Humboldt State University: Wikis


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Humboldt State University
Motto ΦΩΣ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ (Phos Aletheia - Greek for "Light and Truth")
Established June 16, 1913
Type Public
Endowment US$15.7 million[1]
President Rollin C. Richmond
Faculty 551
Students 7,773
Undergraduates 6,760
Postgraduates 1,013
Location Arcata, California, United States United States
Campus Rural, 144 acres (0.58 km²) main campus and nearly 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of additional property[2]
Former names Humboldt State Normal College (1913-35)
Humboldt State College (1935-72)
California State University, Humboldt (1972-74)
Colors Green and gold
Nickname Lumberjacks
Mascot Lucky Logger[4]
Affiliations California State University
HSU logo.png

Humboldt State University (HSU) is the northernmost campus of the California State University system, located in Arcata within Humboldt County, California, USA. The main campus, nestled at the edge of a coast redwood forest, is situated on Preston hill overlooking Arcata and with commanding views of Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Its location eight miles (13 km) north of Eureka and 279 miles (449 km) north of San Francisco on the North Coast of California is notable for its natural beauty.



Humboldt State Normal School was established as a teacher's college on June 16, 1913, by then-California Governor Hiram Johnson. The cities of Arcata and Eureka competed with one another to host the new campus. It opened on April 6, 1914 in the former Arcata Grammar School building with 78 students and 5 faculty. The school was put under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Education, renamed Humboldt State Teacher's College and Junior College, and moved to its current location in 1921. In 1924, the Associated Students and the Alumni Association were organized and The Foghorn, the first student newspaper, was published. Bachelor's degrees began being offered in 1927. The school was renamed Humboldt State College in 1935 and the next year the Lumberjack was adopted as its mascot. In 1937, the students opened a cooperative bookstore and soda fountain, which would exist for the next 40 years as the center of student life.

Founder's Hall is the most prominent building on campus and is featured on the university's seal. It is also the oldest building on campus, constructed in 1921.

During World War II, Founder's Hall, which is visible from Humboldt Bay, was painted camouflage so Japanese submarines would not use it as a navigational aid. An air observation post was also set up atop the art shop to watch for Japanese air strikes. The observation post was primarily staffed by wives of faculty members. The post was removed in 1953.

Graduate programs began being offered in 1947. The same year, KHSC, the first state college radio station in California, was established (later to become KHSU). In 1960, the college joined the newly-formed California State College system. The junior college program, terminated at HSU in 1962, was re-established in 1964 at College of the Redwoods (CR) south of Eureka. Located only seventeen miles south of HSU, both institutions maintain a close working relationship, with many students transferring to HSU following graduation from CR.

Student activism on campus rose through the 1960s and early 1970s, peaking in a protest against the Vietnam War with about 800 students (out of 3,600) participating on October 15, 1969. This was followed by another protest with nearly 3,000 students who planned a strike after the Cambodian Incursion. With similar events across the state, Governor Reagan shut down the CSC system in May 1970 for the rest of the year. The 1970s also saw the rise of feminist, cultural, and LGBT groups, and though the Women's Center would be the only one to survive through the 1980s, most groups would reappear by the mid 1990s. The campus currently hosts a United Students Against Sweatshops group that is active in lobbying for ethical products and services on campus.

In 1967, the Humboldt Film Festival started and it is now the oldest surviving student-run festival in the world.[citation needed]

In 1972, the college was renamed California State University, Humboldt, and was further renamed Humboldt State University two years later. Enrollment first reached 7,500 in 1974, a level at which it has remained. Through the 1980s, mature students became a large part of Humboldt State's student body, and in 1986 40% of the students were over the age of 25.[5]. The number has since decreased to 30%.[6]


Creekview Apartments.

The university is divided into three colleges: the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the College of Natural Resources and Sciences; and the College of Professional Studies. There are 49 undergraduate majors and 85 minors.[7] The two largest majors are Biology and Art, both with over 20 faculty members and extensive facilities on- and off-campus. There are several credential programs and twelve Master's programs, of which Natural Resources and Social Work are the largest. The new Energy, Environment, and Society graduate program is unique to the CSU, and provides graduates with interdisciplinary training in engineering, economics, and climate policy.

Humboldt State is one of only two universities in California to offer a major in Botany, the other being Cal Poly Pomona. Humboldt State is the only university in California to offer a degree in [ Rangeland Resources and Wildland Soils. The Native American Studies major and the Oceanography major are also unique to the California State University system. The university offers unique minors including Multicultural Queer Studies, Scuba Diving, and Appropriate Technology. The university's location on the North Coast provides access to the Pacific Ocean, lagoons, marshes, estuaries, and the Fred Telonicher Marine Laboratory, which provides opportunities for "hands-on" experiences and research for the sciences.

Humboldt State University has an International student population that has quadrupled in the last five years. The International English Language Institute has worked alongside HSU for 22 years to help international students gain academic English language skills to further their academic pursuits and business careers. The Office of Extended Education (OEE) is a self-supporting agency of Humboldt State University that provides a variety of academic, professional development, and personal enrichment programs to local community members. While OEE programs are open to everyone, there is an emphasis on providing access to those community members who are not matriculated students at the university. OEE offers a wide range of diverse and eclectic programs. For example, OEE offers a “University for Youth” program for children, Elderhostel and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for senior citizens, travel-study programs, a bridge program for I.E.L.I (esl) students and courses that offer continuing education units to teachers, attorneys, nurses, and law enforcement, to name a few.

In 1998 Humboldt State University opened the HSU First Street Gallery in Old Town Eureka, expanding community access to the university’s cultural and fine arts programs. In 2007, the university further expanded its presence in Eureka with the opening of the HSU Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, a $4.5 million aquatic facility on the bay in Old Town Eureka. Future plans include a new HSU Bay and Estuarine Studies Center. This new facility will be closer to the Coral Sea (now docked at Woodley Island, Eureka), which is the only vessel in a US educational institution solely dedicated to undergraduate research. The new facility would be considerably larger than the other existing facility, the Fred Telonicher Marine Laboratory in Trinidad, twenty miles (32 km) north.[8].


Demographics of student body
African American 3.8%
Asian American 4.0%
White American 54.7%
Hispanic American 10.6%
Native American 2.5%
International 0.7%
Ethnicity unreported/unknown 23.7%
  • Average High School GPA: 3.13[9]
  • SAT Middle 50%: 450-570 Reading, 440-570 Math [9]
  • ACT Composite Middle 50%: 18-24 [9]
  • Average Undergraduate Class Size: 25[6]
  • Average Graduate Class Size: 8[6]
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19.3 for the 06-07 Academic Year[6]

Student demographics (for fall 2007)

Source: HSU Analytic Studies - University Statistical Profile


  • Best Western Colleges. Chosen because it stands out in its region, HSU is one of the 123 colleges named a Best Western College by The Princeton Review. Other CSU campuses chosen for the list were Cal State Long Beach, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Sonoma State.[10]
  • Colleges With a Conscience. HSU is one of the colleges profiled in The Princeton Review's book, Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement. The school was selected because of its record of having excellent service-learning programs and its blending of academics with community work.[10]
  • First Tier of Western Universities (Top 15). In a Saludos Hispanos survey, the university merited this multicultural listing because approximately 8% of the student body is Hispanic (only schools with at least 7% Hispanic students qualified). Factors that led to placement as number 9 of the top 15 schools in the West included reasonable tuition, both in and out of state, and the fact that HSU students record the highest passing scores among the 23-campus CSU system on the CBEST (the California Basic Educational Skills Test). The CBEST measures reading, mathematics skills and expository writing and is required of new teachers, administrators, counselors, psychologists and librarians.[12]
  • Top 10 Counterculture Colleges. The High Times magazine placed HSU in the number eight slot for 2008. The magazine ranks the nation’s institutions of higher education from the cannabis community’s point of view. This year the guide placed an emphasis on campus activism and academic excellence. Editors of the magazine wrote, "Humboldt is consistently cited as being in the "Top 10%" of all US colleges and universities for academic quality." [13]

Student life

Jolly Giant Commons at Humboldt State University.

Humboldt State's student population has stayed consistently around 7,500 for several decades. This is equal to approximately half of the population of Arcata, though students are dispersed all over the region.[citation needed] Eighteen percent of students live in the residence halls, usually new freshmen and transfer students. The university's student body's average age is 26, one of the highest in the country.[citation needed]

Humboldt State is well known for its environmental awareness and activism. The Humboldt Energy Independence Fund (HEIF) is unique to the CSU, and uses student fee monies to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on campus. HEIF provides a rare opportunity for students, faculty, and plant operations staff to work together collaboratively towards a goal of a lower-carbon and energy-independent future. Compost and recycling bins are more common on campus than trash cans and many events are encouraged to be zero waste.[citation needed] The Associated Students fund the Campus Recycling Program, the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, and the Sustainable Living Arts and Music Festival (SLAM fest).

The location of HSU affords students the potential for outside activities in local parks and public lands, which include miles of accessible, undeveloped coastline. Rivers and streams, forests, and extraordinary terrain are just outside the classroom door.

Student media

The Lumberjack is the weekly student-run newspaper of Humboldt State University and is funded through the sales of advertisements supplemented by the Instructionally Related Activities fee. It covers news relevant to the students and faculty of Humboldt State and major news relevant to the residents of Humboldt County. This includes coverage of university issues, protests, rallies, athletics, the local music scene, and sometimes, quirky events from the local police log. Stories of statewide significance, especially those that concern CSU students, are sometimes reported on as well. To be on the Lumberjack, students must enroll in JMC 327: The Newspaper Lab.

The Osprey is the university's student-run magazine, published twice annually. It has won first-place awards in major regional competitions, including the Society of Professional Journalists' "Mark of Excellence" Awards and the California Intercollegiate Press Association awards.[14]

KRFH.NET 610 AM is a student-run radio station founded in 1990 by Dr. Gary Melton. KRFH stands for "Radio Free Humboldt" and was originally only received in the Sunset and Redwood Residence Halls. KRFH's purpose is to provide broadcast experience to students while also approximating the structure of a commercial radio station. Students enroll in JMC 155 or JMC 355 in order to become DJs, committing to weekly shows of one to two hours respectively.

Greek Life

  • Delta Phi Epsilon
  • Beta Sigma Epsilon
  • Chi Phi
  • Gamma Alpha Omega
  • Lambda Theta Phi

Marching Lumberjacks

The HSU Marching Lumberjacks (sometimes referred to as the "Banned") is the official student-run marching band of the university. It performs in the scatter band style often associated with ivy league schools, using humorous routines and scripts during its half-time field shows in Redwood Bowl.

Intercollegiate athletics

The Lumberjacks’ program is affiliated with the NCAA on the Division II level[15] and is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.[16] Humboldt State currently sponsors 12 intercollegiate sports programs — men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s track and field, softball and women’s rowing. [17]

Recently the men’s basketball achieved its first-ever West Region title and advancement to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II for the first time in the program’s 81-year history. HSU's softball team has qualified for the NCAA post-season 18 times between 1990 and 2008, capturing the national championship in 1999 and in 2008. The women’s rowing program advanced both its Varsity 4 and Varsity 8 boats to the NCAA Championships in 2004, with the Varsity 4 earning the individual boat national title and the Varsity 8 placing second at nationals. Also, the Lumberjacks have produced national champions and All-Americans in cross country and track and field. In 1980, the school’s first year in Division II, the HSU men’s cross country team claimed a national title. A year later, cross country runner Mark Conover earned the individual crown and later represented the USA as a marathoner in the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.[18]





  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ Humboldt State University, Office of Admissions: Research Facilities URL retrieved October 3, 2007.
  3. ^ "University Colors". Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  4. ^ "HSU Library - Special Collections - Humboldt State Chronology". Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  5. ^ Tanner, 135-144
  6. ^ a b c d Analytic Studies: University Statistical Profile
  7. ^ Majors & Programs - Humboldt State University
  8. ^ Northcoast Journal, Out with the Tide, URL retrieved October 16, 2007
  9. ^ a b c The Princeton Review: Humboldt State University: Admissions
  10. ^ a b The Princeton Review: Humboldt State University: Rankings & Lists URL Retrieved on October 18, 2007.
  11. ^ " America's Best Colleges 2010: Universities-Master's (West): Top Schools". Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  12. ^ Education Pavilion: [ Undergraduate Colleges and Universities Saludos Hispanos College Survey] URL Retrieved on October 18, 2007.
  13. ^ High Times "Top Ten Counter Culture Colleges URL Retrieved on May 15, 2008.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Humboldt State -". Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  16. ^ "California Collegiate Athletic Association". Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  17. ^ "Humboldt State University Athletics". Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  18. ^ Dan Pambianco, Humboldt State Intercollegiate Athletics, Assistant AD/Media Relations
  19. ^ HSU Scholar of the Year Recipients. Academic Affairs, Humboldt State University. URL accessed 29 October 2009.
  20. ^ HSU Scholar of the Year Recipients. Academic Affairs, Humboldt State University. URL accessed 29 October 2009.
  21. ^ HSU Scholar of the Year Recipients. Academic Affairs, Humboldt State University. URL accessed 29 October 2009.

See also


External links

Coordinates: 40°52′33″N 124°04′43″W / 40.875781°N 124.078560°W / 40.875781; -124.078560

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