CSU, Chico News

Founders Week Pays Tribute to University’s Achievements and Traditions

Date: 04-04-2016

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico will once again recognize its long history and honor some outstanding members of the campus community during its annual Founders Week celebration held each April.

The 2016 Founders Week begins Friday, April 8, with the annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner. It ends Sunday evening, April 17, with Chico Performances hosting the Metta Quintet at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

The Founders Week celebration includes an array of award events as well as athletics, arts, entertainment and scholarly presentations.

Saturday, April 11, will feature Choose Chico!, an annual open house for prospective students and their families. Campus tours and meetings with academic department representatives are among the activities. More information is available at http://www.csuchico.edu/admissions/choose_chico.shtml.

CSU, Chico’s largest student award ceremony is the University Student Awards Reception, Tuesday, April 12. Honorees are nominated on the basis of outstanding performance in areas such as academics, leadership and community service.

Two of the University’s award-winning professors for this year will be honored during Founders Week. Department of Kinesiology Professor Cathrine Himberg will give the Outstanding Professor Address Monday, April 11, at 3 p.m. in Colusa 100B, and a reception will be held Tuesday, April 12, for Department of Media Arts, Design and Technology Professor Jennifer Meadows, the Outstanding Faculty Service Award recipient.

A special occasion during Founders Week this year will be the Faculty-Staff Alumni Appreciation celebration. The event will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Warrens Reception Center, and a photo will be taken at 11:15 a.m.

A full listing of the times and locations of Founders Week events is 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 First 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.