Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

CSU, Chico Diversity Hallmarks Timeline

Graphic displaying a few key moments in the timeline. All infomation is provided on text for accessibility

  • 1920–1929


    • Irma Williams becomes Chico State’s first black enrollee.
  • 1930–1939


    • Thomas J. Fleming becomes the first black male enrollee at Chico State. He later went on to U.C. Berkeley, and became one of the West Coast’s preeminent journalists.
  • 1960–1969


    • Chico State’s black student population totals five students, and there is one African American on faculty, Ed Coleman with the English Department.

    • Led by Political Science faculty member, Wayne Menke, concerned faculty, students, and citizens form the Committee of Concern to oppose racism in Chico. Later they would oppose the war in Vietnam.

    • The Philosophy Club hosts the first local public forums related to the Civil Rights Movement, including discussions about Proposition 14 and the Mississippi Freedom Summer project.


    • Some 200 Chico State students and faculty hold the first Civil Rights march in Chico in response to the murder of Unitarian minister, James Reeb, who was attacked while marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Birmingham, Alabama.

    •  Students and faculty join with Butte County NAACP and CORE to protest the planned screenings of Birth of a Nation on campus.

    •  The Student Alliance for Social Action (SASA) forms as a student and faculty activist group to fight discrimination in the community. SASA’s first action is to picket a Chico apartment complex for its refusal to rent to black students. The picketers are shot at by men in a passing truck, but SASA stayed the course and the owner revised her policy on the second day of the strike.

    •  The AS board passes a resolution requiring it to investigate and oppose discrimination on campus and in the community.


    • Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) forms to provide free tutoring services for local students in need. An immediate success, CAVE grows by leaps and bounds, adding more student volunteers and community programs.

    • The first of three Upward Bound projects, which generates skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond high school among low-income and potential first-generation college students, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


    • Chico State begins to proactively recruit African American students.

    • The Black Student League forms with 18 members, nearly every African American enrolled at Chico State.

    • The Black Student League begins a tutoring program for black youth in Oroville.


    • The Black Student League hosts Negro History Week on campus. Members gave speeches, and they invited Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Chairman H. Rap Brown to give a talk.

    • The AS invites many important civil rights activists to speak on campus, including Harry Edwards, Price M. Cobbs, and Kenneth Gregory Goode.

    • Chico State initiates its Educational Opportunity Program which leads to an immediate increase in minority enrollment. The campus’ black population increased by some 400 percent.

    • The Black Student League renames itself the Black Student Union.

    • After extensive negotiations between the Black Student League and Chico State faculty and administrators, a Black Studies Program is approved. It receives the Chancellor’s approval the following spring, and officially begins in the fall 1969 semester.


    • Chico State’s Black Studies Cultural Center opens at 520 West 3rd Street.

    • Chico State becomes the first campus in the state college system to offer both African and Asian Studies Minors.

    • Brenda Johnson is elected Chico State’s first black homecoming queen.

    • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), designed to improve the access and retention of low-income and first-generation college students, begins to admit students.

    • Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) is formed.

    • Black Studies program is established.

  • 1970–1979


    • Office of Veteran's Affairs opens (although veterans have been receiving benefits and other services since the 1940's).

    • AS Children's Center, providing low-cost quality child care and development services to the children of students opens.

    • The Black Student Union hosts its first annual African Heritage Week celebration.

    • Black Student Union member Diane Miller begins a free breakfast program for impoverished students living in Chapman Town. The student volunteers also drive the children to school and act as tutors and mentors.


    • Associated Students Women's Center opens.


    • Black, MEChA, and Indian Houses (eventually became the Multicultural Center) are created.

    • Jane Dolan elected first female student body president.

    • The Black Student Union becomes the Pan-African Union.

    • Students band with local activists to form the April Committee, a grass-roots progressive movement seeking to improve life in the community. They also campaign for city council seats. Two of their members are elected the following year, including Chico State student David Murray.

    • Chico State approves a Women’s Studies Minor and opens the University Women’s Center.


    • Ethnic & Women's Studies program (now Multicultural & Gender Studies) is established.
    • Gay People's Union (now Pride/Safe Zone) receives campus recognition.


    • Chico State faculty begin publication of African Studies Newsletter, an academic journal.


    • The first annual Latino Graduation Celebration is held
    • The Disabled Students Coalition protests the lack of accessibility in the BMU.


    • Pan African Union (PAU) is formed.
    • Associated Students sponsors first International Festival.
  • 1980–1989


    • Kappa Psi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., first historically Black Greek-lettered organization chartered on Chico State’s campus.
    • Disabled Student Services (now Accessibility Resource Center) opens.


    • Beginning of the Program for Advancement of Computer Scientists and Engineers (PACE) which then became Minority Engineering Program, currently MESA.


    • Latinos in Technical Careers (LTC) is established.
    • The Black Faculty and Staff Association was founded in AY 1984-85 by CC Carter and the late, great Billie Jackson.


    • Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc., first predominantly Latina sorority on campus, is founded.
    • Delta Sigma Theta, first predominantly African American sorority on campus, is founded.
    • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is established.


    • Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc., first predominantly Latino fraternity on campus, is founded.
  • 1990–1999


    • Educational Talent Search, designed to assist area low-income and first-generation students in grades 6-12 to prepare for their future, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • Epsilon Sigma Rho Multicultural Fraternity, Inc. – Gamma Chapter, first multicultural fraternity on campus, is founded.


    • Craig DeLuz elected first African-American student body president.
    • The first annual Black Commencement Celebration is held.


    • Oscar DeLaTorre elected first Latino student body president.
    • Hmong Student Association is established on campus.


    • The Business Resource Center (BRC), a learning community with the mission of recruiting and retaining a diverse student population with personal leadership skills and a strong sense of social responsibility, is established by the College of Business.


    • Building Bridges, campus-wide committee of faculty and staff, forms to reject intolerance, promote mutual respect, and celebrate diversity.
    • More than 170 faculty and staff joined Safe Zone, a national campus-based effort to reduce discrimination and hostility toward gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender people.
  • 2000–2009


    • Student Support Services, which provides academic and social support to low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


    • The "Conversations on Diversity" program was established to help faculty, staff and students examine diversity-related issues and challenges.


    • Provost creates Strategic Enrollment Committee.
    • Senate Task Force on Faculty/Staff Minority Recruitment and Retention.


    • Equity Scorecard Committee (now Diversity Scorecard Committee) established.
    • Tray Robinson named Coordinator of Diversity Efforts.
    • University signs Memo of Understanding with the Mechoopda tribe regarding construction protocol for unanticipated discoveries.


    • First African-American Excellence and Success Retreat.
    • Multicultural Welcome Receptions are held.
    • Sandra Flake is hired as first female Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
    • "Conversations on Diversity" Annual Achievement Awards are founded.


    • Cross Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC), formerly the Multicultural Center opens.
    • The first annual Native American Graduation Celebration is held.


    • First Diversity Summit, sponsored by Cross Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC)
    • The first annual Asian Graduation Celebration is held.
    • Lorraine B. Hoffman, first female Vice President for Business and Finance, appointed.
    • President Zingg's annual report includes a section on Diversity.


    • Establishment of the first Asian Retreat.
    • Founding of the Native American Banner Project.
  • 2010–Present


    • Dream Student Support Team established in efforts to help AB540 students at Chico State.

    • First Faculty and Staff Diversity Summit held.


    • Adoption of the Diversity Action Plan.

    • Appointment of the Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Tracy Butts.

    • The AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) is opened as an expansion of the former Women’s Center.

    • Ian Ruddell becomes first Transgender California State University Student Trustee.

    • CSU, Chico named Military Friendly School. 


    • The first Veteran Graduation Celebration is held.

    • The first Lavender Graduation Celebration is held for LGBTQ+ students.


    • First openly Transgender student elected as Associated Students Officer.

    • Chico State Athletics support diversity, releasing “You Can Play” video.


    • Development of the University Diversity Council.

    • Faculty Diversity Officer, Dr. Michelle Morris, is appointed by president, Paul Zingg.


    • Appointment of Interim Assistant Director of Hispanic serving initiatives, Teresita Curiel.


    • Hired first Female President, Dr. Gayle Hutchinson.


    • Hired first Director of Tribal Relations, Rachel McBride-Praetorius.

    • Hired first African American Vice President, Dr. Milton Lang.

Contributions by Dr. Rodney L Thomson and Dr. Chela Mendoza Patterson