University History

The Story of Colorado State University

Colorado State University's roots go back to 1870, when the institution was founded as the Agricultural College of Colorado. The school first opened its doors to students in 1879 with President Elijah Edwards and two faculty members. From these humble origins, a world-class institution grew. Today, Colorado State University has nearly 27,000 undergraduate students, is a Carnegie Class I research institution with annual research expenditures topping $330 million. The university has approximately 1,550 faculty in eight colleges and 55 academic departments and boasts more than 170,000 living alumni. Included in this list are everything from state governors, heads of corporations, Olympic gold medalists, teachers, researchers, artists and many other leaders in society.

Below is a history of the university, showing the growth, progress and accomplishment that has marked Colorado State over the past 142 years. This history dramatically charts the evolution of the institution from its humble beginnings to its current stature as leader in higher education in the state, nation and world.

NOTE: Historical accounts in this series of articles, written by Joan Allmendinger, were compiled and edited from Democracy's College in the Centennial State - A History of Colorado State University by James E. Hansen III

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