September 1939 Dr. Clet Girard began teaching all the English students, Miss Dolive Benoit all the French students enrolled (140 students total).
1940 La Jeunesse, first club at McNeese founded. It was the French club and it held its first social, a costume ball, in February 1940.
1947 Spanish added to the curriculum.
1947-48 McNeese Review first published; now state's oldest academic journal and most frequently edited by Languages.
1950 McNeese became a four-year college.
1952-53 McNeese received its first electronic lab for teaching Foreign Languages; the only other one at that time was at LSU.
1954-55 McNeese became a nationally accredited,fully-developed four-year college.
1954 Department of Languages created; Dr. Clet Girard was named first Department Head and was first faculty member to hold Ph.D.
1954 Andre Dubus, first McNeese alumnus to earn national standing as a novelist.
1961 The Arena, for creative writing, first published.
1963 Dr. Girard became first Dean of the Graduate School; Dr. John M. Norris became the second Department Head.
1970 The school became McNeese State University.
1972 Dr. Clifford Byrne became the third Department Head.
1972-75 First surge of department publications: Curtis Whittington, Halibert Reeves, Lisa Pederson, Joe Cash, and Robert Cooper.
1976-present Presentations and publications, including full-length books, too numerous to list hereafter.
1979 Graduate program saved by devoted faculty and by new Vice President for Academic Affairs, Robert Hebert, and University President Jack Doland.
1980 Dr. Curtis Whittington became the fourth Department Head.
1980 Dr. Joe Cash became the first Director of Graduate Studies in English.
1981 Miss Dolive Benoit retired, last of original 1939 faculty.
1982 The MFA Degree in Creative Writing was approved.
1982-86 Dr. Joe Cash became first person to serve as Assistant Department Head, then Acting Department Head briefly; in August 1986 he was named the fifth Department Head and held that office for 23 years.
Fall 1982 Dr. John Wood became the second Director of Graduate Studies, including the new Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
1985 Robert Olen Butler joined the faculty, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1993.
1988 Dr. Sigrid Scholtz Novak became the department's first Fulbright scholar.
1993, 1996 Dr. John Wood became the only poet ever to twice win the coveted Iowa Poetry Prize.
1996 Dr. Cheryl Ware became the department's second Fulbright recipient.
1997 Morri Creech won the $ 15,000 Ruth Lily Poetry Fellowship. This was the first time the award had ever been given. Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
1999 Kevin Meauz was the second McNeese MFA student to win the Lily.
2000 Dr. Cecilia Ryan became the department's second Senior Fulbright.
Fall 2000 Returning McNeese alumnus (1996 graduate) Neil Connelly appointed new McNeese fiction writer and MFA coordinator of fiction studies.
2003 Dafydd Wood, 4.0 GPA in English; youngest student (18) ever to graduate from McNeese.
2005-06 Department's name changed to DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES in order to portray more accurately the scope of the department.
2006 Dr. Jacob Blevins became the department's third Fulbright scholar.
2006 After the retirement of Dr. Wood, fiction writer Neil Connelly became Director of the MFA program.
2008 Returning McNeese alumnua Amy Fleury appointed new McNeese poet and MFA coordinator of the poetry program.
August 2009 Dr. Jacob Blevins named sixth Department Head.
June 2010 Amy Fleury appointed new Director of the MFA program after Neil Connelly's departure.
June 2010 Dr. Joe Cash retired after 38 years of service to McNeese State University and 23 years as Department Head.
Summer 2010 Foreign Language Degree restructured with multiple concentrations.
August 2010 Alex Taylor appointed new McNeese fiction writer and new editor of The McNeese Review.