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CSUN at 40

Coming Of Age

September 21, 1998

As America, including Los Angeles, lost its innocence during the 1960s, the Valley did, too.

LAND BOOM

Property in Northridge purchased for the campus in 1955 cost $6,000 an acre. By 1965 land near the campus was selling for $100,000 an acre.

HOT AIR

Regulations required special approval for air conditioning on any state college campus within 25 miles of the ocean. CSUN's first president, Ralph Prator, let Mother Nature present her own case by scheduling a state Board of Trustees meeting at the library one hot September afternoon.

As the meeting progressed, coats came off and ties were loosened. Finally one perspiring trustee pleaded, "Can we turn the air conditioning on?"

The college got its air conditioning.

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS

Though fewer than three dozen students in 1967 were African American or Latino, by fall 1993, whites had become a minority, making up 49% of the students. Today, whites make up 39% of the student body.

FOR ALL EYES

The 1969 annual, under the new name Matador, included one page printed in Braille "so that blind students at Valley State can see the yearbook, also."

HOPELESS

A recommendation by the Faculty Senate that comedian Bob Hope be given an honorary degree at the 1971 commencement drew campus opposition because of the comedian's support of America's Indochina policy. Hope, expressing concern for his own safety, declined the degree.

MEDIA EXPOSURE

The nationwide college campus fad of streaking struck CSUN in March, 1974. Unlike the mainstream media, which showed streakers from somewhat modest angles, the Daily Sundial illustrated its story with front-page photographs of full frontal nudity.

ON ICE

College culinary fact: The campus boasts the first CSU-run Baskin-Robbins franchise, located on the ground floor of the bookstore complex.

*

Sources: Cal State Northridge University Archives; CSUN faculty, staff and students; "Suddenly a Giant, a History of California State University Northridge" by John Broesamle

COMPILED BY JAKE FINCH, MEGAN GARVEY, ROB O'NEIL AND ERIC RIMBERT SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

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