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Rousseve, Ferdinand L. (1904-1965) | Amistad Research Center

Name: Rousseve, Ferdinand L. (1904-1965)


Historical Note:

Ferdinand Lucien Rousseve was an architect, professor, housing consultant, president of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater Boston, and State Department delegate on the United States Committee for United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Ferdinand Lucien Rousseve was born on July 16, 1904, to Barthelemy Abel and Valentine R. (Mansion) Rousseve in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was the great-grandson of Lucien Mansion, militant civic worker and writer during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, and a great-great-grandson of Dominique Foster, who served under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Rousseve received his early education from St. Louis School. When the school was destroyed in 1915, Rousseve enrolled at Holy Family Boys School, Straight College, and then the Preparatory Department at Xavier University, from which he graduated in 1922. After graduating from the Preparatory Department at Xavier University, he enrolled at Coyne Trade and Engineering School in Chicago, where he received his diploma in Mechanical Drawing and Elementary Machine Design in 1924.

In 1925, Rousseve was awarded a scholarship from the city of Cambridge, which allowed him to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or Harvard University. Rousseve decided to attend MIT and in 1930, received a bachelor degree in Architecture. Afterward, Rousseve accepted a teaching position at Howard University in Washington D.C., focused on Architecture and French. In 1933, Rousseve became a registered architect in Louisiana and the business manager at Southern University in Baton Rouge. In 1934, he served as Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Fine Arts at Xavier University in New Orleans. In 1940, he received his M.A. in History from the University of Chicago, and served as Vice-President of the New Orleans Urban League. In 1946, Rousseve became a registered architect in Alabama, and in 1947, he became provisional chairman of the New Orleans Urban League.

In 1948, Rousseve received his Ph.D in Architecture from Harvard University, becoming the first person at the university to complete a Ph.D in four years. After graduating from Harvard, he accepted a position as professor of Fine Arts at Boston College; during the same year he became certified as a registered architect in the state of Massachusetts. In 1953, Rousseve served on the board of directors for the Urban League of Greater Boston and Cambridge Community Services. In 1958, Rousseve became chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Boston University and served on the board of directors of the Catholic Interracial Council of Boston. In 1961, he became a State Department delegate to the United States Committee for United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Ferdinand Lucien Rousseve died on July 18, 1965, after a lengthy illness.

Sources: The papers of Ferdinand L. Rousseve.
Note Author: Shannon Burrell





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