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Arizona State University

Click on the file to read some words by Arizona State University's president about this book.

This book, co-authored with Denise Bates, takes its readers on a journey that introduces a succession of university presidents who committed decades of their lives to the development and growth of ASU and the surrounding Tempe community. They—along with other university leaders—brought in inspired architects to erect visually impressive structures, attracted researchers, scholars, and performers in the top of their fields who found a home base at ASU, promoted the growth of the local economy through strategic planning, and helped spark and reinforce campus traditions and landmarks that left a lasting impression on students—as evidenced by the university’s strong alumni base. The book includes attention to historically under-represented groups, as that naturally folds out of ASU’s story as more women and diverse groups became a part of ASU.

Read this and you will not be among the ASU students, faculty, staff, and fans who appreciate campus with minimal knowledge of the institution’s rich history. Few of them know the details of how the Homecoming events came to develop, where the mascot “Sparky” originated, or the history of the “Victory Bell” that has been calling football fans to the stadium since the 1960s. Through unveiling the university’s history, this book gives readers a deeper appreciation of, for instance, the palm walk (a walkway framed by trees over 90 feet tall that dates back to 1916), the Cady Mall Fountain, the Secret Garden, the University Bridge, the Memorial Union, and Camp Tontozona (just to name a few). Current and past students will enjoy learning more about their school and seeing the fun and interesting pictures of the styles and times of campus life through the decades, little known facts and stories of key faculty, students, research, and architecture. Outside those that worked at or attended ASU, the book will be of interest to local community residents (whether long-term or recently arrived), and appeal to tourists and sports fans as well.

Our preliminary vision of this book merely scratched the surface of what it evolved into, and yet there was so much more to tell! By tapping into images housed in the University Archives and local Historical Societies--especially the Tempe History Museum--we were able to share some of the first images taken of the Tempe Normal School when students still traveled by horse, fascinating aerial shots of the campus as it grew over the years, and ground breaking ceremonies revealing the fresh faces of those excited for things to come. Although archival collections proved invaluable to this project, we involved the community and a large portion of the images came come from the private collections of alumni, retired faculty and staff, and nearby residents or businesses.

A campus history book of this nature promotes institutional pride with its emphasis on growth, innovation, and tradition. It appeals to a broad spectrum of people who either wish to fill in the gaps of their existent university knowledge or gain new insights into the history of the largest state research university in the nation.

"I loved it!" ~ Lonnie Stepp

"Every Sun Devil should have one. This a great book for alumni that already have tons of clothing and other items." ~ Marylee Jensen

"I'm so happy to see some photographs and early history of some of the local Campus Ministries that were so much a part of the history of Arizona State University...Let's celebrate the diversity of this campus." ~ Terrel Pochert

"I was so excited to find this book as a gift for my ASU graduate son. The photos are amazing and we all learned so much about the early campus--as beautiful then as now. Thanks for a great book. ~ Piccola