Northwestern State University was established in 1884 in the old Bullard Mansion atop a hill overlooking the bustling river port city of Natchitoches. The campus grew as the school expanded from a two-year degree for teachers at Louisiana State Normal School to the four-year education degree at Louisiana Normal College in 1921. In 1944, the school became Northwestern State College and Northwestern State University in 1970.
Today, over 130 years later, three columns remain of the original structure on what is now called Normal Hill in a National Historic District. This location is the oldest continually occupied site for higher education in Louisiana. The campus expanded to the south and west as the school grew, and Northwestern State established satellite campuses in Shreveport, Alexandria and Fort Polk.