The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Oviatt Library reflects CSUN?s 50-year history

The Oviatt Library unveiled CSUN’s Fifty and Fabulous exhibit on the library’s patio Monday with photographs and documents outlining the history and growth of the campus.

The exhibition recounts some moments through photographs, such as those of the campaign stop of Robert F. Kennedy. Championship trophies from the university’s athletic teams, and civil rights documents were also on display and, many times, through the front page of the Sundial.

‘You will see yourself, either directly or indirectly, through the artifacts of others and you will see the seeds, in this exhibit, of this university we are all a part of today,’ said CSUN President Jolene Koester.

This exhibition was part of a series of events celebrating the university’s 50th anniversary.

The exhibition features photographs of CSUN’s beginnings as a patchwork of agricultural fields dotted with small buildings and few roads.

One black-and-white photo of the future school grounds was taken amid a squash field with a freestanding wooden sign reading ‘State Property.’

Progressing along the wall takes you from farm fields, past the construction of a few small buildings, to a color picture in 1989 of a busy city surrounding an equally busy university and, finally, in 2002 a modern-day CSUN.

The exhibit showcases artifacts of CSUN’s participation on the national level as well, such as Kennedy’s campaign stop and the university’s contribution to the civil rights movement.

Kennedy held a campaign speech at CSUN, which was San Fernando Valley State College at the time, on March 26, 1968.

On display are pictures and video of Kennedy’s speech and items from his campaign, such as buttons and a hat.

Kennedy was killed on June 6, roughly two months after his visit to CSUN.

President William J. Clinton also visited CSUN one year after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Pictures and artifacts from CSUN’s reconstruction after the earthquake are also a part of the exhibit.

Along an adjacent wall of the exhibition room is a visual depiction of the student’s life at CSUN from registration to graduation.

This section displays CSUN’s contribution to the Civil Rights movement portrayed through demand statements from student organizations petitioning the administration to hire more African American and Chicano teachers.

The demand statements also requested the creation of Chicano and African American studies departments and the admission of more Chicano and African American students.

The front page of the Sundial tells the story of the first African American Associated Student Government President, William Watkins, in 1973.

Another issue of the Sundial announces the election of the first female A.S. President, Susan E. Hinger, in 1981.

‘We’ve captured our 50 years in such a compelling way by developing themes that reach back into our history and forward into the future,’ said Dr. Susan C. Curzon, the dean of the university library.

As one of her favorite displays at the exhibition, Curzon pointed to artifacts from the visits of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

‘I’m a great fan of Joplin,’ said Cuzon.

Joplin performed in the CSUN gymnasium in 1968 and Hendrix played at the Devonshire Downs, located where the CSUN parking lot now sits on Lassen, along with Steppenwolf and Tina Turner.

University Archivist, Robert Marshall, prepared the exhibition with help from CSUN students and others.

The Fifty and Fabulous exhibit will be on display until Aug. 2, 2009 according to Marshall.

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