Explore Our Roots

California State University, Stanislaus opened in Turlock in 1960 after being established as Stanislaus State College by the California state legislature in 1957. It was part of a major expansion of the California State University system at that time, with seven campuses being established within a three-year period, bringing the total number of campuses to fifteen.

Initially utilizing temporary facilities at the county fairgrounds, the campus was moved to its permanent 228-acre site in Turlock in 1965 and officially renamed California State University, Stanislaus by the State Legislature and CSU Trustees in 1985.

The Fairground Years Stanislaus State College, 1960-1965

University Student Center

through the years

Explore historical moments in Stanislaus State's rich campus history.


1957 – Stanislaus State College established in Stanislaus County. California State Public Works Board selects Turlock as the site of the new state college.

1959 – Construction began on Stanislaus County Fairgrounds as a temporary location for Stanislaus State College.

1960 – Instruction began on September 19 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

1961 – First commencement ceremony awarding 25 degrees at Turlock High School.

1963 – First accreditation visit conducted by WASC; two-year accreditation granted.

1964 – Ground-breaking ceremony for the permanent campus.

1965 – The college moved to its permanent 228-acre site after the construction of major facilities. Classes began in September at the new campus, which consisted of the Library, Classroom Building, boiler plant facility and Corporation Yard. Freshmen were accepted for the first time.

1966 – First four-year degree and graduate program offered.


1970 – Construction was completed on the Performing Arts Complex— the first permanent facility for art, music and drama.

1972 – Name of college changed from Stanislaus State College to California State College, Stanislaus.

1974 – First classes held in Stockton.

1980 – College Amphitheatre and stage completed. Commencement ceremonies moved to that site.


1985 – Stanislaus State College earned university status and was officially renamed California State University, Stanislaus.

1991 – Groundbreaking ceremony for California State University Stanislaus-Stockton Center opened on San Joaquin Delta College campus.

1993 – Residential Life Village, Phase I opened.

1996 – Residential Life Village, Phase II opened.


1998 – California State University Stanislaus-Stockton Center opened at the former Stockton Development Center. (image)

1998 – Demergasso-Bava Hall construction completed.

2000 – Singer Ray Charles performs in the Amphitheatre during a 2000 pre-commencement concert.

2003 – The John Stuart Rogers Faculty Development Center opened in January and the 320-seat Bernell and Flora Snider Music Recital Hall was completed in May.

2004 – Residential Life Village, Phase III opened with an adjoining dining facility.

2007 – Construction was completed on the Nora and Hashem Naraghi Hall of Science.

2008 – The new University Bookstore opened.

2009 – The 19-acre Student Recreation Complex was completed, including a 2,300-seat sports stadium.


2013 – Major renovations were completed on the Science I building, housing state-of-the art nursing laboratories and classrooms.

2019 – The WSCUC (WASC Senior College and University Commission) reaffirmed the University's accreditation for a period of eight years.

2020 – The University Student Center, the hub of campus life, opened its doors.

2022 – Renovations completed for the University Library.

2024 – Construction began on the new Acacia building on the Stockton Campus.

1957 – Master Architect (right) and Executive Dean Gerard Crowley talk at the 'Future Home of Stanislaus State College' sign after the selection of the new site in Turlock at Monte Vista Road and Geer Road.
1959 – Walls go up in one of the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds exhibition buildings as preparation for temporary college classes.  
1961 – Graduates receive diplomas at the first commencement held at the Turlock High School Auditorium.  
1964 – A grader clears earth at the new University site during the groundbreaking ceremony.
1965 – The Library and Classroom Buildings, the first two buildings built on the campus, stand behind the Stanislaus State College sign.  1970 – Aerial view of the new Performing Arts Complex. 1970 – Aerial view of the new Performing Arts Complex. 
1970 – Aerial view of the new Performing Arts Complex.
1991 – Former State Senator Patrick Johnston (left) and President John Moore break ground for the University's Stockton Center facility at San Joaquin Delta College.  
1998 – President Marvalene Hughes (center) is joined by Stockton Center Dean Cynthia Morgan (left) and Provost Richard Curry (right) at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the California State University Stanislaus-Stockton Center. 
2000 – Singer Ray Charles performs in the Amphitheatre during a 2000 pre-commencement concert.
2020 – The University Student Center, the hub of campus life.
2007 – Pond-side view of the Naraghi Hall of Science.   
2024 – Stockton Campus Dean Sarah Sweitzer (far left) is joined by (from left) Interim President Sue Borrego, Senator Susan Eggman, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln, President and CEO of Otto Construction, Allison Otto, Associate Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities Management, Julia Reynoso and Assistant Vice Chancellor at California State University, Paul Gannoe, to celebrate the start of construction on the new Acacia Hall building at the Stockton Campus. 



Updated: June 12, 2024