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Chico State College (1936-1972)

Celebration of 50th anniversary of the opening of the institution. April 8;
First annual People's Institute held;
First evening classes;
Purchase of athletic field from Chico Board of Education.

  1938 Chimes installed in library tower. Sororities held fund drive to raise $600. for chimes.
  1939 50th anniversary of first graduating class observed at Homecoming.

Chico State College Foundation established;

Training for civilian pilots offered in summer course. Forty four students graduated as pilots, many being accepted into the Army Air Corp.


College community organized for civilian defense.

  1942 Newsletter sent to student and alumni servicemen each week. (about 600 men and women)
  1944 Summer session moved to Chico campus.
  1945 President Hamilton moved into new residence for presidents at Mansion and Citrus Avenues (Julia Morgan House/Albert E. Warrens Reception Center)

Eagle Lake Field Station, sc15690th.jpg
Eagle Lake Field Station, Meriam Library Special Collections, photo sc15690


Biological laboratory set up at Eagle Lake;

First BA in nursing granted;

Veteran's housing set up on the east side of Warner Street. Temporary quonset huts installed.


North and South Halls. Dorms for 200 male students set up on west side of Warner Street. The buildings were built during World War II and were used as batchelor quarters for a Marine Hospital in Klamath Falls Oregon. They were brought to Chico State in sections and reconstructed in the spring of 1948. The two story barracks-like structures had 36 rooms, each occupied by 4 students. North Hall later became a girls dormitory.


"Memo from Chico State" - weekly radio program on KHSL;

Aymer J. Hamilton Elementary Training School completed;

Governor signed bill to allow state colleges to grant MA degree.


President Hamilton retired. Glen Kendall named to presidency;

Demolition of old training school building;

First BS degrees awarded;

First MA degrees awarded;

Advisory Boards set up at state colleges. Ted Meriam named chairman of Chico State College Advisory Board.


College reorganized from 18 departments into seven divisions with chairmen.


Dedication of new athletic field.

Dr. Vesta Holt,  Holtth.jpg
Dr. Vesta Holt photo Meriam Library Special Collections

Beginning of 2 year agricultural program;

Dr. Vesta Holt granted Chico State College's first paid sabbatical leave.


Interfraternity Council completed work on the campus barbeque area north of the creek. The work was started in 1952 by the Delta Psi Delta fraternity and dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in World War II and the Korean War. It was part of the creek beautification project.


New sign and flagpole were installed in front of Kendall Hall. Gift of the class of 1956.


New cafeteria was built to replace the cafeteria that burned down in 1956. John Sylvester was named manager;

Rose Garden was planted where old cafeteria was located. Bushes were donated by George Petersen, a former nurseryman in Chico. The garden was designed by Dick Pesner;

New Applied Science Building, located on Warner Street, was opened. It housed the Engineering Department and part of the Industrial Arts Department. Dedication was held on April 12, 1958.


First "telecourse" taught. Psychology 51 was taught on television by Dr. John Narcisco.

1959 - New buildings dedicated at Homecoming were Business/Social Studies, Library, Arts and Science, Humanities, Men's Gym and 2 residence halls (Shasta and Lassen Halls)


A student activities center was opened on the old library (Trinity Hall);

North and South Halls were demolished to make room for the new men's gymnasium.

  1961 Purchase of 14 acres of land from Mechoopda Indians.

New two story science building opened;

75th anniversary of Chico State was celebrated with a convocation, speakers and musical performances. Dr. Harold Taylor was the featured speaker;

As part of the 75th Anniversary portraits of the presidents were presented to the College and were hung in Kendall Hall.


Over 22 acres of land was purchased at Eagle Lake for the establishment of a permanent fresh water biological station;

The University Farm was dedicated to the memory of Paul L. Byrne.

  1964 Radio station KCSC began operating in October. The station, built by students, could be heard in Lassen and Shasta Halls. Expansion was planned.

Dr. Kendall retired;

A new chime system was installed in the Trinity Tower by alumni and friends of CSC. The system was preprogrammed for the Westminister Chimes. The console was on the fourth floor of the tower and sometimes played by Fred Owens. The chimes were dedicated to Dr. Kendall.

Whitney Hall, sc15697
Whitney Hall
Meriam Library Special Collections, photo sc15697

Vets' Village was torn down to make way for a new dormitory.

Dedication of the new engineering building, named for Herbert F. Langdon, and the Performing Arts Center;

Inauguration of Dr.Hill as the new president of Chico State College.



Dedication of Whitney Hall.


1972 1972 - Chico State College became California State University, Chico as a result of legislation passed in 1971.
(1973 -      )
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Written and compiled by Mary Ellen Bailey
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