CSU, Chico News

Founders Week Features Great Events, High Achievers

Date: 03-27-2014

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico will proudly honor its long heritage and the great achievements of its students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends during the annual Founders Week celebration held in April.

The 2014 Founders Week begins Friday, April 4, and ends Sunday, April 13, and includes a wide array of award events as well as athletics, arts, entertainment and scholarly presentations.

The largest event will be Saturday, April 5, when CSU, Chico will welcome thousands of prospective students and their families at the annual Choose Chico! open house.

More than 20 students will receive prestigious honors at the University Student Awards Reception, Tuesday, April 8. Students anticipating their postgraduate lives will attend the All Majors Career and Internship Fair, Wednesday, April 9.

Two of the University’s award-winning professors for this year will be honored during Founders Week. Art professor Matthew Looper will give the Outstanding Professor Address Monday, April 7, and a reception will be held Thursday, April 10, for social work professor Jean Schuldberg, the Outstanding Faculty Service Award recipient.

Other important awards events are the Distinguished Alumni Dinner on Friday, April 11, and the Staff Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 10.

A full listing of Founders Week events are at http://www.csuchico.edu/pa/founders-week/index.shtml.

Founders Week is so named because it echoes the school’s 1909 Charter Day, which was an occasion to remember John Bidwell and other founders of the Normal School chartered in 1887.

On March 5, 1909, CSU, Chico—then the Northern Branch of the State Normal School—was only 22 years old. Bidwell had died nine years earlier, and several other prominent members of the founding faculty, which numbered only nine, had also passed away. The date was an opportunity to look back at the origins of the school and to memorialize those who had done so much to make it successful.

The Charter Day event, which was repeated many subsequent years, was traditionally held in the spring to be close to April 7, the date in 1887 that the California Legislature announced Chico as the location for the Normal School.

A highlight of the first Charter Day anniversary was the donation to the school by John Bidwell’s wife, Annie, of two acres of land between the Normal School and Big Chico Creek. It was one of several important land gifts Annie Bidwell made in Chico in the early 20th century; others included the land to create Bidwell Park and the Children’s Playground on 1st Street.

In 1994, then-President Manuel Esteban launched Founders Week to make the historical connection with Charter Day and pay tribute to campus community members who continue to make CSU, Chico an outstanding school.