In 1870, roads were made of dirt and cars were few and far between. There were only 838 Larimer County residents and Colorado wasnâ€™t even a state.
But in that same year, on Feb. 11, Territorial Gov. Edward McCook made an investment that would carry on well into the next two centuries: He signed a bill establishing the State Agricultural College in Fort Collins, Colo.
Now, 141 years and one name change later, Colorado StateUniversity is home to more than 25,000 students from every state, almost 80 countries and has programs ranked among the top in the nation.
As part of Foundersâ€™ Day, the celebration of the universityâ€™s 141st anniversary, CSU has honored the institution through a series of events, culminating in a party on the Lory Student Center Plaza this afternoon.
â€œItâ€™s events like this that make you realize how important this institution is,â€ said Cooper Anderson, president of the Associated Students of CSU.
Beginning at noon, students may visit CAM the Ram on the Plaza while they enjoy music by the CSU Pep Band, a performance from the spirit squad and complimentary birthday cake to commemorate the universityâ€™s birthday.
In addition, select residence hall dining centers will provide special Foundersâ€™ Day cupcakes.
Students and university officials kicked off the second-annual Foundersâ€™ Day on Thursday with a celebration at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. CSU President Tony Frank and other officials hosted a coffee reception during a feature of the universityâ€™s research programs.
Onlookers also got to enjoy the CSU Concert Choir sing before Colorado elected officials adopted a bi-partisan resolution making Feb. 11 CSU Day.
As another part of the Foundersâ€™ Day celebrations, Audrey Olsen Faulkner accepted the Foundersâ€™ Day medal on behalf of her late husband Maury Albertson, a centennial emeritus professor who is credited with serving a crucial role in the creation of the Peace Corps.
â€œHe (Albertson) heard President John F. Kennedy talk about starting a service-based student corps,â€ said Mark Minor, the associate vice president for external relations. â€œHe thought it was a great idea and went out and did a survey to find out if it was feasible or not.â€
â€œHe not only found out that it was possible but said â€˜this is how you would do it,â€™â€ Minor added.
For students and officials alike, celebrating university landmarks is critical to its history.
â€œI think itâ€™s a great way to celebrate when our school was founded and where we came from,â€ said junior agricultural business major Kelsey Heupel.
â€œIf we donâ€™t acknowledge important milestones, itâ€™s hard to have a university community,â€ Minor said. â€œWe have to continue to make a tradition because itâ€™s nice to have these kind of things (celebrations) on campus.â€
Senior Reporter Erin Udell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._
Wish CSU a happy birthday
- When: Friday at noon
- Where: The Plaza
- What is it? Join CAM the Ram for some birthday cake and music from the Pep Band.