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California State University, Sacramento (also known as Sacramento State or Sac State) is a public university located in the city of Sacramentomarker, Californiamarker. It is part of the California State University system. The university has a total enrollment of approximately 29,000 students.

The 2007 US News and World Report collegiate rankings ranked Sacramento State as the 57th-best Masters-level university in the West.


Early History

The efforts to get a four-year university in Sacramento date back to the 1920s, however Bay Area politics prevented the founding until 1947. The University's colors green and gold symbolize the green of the foothills and trees, and gold for discovery.

The university was founded as Sacramento State College in 1947 during a time of intense demand for higher education after World War II. At the time of its founding, Sac State shared space at Sacramento Junior Collegemarker.

By 1953, the school had moved to its permanent location on the banks of the American River. Jackrabbits were a problem in the early years and landscapers were permitted to shoot them on sight. Sacramento State became part of the California State University system in 1960, and in 1972, the university changed its name to California State University, Sacramento.

The university underwent a major expansion in the Korean War years, with the 'heart' of the campus residing in what was then Douglass Hall, Shasta Hall, and buildings housing the Math, Science, and History departments. These buildings are now scheduled for demolition, which will soon create a campus green belt spanning from the library to the dorms.

Sac State came within hours of being deliberately flooded in 1986, as officials contemplated blowing floodgates to avoid a massive levee failure in Sacramentomarker.

Golden Era

The period between 1984 and 2003 marked unprecedented growth and budget stability for the University. During this period, the campus nearly doubled in size with the construction of over nearly a dozen academic and service buildings. These include (but are not limited to):
  • University Union expansion
  • Mendocino Hall
  • Riverside Hall
  • Mariposa Hall
  • Library expansion
  • Placer Hall
  • Two Parking garages
  • New Hornet Bookstore (the bookstore recently moved to another new location)
  • Lassen Hall expansion
  • Perimeter road (which eased traffic congestion)

After the construction of Placer Hall, many of the remaining buildings were renamed for California counties. The administration building was aptly renamed "Sacramento Hall".

Sacramento State hosted the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Events were held at Hornet Stadiummarker in the Alex Spanos Sports Complex.

Present time

New Logo

Recently built were the Alumni Center, a continuing education building, a facility for University-licensed public radio stations, the Academic and Information Resource Center (AIRC), and a third parking garage.


In 2004, the school decided to re-brand itself and is now known as Sacramento State (Sac State for short); though students had been referring to the school by this name for years. The official name of the university remains California State University, Sacramento. The terms "CSUS," "Cal State Sacramento", "CSU, Sacramento", and "CS Sacramento" are no longer appropriate per the new Identity Style Guide. The University also adopted a new logo and seal. These replaced the previous design based on the Seal of California.

In addition, the exact shades of Sacramento States' colors of green and gold were formalized in the 2005 Style Guide:

Color Pantone Web Color Red, Green, Blue
Sac State Green 343 #00563F (0,86,63)
Hornet Gold 4515 #BCAD75 (188,173,117)
Hornet Metallic Gold 872 Not applicable Not applicable

Future of Sacramento State - Destination 2010

The New Hornet Bookstore opened in Fall 2007

Sacramento State is in the midst of a huge fundraising effort for its "Destination 2010" campaign, part of its master plan to upgrade the campus to accommodate a growing Sacramento regional population. One of the major additions will be the Recreation and Wellness Center which will be run by the University Union. The Recreation and Wellness Center will be a multi-use facility with courts, weight and fitness rooms, climbing wall, indoor track and a new student health center. Students will be able to exercise, participate in group recreational activities, access healthcare services, study and socialize. Located at the north end of Hornet Stadium and near key campus destinations such as the Union, Library and Parking Structure III, the Center will be a resource for alumni, faculty and staff. At , it will offer a host of fitness, recreation, and athletic opportunities.

Destination 2010 is an initiative that aims to make Sacramento State a university of choice for prospective students and employees throughout the West. Sac State plans to become a premier metropolitan university and a destination campus. Nearly six decades after its founding, Sacramento State has evolved into a respected regional institution. It attempts to produce graduates who will be leaders in their fields and communities. One in 26 residents of the six-county Sacramento region is a Sacramento State graduate. The University directly and indirectly contributes more than $900 million to the region’s economy annually.

Campus leaders have defined Destination 2010 as follows:

Through Destination 2010, Sac State hopes to:
  • Foster excellent academic and student programs by:
    • Recognizing diversity as vital to developing the “New California”
    • Recruiting the best faculty
    • Continually assessing and strengthening our academic and related co-curricular offerings
    • Utilizing the best in teaching and learning technology
    • Providing comprehensive student services and programs
  • Build a welcoming campus by:
    • Developing beautiful and inviting grounds and facilities
    • Becoming a regional event destination
    • Offering public-friendly campus retailing
    • Create a dynamic physical environment by:
  • Planning effectively and improving our infrastructure
    • Providing excellent academic facilities and support centers
    • Developing residential options for students, faculty and staff
    • Building state-of-the-art campus-life facilities
  • Develop community support by:
    • Increasing Sac State's visibility
    • Expanding Sac State's advocacy base
    • Encouraging broader community financial support



Sacramento State north entrance
As the sixth-largest campus of the 23 state universities in California, the campus is composed of in the city of Sacramento. It lies adjacent to U.S. Route 50.

The campus is bordered by the American River to the East, Union Pacific Railroad tracks to the West, Folsom Boulevard to the South and H Street to the North. The North end of campus is dominated by the Goethe Arboretum and residence halls.

Sacramento State has 3,000 trees, with flower gardens, miles of trails stretching along the nearby river parkway, and student housing with recreational areas such as Lake Natomamarker and Old Sacramentomarker, in addition to its on-campus housing. The best time to tour the campus are during the fall months or early spring, as the colors of the thousands of trees make a display.

Guy West Bridge, a pedestrian bridge built to scale of the Golden Gate Bridgemarker, spans the nearby American River.

Sacramento State library quad
It also contains more than 30 research and community service centers such as the Center for California Studies, the Institute for Social Research, the Center for Collaborative Policy, the Center for Small Business,and the Office of Water Programs.

Sac State was once home to a large chicken population in the 1990s. Sac State now has a large population of wildlife. Recently reported by students were a large population of squirrels. There has also been reports of a small population of ducks and turkeys that roam the campus now and then.

At the northeastern edge of campus are the dormitories which can currently accommodate 1,100 students with an additional 606 beds currently under construction. Southwest of the campus is the Upper Eastside Lofts located near the light rail station at Folsom Boulevard and 65th Street and is owned by University Enterprises. The lofts can accommodate an additional 443 students and is a short walk from campus via Hornet Tunnel.

On October 21, 2009 there was an officer involved shooting in the American River Courtyard. The altercation involved a man allegedly beaten with a bat and another brandishing a knife. As a result, one man died while the other currently remains in critical condition.


Sacramento State Aquatic Center

One of the top rowing facilities in the entire country. Located at Lake Natomamarker, east of the university, it hosts various regional and national meets including the annual Pacific Coast Rowing Championships. Classes are offered in boating and other water-sports for its students and community members. The aquatic center was also part of

Center for Collaborative Policy

The Center provides services for public disputes at the state, regional, and local levels, ranging from conflicts between agencies to multi-party disputes on major policies. Its methods are mediation, negotiation, and consensus-building. It tries to reach solutions satisfying everyone while avoiding traditional adversarial processes.

Julia Morgan House and Gardens

Located three miles (5 km) west of Sac State and was designed by famous architect Julia Morgan. It was donated to the school in 1966 by Sacramento philanthropist and eugenicist Charles Goethe and was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The school remodeled the house in 2000 honored by the California Heritage Council. Sac State uses the home hosting lectures, small meetings, conferences, community events, and it is available for public special events such as receptions and weddings. The home's west wing houses the Life Center and provides health and fitness classes for seniors.

Sacramento State Placer Campus

Sacramento State recently purchased of land near Roseville, Californiamarker for a satellite campus. The campus is hoped to break ground soon, and will likely have an emphasis on technology, business, and teacher education. President Alexander Gonzales said the campus may eventually grow in to a separate CSU university.



Riverside Hall houses the College of Engineering and Computer Science
Sequoia Hall houses the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
The University comprises the following colleges:
College Dean
Arts and Letters Dr. Jeffrey Mason
Business Administration Dr. Sanjay Varshney
Education Dr. Vanessa Sheared
Engineering & Computer Science Dr. Emir Macari
Health & Human Services Ms. Patricia Clark-Ellis
Natural Sciences & Mathematics Dr. Jill Trainer
Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Charles Gossett
Continuing Education Dr. Alice Tom
Sac State offers 60 undergraduate degrees and 40 graduate degrees. Its largest academic program is teacher education, followed by business, criminal justice, communication studies, psychology, and computer science.

The student-to-faculty ratio is about 21 to 1 with more than 70 percent of classes having under 30 students. About 80 percent of full-time faculty hold a doctorate.

Most transfer students come from two-year colleges, and about 750 international students from 80 nations.

The school has the largest cooperative education program in the entire state. Students from all majors are placed in paid positions while simultaneously receiving academic credit. Many students work in government-related internships and fellowships. Approximately 36 percent of students work as volunteers.

Its criminal justice program is the biggest on the western half of the US.

There is a joint-graduate degree program with the McGeorge School of Law, the law school division of the nearby University of the Pacificmarker.

Capital Fellows Program

Sacramento State also works with the California State government to host the Capital Fellowship program through the Center for California Studies. The Center administers the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship, Executive Fellowship, Judicial Administration Fellowship, and California Senate Fellows programs. These programs, known collectively as the Capital Fellows Programs, are nationally recognized. The 18 Assembly Fellows, 18 Senate Fellows, 18 Executive Fellows and 10 Judicial Administration Fellows receive an outstanding opportunity to engage in public service and prepare for future careers, while actively contributing to the development and implementation of public policy in California. The ranks of former fellows and associates include a Justice of the California Supreme Court, members of the United States Congress and the State Legislature, a deputy director of the Peace Corps, corporate executives, and local government and community leaders.


American River view from Guy West Bridge
Sacramento State's colors are green and gold and its mascot is the Hornet. Sacramento State sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (I-AA for football) in the Big Sky Conference. In all sports, the university has a rivalry with the University of California, Davismarker (UC Davis). The football game is called the Causeway Classic and is played for the Causeway Carriage, referring to the fact that the schools are connected by the long Yolo Causeway bridge over Yolo Bypass floodway. More recently, the rivalry was officially expanded to include the Causeway Cup, which includes all sports the teams play in.

The school sponsors about 450 student-athletes. Male students compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field. Female students compete in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball. Scholarships are offered in all sports. The football and track and field teams compete in Hornet Stadiummarker while volleyball, men's and women's basketball and the gymnastics teams call Colberg Courtmarker home.

Most athletic teams compete in the Big Sky Conference. Sac State is the only school from California in the Big Sky Conference, but there are teams from Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Baseball and gymnastics are part of the Western Athletic Conference while men's soccer is part of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and Softball is part of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference.

In 2003 and from 2005 to 2007, the university hosted the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hornet Stadiummarker.

The Sacramento State Marching Band

The Sacramento State Marching Band is the official marching band of the university. It is also known as The Spirit of Sacramento. The subgroup of the band is The Sacramento State Hornet Revue. The band is under the direction of Dr. Clay Redfield.

Sacramento State Fight Song: " Fight, Hornet, Fight!"

Fight Hornet Fight was composed by Don McDonald in 1949.
Fight on, Sacramento State

Fight on to victory

The Hornet is on the wing,

The foe will know that we can show them

We’re meant for fame and glory,

All the World will know

The Hornet’s NEST is BEST in the WEST (Shout) BY TEST!

Sacramento State, (Shout) LET’S GO!!!

Sacramento State Alma Mater: "All Hail to Sacramento"

All Hail to Sacramento

Your colors green and gold;

We'll Hail our Alma Mater,

As on the years do roll;

She stood by us through trials,

A beacon to our way;

With hearts both proud and grateful

We sing of thee this day.

All Hail! All Hail! All Hail!

All Hail to Sacramento State

Our Alma Mater true.

Auxiliary Organizations

Sacramento State currently has six auxiliary organizations:

Capital Public Radio, Inc.


Sacramento State owns and operates multiple public radio stations throughout California in close cooperation with Capital Public Radio.

Two of these stations are KXPR and KXJZ, both on FM. KXPR plays mostly classical music. KXJZ offers news and talk programming, with evening programming dominated by "Excellence in Jazz", which consists of jazz and blues music with minimal DJ interjection or conversation.

Both stations carry programming from National Public Radio.

University Enterprises, Inc.

University Enterprises Development Group

University Union

The CSUS student activity center is the University Union.

Much is offered, including fast food, a game room, public computers with internet access, free WiFi, and conference rooms.

The University Foundation at Sacramento State

Associated Students Inc.

Associated Students Inc. is the official student government body for Sacramento State, ostensibly through California Education Code §89300. Students elect the Board of Directors, which consists of the President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Finance, Vice President of University Affairs, Vice President of Academic Affairs, a representative from each of the academic colleges, a representative for undeclared students, and a representative for graduate students.

KSSU 1580 AM

KSSU 1580AM is a non-profit free format radio station at Sacramento State and part of Associated Students. The radio station has only a 3-watt signal and is not strong enough to broadcast much farther than the campus, but it can be heard all over the world at KSSU is maintained and funded by the Associated Students. KSSU.COM has formed itself into being one of the premier college radio stations in North America. In 2007 the station won Music Director of the year from the College Music Journal and then returned to New York for the award show in 2008 with 8 nominations for awards by CMJ. In 2008 KSSU.COM was also nominated for College Radio Station of the Year by MTVU.

State Hornet

The State Hornet serves as Sacramento State's student newspaper. The State Hornet publishes 14 or 15 issues each semester and produces content for a daily Web site. The online edition,, carries the content of the print edition, posted Wednesday mornings, and publishes unique content to the site as generated by the staff. The 1999-2000 staff of the newspaper, led by Editor-in-Chief David Sommers and Faculty Advisor Sylvia Fox, was awarded the National Newspaper Pacemaker Award, considered to be the highest national honor in collegiate journalism and unofficially known as the "Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism." The newspaper is formally administered by the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Arts and Letters.

Student clubs and organizations

Sac State has a wide selection of social and academic clubs and organizations. Each are dedicated to help students of similar interests bond together by common goals and aspirations. They make up a wide range of opportunities to be involved. They often represent national, international, local and regional organizations. Some also promote certain cultures or multiculturalism. Clubs and organizations are overseen by Student Activities.

The school hosts Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Detachment 088, which trains US Air Force cadets from Sac State and University of California Davismarker.


Sacramento State provides its own buses known as Hornet Express shuttles, and works in conjunction with the Sacramento Regional Transit District for longer distances to and from campus. A Sacramento State student can use these resources for free with their student one card.

The Sacramento light rail system was originally proposed to run through the library quad. However then-president Donald Gerth vetoed the proposal over concerns for student safety.

Sacramento State is planning a bus-rapid transit system similar to the University of Oregonmarker, which will go through campus, to light rail, and nearby apartment complexes.

The school is situated just north of US 50.

Notable alumni

Entertainment, news, and the arts

Politicians and government

Rene Syler


Authors and academics


Sports figures (non athletes)

Notable faculty




Famous visitors

Famous icons to have visited Sacramento State include:

University presidents

  • Guy A. West (1947 - 1965)
  • F. Blair Mayne (1965 - 1965)
  • Stephen L. Walker (1965 - 1966)
  • Robert Johns (1966 - 1969)
  • Otto Butz (1969 - 1970)
  • Bernard L. Hyink (1970 - 1972)
  • James G. Bond (1972 - 1978)
  • Lloyd Johns (1978 - 1983)
  • Austin J. Gerber (1983 - 1984)
  • Donald R. Gerth (1984 - 2003)
  • Alexander Gonzalez (2003 - Present)

Points of interest


  1. List of CSU Auxiliary Organizations by Campus

External links

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