History & Traditions
On Feb. 11, 1870, Governor Edward McCook signed a territorial bill authorizing the creation of what today is called Colorado State University. McCook’s authorization built on a piece of legislation called the Morrill Act, which Congress passed and President Abraham Lincoln signed in 1862 to provide grants of public land to establish colleges.
First issue of the Rocky Mountain Collegian published.
The oval serves as the heart of Colorado State University. It was designed in 1909 as an aesthetically pleasing way to connect main campus buildings. Surrounding the Oval are historic buildings including Johnson Hall, which was the original student center and the Music Building which was built as a library. Old Main was the cornerstone of the oval until it was burned to the ground during a demonstration in 1970.
CAC’s First Homecoming
In October 1914, Colorado Agricultural College President Charles A. Lory announced the school’s first-ever alumni reunion – a football game pitting the present team against the alumni. The alumni won, 3 – 0, but showed they weren’t above a little humor. Professors Glover and Pennock took the field for the alumni. Glover scored on the first play, but the touchdown didn’t count because the alumni had 13 men on the field.
First painting of the “A”
Aggie students voted to emblazon an “A” on a hill west of campus during a special assembly held December 4, 1923. Work began shortly after, but wasn’t completed until September 20 the following year. It stretched 450 feet from top to bottom, and 210 feet across at its widest point. Today, the lighting of the A lifts school spirit to even greater heights during Homecoming & Family Weekend’s Friday Night Lights event.
Birth of A&M
Colorado Agricultural College renamed Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
At halftime at the Colorado A&M vs. Wyo. basketball game, President Morgan christened the school mascot “CAM.” Members of the Alpha Zeta fraternity served as handlers and keepers of CAM at that time. Today, Ram Handlers are selected to proudly represent Colorado State University and the Alumni Association on a volunteer basis.
Colorado A&M becomes CSU
In 1957, the Colorado General Assembly approves the new name of Colorado State University.
Old Main is destroyed by arson amid anti-Vietnam War unrest across campus.
CSU Football wins first WAC championship
A CSU road victory against 6th-ranked Arizona put CSU on the map as they finished the regular season ranked 10th in the nation.
Enrollment exceeds 32,000
For the first time in history, CSU’s overall enrollment surpasses 32,000. The incoming freshman class is the most diverse in the University’s history.