California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico

Missing image
California State University, Chico Logo(Trademark of Cal State Chico)

MottoArs Probat Artificem
(Latin, "Art is the test of the artisan.")
Established 1887
School type Public
President Paul Zingg
Location Chico, CA, USA
Enrollment 14,500
Faculty 1,000
Endowment US$17.9 Million
Campus Rural, 119 acres (482,000 m²)
Sports teams Wildcat

California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the California State University system, and home to the Chico University Arboretum. It is located in Chico, California, about one hundred miles north of Sacramento, California. California State University, Chico is commonly known as Chico State or Cal State, Chico.



On March 10, 1887, a legislative act is enacted to create the Northern Branch State Normal School of California. Less than a month later, Chico is chosen as the location. On June 24, 1887, general John Bidwell donates 8 acres (32,000 m²) of land from his cherry orchard.

On July 4, 1888, the first corner stone is laid. On September 3, 1889, doors open from the 90 enrolled students.

The library open on January 11, 1890 with 350 books. On June 20, 1891 the first graduation takes place, a class of 15.

In 1910, Annie Bidwell donates an additional two acres (8,000 m²) of land to be used for work with elementary agriculture. The next year Mrs. Bidwell donates an orange orchard lot 55 x 440 feet as the children's playground, which is connected to the Training School. Twenty years later in 1921, legislation in enacted to change the school's name to Chico State Teacher's College. In 1922, Chico State Teacher's College added a junior college curriculum and awarded a certificate after two years. Also in 1922 Bidwell Mansion was turned into a female dormitory, Bidwell Hall. In 1923 the first college paper, The Collegian was published. In 1924, the state board of education allowed the school to grant baccalaureate degrees. Also in 1924, the wildcat was chosen as the mascot. In 1925 the alumni organization was founded. In 1927 a fire destroyed the Normal Building. That same year a gym was built on the grounds of Bidwell Mansion. In 1929, the corner stone for the new administration building was laid on top of Normal Building's original corner stone. In 1929 the student bookstore was established.

In 1935, Bidwell Hall was turned into a recreation and student center - the first student union. Also in 1935 a legislative act changed the college name from Chico State Teachers College to Chico State College. In 1937 evening classes started on campus and athletic fields were purchased from the Chico Board of Education. In 1939, chimes were installed in library tower. Sororities held fund drive to raise $600 for them. In 1940 the college offened civilian pilot classes. In 1948, dorms for 200 male students were set up on west side of Warner Street. The buildings were built during World War II and were used as batchelor quarters for a Marine Hospital in Klamath Falls, Oregon. They were brought to Chico State in sections and reconstructed in the spring of 1948. The two story barracks-like structures had 36 rooms, each occupied by 4 students. North Hall later became a girls dormitory.

In 1950, California's governor, allowed state colleges to grant MAs. In 1951 the college reorganized from 18 departments into seven divisions with chairmen. In 1956 a new flagpost and sign for infront of Kendall Hall was donated by the class of 1956. In 1957 a new cafeteria was built the rose gardens were planeted. In 1958 the first "telecourse" taught, Psychology 51.

In 1963, the university farm was dedicated. In 1964 KCSC, a student run radio station launched and could be heard in Lassen and Shasta halls. In 1966 new chimes were installed.

In 1972, Chico State College became California State University, Chico as a result of legislation passed in 1971.

In 1975, broadcasts of classes through closed circuit TV was used for the first time by residents in Oroville, Marysville and Colusa. Also in 1975,The Orion, the campus student newspaper published its first issue. In 1977, the other campus paper, The Wildcat, changed its name to Chico News and Review and moved off campus to become an independent publication. In 1978 bike riding is restricted from campus.

In 1981, the library is renamed for Ted Meriam. In 1985 the 75th Pioneer Days is held, only to be cancelled in 1988 because of riots. In 1989 The Orion wins the National Pacemaker Award.


Male to Female Percentage: Male 46% - Female 54%


Academic Subdivision

California State University, Chico's academic departments and programs are organized into 7 colleges


  • Edward Timothy Pierce(1889-1893)
  • Robert F. Pennell (1893-1897)
  • Carleton M. Ritter (1893-1897)
  • Charles C. Van Liew (1899-1910)
  • Allison Ware (1910-1917)
  • Elmer Isaiah Miller (1910, 1917-1918)
  • Charles Osenbaugh (1918-1930)
  • Clarence Knight Studley (1930-1931)
  • Rudolph D. Lindquist (1931-1931)
  • Aymer Jay Hamilton (1931-1950)
  • George Glenn Kendall (1950-1966)
  • Robert Eugene Hill (1966-1970)
  • Lew Dwight Oliver (1970-1971)
  • Stanford Cazier (1971-1979)
  • Robert L. Fredenburg (1979-1980)
  • Robin Wilson (1980-1993)
  • Manuel A. Esteban (1993-2003)
  • Scott McNall (2003-2004) (acting president)
  • Paul Zingg (2004-present)

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