Embracing the history of our campus


By Edward Hewitt |Staff Writer|

Every day thousands of students, professors and staff occupy every building on campus. We utilize the facilities on campus for just about every activity under the sun.

But have you ever stopped to think about the development of the campus, what was the idea behind creating this campus, naming the buildings and deciding what they would be used for?

Questions such as these may not have been a priority on your “need to know” list but it would be a great addition to the knowledge of the CSUSB campus.

Originally named California State College, San Bernardino, CSUSB started as a very small campus.

In fact, it only consisted of three buildings in its opening year of 1965. These three buildings were the Administration Building, Sierra Hall and Chaparral Hall, all of which were available to its 293 students at the time.

By the time the college had seen its first graduating class in 1967, which consisted of 59 students, the campus had expanded with the addition of a few more buildings such as the Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Physical Education buildings.

The Pfau Library, one of the most notable buildings on campus, originally named “College Library” did not have a stationary building on campus but soon found its home in Sierra Hall where it stood for a few years. In 1970 the campus experienced growth with a five story building to house its books, and was named the John M. Pfau Library in honor of the retirement of the school’s first President John Martin Pfau.

Along with the new library came the Commons, Student Union, Performing Arts, Bookstore, Student Health Center, Children’s Center, Faculty Office, University Hall and the school’s first housing dorms in 1972.

By expanding its facilities and academic programs, the school allowed itself to expand geographically with students and gained recognition as a university in 1984. Entering the 90s, the campus continued to experience growth with a handful of buildings all over its campus and modernized many of the buildings that already existed.

Notable buildings include Jack Brown Hall, named after the owner of Stater Bros. Grocery for his generous donation to the school which financed the building. The Coussoulis Arena, one of the largest indoor venues in San Bernardino County, has become a key component of the campus scenery.

Following these additions the campus has continued to blossom, adding a new Recreational Sports Center in 2007, parking structures, educational buildings and most recently an observatory which opened earlier this year.

On a daily basis we utilize each and every facility that the university has to offer yet we rarely stop to appreciate its historic value. This campus has plenty to offer as it accommodates the students, faculty and staff with modern facilities that are at times under appreciated.

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a second and enjoy the beauty this campus has to offer. The next time you exit a building or walk across the campus, take a moment to stop and observe your surroundings and embrace the beauty that CSUSB has to offer.


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