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CSUN at 40

Maturity

September 21, 1998

When San Fernando Valley State College was designated a university in 1972, it was expanding upward and outward. Students taxed themselves through fees to build the University Student Union, while teachers took a similar approach toward the Faculty Club. The Pan-African and Chicano Studies departments took hold.

CHINESE RELATIONS

After establishing a student exchange program with China in 1981, CSUN became the first American campus to host a Chinese film festival, co-produce a bilingual opera with China and send a debate team to the country. The university became well known in the Chinese academic world, where it was called "Beiling," which is Chinese for "North Ridge."

TREES OF LEARNING

CSUN may be the only university in the world with an historic orange grove, located on the northwest corner of Lindley Avenue and Nordhoff Street. Credit for the preservation of the remaining one is said to be, in part, the result of a Sundial cartoon depicting the entire campus as a giant parking lot with a single citrus tree in the middle.

HIDDEN TREASURE

Located directly south of the University Student Union and open weekdays to the public, CSUN's one-acre botanical garden showcases a variety of plant species and offers a place for quiet reflection.

"Nobody knows we're here." -- Brenda Kanno, biology department assistant, describing botanical garden.

RECORDING HISTORY

During this 40th anniversary year, researchers have been consulting two key sources on CSUN's history-- the University Archives and "Suddenly a Giant, A History of California State University, Northridge," by retired CSUN history professor John Broesamle.

LEAVING CHINA

In June 1989, two CSUN delegations were caught in China following the Tiananmen Square massacre. CSUN's semester in China program, in its third term, had to extricate 30 students.

'Chinese officials put every obstacle they could think of in the way of preventing a smooth departure.'-- Sheldon Harris, history professor with one of the delegations

DORM LIFE

Cal State Northridge has become the largest residential school in the CSU system, with approximately 10% of its students living in on-campus dormitories.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Community college transfers represented half of the 7,500 undergraduates arriving at CSUN last year. Pierce and Valley colleges are the top feeder institutions. Placing third is Santa Monica College.

EXCHANGE STUDENTS

International students continue to arrive in ever-larger numbers, giving CSUN the 14th largest foreign student population in the nation.

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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