Diamond Jubilee: Celebrating 60 Years of Educational Excellence

Over the past six decades, the CSU has transformed the face of higher education in California.

 

On the surface, it was merely a signature: Pat Brown. California’s then-governor had put pen to paper countless times to enact laws. But this one was special. Its impact would be far-reaching and ripple throughout generations. Signed into law on April 27, 1960, the Donahoe Higher Education Act changed California forever. That master plan gave birth to the California State University and was the culmination of a bold vision put forth by the Golden State’s legislators, educators and civic and business leaders. It combined the California State Colleges into a single, unified system with an extraordinary mission to educate and elevate its students, serving as a powerful engine of social mobility.

The CSU has since grown to become the largest system of four-year higher education in the nation, with campuses spanning from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the south. San José State is recognized as the oldest campus (1857), while California State University, Channel Islands is the newest addition (2002). Sixty years after its quiet beginning, the CSU annually awards more than 127,000 degrees, producing job-ready graduates who are essential to California’s workforce and economy. While the CSU welcomes the changes time inevitably brings, one element has remained constant: a deep commitment to student success.

Take a look at this collection of historical images to view how our campuses have transformed over the years.

Bakersfield

Bakersfield   April 11, 1969  Then-Governor Ronald Reagan speaks at CSUB’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Bakersfield

April 11, 1969
Then-Governor Ronald Reagan speaks at CSUB’s groundbreaking ceremony.

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1973
Students shop for textbooks in the CSUB bookstore.

1973 Students shop for textbooks in the CSUB bookstore.

CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE

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CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE

1974
James Cleary, Ph.D. (left, president of CSUN from 1969 to 1992), Senator Margaret Chase Smith (center) and Glenn Dumke, Ph.D. (right, Chancellor of the CSU from 1962 to 1982) at CSUN’s commencement. Senator Smith receives the Award of Honorary Doctor of Law at the ceremony. She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress.

CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE    1974James Cleary, Ph.D. (left, president of CSUN from 1969 to 1992), Senator Margaret Chase Smith (center) and Glenn Dumke, Ph.D. (right, Chancellor of the CSU from 1962 to 1982) at CSUN’s commencement. Senator Smith receives the Award of Honorary Doctor of Law at the ceremony. She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress.
1976 Fifteen years after being organized as a separate system of higher education, the 19 campuses of the California State University and Colleges acquire a permanent headquarters in the building at 400 Golden Shore, Long Beach. The 6.4-acre site was donated by the City of Long Beach. In 1999, it moved across the street to its current location at 401 Golden Shore.

1976
Fifteen years after being organized as a separate system of higher education, the 19 campuses of the California State University and Colleges acquire a permanent headquarters in the building at 400 Golden Shore, Long Beach. The 6.4-acre site was donated by the City of Long Beach. In 1999, it moved across the street to its current location at 401 Golden Shore.


CHANNEL ISLANDS

CHANNEL ISLANDS   1999 California State Assembly members Nao Takasugi (left) and Jack O’Connell (right) reveal the official campus road sign to be placed along the 101 Freeway in Camarillo during the planning stages of the university. The campus officially opens three years later.

CHANNEL ISLANDS

1999
California State Assembly members Nao Takasugi (left) and Jack O’Connell (right) reveal the official campus road sign to be placed along the 101 Freeway in Camarillo during the planning stages of the university. The campus officially opens three years later.

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2008
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 137,000-square-foot, three-story John Spoor Broome Library.

2008 The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 137,000-square-foot, three-story John Spoor Broome Library.

CHICO

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CHICO

2016
Gayle Hutchinson speaks with students at her inauguration, making her the campus’s first female president.

CHICO   2016 Gayle Hutchinson speaks with students at her inauguration, making her the campus’s first female president.
2018 Chico State hires Rachel McBride-Praetorius as director of Tribal Relations, a first for the campus and the CSU.

2018
Chico State hires Rachel McBride-Praetorius as director of Tribal Relations, a first for the campus and the CSU.


DOMINGUEZ HILLS

DOM​INGUEZ HILLS   1971Former president of CSU Dominguez Hills Leo Cain stands with administrators and campus visitors in front of the new library’s framework.                  Left to right: Gilbert Smith, Polly Watts, Assemblyman Leon Ralph, President Cain.

DOM​INGUEZ HILLS

1971
Former president of CSU Dominguez Hills Leo Cain stands with administrators and campus visitors in front of the new library’s framework. Left to right: Gilbert Smith, Polly Watts, Assemblyman Leon Ralph, President Cain.

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1983
Professor John Goders (right) examines an art table containing a clay sculpture in progress by an art student.

1983 Professor John Goders (right) examines an art table containing a clay sculpture in progress by an art student.

EAST BAY

EAST BAY   1963The university is originally named the State College for Alameda County when it was officially established by the California State Assembly in 1957. The first academic year begins in 1959 at Sunset High School in Cherryland with 25 faculty and 293 students. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the current Hayward Campus are held in February 1961, and the college moves to its permanent location in fall 1963.

EAST BAY

1963
The university is originally named the State College for Alameda County when it was officially established by the California State Assembly in 1957. The first academic year begins in 1959 at Sunset High School in Cherryland with 25 faculty and 293 students. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the current Hayward Campus are held in February 1961, and the college moves to its permanent location in fall 1963.

2005The university changes its name to California State University, East Bay in 2005 to reflect its new regional positioning. The university’s three campuses—named the Hayward campus, the Concord campus and the Oakland Center—reinforce the regional influence of the university.

2005
The university changes its name to California State University, East Bay in 2005 to reflect its new regional positioning. The university’s three campuses—named the Hayward campus, the Concord campus and the Oakland Center—reinforce the regional influence of the university.

2005The university changes its name to California State University, East Bay in 2005 to reflect its new regional positioning. The university’s three campuses—named the Hayward campus, the Concord campus and the Oakland Center—reinforce the regional influence of the university.

FRESNO

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Fresno

April 1968
Two months before his assassination, Robert F. Kennedy brings his presidential campaign to the Amphitheater.

Fresno   April 1968Two months before his assassination, Robert F. Kennedy brings his presidential campaign to the Amphitheater.
2013 Chancellor Timothy P. White and former campus winemaker/alumnus John Giannini (left) at Fresno State Winery. Fresno State became the first university in the U.S. fully licensed to produce, sell and bottle wine in 1997.

2013
Chancellor Timothy P. White and former campus winemaker/alumnus John Giannini (left) at Fresno State Winery. Fresno State became the first university in the U.S. fully licensed to produce, sell and bottle wine in 1997.


Fullerton

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Fullerton

1957
William Langsdorf (right), founding president of CSUF, and construction superintendent R. Jones (left) at the construction site for the campus’s first structure, the Letters and Science Building.

Fullerton   1957William Langsdorf (right), founding president of CSUF, and construction superintendent R. Jones (left) at the construction site for the campus’s first structure, the Letters and Science Building.
1950s   Students pose to show what dorm life was expected to be like.

1950s
Students pose to show what dorm life was expected to be like.


Humboldt

Humboldt   1930Students work on projects in botany class.

Humboldt

1930
Students work on projects in botany class.

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1980s
A muddy tug-of-war was a highlight of Lumberjack Days, a campuswide celebration held annually from the 1950s through the 1990s.

1980sA muddy tug-of-war was a highlight of Lumberjack Days, a campuswide celebration held annually from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Long Beach

Long Beach   1962A student ​searches the library’s card catalog.

Long Beach

1962
A student ​searches the library’s card catalog.

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1962
Students lounge on the lawn in front of CSULB’s sign.

1962Students lounge on the lawn in front of CSULB’s sign.

LOS ANGELES

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LOS ANGELES

1960s
Couples revel at a dance party.

LOS ANGELES   1960sCouples revel at a dance party.
1960s              Cal State LA alumna Billie Jean King plays tennis on campus.

1960s
Cal State LA alumna Billie Jean King plays tennis on campus.


CAL MARITIME

CAL MARITIME   September 1994                   The U.S.N.S.                  Maury, an ocean survey ship that is slated to go out of service, is transferred to the academy as its new training ship. The 500-foot vessel is renamed Golden Bear III, the Academy’s fourth training ship in its history.

CAL MARITIME

September 1994
The U.S.N.S. Maury, an ocean survey ship that is slated to go out of service, is transferred to the academy as its new training ship. The 500-foot vessel is renamed Golden Bear III, the Academy’s fourth training ship in its history.

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July 1995
Former CSU Chancellor Barry Munitz, Ph.D., presents former Cal Maritime President Mary Lyons, Ph.D., with a proclamation stating the campus officially joins the CSU.

July 1995      Former CSU Chancellor Barry Munitz, Ph.D., presents former Cal Maritime President Mary Lyons, Ph.D., with a proclamation stating the campus officially joins the CSU.

MONTEREY BAY

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MONTEREY BAY

1995
Former President Bill Clinton on stage at the CSUMB inauguration ceremony.

MONTEREY BAY   1995 Former President Bill Clinton on stage at the CSUMB inauguration ceremony.
December 5, 2008Opening celebration for Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library.Photo by Randy Tunnell Photography

December 5, 2008
Opening celebration for Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library.
Photo by Randy Tunnell Photography


NORTHRIDGE

NORTHRIDGE   1970s     Students take a respite on the lawn of CSUN’s National Center on Deafness.

NORTHRIDGE

1970s
Students take a respite on the lawn of CSUN’s National Center on Deafness.

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1994
A police officer stands in front of parking structure C (now East Field and SRC Field), which sustained extensive damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

1994A police officer stands in front of parking structure C (now East Field and SRC Field), which sustained extensive damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

POMONA

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POMONA

October 1966
The Trustees of the California State Colleges formally establish California State Polytechnic College, Kellogg Campus as the 16th state college, separate from San Luis Obispo. Enrollment is 5,500. Instructional divisions are now called schools.

POMONA   October 1966The Trustees of the California State Colleges formally establish California State Polytechnic College, Kellogg Campus as the 16th state college, separate from San Luis Obispo. Enrollment is 5,500. Instructional divisions are now called schools.
March 1982  The Bronco women’s basketball team wins the Division II national championship with a 93-74 victory over Tuskegee Institute. It’s the first of five national titles (1982, 1985, 1986, 2001, 2002).

March 1982
The Bronco women’s basketball team wins the Division II national championship with a 93-74 victory over Tuskegee Institute. It’s the first of five national titles (1982, 1985, 1986, 2001, 2002).


SACRAMENTO

SACRAMENTO   April 1, ​1951The current location of Sacramento State opens in 1952. Between 1947-1951, the campus shared facilities with Sacramento City College.

SACRAMENTO

April 1, ​1951
The current location of Sacramento State opens in 1952. Between 1947-1951, the campus shared facilities with Sacramento City College.

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March 1980
Protestors gather during the International Working Women's Conference in support of saving part-time faculty positions in the Women's Studies department. In 1971, Sacramento State became the first university in the U.S. to offer a degree in Women’s Studies.

March 1980Protestors gather during the International Working Women's Conference in support of saving part-time faculty positions in the Women's Studies department. In 1971, Sacramento State became the first university in the U.S. to offer a degree in Women’s Studies.

SAN BERNARDINO

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SAN BERNARDINO

September 1965
John M. Pfau, founding president of CSUSB, welcomes students to the first day of classes.

SAN BERNARDINO   September 1965                   John M. Pfau, founding president of CSUSB, welcomes students to the first day of classes.
December 2019     The No. 1 ranked Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team completes a historic season as it wins the NCAA Division II National Championship and finishes with a perfect 33-0 record. The Yotes claim the first team national championship, in any sport, in CSUSB school history and become just the third team in NCAA DII Volleyball history to go undefeated.

December 2019
The No. 1 ranked Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team completes a historic season as it wins the NCAA Division II National Championship and finishes with a perfect 33-0 record. The Yotes claim the first team national championship, in any sport, in CSUSB school history and become just the third team in NCAA DII Volleyball history to go undefeated.


SAN DIEGO

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SAN DIEGO

1960
Students study on the lawn of the Main Quad behind Hepner Hall.

SAN DIEGO   1960Students study on the lawn of the Main Quad behind Hepner Hall. 
June 6, 1963  Former President John F. Kennedy speaks at SDSU’s 65th commencement.                    Listen to His Speech »

June 6, 1963
Former President John F. Kennedy speaks at SDSU’s 65th commencement.
Listen to His Speech »


SAN FRANCISCO

SAN FRANCISCO   November 6, 1968     The Black Student Union at SFSU leads a coalition of other groups in a campus student strike, demanding a more diverse and less Eurocentric university. When the strike ends four and a half months later (the longest campus strike in U.S. history), the strikers’ demands result in the creation of                  San Francisco State’s College of Ethnic Studies, the first such college in the nation.

SAN FRANCISCO

November 6, 1968
The Black Student Union at SFSU leads a coalition of other groups in a campus student strike, demanding a more diverse and less Eurocentric university. When the strike ends four and a half months later (the longest campus strike in U.S. history), the strikers’ demands result in the creation of San Francisco State’s College of Ethnic Studies, the first such college in the nation.

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1984
Students gather in the SFSU Quad.

1984 Students gather in the SFSU Quad.

SAN JOSÉ

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SAN JOSÉ

1902
“Box and Cox,” the first production put on at SJSU.

SAN JOSÉ   1902 “Box and Cox,” the first production put on at SJSU.
1970s              Students hang out in the quad of the art department building.

1970s
Students hang out in the quad of the art department building.


SAN LUIS OBISPO

SAN LUIS OBISPO    1967 Cal Poly SLO and Cal Poly Pomona have teamed up each year since 1949 for a unique Learn by Doing experience: designing, building and driving the only student-built float in the world-famous Rose Parade, which takes place every New Year’s Day in Pasadena. In 1967, the entry, “A Child’s Fantasy,” earned the parade’s Mayor’s Award.

SAN LUIS OBISPO

1967
Cal Poly SLO and Cal Poly Pomona have teamed up each year since 1949 for a unique Learn by Doing experience: designing, building and driving the only student-built float in the world-famous Rose Parade, which takes place every New Year’s Day in Pasadena. In 1967, the entry, “A Child’s Fantasy,” earned the parade’s Mayor’s Award.

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1977
Members of Cal Poly’s Mustang Band perform a distinctive tradition known as “Georging,” wild, spontaneous-looking dancing that is a carefully choreographed part of the show.

1977     Members of Cal Poly’s Mustang Band perform a distinctive tradition known as “Georging,” wild, spontaneous-looking dancing that is a carefully choreographed part of the show.

San Marcos​

San Marcos​   April 25, 2016Researchers measure oxygen consumption as a student paddles on a surfboard.

San Marcos​

April 25, 2016
Researchers measure oxygen consumption as a student paddles on a surfboard.

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2018
​An aerial shot of the CSU San Marcos campus.

2018   ​An aerial shot of the CSU San Marcos campus.

SONOMA

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SONOMA

1966
Freshman Theresa Dunn of Cotati rides her horse from her home to campus Tuesdays and Thursdays for physical education classes.

SONOMA   1966 Freshman Theresa Dunn of Cotati rides her horse from her home to campus Tuesdays and Thursdays for physical education classes.
1968 SSU in the distance as seen from Indian Valley Farm.

1968
SSU in the distance as seen from Indian Valley Farm.


Stanislaus

Stanislaus   1998Former Stanislaus State President Marvalene Hughes, Ph.D., applauds while General Colin Powell takes the podium as keynote speaker for the 1998 Stanislaus State Leadership Forum.

Stanislaus

1998
Former Stanislaus State President Marvalene Hughes, Ph.D., applauds while General Colin Powell takes the podium as keynote speaker for the 1998 Stanislaus State Leadership Forum.

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2020
Stanislaus State’s University Student Center celebrates its grand opening. The design planning team consists of students and professional staff.

2020Stanislaus State’s University Student Center celebrates its grand opening. The design planning team consists of students and professional staff.