CSU, Chico News

Founders Week Highlights School’s Heritage of Success

Date: 03-25-2013

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico will honor its heritage and the achievements of its students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends during the annual Founders Week celebration held in April.

The 2013 Founders Week begins Friday, April 5, with the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner and concludes Sunday, April 14, with the Heritage Circle Luncheon for donors who have included CSU, Chico in their estate plans.

Founders Week is so named because it echoes the school’s 1909 Charter Day, which was an occasion to remember John Bidwell and other founders of the Normal School chartered in 1887.

On March 5, 1909, CSU, Chico – then the Northern Branch of the State Normal School – was only 22 years old. Bidwell had died nine years earlier and several other prominent members of the founding faculty, which numbered only nine, had also passed away. The date was an opportunity to look back at the origins of the school and to memorialize those who had done so much to make it successful.

The Charter Day event, which was repeated many subsequent years, was traditionally held in the spring to be close to April 7, the date in 1887 that the California Legislature announced Chico as the location for the Normal School.

A highlight of the first Charter Day anniversary was the donation to the school by John Bidwell’s wife, Annie, of two acres of land between the Normal School and Big Chico Creek. It was one of several important land gifts Annie Bidwell made in Chico in the early 20th century; others included the land to create Bidwell Park and the Children’s Playground on 1st Street.

In 1994, then-President Manuel Esteban launched Founders Week to make the historical connection with Charter Day and pay tribute to campus community members who continue to make CSU, Chico an outstanding school.

Campus history will be highlighted at two events during the 2013 Founders Week. On Monday, April 8, the annual Campus History Tour will start at 11 a.m. on the Kendall Hall Lawn by the flagpole. On Friday, April 12, a time capsule will be buried containing items collected during the University’s 125th anniversary activities of 2012. The time capsule event will be held at 11 a.m. at the Mary Lemcke Camellia Garden, located on the north side of Chico Creek near Holt Hall.

To honor high-achieving members of the campus community, Founders Week will feature the University Awards Reception for student leaders Tuesday, April 9; the Outstanding Professor Award Presentation Wednesday, April 10; the Staff Awards luncheon Thursday, April 11; and the Outstanding Faculty Service Award reception Friday, April 12.

The many CSU, Chico faculty and staff who are also alumni will be recognized at a special reception Tuesday, April 9, at 11 a.m. in Creekside Plaza by Colusa Hall.

On Saturday, April 6, campus will host several thousand prospective students and their parents for Choose Chico!, an annual event showcasing the school for those admitted for fall 2013. Activities run all day, including greetings by President Paul Zingg at 8:30 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. in Laxson Auditorium.

CSU, Chico’s performance spaces will be busy during Founders Week, including performances of “Keeping Dance Alive!,” “Menopause: The Musical” and a theatrical production of “On the Verge.”

In addition, Chico Performances will be hosting renowned inventor Ray Kurzweil on Friday, April 12 as part of the President’s Lecture Series.

The Wildcats will also be in action during Founders Week on the baseball diamond and on the track. Chico State hosts CSU, San Bernardino for a four-game series April 5-7. The track and field team hosts visiting squads for the annual Distance Carnival April 12 and the Twilight Invitational April 13.

For a full listing of Founders Week events, go to http://www.csuchico.edu/pa/founders-week/index.shtml.


For events on the Chico State campus, accommodations will be provided upon request for people with disabilities, provided the request is made at least seven days prior to the event. Contact us at 530-898-5959.