Centennial Giving Honoring Our History, Building the Future find out more

Humboldt State University celebrated its Centennial Year in 2013-14. This site is no longer being updated, but is retained as a resource.

Centennial Stories

Emily Shearin

My experience at Humboldt State University is a rare one. I transferred from Riverside Community College in southern California, moving 800 miles away from all my friends and family. I discovered that I was pregnant within my first month at Humboldt. Although it turned out to be the greatest blessing in my life, it certainly made for an interesting two… Read More »

Ardith Anderson Bilyeu Thompson - Class of ‘44

You might say the romance began on the tennis courts of HSU in 1943. I was in a three-year, three summers program in which I received my bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. It was wartime, and teachers were needed. I had met Virgil Bilyeu, a soldier stationed at a radar camp west of Ferndale. Virgil was off every fourth night… Read More »

Allison Sadauskas (Pasto) (’00, English)

First Year at Humboldt: As a high school senior from a tiny suburb of San Francisco, I was very much looking forward to leaving my home after graduation and beginning a new chapter of my life. After visiting several colleges in California, I decided on Humboldt State University. I felt the small town atmosphere of Arcata, its location in the… Read More »

View Stories Submit Your Story
  • Truck1911

    Eureka's chamber of commerce begins an effort to win public support for a normal school. Eureka, Arcata and Fortuna offer proposals for the location of the school.

  • 51 acres donated to Humboldt Normal School1913

    A donation of 51 acres from William Preston and the Union Water Company ensures Arcata will be the home of Humboldt State Normal School.

    California Gov.Hiram Johnson establishes Humboldt State Normal School.

  • One of the first applicationsApril 6, 1914

    Instruction begins at 11th and M streets in Arcata. Pictured above is one of the first applications to the normal school.

  • First CommencementMay 26, 1915

    Commencement day for HSU's first graduating class of 15 women. Susie Baker Fountain is first to receive her degree.

  • Becomes Teachers College1921

    Humboldt State Normal School becomes Humboldt State Teachers College and Junior College.

  • Founders Hall1922

    Construction of Founders Hall begins atop Preston Hill.

  • Nelson Van Matre, Ralph Swetman, Arthur Gist1924

    Humboldt's first president, Nelson Van Matre, retires and is succeeded by Ralph Swetman who serves from 1924 to 1930. Arthur Gist takes over in 1930 and serves until 1949.

  • Football Team1927

    Humboldt plays its first intercollegiate football game against Southern Oregon Normal School, losing 33-0.

  • Humboldt State College1935

    Another name change gives Humboldt the moniker Humboldt State College.

  • 1937

    Humboldt State College establishes bachelor's of science degree in education. Liberal arts degree programs in economics and business administration, speech and home economics are soon to follow.

  • Forestry Club organizes1938

    Forestry Club organizes

  • Humboldt News Letter1942

    President Arthur S. Gist begins writing "Humboldt News Letter" for men and women in the armed services

  • Founders Hall (known then as the Main Building) is camouflaged with paint and ivy1944

    Founders Hall (known then as the Main Building) is camouflaged with paint and ivy to avoid detection by the Japanese

  • Students build bleachers for Redwood Bowl1946

    Students build bleachers for Redwood Bowl

  • Jenkins Hall, completed1950

    Jenkins Hall, completed

  • Marching band forms1951

    Marching band forms

  • 1958

    Registration and grade recording now involves IBM punch cards

  • Lucky Logger is adopted as mascot1959

    Lucky Logger is adopted as mascot

    Parking fees established—$13 per semester

  • Football Players1960

    Football games are held in Eureka High School's Albee Stadium, as crowds are too big for Redwood Bowl

  • Forestry Building and Library are completed1962

    Forestry Building and Library are completed

  • 1964

    Ronald Reagan visits campus during his campaign for governor.

  • 1966

    Marine laboratory opens in Trinidad. Lab is renamed the Telonicher Marine Lab in 1979.

  • Strike on campus1967

    Students protest U.S. incursion into Cambodia.

  • Film Festival1968

    Inaugural Humboldt Film Festival is held. Currently, it's the longest running student-lead festival of its kind.

    Marching Lumberjacks return as campus scatter band after a 10-year absence.

  • 1972

    Humboldt State College renamed California State University, Humboldt. This doesn't last long. By 1974 the school is known as Humboldt State University.

  • 1979

    Arsonists set fire to Forestry Building, which reopens in 1980.

  • 1986

    Aviary completed for Wildlife Department.

  • museum building donated1987

    Wells Fargo donates it's former building, which then becomes home to HSU Natural History Museum.

  • green pledge ribbon1987

    Students adopt the “Graduation Pledge,” which reads, “I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.” Universities worldwide have since adopted the pledge.

  • marathon runner1988

    Athlete and alumnus Mark Conover ('81, Natural Resource Planning & Interpretation) wins the marathon at the Olympic Trials and competes in the Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Conover is inducted into the Humboldt State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.

  • natural history museumMay 1989

    Humboldt State Museum of Natural History Opens. Private donors and foundations from the community worked together to convert the former bank building, which had been donated by Wells Fargo.

  • Pacific HunterFall 1994

    Campus dedicates the 125-foot Pacific Hunter as a research vessel. The ship, a gift from the Gib Hunter and Eureka Fisheries, Inc, was originally commissioned as a Coast Guard Cutter in 1927.

  • women's soccerSpring 1995

    Women's intercollegiate crew and soccer teams established. HSU is among the first in the CSU to meet the standards of a 1993 agreement between the Cal State system and the National Organization for Women, which calls for more equitable representation and funding between male and female sports programs.

  • LuckySpring 1997

    Students vote 3-to-1 against adopting the Marbled Murrelet as school's mascot. The Lumberjack has been the school's official mascot since 1936, when it replaced the Thunderbolts.

  • sea birdFeb. 1997

    Marine Wildlife Care Center established to care for oiled seabirds in the event of spills along the North Coast.

  • First street gallery1998

    First Street Gallery opens in Eureka. Thousands of HSU Art students have since gained first-hand experience in museum and gallery practices.

  • first hydrogen carApril 24, 1998

    Researchers from the Schatz Energy Research Center debut country's first street-legal hydrogen powered car, the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.

  • Coral SeaSummer 1998

    Campus dedicates the 90-foot Coral Sea research vessel, replacing the Pacific Hunter.

  • softball trophy1999

    Softball team wins its first NCAA Division II National Championship. The team would capture a second national victory in 2008.

  • Rollin Richmond2002

    Dr. Rollin Richmond succeeds Dr. Alistair McCrone to become Humboldt State's sixth president.

  • Lois W. SchatzOctober 2003

    HSU receives a $7.4 million bequest from the Schatz Trust—the single largest gift ever given to the university. It brings the total contributed by Louis W. Schatz to about $15 million.

  • Kenneth L. Fisher2006

    Alumnus Ken Fisher establishes the Kenneth L. Fisher Chair in Redwood Forest Ecology. It is the first named chair at Humboldt State and the first endowed chair in the world to support the study of a single tree species. Dr. Stephen C. Sillett is the first to hold the endowed chair.

  • behavioral and social sciences building2007

    The 84,000-square-foot Behavioral and Social Sciences Building opens. It's the first building in the CSU system to earn a LEED® gold rating—the second highest rating bestowed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

  • heif2007

    Students vote to create the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund. Using funds from a self-imposed fee, the program supports student-designed energy efficiency projects on campus.

  • hydrogen carFall 2008

    The student-designed Hydrogen Fueling Station debuts, connecting HSU to California's Hydrogen Highway. A pair of modified Toyotas comprise the hydrogen-powered fleet.

  • basketball2008

    The Kinesiology & Athletics Building opens. The $44 million project includes a new pool, classrooms, offices and labs. Lumberjacks fans can now cheer on their teams in the spacious 17,655 square-foot gymnasium, which can seats 2,000.

  • College Creek Apartments and soccer fieldFall 2010

    HSU opens the College Creek Apartments near the south entrance of campus. The complex features room for 434 students and an NCAA-regulation soccer field.

  • rowing team2012

    2012 Women's Rowing team wins its first NCAA Division II National Championship.

Centennial Blog

Centennial Roadshow Fall 2013 Wrap Up

November 21, 2013

The HSU Alumni office has recently wrapped up their final Centennial Roadshow for the Fall 2013 season. We have visited alumni in over 11 different cities around the US including but not limited to; Walnut Creek, La Jolla, Monterey, Redding, Anchorage AK, Portland OR, Fresno, Denver CO, Montclair NJ, Boise ID and Bend OR.


Read More »

Exploring the Wonder in “Humboldt Unbound”

November 21, 2013

Who in the world was Alexander von Humboldt? During Humboldt State University’s centennial year, this original play about the school’s namesake attempts to capture the spirit of his life as visionary explorer, scientist, godfather of ecology and champion of diversity and freedom online casino



After more than… Read More »

See Them All »
Centennial Blog

Download a PDF calendar of all upcoming events.

Download Calendar
Download A View From the Hill - Book about history of HSU in PDF format

Centennial Magazines
Humboldt Magazine
Humboldt Magazine

Share Your Photos

Memories shared, from alumni and friends of Humboldt State. If you want to add your own photo memories to the collection, submit them here.

Redwood_Hall_mens_dorm,_HSC,_1948._Fisheries_Hut_at_far_end_._.jpg Administration_Building,_Humboldt_State_College,_1952.jpg gojack.png Scan_Pic0003.jpg View More Photos
Centennial Documentary
Centennial Speaker Series

The Centennial Speaker Series is sponsored by HSU's College of Natural Resources & Sciences, College of Professional Studies, and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and in part by gifts from HSU alumni and friends to the Humboldt Loyalty Fund.

Centennial Sponsorship
Thank You Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Green Sponsors

Thank You Historians!

Nearly all the historical facts and photos on this website are available due to the efforts of Joan Berman and others in HSU’s Humboldt Room; former HSU History Professor William Tanner who authored the comprehensive campus history View from the Hill (available in the University Library); and HSU alumna Katy Tahja who authored the recent photo history titled Humboldt State University (available from the Humboldt Alumni Office).