Traditions

Visit the 125th website

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.

Chico State Normal School (1887-1921)

1887

March 10—Legislative act to create the Northern Branch State Normal School of California for the purpose of training and education of teachers in the art of instructing and governing the public schools of the state.

April 8—Chico was selected as the site for the school. June 24, 1887, General John Bidwell donates eight acres of his cherry orchard and permanent water rights for the school.

April 19—First Board of Trustees appointed: John Bidwell, F.C. Lusk, J.W.B Montgomery, L.H. McIntosh, A.H. Crew.

September—Construction began on a three-story brick building.

1888

July 4—Cornerstone laid.

1889

April 20—Normal Board of Trustees appointed the following as first faculty members: Edward T. Pierce, Principal (1889-1893); Carleton M. Ritter, instructor in mathematics; Mrs. Emma Straight, preceptress; Minor L. Seymour, instructor in science; A.E. Garlich, teacher of music.

September 3—Doors opened and 90 students were enrolled for the first term.

1890

January 11—Library officially opened with 350 volumes.

1891

First graduating class of 15 on June 20.

1893

Robert F. Pennell was elected as principal.

1896

First issue of The Normal Record was published in March.

1897

Carleton M. Ritter was elected as president.

1899

Charles C. Van Liew was elected as president.

1910

Annie E. K. Bidwell donated an additional two acres of land to be used for work with elementary agriculture.

Training School built adjacent to Normal Building.

1911

Annie E. K. Bidwell donated an orange orchard lot 55x440 feet as the children's playground, which is connected to the Training School.

Allison Ware was elected as president.

1912

Pleasant Valley Model Rural School of the State Normal School at Chico opened offering courses in manual training, domestic science and art, school agriculture, and physical education.

1913

Little Chico Model Rural School of the State Normal School at Chico opened.

1915

Construction of swimming pool.

1917

Dr. E. I. Miller was elected as acting president.

1918

C. M. Osenbaugh was elected as president.

1921

Legislative enactment to changed the name to Chico State Teacher's College.

John and Annie Bidwell

John and Annie Bidwell

Normal School

Normal School

Class of 1891

Class of 1891

Model Rural School

Model Rural School

Swimming Pool, ca 1925

Swimming Pool, ca 1925