History and milestones

on feb. 8, 1886 — almost 30 years before arizona was granted statehood — the territorial normal school, arizona’s first higher education institution, opened its doors to 33 students in a four-classroom building in tempe.

沙巴体育官方平台from humble beginnings, and through a series of name changes that led to a 1958 vote of the people and a 2-to-1 margin of victory for the advancement of arizona state college to arizona state university, asu’s century-plus trajectory has led to its being recognized as the “most innovative” university in the country by u.s. news & world report — five years in a row.

the history of arizona state university is rich, bold and vibrant. the timeline below reflects an honored tradition of excellence and inclusion while also celebrating the growth and development forged to meet – and make – the future.

Territorial Normal
Territorial Normal School established
ASU’s predecessor is created in 1885 by the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature to train teachers and teach agriculture and mechanical arts. Today, Arizona State University offers high-quality, nationally and internationally recognized programs on five metro Phoenix campuses, the Colleges at Lake Havasu and at learning centers across the state.
Old Main
Old Main dedicated, brings electricity to Tempe
Constructed before Arizona achieved statehood, Old Main is dedicated on Feb. 4, and is the first building in the township of Tempe to be wired for electricity. Today, Old Main is headquarters for the ASU Alumni Association — home to a half-million ASU graduates who have positively impacted our global community.
Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders
Roughriders, one and all
President Theodore Roosevelt speaks at Tempe Normal School: “It is a pleasure to see such buildings, and it is an omen of good augury for the future of the state to realize that a premium is being put upon the best type of educational work. Moreover, I have a special feeling for this institution, for seven of the men of my regiment came from it.”
ASU launches business career services
The Department of Commerce first appears in the 1916 course catalog. The commercial employment bureau was specifically created by the Department of Commerce, and was the first unit within ASU to offer career services outside of teaching. Today, ASU …
1885-1950: Becoming a university1951-2001: 50 years of innovation2002-Present: New American University
  • Territorial Normal
    Territorial Normal School established

    asu’s predecessor is created in 1885 by the thirteenth territorial legislature to train teachers and teach agriculture and mechanical arts. today, arizona state university offers high-quality, nationally and internationally recognized programs on five metro phoenix campuses, the colleges at lake havasu and at learning centers across the state.

  • Old Main
    Old Main dedicated, brings electricity to Tempe

    constructed before arizona achieved statehood, old main is dedicated on feb. 4, and is the first building in the township of tempe to be wired for electricity. today, old main is headquarters for the asu alumni association — home to a half-million asu graduates who have positively impacted our global community.

  • Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders
    Roughriders, one and all

    president theodore roosevelt speaks at tempe normal school: “it is a pleasure to see such buildings, and it is an omen of good augury for the future of the state to realize that a premium is being put upon the best type of educational work. moreover, i have a special feeling for this institution, for seven of the men of my regiment came from it.”

  • Commerce
    ASU launches business career services

    the department of commerce first appears in the 1916 course catalog. the commercial employment bureau was specifically created by the department of commerce, and was the first unit within asu to offer career services outside of teaching. today, asu …

  • First Grad Degree
    First graduate degree offered

    arizona state teachers college offers its first graduate degree, a master’s in education. today, asu's nationally ranked mary lou fulton teachers college is a leader in teacher education, excelling at both teacher preparation and academic research while creating knowledge, mobilizing people and taking action to improve education.

  • Name change 1945
    Arizona State Teachers College becomes Arizona State College

    asc earns authorization to grant bachelor’s degrees. today, asu offers more than 350 undergraduate degrees and 400-plus graduate degrees across 17 colleges and schools and asu online.

  • Student Placement
    Business school launches Bureau of Business Services

    沙巴体育官方平台the arizona state college bbs offers students an at-the-time rare venue for real-world, hands-on experience. today, more than 53 percent of asu students complete at least one internship before graduating.

  • ASU Vote
    The people’s choice — Arizona State University

    a measure placed on the ballot by citizen initiative recognizes the longstanding efforts to advance the fast-growing college. the measure — prop 200 — is passed by the state’s voters by a 2-to-1 margin and results in the college’s new moniker: arizona state university.

  • Engineering
    School of Engineering is created

    the school of engineering is launched and the first engineering class graduates. today, the nationally recognized ira a. fulton schools of engineering is home to leading world-class research centers, including two national science foundation-funded engineering research centers.

  • Meteor Studies
    Center for Meteorite Studies founded at ASU

    沙巴体育官方平台asu purchases the nininger meteorite collection, keeping it in the u.s., and launches the center for meteorite studies. today, the collection is the largest of its kind in the world.

  • PBS Station KAET-8
    PBS station KAET-8 launches from ASU

    沙巴体育官方平台kaet-tv launches at asu, offering educational programming directed at students attending the university. today, with studios located at the asu walter cronkite school of journalism and mass communication, more than 80 percent of arizonans receive the emmy award-winning kaet signal, among the most-viewed public television outlets per capita in the country.

  • ASU West
    ASU West campus established

    asu west campus is established by arizona legislature as the university’s second campus. located on the western edge of phoenix, bordering the city of glendale, today the west campus is home to the new college of interdisciplinary arts and sciences, offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees across six colleges, and is designated a “phoenix point of pride.”

  • Rose Bowl
    Sun Devils 22, Michigan 15

    the 7th-ranked football sun devils beat the michigan wolverines in the 1987 rose bowl, the first of two asu appearances in “the granddaddy of them all.” today, sun devil athletics boasts 26 ncaa varsity sports, third-most in the pac-12 conference.

  • Barrett Opening
    America’s first residential honors college

    沙巴体育官方平台university honors college at asu is the first of its kind in the u.s. in 2005, reader’s digest ranks barrett, the honors college as no. 1 in the u.s. in 2014, the new york times recognizes it as “the gold standard” among the country’s honors programs.

  • Phil Mickelson
    Unprecedented in golf

    the asu men’s and women’s golf teams win their respective ncaa championships. led by phil mickelson and missy farr, respectively, the teams’ same-year title achievement is unprecedented in college golf still today.

  • Research 1
    ASU gains Research I status

    沙巴体育官方平台the carnegie foundation for the advancement of teaching classifies asu as a research i institution. says asu president lattie coor: “no university in the country has come further, faster than asu.” today, asu is recognized by the national science foundation as the fastest-growing research university in the u.s., ahead of harvard, yale, duke and others.

  • Poly 90's
    ASU Polytechnic campus established

    沙巴体育官方平台founded as asu east, the polytechnic campus today offers degree programs in interdisciplinary sciences, engineering, management, technology and education, and is home to asu’s aviation programs, including a state-of-the-art flight simulator.

  • Lucy Skeleton
    Institute of Human Origins comes to ASU

    recognized as an international leader in the field of paleoanthropology, the institute of human origins moves to asu, led by “lucy” discoverer donald johanson. today, the institute is one of the preeminent research organizations in the world, devoted to the science of human origins.

  • Michael Crow
    New American University launched

    michael m. crow becomes the university’s 16th president and unveils his vision for a “new american university.” since 2002, asu has established more than a dozen new transdisciplinary schools and launched large-scale research initiatives and innovative programs in the humanities and social sciences. during crow’s tenure, asu has nearly quadrupled research expenditures and completed an unprecedented infrastructure expansion.

  • Mayo Clinic
    Partnership with Mayo Clinic established

    asu and mayo clinic partner in the advancement of medical research and education to improve health care delivery. among the first initiatives: the asu college of nursing and health innovation-mayo clinic campus program, allowing cohorts of senior nursing students to complete clinical training on the mayo campus, instructed by mayo clinic nursing faculty.

  • Biodesign
    Biodesign Institute a U.S. first

    the asu biodesign institute launches as the country’s first interdisciplinary research institute entirely devoted to the principles of bio-inspired innovation. it is arizona’s single-largest research infrastructure investment in the biosciences. today, biodesign institute scientists have disclosed more than 500 inventions, resulting in more than 200 u.s. and international patent filings, 45 patents issued and a dozen startup ventures.

  • Debate George Bush
    ASU hosts ‘Super Bowl of Politics’

    grady gammage memorial auditorium is the site of the final presidential debate before the 2004 election, featuring nominees john kerry and george w. bush. today, asu gammage, an architectural landmark designed by frank lloyd wright, is one of the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world.

  • Solar
    ASU implements solar power

    沙巴体育官方平台an installation atop the tyler street parking structure on the tempe campus marks the launch of solar energy generation at asu. today, solar energy at the university avoids more than 23,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide output, roughly the same as the annual emissions of 4,800 passenger vehicles.

  • Downtown Phoenix
    ASU-Phoenix partner on Downtown Phoenix campus

    沙巴体育官方平台asu and the city of phoenix announce a transformative partnership for the development of the asu downtown phoenix campus, which is approved by a 2-to-1 margin by the city’s voters. opened for classes in 2006, today the campus offers degree programs across seven colleges and schools and is home to the beus center for law and society.

  • Sustainability
    ASU School of Sustainability is first in U.S.

    沙巴体育官方平台the nation’s first comprehensive degree-granting school of sustainability is established at asu. today, as part of the julie ann wrigley global institute of sustainability, the school offers 11 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees, certificate and minor programs, and has graduated nearly 1,000 sustainability master learners.

  • SkySong
    SkySong Innovation Center opens

    after two years of construction, a unique hub for innovation and technology opens — the asu skysong scottsdale innovation center. today, skysong is a 42-acre, mixed-use development with more than 1.2 million square feet of space, a 21st-century center for innovation, commercialization, entrepreneurship and business development.

  • Obama Commencement
    “ASU commitment is real success” — President Obama

    沙巴体育官方平台in what may have been the largest u.s. graduation in history, sitting u.s. president barack obama delivers the may asu commencement address. “the commitment at an institution like asu, which is diverse and gives opportunity to all, that’s the hallmark of real success,” he tells a crowd of more than 70,000. asu announces the obama scholars program, an expansion of the university’s key student financial aid program. today, more than $200 million has been invested in the program and nearly 2,500 arizonans have graduated as obama scholars.

  • Mars Rover
    ‘Curiosity’ rover lands on Mars with ASU-developed instruments

    沙巴体育官方平台“curiosity,” a car-sized, six-wheeled robot, touches down at gale crater on mars. professors, researchers and students from asu’s school of earth and space exploration, as well as university alumni, are involved with several of the rover’s instruments.

  • Havasu
    ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City opens

    asu creates its colleges at lake havasu city to bring the university’s innovative approach to higher education to a location unserved by the state university system. today, students at havasu choose from more than 20 four-year undergraduate degree programs in high-demand career fields.

  • Thunderbird
    Thunderbird becomes part of ASU Knowledge Enterprise

    the internationally recognized thunderbird school of global management becomes asu’s fifth metro phoenix campus, combining the strength of a global business-education powerhouse with the resources of the country’s most innovative university.

  • New faculty for the Arizona State University School for the Future of Innovation in Society poses for a portrait at the Doubletree Resort in Tempe, Arizona.
    School for Future of Innovation in Society launches

    沙巴体育官方平台founded by michael m. crow at columbia university in 1999 and moved to asu in 2004, the consortium for science, policy and outcomes is the predecessor to asu’s newest school, the school for the future of innovation in society, which launches in 2014.

  • Arntzen
    Professor advances lifesaving Ebola drug

    沙巴体育官方平台asu regents professor charles arntzen’s research helps advance the production and delivery of a promising treatment for the ebola virus. for his innovative work — using specially modified tobacco plants that are harvested, ground up into a green liquid, purified and turned into tiny doses of the drug zmapp — arntzen is the no. 1 honoree among fast company’s “100 most creative people in business.”

  • NASA
    NASA picks ASU for moon mission

    cubesat, a spacecraft the size of a shoebox, is chosen by nasa to orbit the moon and create a map of water-ice on its surface. cubesat will be designed, built and operated at asu, and the project is the third major space mission involvement for which nasa selected asu in 2015.

  • Starbucks employee
    ASU partners with Starbucks, edX for unique degree offerings

    groundbreaking asu partnerships with starbucks and edx create unique entry points to an undergraduate degree. asu unites with edx to create the global freshman academy, a collaboration offering first-year college-level courses for academic credit on the edx platform, dramatically increasing access to higher education for students around the world. with starbucks, the partnership creates the college achievement plan, offering 100-percent tuition coverage for every eligible u.s. starbucks employee, providing access to and opportunity at a world-class, discovery-oriented university.

  • Fulbright
    ASU faculty, students dominate Fulbright awards

    asu faculty earn the top spot among all u.s. universities, as 10 are awarded coveted fulbright fellowships. asu students rank no. 5 in the country for fulbright scholarships, ahead of columbia, princeton, usc, johns-hopkins and others.

  • Grad employability
    A top university for graduate employability

    沙巴体育官方平台asu earns top-10 recognition as a leading u.s. university for graduate employability, according to global university employability survey 2016. asu is designated as a “top-tier” recruiting university among the country’s top 50 corporations, joining peer institutions like mit, uc berkeley, notre dame, purdue and others.

  • Mosquito
    ASU researchers unveil low-cost test for Zika virus

    hoping to foil zika’s rapid advance, asu researchers collaborate with the wyss institute in boston to develop a $1-per-test diagnostic that can be administered anywhere in the world. the platform holds the potential to diagnose a broad range of infectious disease.

  • History Nobel Laureates
    Two Nobels join ASU faculty

    asu adds a pair of nobel laureates to its world-class faculty. frank wilczek and sidney altman are the fourth and fifth winners of the prestigious international award to become asu faculty members, joining leland hartwell and edward prescott and the late elinor ostrom.

  • psychenasa
    ASU selected for NASA deep-space mission

    asu’s psyche mission, a journey to a metal asteroid orbiting the sun between mars and jupiter marks the university’s first deep-space nasa discovery program mission and the first time scientists will be able to see what is believed to be a planetary core. led by lindy elkins-tanton, managing director of asu’s interplanetary initiative, the psyche mission is scheduled to launch in 2022 and arrive at the asteroid psyche in 2026.

  • Campaign 2020
    Campaign ASU 2020

    沙巴体育官方平台to accelerate the asu mission and raise support for the university’s educational priorities, campaign asu 2020 is a comprehensive universitywide effort designed to fuel the innovation and solutions that will shape our future.

  • adidas sport alliance
    adidas-ASU Global Sport Alliance launches

    combining asu’s world-class resources with adidas’ global reach, the strategic partnership aims at shaping the future of sport and amplifying athletics’ positive impact on society. bringing together education, athletics, research and innovation, the global sport alliance will explore topics including diversity, race, sustainability and human potential, all through the lens of sport.

  • asuyoungscholars
    ASU opens young scholars academy

    the new home for the gary k. herberger young scholars academy at asu’s west campus offers a state-of-the-art teaching, learning and discovery environment for highly gifted students in grades 7–12.

  • cryptocurrency
    Transforming cryptocurrency

    沙巴体育官方平台asu launches an interdisciplinary initiative called the blockchain research lab, the first of its kind in academia. the lab’s mission is to advance the research and development of blockchain-based technologies for use in business, finance, economics, mathematics, computer science and more.

  • alzheimers
    ASU scientists fight Alzheimer’s

    an asu team discovers a promising step in the fight against alzheimer’s disease by examining the effects of the illness decades before symptoms first appear. a debilitating condition that depletes brain cells of their primary energy source, alzheimer’s currently affects cognitive functioning in 36 million people worldwide.

  • Sustainability leader
    Sustainability leader

    asu takes the next bold step to become the world leader in sustainability research and education. the newly founded global futures initiative (currently the global futures laboratory) harnesses the innovative capacity of academia to develop options for the sound management of our planet.

  • ASU recognized nationally for ‘Excellence in Diversity’
    ASU recognized nationally for ‘Excellence in Diversity’

    沙巴体育官方平台the university wins the 2018 excellence in diversity and inclusion in international education award for its unique program that helps first-generation college students overcome obstacles to studying abroad.

  • Bots that battle cancer
    Bots that battle cancer

    in a major advancement in nanomedicine, asu scientists collaborate with researchers from the chinese academy of sciences to create cancer-fighting nanobots that seek and destroy tumors. for his work, asu researcher hao yan is later named one of fast company’s most creative people in business of 2019.

  • ASU expands impact in nation’s capital
    ASU expands impact in nation’s capital

    沙巴体育官方平台the ambassador barbara barrett and justice sandra day o’connor washington center opens, expanding asu’s presence in washington, d.c. located in a historic building just two blocks from the white house, the 32,000-square-foot, eight-story center is the new home to various asu programs such as the cronkite news washington bureau, the mccain institute for international leadership, as well as other think tanks and research facilities.

  • googlevirtuallearning
    Spearheading virtual learning

    沙巴体育官方平台with the help of google and labster partners, asu launches first-in-the-u.s. virtual reality biology lab courses. students are enrolled in cell and molecular biology, animal physiology and ecology courses.

  • ASU Uber partnership
    ASU Uber partnership

    advancing inclusivity and accessibility in higher education, asu and uber form a partnership enabling drivers to achieve a degree in entrepreneurship and english language learning with 100% tuition coverage.

  • ‘Starbirth’ research top 10 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’
    ‘Starbirth’ research top 10 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’

    when asu physicists discover the first clues in the decades-long search for the nature of dark matter in the universe, they open a new window on how early stars — and later, black holes and galaxies — formed and evolved. their research is highlighted in physics world as one of its top 10 “breakthroughs of the year.”

  • Solar cell efficiency
    Solar cell efficiency

    asu researchers continue to break solar cell efficiency records in an effort to harness the sun’s energy more economically as a renewable source for electricity. the perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell created by asu scientists in collaboration with the university of nebraska-lincoln has the potential to transform mainstream silicon technology and lower the cost of solar energy.

  • Helping health care companies grow
    Helping health care companies grow

    沙巴体育官方平台the mayo clinic-asu medtech accelerator is established to help companies take their business to the next level. the program offers personalized business development plans to collaborate with mayo clinic and asu, as well as accelerate go-to-market and investment opportunities.

  • PBS NewsHour West launches
    PBS NewsHour West launches

    沙巴体育官方平台the walter cronkite school of journalism and mass communication becomes the only home of a national newscast embedded in a journalism school, creating more opportunities for student journalists’ work to air nationally.

  • Innovative new model for a sustainable stadium
    Innovative new model for a sustainable stadium

    given that most university stadiums cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and maintain, yet often are used less than 10 times a year, asu reinvisions sun devil stadium by transforming it into a cultural hub that’s used 365 days a year. the 365 community union features exciting programming, concerts, film festivals, restaurants and cultural activities.

  • Most innovative in U.S. — 5 years in a row
    Most innovative in U.S. — 5 years in a row

    for five years in a row, asu tops the annual u.s. news & world report rankings as the country’s “most innovative” university, based on a survey of top educators. college presidents, provosts and admissions deans point to asu as making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. asu has placed  ahead of stanford and mit since the survey’s inception.

  • Addressing the global water crisis
    Addressing the global water crisis

    沙巴体育官方平台asu fulton schools of engineering professor cody friesen wins the 2019 $500,000 lemelson-mit prize for invention by developing solar-powered technology that can generate drinking water from sunlight and air. the 2017 invention lays the foundation for zero mass water, an asu startup that provides clean drinking water in communities, refugee camps, government offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, restaurants and homes around the world. friesen donates the prize to a zero mass water project in colombia.

  • ASU breaks ground on new Thunderbird headquarters
    ASU breaks ground on new Thunderbird headquarters

    the thunderbird school of global management breaks ground on its new global headquarters on asu’s downtown phoenix campus with an expected completion date of april 2021 — its 75th anniversary. driving change on the world’s most critical challenges, thunderbird joins the united nation’s global compact network usa as its official institutional and academic partner, an organization that creates a roadmap for companies to make a positive social and financial impact on a global scale.

  • Combating climate change
    Combating climate change

    沙巴体育官方平台the mechanicaltree, invented by asu professor klaus lackner and his colleagues at the center for negative carbon emissions in 2017, is highlighted as a breakthrough by popular science: “a forest of 1,200 mechanical ‘trees,’ … is poised to pull more carbon dioxide out of the air than any human-made endeavor before it.” lackner plans to produce mechanicaltree farms worldwide over the next decade.

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