Chico State Traditions

Founded in 1887, Chico State has rich history and traditions stretching back more than a century. We are the second-oldest university in the 23-campus California State University system, and the sixth-oldest public higher education institution in California.

When John Bidwell donated eight acres of his cherry orchard to help establish the Northern Branch State Normal School, he probably didn't imagine it would grow into the 132-acre, multiple-college campus it is today, with 17,500 students and 300 degree programs.

Chico State shares its rich history with the Mechoopda people(opens in new window), who are indigenous to this area and who have contributed to Chico and the University for generations. The University stands on their sacred traditional lands, providing an opportunity for today's students to pursue education in this beautiful place. Chico State continues to rely on the expertise of the Mechoopda people to preserve their heritage and move the campus forward in partnership.