board of Regents. The Cardinal Moods was organized in the fall by Jerry Parris and performed at numerous public functions throughout Orange and the surrounding areas. (Picture and Names of original group in TSUS book) The Cardinal Moods served as Goodwill Ambassadors for the campus for more than 25 years.


The Legislature authorizes the creation of the Lamar University System comprised of Lamar University, Lamar University-Port Arthur, Lamar University-Orange, the College of Technical Arts (Now the Lamar Institute of Technology) and the John Gray Institute. This legislation was promoted by Sen. Carl A. Parker. This legislation allowed Dr. Joe Ben Welch to be named as the first president of the campus. Previously, he held the titles of director, dean, and provost. The LSCO Foundation was incorporated. The Foundation provides student scholarships, raises funds, and assists the college in locating land for growth. Many members of the Foundation were active in the fundraising to purchase the Orange Supply Building, the first building the school owned. The three primary goals of the Foundation are to provide scholarships to local students, raise funds for the college, and to assist the college in finding and acquiring land and buildings to for the growth of LSCO.
The state approved the LSCO application for a Licensed Vocational Nursing Program that was separate and apart for the LU nursing programs.
Under Senator Parker’s leadership LSCO became eligible to receive money from the state’s newly created constitutional reserve, the Higher Education Assistance Fund.
Dr. Joe Ben Welch, campus President resigns after 19 years serving the campus and community.
LSCO won approval to offer an innovative program for training registered nurses. The Upward Mobility Nursing Program admitted only licensed LCNs and in 12 months prepared them to sit for the RN state certification. The program was an instant success. The LSCO campus received independent accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
July 1989 - June 1990
Dr. Andrew Johnson, a vice chancellor in the Lamar University System Office served at interim president at LU-O.


July 1990 Dr. Steve Maradian became president of LU-O
1991 The Legislature authorizes LU-O and LU-PA to issue associated degrees in their own names. In May, Gov. Ann Richards signs a bill making LU-O an independent degree granting institution within the Lamar University System.
1994 Dr. Steve Maradian moved to a position in the Systems office and Dr. Michael Shahan was appointed interim President in August.  Dr. Shahan moved from his position as Vice President of Academic Affairs at LU-PA.
1995 Dr. Michael Shahan becomes the named president at LU-O
The Legislature abolishes the Lamar University System and places its four institutions into the Texas State University System
1997 A master plan for the campus is approved by the TSUS Board. Part one of the campus renewal of LU-O is completed with the consolidation of a four block pedestrian zone, a new central energy plant, and expanded classroom facilities. With the support of Rep. Ron E. Lewis funding is secured to build a three story library/administration building, build a central plant for electrical and cooling service, and install landscaping and parking as the first phase of a total campus renovation. The Stark Foundation provided funding for the renovation of the second floor of the old Levingston Building, turning it into the Allied Health Center
1999 The Legislature renames the former Lamar University campuses in Orange and Port Arthur as Lamar State College-Orange and Lamar State College-Port Arthur


Gov. Rick Perry helps the Board of Regents dedicate the Ron E. Lewis Library, the main building at the Lamar State College – Orange campus and the first completely new building on campus. All of the other buildings were renovated from various commercials buildings.
Phase two of the campus renewal plan included completely remodeling and modernizing the original campus building (AC), updating the Student Center, and converting the former library building into a classroom facility (Wilson Center)
Hurricane Rita hits damaging the roof of the Ron E. Lewis Library. The campus sustained other damages.
Phase three involved the renovation of the Green Avenue Office Building  (acquired in the 1990s).
Hurricane Ike strikes. Lamar State College Orange suffers substantial damage with surge water damaging all but one building on campus. The buildings received from six inches of water (Ron E. Lewis Library) to almost four feet of water in the Green Avenue Building. The only building that did not flood was the original building, the Academic Center. This building housed the Computer Center and all the servers. The campus was closed for almost four weeks due to the damages. The campus sustained more than nine million dollars’ worth of damage. The campus petitioned the Board of Regents and was able to complete a restructured fall semester in January 2009. Since this was the second major hurricane to hit our area the school begins to develop contingency plans for all computer services and ways to continue onsite classes online, in the event of another weather event.


The Nursing and Classroom Building is constructed to house the state-of-the-art LVN and Upward Mobility Nursing programs.
The campus’ newest building, the Cypress Center, is built. The facility has classrooms and offices as well as a large convention center meeting space.
Dr. Michael Shahan retires after 24 years as president of LSCO. Cypress Event Center renamed Michael and Bridget Shahan Event Center.
After a nationwide search, Dr. Thomas A. Johnson is selected by the Board of Regents to serve as the president of Lamar State College Orange.


Contact Info

Lamar State College Orange

Phone: (409) 883-7750
410 W Front Street
Orange, TX 77630

Academic Advising

For registration and admission information, please contact:

Academic Advising
Phone: (409) 882-3340
Ron E. Lewis Library, Room 355

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