What is now known as Colorado State University sprouted its roots 140 years ago on Feb. 11, 1870, when Governor Edward McCook signed the territorial bill that was the first step in establishing the university in Northern Colorado. Construction of the first campus building, Old Main, began on July 27, 1878.
Beginning his presidential term in 1892, Alston Ellis saw a large enrollment increase from 179 to 335 students within four years, prompting Ellis to acquire funds from the Colorado General Assembly and local taxpayers. An artist's rendering of the Colorado Agricultural College campus that appeared in the 1895 Silver Spruce year book.
Female student enrollment jumped more that 50 percent between 1892 and 1896. In 1895, Eliza Pickrell Routt, a notable women's suffrage advocate, became the first female appointed to the State Board of Agriculture and created the first studies in domestic-economy. Students in a butter making lab, 1916.
Beginning in the 1890's, various social activities sprouted on campus including the Columbian Literary Society, Philo-Aesthesian Society, the San Juan Boarding Club, the YMCA and YWCA, Silver Spruce, the Athletic Association and the Rocky Mountain Collegian. 1921 football game between the Aggies and Wyoming.
World War I generated a great demand for American agricultural products and with the help of Colorado Agricultural College research, Colorado became a heavy national provider of war-time food. Entomology class, 1921.
In the mid-1930s, professional and doctoral programs emerged. As a result, new doctorate-holding faculty members were hired along with the building of new agricultural and veterinary medicine buildings. Veterinary medicine students, 1930.
In 1936, student-athlete Glenn Morris (right), was the decathlon gold medalist at the Olympic Games in Berlin. His remarkable rise to fame included ticker tape parades, a starring role in a Tarzan movie, and heroic service to his country in World War II.
Colorado A&M served more than 1,500 servicemen during WWII through pilot and clerical training, and army engineering and veterinarian medicine programs. For a time, the campus looked more like a military base than a college. Military Science-Air Corps Group at Christensen Field, 1943.
In preparation for the swell of students enrolling after the war, five residence halls were constructed between 1953 and 1957. Moving into the halls, 1958.
The students of Colorado State University rose up against the institution's predominantly conservative attitudes in the 1960s. Student activism became the norm at universities around the country, fighting for racial and women's rights and for peace between nations engulfed in war. Mexican American Committee on Equality demonstration, 1969
On May 8, 1970, students held a war moratorium concert in the campus College Avenue Gymnasium. During the peaceful gathering, Old Main was set ablaze. The 92-year-old cornerstone of the campus was completely destroyed and severe damage occurred to the ROTC firing-range building.
During the 1980s the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education rated CSU as a Class I research institution for its outstanding dedication to research in a variety of fields. Dr. Jack E. Cermak, left, and Dr. Roger A. Pielke, conduct wind tunnel testing, 1980.
In July 1997, Fort Collins experienced heavy downpours of rain totaling 20-inches in less than 48-hours. Before the tropical force rains ended, Colorado State suffered millions of dollars in damage to campus property.
The beginning of the 21st century brought about change and continued success at Colorado State University. In 2003, the Bohemian Foundation donated $20.1 million in funds toward the University Center for the Arts and the renovation of Hughes Stadium.