Campuses Creating History
July 21, 2011
By Stephanie Thara
Since the establishment of the California State Normal School in 1862 (essentially the first higher education institution established by the state and now known today as San José State University), state universities have made lasting imprints on California’s history.
Whether it is through student activism, enduring natural disasters or being a forum for political change, CSU campuses have been accomplice to vital events that have shaped the nation. Some unique events include the following:
Bakersfield: In 2008, CSU Bakersfield’s nursing program became an integral part of the National Children’s Study, the largest long-term study of environmental and genetic effects on children’s health ever conducted in the United States.
Channel Islands: In 2010, CSU Channel Islands launched a California Institute for Social Business – the first program of its kind in the United States.
Chico: In 2006, CSU Chico was one of 10 schools to be a finalist for President George W. Bush’s Higher Education Community Service Award for Excellence in General Community Service for accomplishments such as setting the all-time collegiate record for funds raised for St. Jude in one year – $187,000.
Dominguez Hills: Nineteen-year-old CSU Dominguez Hills sophomore Roland Clarkson discovered the largest known prime number-909,526 digits long-in 1998.
East Bay: On April 8, 2010, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a fuel cell project of Pacific Gas and Electric Company allowing Cal State East Bay to become one of the first college campuses in Northern California to have a fuel cell.
Fresno: In 2000, Fresno State opened University High School on its campus, and it quickly became one of the top public charter high schools in the United States.
Fullerton: In 1988, Ronald Reagan made his final Orange County public appearance as president when he spoke in Titan Gym on behalf of the Bush-Quayle campaign.
Humboldt: During World War II, Founder's Hall, which is visible from Humboldt Bay, was camouflaged so Japanese submarines could not use it as a navigational aid. Additionally, an air observation post was also set up atop the art shop to watch for Japanese air strikes— the post was removed in 1953.
Long Beach: In 1976, the California State College at Long Beach, now CSU Long Beach, sent 16 participants to the Olympic Games—more than any other American university.
Los Angeles: In 1968, the university established the nation’s first Chicano Studies department, and in 1993 it became home to the nation's first Charter College of Education.
Maritime Academy: In 1973, Cal Maritime became the first maritime academy in the nation to admit women into a licensed maritime program.
Monterey Bay: When CSU Monterey Bay opened in 1994, the campus was heralded as one of the first universities in the nation to offer high speed wireless Internet coverage across campus.
Northridge: In 1959, Cal State Northridge became the first California state college to install a computer. It had a 4,096 word memory.
Pomona: Founded in 1992, the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies is the only center of its kind in the world. Its mission is to advance the principles of environmentally sustainable living through education, research, demonstration and community outreach.
Sacramento: In 1982, the Center for California Studies is founded at Sacramento State and administers the nationally-recognized Capitol Fellows program. Former fellows include a justice of the California Supreme Court, members of United States Congress and state legislature, state and local government officials, community leaders, and many more.
San Bernardino: In 2010, Cal State San Bernardino established the LEAD Organization (Latino Education & Advocacy Days) to promote broad-based awareness of the crisis in Latino education across the state.
San Diego: In 1970, San Diego State founded the first Women’s Studies program in the country.
San Francisco: In 1969, San Francisco State was the first university in the nation to establish an Ethnic Studies department with emphasis on Asian American Studies, Black Studies, La Raza Studies and Native American Studies.
San Josť: In 1974, San José State opened the Steinbeck Research Center. The only university research archive in the world dedicated solely to John Steinbeck, the center houses items including letters, manuscripts, first editions, memorabilia, original art and secondary works.
San Luis Obispo: In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cal Poly as the number one Public Master’s University in the Western United States for the 18th consecutive year.
San Marcos: In 2010, Cal State San Marcos won first place for its on-campus recycling in the nationwide RecycleMania contest for the sixth straight year.
Sonoma: Founded in 1995, SSU’s Wine Business Institute is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry.
Stanislaus: The college's temporary Stanislaus County Fairgrounds campus was the site of a special hearing covered by television on the state's death penalty in 1961.