Campus: CSU, Long Beach -- May 26, 2000

Cal State Long Beach Closes Out Its Golden Anniversary Celebration

California State University, Long Beach concluded its 50th anniversary celebration with a grand finale event that included a picnic, special activities and a four-band concert featuring music from the 1950s, '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s.

Titled "A Picnic, A Party, A Concert," hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and members of the community showed up to take part in the festivities last Saturday (May 20).

"We started this 50th anniversary celebration 18 months ago with a focus on where we have been," said Cal State Long Beach President Robert C. Maxson. "With this grand finale event, we closed the book on the past and are now looking toward the future of this great university."

Founded in January of 1949 as Los Angeles-Orange County State College, Cal State Long Beach began its golden anniversary commemoration in January 1999 with a Founder's Day event in The Pyramid. Regular events have followed over the last 18 months, but Saturday's festivities brought the celebration to an official end.

Among the special activities presented was the "Human 50," a collection of attendees who joined together to form a giant "50" in the campus' Central Quad area wearing commemorative black T-shirts to make the formation more visible from the sky.

Organizers arranged for photos to be taken of the "Human 50" and got some help from the Long Beach Police Department, which sent its helicopter to take pictures, and a 30-foot lift on campus.

"This 'Human 50' will serve as a visual metaphor for the one university and the many individual lives it has touched over the last 50 years," said Michael Blazey, chair of the CSULB 50th Anniversary Committee. "The photograph will be used in posters, yearbooks, class schedules and other events throughout the campus' next 50 years."

In addition, the final touches are being put on a time capsule, which will contain memorabilia from the campus' first 50 years. The capsule will be sealed in a glass case and put on display in the University Library with instructions not to open until the year 2049, when Cal State Long Beach celebrates its centennial.

Headlining the concert festivities were a trio of musical-era bands led by a 1960s-era show titled the "Classical Mystery Tour," a Beatles cover band featuring members of the original Broadway cast of "Beatlemania."

The Boogie Knights--with polyester suits, John Travolta dance moves and period hairstyles-paid tribute to history's funky sounds of the 1970s while the M-80's re-created the "best and the worst" of the 1980s with its new wave dance party complete with skinny ties, punked out hair and Madonna-style performer.

Public Affairs Offices/Campus News
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