Part of belonging to a university is knowing and appreciating its unique history, symbols, images, songs, and other traditions. As a member of California State University, Chico's student body, alumni, staff, faculty, or as a University friend, you are part of a long and rich history, now 125 years, with many stories and traditions we are proud of.
The beauty of the land that John Bidwell encountered led him to establish Rancho Chico and later donate eight acres of orchard land for the Normal School that is now California State University, Chico. The fertile valley tract was rich with alluvial sediment from Chico Creek and other nearby rivers and streams descending from the Sierra-Cascade mountains. Long before the arrival of European Americans, the Mechoopda people lived on Little Butte Creek, just south of Chico, and camped in the summer along Chico Creek.
On that fertile ground has grown Chico State’s campus, now 119 acres and designated as an arboretum in 1982. While much has changed since those early years, the University’s campus has remained a centerpiece of its attraction to students, staff, faculty, and visitors from near and far.
As Chico State celebrates 125 years of service as a distinguished institution of higher education, its beautiful campus, both its buildings and its special places, remain a source of pride and enjoyment for all who study, work, and live here.