Traditions

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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.

California State University, Chico (1973-Present)

1974

First celebration of the Annual International Festival.

1975

Broadcasts of classes through closed circuit TV were used for the first time by residents in Oroville, Marysville, and Colusa.

The Orion, the campus newspaper, printed its first issue during the spring semester.

1976

The Alumni Association presented the Outstanding Alumnus Award for the first time. John O'Connell was the recipient.

First Oktoberfest held at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. Put on by the Alumni Association, the event was held to raise funds for University Center improvements.  

1977

Campus newspaper, The Wildcat, changed its name to Chico News and Review and moved off campus to become an independent publication.

1978

Bicycle riders restricted from the core of campus.

1979

President Cazier left Chico State to become president at Utah State University. Dr. Fredenburg became acting president.  

1980

Dr. Robin Wilson became president of Chico State.

The Student Health Center adopted a policy of free oral contraceptives for female students.

General education requirements for undergraduates increased from 40 to 48 units.  

1981

Library was named in honor of Ted Meriam and his father.

1982

The campus was officially designated an arboretum.

1985

Celebration of the 75th anniversary of Pioneer Days.

1986

Academic departments and programs, previously grouped by schools, were reorganized into colleges.

1987

Celebration of 100th anniversary of the opening of the institution, April 8.

Pioneer Days was canceled but continued as a community event under the name Rancho Chico Days.

1989

Chico State's campus newspaper, The Orion, received the National Pacemaker award.

1992

Completion of O'Connell Technology Center and Tehama Hall. This was the first major construction on campus since the early 1970s.

1993

Dr. Robin Wilson retired and Dr. Manuel A. Esteban was appointed president.

1994

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) was established in the fall of 1994 to enhance student learning as recommended by the Presidential Task Force Reports.

1996

Construction of the parking structure at the corner of West First Street and Ivy was completed.

A grant was received for the installation of a satellite to broadcast courses throughout Northern California. This expanded the capabilities of the Center for Regional and Continuing Education.

1997

Meriam Library opened a 24-hour computer lab, the first such facility in the CSU.

Chico State’s Baseball team won its first national championship (the second came in 1999).

1998

Chico State Athletics joined the Cali­fornia Collegiate Athletic Association, considered by many the nation’s top NCAA Division II conference.  

1999

University Research Foundation bought the first of two parcels for the establishment of ecological reserves: the 3,950-acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve and the 300-acre Butte Creek Ecological Reserve. The second parcel was purchased in 2001.

2000

The first time capsule at Chico State buried since 1969 was unearthed.

The Book in Common program was started.

2001

Joanna Dunlap Cowden Lecture in history established.

Chico State engineering students won national championship designing supermileage vehicle.

President’s Mansion was rededicated as Albert E. Warrens Reception Center.

2002

BA in Modern Jewish Studies was launched.

Former President Glenn Kendall turned 100 years old.

2003

Chico first CSU to register ‘green’ building project.

Scott G. McNall became acting president.

2004

Paul J. Zingg became Chico State president.

Lantis Professorship was established following $2.1 million gift from David and Helen Lantis estate.

2005

Orion inducted into Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame.

Greek System Task Force recommendations were accepted.

2006

CSU, Chico’s Strategic Plan for the Future, written in the 1990s, was updated.

The Organic Dairy opened on the University Farm.

2007

The Concrete Industry Management program started.

Chico State biologist on Nobel-Prize winning panel.

2008

Campus named to National Honor Roll for Civic Engagement second year in a row.

Professor Emerita Valene Smith donated $3 million to Museum of Anthropology.

Regular classes in Chinese and Arabic were offered.

The Student Services Center, with offices for admissions, financial aid, and other offices, was completed.

2009

WASC grants Chico State reaccreditation for 10 years.

First high-altitude wind power conference held on campus.

Manufacturing students won fifth straight national grand prize.

The Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC) opened, providing the campus a comprehensive recreation facility.

2010

Sutter Hall residence hall was dedicated.

Gateway Science Museum opened on campus, next to Bidwell Mansion.

2011 

Chico State named one of top 5 ‘green’ colleges by Yahoo News.

Computer Science students finished fifth in nation in World Finals of 'Battle of the Brains.'

Chico State's team won both top awards at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City.

Students working in the 24-hour computer lab.

Students working in the 24-hour computer lab.

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Student Services Center

Student Services Center

Sutter Hall

Sutter Hall