Spring 2013

From the President

President Richmond

Just over a century ago, residents in Humboldt County took on an enormous and important challenge. They began working to create a state “normal school,” an institution to educate elementary school teachers. They organized, they lobbied in Sacramento, they pledged financial assistance and land.
It worked. On June 16, 1913, California Gov. Hiram Johnson signed legislation creating Humboldt State Normal School.

Classes began on April 6, 1914 in temporary buildings, with 62 students. Now, after making our way through good times and bad—including near closure during the Great Depression and world wars—Humboldt State University is preparing for its 100th birthday.

It’s a time to honor all that has been accomplished, and also to look ahead to a promising future.
HSU’s Centennial Celebration gets underway on Aug. 24, 2013, with a party on the Arcata Plaza two days before fall classes begin. It continues throughout the academic year until Commencement in May 2014.

As highlighted in this issue, much is planned, and I hope you are able to find a way to participate.
There will be big events like the party on the Plaza, a Centennial-themed Homecoming & Family Weekend, and a Founders Event in April. HSU birthday events will be held in locations across the country throughout the year. There will be a Centennial Speakers Series and showcases of our three Colleges and our Library. Displays, websites, banners and more will highlight our history and accomplishments. Faculty and students across campus are preparing special works of art, musical compositions, a play about our county’s namesake Alexander von Humboldt, and more. A new ceremonial mace is in the works, as is a new campus flag.

There is much more, and you can visit the Centennial website and follow the Facebook page for details and updates.

Something that fascinates many people is the numerous names this institution has had. There are six: Humboldt State Normal School; Humboldt State Teachers College and Junior College; Humboldt State Teachers College; Humboldt State College; California State University, Humboldt; and Humboldt State University.

However, the name is much less important than the place. By becoming part of Humboldt State, you became part of an extended community that now stretches across a century and reaches around the globe. All of us—Humboldt State alumni and friends—have built something remarkable together.

Thank you all for being part of a great first century at Humboldt State.

Rollin Richmond
Rollin C. Richmond