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Events

1950s: From Colorado A&M to Colorado State University

February 9, 2010

On Feb. 11, 2010, Colorado State will honor the creation of the institution, the values that have sustained it, and its mission of service through teaching, research, and engagement with Founders Day, a university celebration with events on campus and at the state capitol.

President William E. Morgan speaking at the Green Hall dedication in October of 1954.

President Morgan’s vision

The 1950s marked a transition for Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts when the school moved from the status of a technical college to a full-fledged university.

Bill Morgan cultivated much of the evolution at the land-grant institution after he took the school presidency in 1949.

Morgan came to A&M with a strong background in agricultural economy after working on the European Recovery Program after World War II and soon after taking his post he began a publicity program dedicated to higher-education advancement. The program targeted the President’s Association and the Colorado General Assembly in hopes of receiving funds for much-needed improvements around campus.

Degree programs and on-campus housing expansion

The campaign was successful and provided enough funding to proceed in the expansion of A&M. Morgan decided that improving and developing on-campus student housing would be one of the best way to prepare for the swell of students enrolling after the war. As a result, five residence halls were constructed between 1953 and 1957. Other campus structures benefited from the president’s makeover plans with the building of what are now Eddy Hall and the first Morgan Library.

Students bowling at the campus alley on Feb. 15, 1950.

In 1951, the school began to offer its first doctoral program in civil engineering with other qualified departments following soon after. This expansion of degrees prompted President Morgan to campaign for a name change of the land-grant institution, stating that those earning prestigious advanced degrees should receive them from universities rather than technical schools.

CSU name approved in 1957

On May 1, 1957, the Colorado General Assembly approved the new name of Colorado State University. With university status came the expansion of a variety of CSU departments. In late 1957, the University Honors Program was adopted along with a pilot program that led to the creation of the Peace Corps.

Colorado State University saw significant change during the 1950s, bringing the institution into the limelight as a superior provider of higher education teaching and research.

Written by Sarah Gianti, CSU Department of Public Relations Intern, Journalism and Technical Communications ‘10.


Contact: Kimberly Sorensen
E-mail: Kimberly.Sorensen@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-0757