In 2019-2020, Colorado State University is celebrating the sesquicentennial of its founding. To spotlight the history, contributions, and future vision of CSU, each month SOURCE will feature a different college that is part of the University as well as other features.


In the beginning: Colorado Agricultural College

It all started with Abraham Lincoln. Sort of. Yes, the nation’s 16th president signed the Morrill Act of 1862 that created the framework for the founding of one college in every state dedicated to the agricultural and mechanical arts, open to all who wanted an education and supported by the federal government in perpetuity.

Can you pronounce sesquicentennial? Check out who passed the test on this tongue twister.

A reflection on the original people who lived on these lands

Stories, an interactive photo slider and a quiz on CSU lore

Libbie Coy

Alumna an enduring symbol of educational access and inclusion

Monthly stories uncovered by film producer Frank Boring


College of Ag collage

The first College: Agricultural Sciences

If it weren’t for wheat, there wouldn’t be a Colorado State University. The Colorado Agricultural College had been authorized by the Territorial Legislature in 1870 – without any funding. Four years later, the legislature finally allocated matching seed money of $1,000 to get the project off the ground, but as the deadline approached, college organizers were a few hundred dollars short of raising their share.

John Matsushima

John Matsushima has dedicated his life to serving Colorado’s livestock industry.

Gary Smith

Gary Smith has incorporated his personal stories into lessons for thousands of students.

CSU Extension

For more than 100 years, CSU Extension agents have been providing research-based solutions.

CSU 150 logo

Read more stories that highlight how generosity has increased access and opportunity for students, helped build and enhance world-class educational facilities, funded ground-breaking research, and supported programs that extend the University’s resources far beyond campus. read more