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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
- April 6, 1914
Instruction begins at 11th and M streets in Arcata. Pictured above is one of the first applications to the normal school.
- May 26, 1915
Commencement day for HSU's first graduating class of 15 women. Susie Baker Fountain is first to receive her degree.
Humboldt State Normal School becomes Humboldt State Teachers College and Junior College.
Construction of Founders Hall begins atop Preston Hill.
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.
Humboldt plays its first intercollegiate football game against Southern Oregon Normal School, losing 33-0.
Another name change gives Humboldt the moniker Humboldt State College.
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 organizes
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 ivy to avoid detection by the Japanese
Students build bleachers for Redwood Bowl
Jenkins Hall, completed
Marching band forms
Registration and grade recording now involves IBM punch cards
Lucky Logger is adopted as mascot
Parking fees established—$13 per semester
Football games are held in Eureka High School's Albee Stadium, as crowds are too big for Redwood Bowl
Forestry Building and Library are completed
Ronald Reagan visits campus during his campaign for governor.
Marine laboratory opens in Trinidad. Lab is renamed the Telonicher Marine Lab in 1979.
Students protest U.S. incursion into Cambodia.
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.
Humboldt State College renamed California State University, Humboldt. This doesn't last long. By 1974 the school is known as Humboldt State University.
Arsonists set fire to Forestry Building, which reopens in 1980.
Aviary completed for Wildlife Department.
Wells Fargo donates it's former building, which then becomes home to HSU Natural History Museum.
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.
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.
- May 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.
- Fall 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.
- Spring 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.
- Spring 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.
- Feb. 1997
Marine Wildlife Care Center established to care for oiled seabirds in the event of spills along the North Coast.
First Street Gallery opens in Eureka. Thousands of HSU Art students have since gained first-hand experience in museum and gallery practices.
- April 24, 1998
Researchers from the Schatz Energy Research Center debut country's first street-legal hydrogen powered car, the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.
- Summer 1998
Campus dedicates the 90-foot Coral Sea research vessel, replacing the Pacific Hunter.
Softball team wins its first NCAA Division II National Championship. The team would capture a second national victory in 2008.
Dr. Rollin Richmond succeeds Dr. Alistair McCrone to become Humboldt State's sixth president.
- October 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Fall 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.
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.
- Fall 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.
2012 Women's Rowing team wins its first NCAA Division II National Championship.
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 »
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.
After more than a year of research and creative contributions, HSU students… Read More »
See Them All »
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.
We'd like to thank our Centennial sponsors. If you'd like to sponsor Humboldt's Centennial download the sponsorship form.
- Lost Coast Brewery
- Six Rivers Brewery
- Cabot Winery
- Mad River Brewery
- Redwood Curtain Brewery
- Denise McNulty & Associates
- Linda Sundberg Insurance Agency
- Renata’s Creperie
- Lost Coast Communications: KXGO, KHUM, KSLG, The Point, Lost Coast Outpost
- BiCoAstal Media
- Hunter, Hunter & Hunt
- Bear River Casino
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).