As the campus readies for a yearlong centennial celebration starting in fall 2013, Humboldt magazine will be highlighting the history of Humboldt State in a timeline that stretches through the next three editions.

IT'S BEEN NEARLY 100 YEARS since instruction began at Humboldt State Normal School on April 6, 1914 with only 55 students.

There was no Founders Hall on that day. Instead, class was held in what one historian dubbed a "rather drab and austere" building on the corner of Arcata's 11th and M streets.

Today, Humboldt State encompasses a beautiful 144 acres and enrolls 7,900 students. A lot has changed, and with HSU's Centennial quickly approaching, planning has begun for a yearlong celebration beginning in the fall 2013.

Whether you graduated from Humboldt State Teacher's College, Humboldt State College, CSU Humboldt or Humboldt State University, we want to hear your ideas for marking this occasion. Visit the website at to share your ideas and help HSU make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Share Your Ideas for the 100th Anniversary Celebration

  • Truck


    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 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.

  • Original Humbold Normal School site

    June 16, 1913

    California Gov.Hiram Johnson establishes Humboldt State Normal School.

  • One of the first applications

    April 6, 1914

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

  • First Commencement

    May 26, 1915

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

  • Becomes Teachers College


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

  • Founders Hall


    Construction of Founders Hall begins atop Preston Hill.

  • Nelson Van Matre, Ralph Swetman, Arthur Gist


    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 Team


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

  • Humboldt State College


    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.