SEPT. 11, 2000

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu or Pat Wright, 661/664-2138; pwright@csub.edu


CSUB marks 30 years as students return to classes

Students return to classes Tuesday, Sept. 12, at California State University, Bakersfield, as the beginning of the 2000-2001 academic year gets under way, marking the 30th anniversary of the university's opening.

"This is an important milestone not only for Cal State University, Bakersfield, but also the citizens of Kern County," CSUB President Tomas Arciniega said. "The university has worked hard to meet the higher educational needs of the Southern San Joaquin Valley over the last three decades, and will continue to do so. New buildings on campus - the university's new bookstore, for which construction has just started, the new Business Development Center, for which construction will begin soon, and the engineering building proposed for 2002 ­ bear testimony to the university's commitment to the community and its educational needs. There's a great demand for higher education, as evidenced by our record growth, and we anticipate that demand will continue to increase in the years to come. We're looking forward to the challenge."

According to Terrence Dunn, director of institutional research and planning, nearly 6,600 students are expected to enroll in the fall quarter, including about 560 first-time freshmen and 750 transfer students, both records. The fall quarter is normally the busiest session of the year.

When the university offered its first classes in October 1970, it was the culmination of a decades-long community effort to bring higher education to Bakersfield and Kern County. The California Coordinating Council for Higher Education in November 1964 recommended establishing a state college at Bakersfield.

Some highlights of CSUB's first 30 years:

In 1967, Paul Romberg was named founding president of California State College, Bakersfield. Offices were in rented space on California Avenue. Site preparation began on the Stockdale Highway site.

Formal groundbreaking ceremonies were held in April 1969, with Gov. Ronald Reagan on hand to turn a spade.

The Roadrunner was chosen as the university's mascot over the Aardvarks, the Oilers, and the El Cids.

The first commencement was held in June 1971, with 100 graduates, students who had transferred from the Bakersfield campus of Fresno State College, known as Fresno State Extension.

In 1976, the CSUB men's wrestling team won the national title, the first of many national collegiate athletic championships for CSUB.

In 1989, a new gymnasium opened at CSUB and enrollment topped 5,000.

In 1993, the Roadrunner men's basketball team won their first national title. They repeated the feat in 1994 and 1997.

In 1994, the Walter W. Stiern Library and the Student Union opened.

The campus continues to grow, with the recent groundbreaking for the new complex that will house the School of Business and Public Administration, Extended University, and the Leadership Development Center.

For more information, call the University Advancement office, 661/664-2136.