Scenes from CSU’s 150th birthday celebration

Photos by Grace Branaugh, Jen Smith, Cyrus Martin, John Eisele, Joe Mendoza, and Bill Cotton.

You only get to celebrate your sesquicentennial once, and on Feb. 11, 2020, that’s just what Colorado State University did.

For a birthday this big, the celebration started a day early and in two cities. On Monday, the College of Agricultural Sciences held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Temple Grandin Equine Center on the Foothills Campus. The center will celebrate and elevate the role of the horse in society through the physical and emotional benefits of serving those in need,  integrating research and education in order to promote evidence-based practices of equine assisted activities and therapy.

Tuesday morning started with representatives from CSU appearing at the State Capitol in Denver to receive an official proclamation from the Colorado Legislature congratulating the state’s only land-grant university on its 150th anniversary. The proclamation recognized all three campuses of the CSU System for educating nearly 60,000 students every year, generating more than $465 million in annual economic activity, and improving the lives of all Colorado citizens.

By lunch time, the Fort Collins campus was ready to party, first with selfies with the larger-than-life #csu150 on the Plaza, then with cake and cookies and 150th items at The Foundry in the Corbett/Parmelee dining center. CAM the Ram, CSU Cheer and the Pep Band provided the excitement while people signed the giant birthday card.

And the events weren’t over yet. Tuesday evening, former UN Ambassador Susan Rice sat down for a conversation with NPR foreign correspondent Greg Myre. The free talk, sponsored by the Office of International Programs with generous support from Women and Philanthropy and the Provost’s Sesquicentennial Colloquium, filled the Lory Student Center Ballroom. She talked about her early life – her mother is widely considered the mother of the Pell Grant that provided college opportunity for low-income students – as well as other topics covered in her new book, Tough Love.

Rice could have been summing up CSU’s 150 years of education, research and service to the people of Colorado and the world with this observation:

“The more we know each other ­– the more we engage each other and recognize each other as human beings – the better, because, for better or for worse, we are all in this together and we are going to sink or swim together.”