The Aztecs Before Us


Fall 2009 will mark the start of San Diego State University’s 113th year as an institution. As we gear up for another round of classes, sporting events and rallies, our campus life isn’t much different than the Aztecs before us. In fact, the former Aztecs paved the way for what the university has become today. Here are some fun and interesting facts about SDSU’s past students:

Early SDSU

Early SDSU

  • SDSU’s original school colors were gold and purple. The red and black colors we know today were adopted in the 1920s. One reason for the color change was that when the players would sweat in gold uniforms, they looked more tan than gold. Most players and students agreed the swampy brown color just wasn’t very fashionable.
  • In 1952 a group of 50 students ransacked Quetzal Hall girls dormitory stealing a number of blouses and undergarments. The event, later called the Great Panty Raid of 1952, was said to have done wonders for school spirit. The school newspaper referred to the raid as “pantymondium.” Female students got their revenge by raiding a fraternity house.
  • In March of 1970 students organized SDSU’s first sit-in to protest the university’s decision against rehiring four well-liked instructors and denying a promotion to a fifth. The demonstration was peaceful and led to the implementation of student evaluations of faculty as a factor in deciding rehire, tenure, and promotion decisions.
  • In 1972, SDSU was officially named California State University, San Diego. However, the university president at the time, Malcolm A. Love, wanted our university’s name to be set apart from the CSU system. Finally, on January 1, 1974, the school officially became known as San Diego State University.

The SDSU campus was built on a strong foundation of people ready to do what it takes to create a better campus and maintain Aztec pride. Looking into the past helps us realize we can all make a mark on this campus whether it be big or small, fun or serious.

It’s always a great day to be an SDSU Aztec!

~ Desiree Roughton, Communication Student Assistant, Enrollment Services

SDSU facts courtesy of San Diego State University: A History in Word and Image by Raymond Starr.

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Filed under Alumni, College Community, Prospective Students

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