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A magazine from California State University, Chico -- On-line Edition  
Summer 2007
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Photo of the Owl Club

13 Fascinating Facts about Chico State

  • Chico State Normal School had an Owl Club (see photo right). While the six men making up the club were photographed with their mascot in 1901, meetings were owl-less and focused on self-improvement through literature and music.
  • 25 elliptical machines at the Wildcat Recreation Center generate power for the gym every time someone works out.
  • Leaf prints on the sidewalks around Kendall and Laxson began as an accident when a leaf fell into some wet cement. Ricardo Carrillo, Facilities Management and Services, liked the look of the print, stained it, and added three more to the sidewalks.
  • The fourth floor of Meriam Library used to be the roof, so it wasn’t built to carry the weight of books. The carpet changes from gray to blue to indicate where books can be shelved.
  • Last year, Associated Students diverted 616,135 pounds of recyclables from the landfill—saving enough oil to fuel 2,545 auto trips from Chico to the White House and back!
  • The exotic and enormous corpse flower in the Biological Sciences greenhouse blooms only every three to five years, but the rotting-flesh smell of the flower always attracts a steady stream of curious onlookers.
  • In 1973 the CIRCA 2000 Project, headed by political science professor Robert Jackson, gathered items for a time capsule to be opened in 2000. It contained, among other things, Coca-Cola bottle caps, Band-Aids, birth control pills, a book on growing marijuana, copies of Ms. magazine, an astrological chart, and predictions for 2000. One prediction, attached to a $1 bill: “Because of more and more computerized bill paying, money may be a thing of the past by the year 2000.”
  • The Janet Turner Print Museum’s collection of more than 3,500 fine art prints includes works by Salvador Dali, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Rembrandt, and Pablo Picasso, including Le Fumer (247/450).
  • Warner Street was named after Warner Bros. film studio. The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, was filmed in Bidwell Park in 1937—and the city renamed the north part of Ivy Street in its honor.
  • A flesh-eating beetle colony calls the Human Identification Lab in Plumas Hall home. These dermestid beetles eat soft tissue, leaving animal and human bones in pristine condition and ready for forensics experts to study.
  • Last year, 84 percent of students checked into the Wildcat Recreation Center at least once.
  • Rumor has it that Ayres Hall is haunted. This may be the source of the story: In the student-created Ayres statue garden is a monolith of a woman giving a little boy up to the heavens, a memorial to artist Susan Bardin’s cousin, who disappeared as an adult. Inside the sculpture is one of his shirts, a bandana, and a love letter from his wife.
  • Celebrate! Chico State turns 125 in 2012.