History of the University
California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the CSU system, and is located in Chico, California, about 90 miles north of Sacramento. Created by an 1887 legislative act as the Northern Branch State Normal School of California and built on eight acres of land donated by General John Bidwell, the institution's doors first opened on September 3, 1889 for an entering class of 90 students. The library was opened on January 11, 1890and housed a total of350 books, and on June 20, 1891, the first graduation was held for a class of 15.
In 1921, the school's name was changed to Chico State Teacher's College. Fourteen years later, in 1935, the name changed again to Chico State College, and then, in 1972, Chico State College officially became California State University, Chico, although it is commonly known as Chico State or Cal State, Chico.
Today, the CSU, Chico campus covers 119 acres with another 1,040 acres making up the University Farm. The university has a student population of over 15,000 from 33 states and 57 nations, and Meriam Library houses 956,146 volumes and 1.27 million historical documents.
Since its beginnings, California State University, Chico has provided generations of students with unique educational experiences built upon an inclusive learning community of faculty, staff and students who live, work, and study within a rural Northern California setting. Today, CSU, Chico is a comprehensive university serving the local region, the state, the nation, and the world, through instruction, research, and public service. And today, as throughout our history, the preparation of educators is integral to our providing the educational and public services needed throughout northeastern California.