CSUN turns 50 today

Andrew Fingerett

CSUN will host Founder’s Day today in honor of the University’s founding 50 years ago.

CSUN originally began as San Fernando Valley State College in 1958 and was changed to California State University, Northridge in 1972. Today’s events are serving as a launching point designed to celebrate CSUN’s 50-year anniversary.

More than 350 people are expected to attend the Founder’s Day events including an invitation-only alumni luncheon and keynote speaker John Broesamle, author of ‘Suddenly a Giant,’ which recounts the history of CSUN.

The 50-Year Club will also be launched, whose members will be made up of alumni who received degrees 50 years ago. Induction ceremonies for the club will be an annual tradition.

‘We have about 40 people who will be inducted’ this year, said Shellie Hadvina, associate director of the Alumni Association. ‘We are just thrilled to have our alumni come back to the campus to see how much has changed over 50 years.’

As part of the celebration, students, staff and alumni are encouraged to submit a YouTube video of 50 seconds or less describing CSUN experiences at http://www.youtube.com/group/csun50.

In addition, the opening of a new exhibit in the Tseng Gallery of the Oviatt Library, ‘Fifty and Fabulous: California State University, Northridge/San Fernando Valley State College at the Half-Century Mark,’ will take place at 6 p.m. today. The exhibit will run through Aug. 2, 2009, providing a visual history of campus events as well as an opened time capsule buried 25 years ago.

The Michael D. Eisner College of Education is also holding an open house today from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. allowing visitors to tour the facility and learn what has changed.

Also, a segment of Magnolia Walk between Etiwanda Avenue and the Oviatt Library will be renamed the ‘James and Mary Cleary Walk,’ in honor of James Cleary’s 23-year service as CSUN’s president and his wife, Mary Cleary.

Richard Kaufman, who wrote CSUN’s alma mater, ‘Hail to the Matadors,’ plans on re-recording the song with the music department to honor the anniversary.

The celebration will culminate on April 25, 2009 at the Grand Reunion Picnic, said Hadvina,. The event will be open to all alumni throughout all of CSUN’s history and will be held in the Sierra Quad.