California State University, Sacramento

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California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento State University seal
MottoRedefine the Possible, Do the Unexpected
EstablishedSeptember 22, 1947
Space-grant university
Land-grant university
Endowment$29 million [2011][1]
PresidentAlexander Gonzalez
ProvostDr. Charles Gossett
Academic staff1,407 [Fall 2011][2]
Admin. staff1,280 [Fall 2011] [2]
Students28,539 [Fall 2012][2]
Undergraduates25,541 [Fall 2012][2]
Postgraduates2,998 [Fall 2012][2]
LocationSacramento, California

Urban, Main Campus 305 acres

Total: 580 acres (230 ha)
Former namesSacramento State College (1947-72), California State University, Sacramento (1972-2004)
ColorsSac State Green
Hornet Gold
Hornet Metallic Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division I (FCS)
20 Varsity Sports
MascotHerky the Hornet
AffiliationsCalifornia State University
Big Sky Conference

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Reference No.697
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California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento State University seal
MottoRedefine the Possible, Do the Unexpected
EstablishedSeptember 22, 1947
Space-grant university
Land-grant university
Endowment$29 million [2011][1]
PresidentAlexander Gonzalez
ProvostDr. Charles Gossett
Academic staff1,407 [Fall 2011][2]
Admin. staff1,280 [Fall 2011] [2]
Students28,539 [Fall 2012][2]
Undergraduates25,541 [Fall 2012][2]
Postgraduates2,998 [Fall 2012][2]
LocationSacramento, California

Urban, Main Campus 305 acres

Total: 580 acres (230 ha)
Former namesSacramento State College (1947-72), California State University, Sacramento (1972-2004)
ColorsSac State Green
Hornet Gold
Hornet Metallic Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division I (FCS)
20 Varsity Sports
MascotHerky the Hornet
AffiliationsCalifornia State University
Big Sky Conference

Horizontal3color whitebackground.png

Reference No.697

California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State, Sac State, informally CSUS), founded in 1947 as Sacramento State College, is the only public comprehensive university in the city of Sacramento, California, and is the tenth oldest campus in the California State University. With a student body of 29,000, it is one of the largest universities in California. Sac State has an alumni base of 230,000 and awards 7,000 degrees annually. The university offers 151 different Bachelor's degrees, 69 Master's degrees, 28 types of teaching credentials, and 7 Doctoral degrees including Ed.D, DPT, Ph.D, and J.D. programs in conjunction with UCSB and UOP. Sac State offers the second most amount of Doctorates in the CSU.[3][4] The university also has extensions in Singapore, offering a unique IMBA (International Master's in Business Administration).[5] Sac State is the first and only of the 23 CSUs to have an international program, and is the only California university to establish itself in Singapore.

The campus is consistently one of the top three destinations amongst all universities in the state for California Community College students, welcoming over 4,000 new transfers each academic year.[6]

Sacramento State is designated as a "Center of Academic Excellence" by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency (NSA).[7] Each year the university sponsors multiple faculty and student Fulbright Scholars, both abroad and in-residence.[8] Sac State is also member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.[9] The university has over 30 research centers & institutes. Sac State contributes close to $1 billion annually, on average, to the Sacramento Region.

The Center for California Studies' Capital Fellows Program is ranked one of the top 10 internships in the nation.[10] With nearly 2,000 students, its School of Nursing is the second largest in the CSU, graduating nearly 800 skilled nurses annually achieving 100% pass rate on the NCLEX.[11][12] The school's Division of Criminal Justice one of the largest programs in all of North America enrolling nearly 1,800 students in the department.[12][13] Sac State also has the largest Co-Op program in the State of California, offering various paid or credit-earned internship opportunities for students. The University is an American Heart Association designated training campus, boasting their own ambulance and a specialized curriculum for nursing and Pre-Med students. The campus houses the United States Geological Survey Water Division.

Sacramento State's main campus sits on over 300 acres, covered with over 3,500 trees from building to building and over 1,200 resting in the unique University Arboretum[14] (formerly the Goethe Arboretum). The University is the site of two National Register of Historic Places, the Julia Morgan House and the Pony Express.[15] The Arbor Day Foundation officially declared the university "Tree Campus USA" in 2012, the same year the university was placed on the U.S. President's National & Community Service Honor Roll.[16]



Sacramento State College Sign being removed in 1952

The efforts to get a four-year university in Sacramento date back to the 1920s; however, legislation repeatedly failed. Local supporters blamed "pork barrel politics" by Bay Area legislators tying to monopolize higher education.[17] Sac State was formally established in 1947 through legislation by State Senator Earl Desmond, by playing hardball to get it done - convincing the Senate's finance committee to withhold funding for the University of California until he had a commitment. Later on, Desmond eventually had 11 children and grandchildren graduate from the university.[17]

Originally founded as Sacramento State College on September 22, 1947 during a time of intense demand for higher education after World War II, Sac State shared space with Sacramento Junior College. Sac State's first semester of classes consisted of 235 students enrolled in 44 sections.[17] During December 1947, the official mascot "Herky" (short for Hercules) the Hornet was chosen over the Elk, which wasn't considered to be aggressive enough. The university's colors - green and gold symbolizing the foothills and trees, were also established. The next Spring, the university held its first graduation ceremony. A single student, history major John J. Collins, who had transferred from UC Berkeley, graduated.[17] By 1948, the university was already fielding intercollegiate teams in basketball, baseball, and tennis.[17] In Spring 1949, the winning "Fight Hornet Fight" song was composed by Donald McDonald. The State Hornet and Statesman yearbook were first published in 1949.[17]

Several sites for a permanent home for the university were considered. A site at 5th Street and Broadway, a site near Fruitridge and Stockton Boulevard, and a site in the Pocket Area of South Sacramento were all rejected.[17] In 1949, the state purchased 244 acres of what was then peach farm land to be the site of the new university at $1,650 to $1,800 an acre.[18] On December 1952, the school left the Sacramento City College property and moved to its permanent location on the banks of the American River. In February 9, 1953, the then 289-acre campus opened to approximately 2,400 students with a parade through town called "GO EAST WITH WEST," in reference to President West.[17] Parking has notoriously been a problem at the university, and since the beginning, drivers were confronted by a sea of mud. Students would simply drive as close to the buildings as they could and park.[17]

In 1955, the first Hornet Football team scored their first victory, against Southern Oregon University. In 1966, the campus expanded more, notably constructed Guy West Bridge, connecting student apartments across the American River the university. Jackrabbits were a problem in the early years and landscapers were permitted to shoot them on sight through the 1960s.[17] 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. In 2004, the school decided to rebrand itself like many other Cal States as simply "Sacramento State." Today, CSUS is the only major four-year comprehensive university in the city of Sacramento.

The university underwent a major expansion in the Korean War years, with the 'heart' of the campus residing in Douglass Hall, Shasta Hall, Sacramento Hall (the administration building).

In 1975, the University Union opened its doors, originally comprising only 65,000-square-feet. In 1981, the Sacramento State Aquatic Center was established. The Center for California Studies was established the following year. In 1986, Sac State established a Master Plan that called for over $100 million in growth. During that same year, the university came within hours of being deliberately flooded as officials contemplated blowing floodgates to avoid a massive levee failure in Sacramento. The 1990s saw significant growth again, constructing more than 1.2 million square-feet of space. In 1992, Hornet Stadium was renovated, providing capacity for 26,000 patrons.

In 2000 and 2004, the campus hosted the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. In 2003, Dr. Alexander Gonzalez is appointed as the 11th president of the University. In his first year, he launched Destination 2010, an ambitious, comprehensive university initiative focusing on reforming academic programs, constructing new facilities, and creating a destination campus.

Ariel view of the original campus.

Many prominent icons have hosted lectures or other events at Sac State, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Jimi Hendrix, Sheryl Crow, Oliver Stone, Jesse Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wangari Maathai, John Kerry, Stokely Carmichael, Woody Harrelson, Maya Soetoro-Ng and Chuck D.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]


Shasta Hall, many people say, is haunted. Students have talked for years about a ghost in the building's theatre who disrupts play openings. Some think is a state building inspector who fell to his death in the building before it was completed.[17] Now a popular coffee spot, the Roundhouse was controversial when it was built in 1969. Its design put off many people, and President Robert Johns apparently arranged for its construction without the approval of the CSU Board of Trustees.[17] Sequoia Hall was originally constructed to have an attractive white cement finish, but the funding ran short. Today the building stands with plain concrete.[17] In 1998, campus crews found a huge, three-foot hornet's nest in a long-hidden room in Kadema Hall. At one time, it housed 2,000 hornets.

Establishing Academics

In 1999, Sacramento State was given authority to award its first ever Doctoral degree, a unique find at the time in the California State University. In the past, authority to award any sort of degree beyond Master's in California's higher public education was given solely to the University of California. The program would be a joint Ph.D in history with the University of California, Santa Barbara - the first of its kind in California and one of only 10 in the United States.[30]

The university was given authority again to award its first ever Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) degree in 2007, with its first graduating class in 2010. Since its establishment, the program has branched into several focuses offering different types of degrees.[31]

In 2012, the university was fully accredited and the first selected in the CSU to award its first Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) with the first class entering in Fall of 2012. The program is notoriously competitive, with over 400 applications for just 32 seats.[32] This program eventually will fade out the Master's in Physical Therapy by 2015, following standards set by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.[33][34]

To date, the university now awards two independent doctorates (Ed.D degrees and DPT) and two degrees in conjunction with other universities (Ph.D in history with UCSB and J.D. in conjunction with UOP).

Old Administration Buildings

The Gerth 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) the University Union expansion, construction of Mendocino Hall, Riverside Hall, Mariposa Hall, Placer Hall, a new Bookstore, a perimeter road, and two parking garages. Expansion of the University Library. After the construction of Placer Hall, many of the remaining buildings were renamed for California counties and/or other local landmarks of significance (i.e. Brighton Hall is named after the area the campus now sits). The administration building was aptly renamed "Sacramento Hall".

The Gonzalez Era

President Gonzalez has continuously reiterated his interest in redefining the university's image, and has explicit interest in making Sac State the flagship of the CSU under his direction. Notable completed projects from his tenure include: The Alumni Center, Continuing Education Buildings (Modoc Hall and Napa Hall), Capitol Public Radio Building (licensed by the university), the Academic Information Resource Center (AIRC), a 24 hour study lounge that hosts several computer labs and other tech endeavors, a third parking garage - the largest built within the CSU, the new Hornet Bookstore, the American River Courtyard dormitory, the WELL (serves as the new health center for students as well as an on campus gym) and the Broad Field House.

A few older buildings were converted into new uses, including the old bookstore converted into Del Norte Hall in 2010 (houses the largest lecture hall on campus and the Archeological Research Center). The former CalSTRS headquarters on Folsom Boulevard became Folsom Hall adding nearly 5 acres to campus and expanding the university's footprint south of Highway 50; this building houses multiple large lecture halls, the Nursing Department HQ, and the Department of Physical Therapy. The former Health Center near the dormitories became the new headquarters for Athletics.

New Logo, with stylized double "S"


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", 'Sacramento State University", "CSU, Sacramento", and "CS Sacramento" are no longer appropriate per the new Identity Style Guide,[35] even though the University's web address is 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 State's colors of green and gold were formalized in the 2005 Style Guide.

University's Future

President Gonzalez announced the initiative "Redefining the Possible" in his Spring 2012 convocation following Destination 2010s success. This initiative calls for more construction and campus updates, all part of the CSU Capital Outlay,[36] including demolishing several of the original campus buildings in center campus, constructing a Space Planetarium, a 10,000 seat arena, a 4,800 space parking garage (the largest yet again in the CSU), four new 8-story dormitory towers, and a 1,200 seat performing arts center.

Admissions and Enrollment

Fall Statistics[37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44]

Freshman Applicants20,66719,70218,61717,55716,553
 % Admitted69.6767.1270.8580.35
ACT Composite20202020
SAT Composite960951958956
*SAT out of 1600
2013 is preliminary

Some 35,000 students applied to Sacramento State for the Fall 2012 semester, marking the record amount of applications in one semester. Following a CSU-wide trend, the University has seen growth over the past few years in the amount of applications (in 2003, some 23,400 applied). The university is officially an "impacted" campus, thus setting stricter admission requirements than the CSU's.

The campus is consistently one of the top three destinations amongst all universities in the state for California Community College transfer, consistently welcoming over 4,000 new students each academic year.[6]

Sac State historically attempts to admit the top 1/3 of California high school graduates. For students entering Fall 2012, 13,728 freshmen were accepted out of 19,702 applicants, a 69.6% acceptance rate. Enrolled freshmen had an average high school GPA of 3.26 and an average SAT score of 960 (out of a possible 1600 for reading and math scores).[37]

For transfer students, Sacramento State accepted 9,218 of 10,566 applicants in the Fall of 2012, an 87.2% acceptance rate. The average transfer GPA for Fall 2012 was 3.05.[37] The University accepted 1,434 graduate students out of 3,044 applications for an acceptance rate of 47.1%.[37]

Demographics of student body[45]
African American6.0%4.6%
Asian American22.1%12.0%
White American38.8%51.4%
Hispanic American19.3%12.4%
Native American0.8%1.3%

Enrollment Facts

Approximately 30% of incoming freshman live on-campus in the dorms, while around an additional 25% are traditionally accommodated at the Upper Eastside Lofts just across the street from campus at the F65 crossing, providing housing for about 50% for incoming freshman. For the Fall 2012 semester, just about 50% of incoming freshman came from the Sacramento Region, while around 18% came from the San Francisco Bay Area, an additional 13% came from the Northern CA Foothills, and the remaining came in from Southern California (14.4%), other parts of the United States (0.8%), or Foreign Countries (0.4%).

The average course load of all undergraduate students in 12.2 units, classified as a full-time student. For the most recent commencement, the average amount of years taken to complete degrees of the class was 4.8, while the average amount of units accumulated was 132 (12 above what is needed for a bachelor's).



Sacramento State north entrance

As the sixth-largest campus of the 23 state universities in California, the main campus is composed of 305 acres (123 ha) in the city of Sacramento and 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 University Arboretum, formerly Goethe Arboretum, and residence halls.

Officially "Tree Campus USA," Sacramento State has more than 3,500 trees, with flower gardens, miles of trails stretching along the nearby river parkway, and student housing with recreational areas such as Lake Natoma and Old Sacramento, in addition to its on-campus housing.

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

There are more than 30 research and community service centers on campus 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.

University Library at Sacramento State

At the northeastern edge of campus are the dormitories which can currently accommodate 1,700 students. 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. The university also purchased a piece of land south of the campus, Romana Site, and plans to construct housing for faculty and students in an apartment style housing complex that will be a close walk to campus.[36]

University Library


Sacramento State Aquatic Center

Located on beautiful Lake Natoma, 15 miles (24 km) east of the university right next to Nimbus Dam, the Sacramento State Aquatic Center is a cooperative operation of the Associated Students of California State University, Sacramento, University Union of Sacramento State, California Department of Boating and Waterways, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The center was established in 1981 and has provided instruction to thousands of students. The center houses the Sacramento State Rowing Team, and is the training destination for many other university rowing teams and clubs. The center hosts several national championships, including the Pac 10 Rowing Championships, Pacific Coast Rowing Championships, NCAA Women's Rowing Championships, IRA National Rowing Championships and the West Coast Conference Rowing Championships.

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 280 acres (110 ha) of land near Roseville, California 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.



Since 1951, the university has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Sacramento State is a Space-grant university and is an affiliate institution of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, sponsoring an outreach program to girls and minorities for excellency in Engineering and Computer Science.[46][47] The school is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The university is nationally accredited in specific specialized programs including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for Didactic programs in Dietetics, the American Physical Therapy Association for professional programs in Physical Therapy Administration, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for various Nursing (CNURED) programs, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the National Association of Schools of Theatre.[48]


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:

Arts and LettersDr. Edward Inch
Business AdministrationDr. Sanjay Varshney
EducationDr. Vanessa Sheared
Engineering & Computer ScienceDr. Emir Macari
Health & Human ServicesDr. Fred Baldini
Natural Sciences & MathematicsDr. Jill Trainer
Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary StudiesDr. Edward L. Lascher, Jr.
Continuing EducationDr. Guido Krickx

Sac State's largest academic program is business administration with nearly nearly 4,500 students,[49] followed by criminal justice with 1,800 students in the department,[50] nursing with 1,600 students,[51] psychology with 1,600 enrolled,[52] kinesiology and Health Science with 1,500 students,[53] and Biological Sciences with over 1,300 students.[54] With nearly 2,700 students, the university's division of Public Affairs is the largest in the California State University. The university is home to the largest Chemistry program within the CSU with over 400 students.[55] Along with CSUN, it is the only university in California to offer a Bachelor's degree in Deaf Studies.[55]

The average class size throughout the university is 38 students.[56] The student-to-faculty ratio is about 28 to 1. (22,461 FTE students to 803 FTE faculty).[57] Most transfer students come from two-year colleges, and about 750 international students from 80 nations. Approximately 160 students from India study abroad at the university, the largest country represented.[58] 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% of students work as volunteers. With nearly 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students, Its criminal justice program is one of the largest in all of North America.[12] The school's College of Engineering and Computer Science is the only university in California to offer a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering, and is designated as a national center of cyber-security.[59] The University offers the CSU's only Mechanical engineering technology program, and along with Chico State, the only Electronic engineering degree option. The College of Business Administration holds is accredited by the AACSB. Sac State is the only CSU to offer a Bachelor's degree in Cinema/Film professional performance and also is the only CSU to offer a Bachelor's in Photography.[55] Sacramento State is one of only 649 universities in America to hold this prestigious accrediting, and one of only four universities in California (the others including UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and CSU Los Angeles).

Recent rankings

University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[61]62
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[62]54

Economic impact

The University has a significant impact on the Sacramento Region and California statewide economy. It sustains nearly 9,000 jobs in the region and statewide,[74] generates $816 million to the Sacramento economy,[74] and nearly $1 billion to the state economy, with annual spending amongst the campus exceeding $600 million. The campus has the state's largest cooperate education program, placing students in paid positions where they receive academic credit. Biology students help in the Sacramento crime lab with DNA matching while Physical Therapy students are assisting stroke victims regain their mobility, and Government students are staffed at the Capitol. The campus has one of the largest Criminal Justice programs in all of North America with nearly 1,500 undergraduate students and 80 graduate students.[13] Nearly 36% of students volunteer through the Sac State Serves program, committing more than 2 million hours of service each year.[74]

Research Centers & Institutes

The campuses houses over 30 research centers. Notable include:


The College Assistance Migrant Program[81] (CAMP)/High School Equivalent Program is one of nearly 50 federally funded assistance programs that is geared to help migrant or seasonal farmworkers (or children of them) not currently enrolled in school achieve the equivalent of a high school diploma and then subsequently obtain employment. The program serves more than 7,000 annually.

Capital Fellows Program

Ranked as one of the top 10 Internships in the nation by Forbes,[71] Sacramento State 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.

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.

Maryjane Rees Language Speech and Hearing Center

Created in 1952 and offering one of the best ranked graduate programs in Speech Pathology Audiology in the US,[67] the Maryjane Rees Language Speech and Hearing Center is a renowned clinic in the Sacramento Region offering low cost services for those with speech and language disorders. Working in conjunction with the department of SPA, the clinic employs five faculty members, 20 part-time faculty, 60 graduate students, and 160 undergraduate students offering them exposure to a wide range of fields. Since its establishment, the clinic now serves approximately 200 clients a week and has since served over 14,000 people aged from 2 to 102 coming from all over different parts of Northern California.


The university offers 20 intercollegiate sports, and just recently added pole vaulting as an additional sport. Sac State sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (FCS for College Football). Sacramento State's colors are green and gold and its mascot is the Hornet. Conference breakdowns are as follows:

Scholarships are offered in all sports. The football and track and field teams compete in Hornet Stadium, baseball at John Smith Field, and the volleyball, men's and women's basketball and gymnastics teams call Colberg Court home, in honor of legendary volleyball coach Debby Colberg. The baseball stadium was renamed John Smith Field in 2011 in honor of the long-time head coach. Most athletic teams compete in the Big Sky Conference. Sacramento State is the only school from California in the Big Sky, which also includes Eastern Washington, Portland State, Idaho State, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona and Weber State. UC Davis and Cal Poly will join the Big Sky for football in 2012.

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


When the university has accomplished multiple national championships from when it was a Division III, Division II, and now a Division I school, including Softball (AIAW D-III) in 1981, Women's Volleyball (D-II) in 1980 and 1981, and Women's Golf (AIAW D-III) in 1981. The school has also been a National Runner-up 8 times including Softball in 1989 (D-II), Women's Volleyball in 1979 and 1989 (D-II), Baseball in 1988 (D-II), Women's Track and Field in 1981 (AIAW D-II), Men's Cross Country in 1979 (D-II), Football in 1964 (CDN), and Men's Basketball (1962 CDN).

The university has accomplished 51 conference championships, the most occurring in the Big Sky. Including:[82]

2010 conference realignments

Recently, there have been speculations that the Hornets' Athletic department may move to the Football Bowl Subdivision [83] due to the population base of Sacramento (Ranked 20th largest in college sports[84] ), the (enrollment) size of the University, and the attractiveness of recruiting in the Sac-Joaquin Section. The WAC have shown interest of adding Sacramento State Hornets for years (their baseball and gymnastics program are currently in the WAC), and Commissioner Dough Fullerton of Big Sky was told that the WAC have contacted Sac State officials about a possible invitation.[85] However, the Hornets needed to add an additional sport for women in order to meet the criteria of Title IX[86] and needed to fund a new sports complex for men's and women's basketball and volleyball because the Colberg Court was inadequate for FBS level sports and is severely outdated (crowd capacity of 1200 persons[87] ); often being compared to high school gyms. Since the 2010-2012 NCAA conference realignment, Sac State was unable to fund for a massive facility upgrade for their athletic facilities (including basketball/volleyball, football, baseball and softball among others) in order to move to the FBS due to the current struggling economy and resistance from students and faculty members because of increasing tuition and overall cost.[88] To add on, the Football program was required to have an attendance average of 15,000 each season and the athletic department needed to increase overall funds for their athletic programs. On June 6, 2011, Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton announce that "the Big Sky schools are in a better place than the WAC, and that all current (Big Sky) schools are committed to staying with their current conference rather than jumping up to the FBS", marking an end to speculations of the Hornets programs moving to the FBS for this duration of conference realignment.[89]

Although the Hornets will not change conferences, they will welcome their rival UC Davis and Cal Poly to the Big Sky conference in 2012 for football only,[90] and North Dakota and Southern Utah for all sports.[91]

Sacramento State Football

The Sacramento State Hornets football program began in 1954, coached by Dave Strong (The teams' first football head coach). The programs' first victory came in the second season, 1955, where the Hornets defeated Southern Oregon by a point, which was also their only win of the season(they were win less in their first season of football). Sacramento State Football first affiliated with the Northern California Athletic Conference (NCAC) from 1962 until 1972, where they were added to the Western Football Conference (WFC) from 1973 to 1985, then becoming part of the D-1AA American West Conference (AWC).[92] In 1996, Sac State was added to the Big Sky Conference along with Portland State, becoming the first California school in the Big Sky. Hornet Stadium has been home to the football team since 1969.

The team has never been ranked in any major polls by the end of all their past seasons, but have won 4 conference titles: 1964 and 1966-NCAC, 1986-WFC, and 1995-AFC. The Hornets football team participated in 2 bowls, The Pasadena Bowl in 1968 against Grambling State, where the Hornets lost 7-34, and The Camellia Bowl in 1964 ( 1964 College Division National Runner-up), where Montana State Bobcats defeated the Hornets 28-7.

Current success

One of Sac State's most notable wins came on September 3, 2011 in the season opener for both Sac State and Oregon State Beavers of the Pacific-12 conference at Reser Stadium. The Hornets upset the Beavers in OT 29-28 with a 2 point conversion pass from QB Jeff Flemming to WR Brandyn Reed, beating an AQ Conference team for the first time in school history in front of an announced crowd of 41,581.[93] The Beavers were a 23 point favorite coming into the game.

On September 8, 2012, The Hornets repeated the feat of defeating a Pacific-12, upsetting the Colorado Buffaloes by a score 30-28 in Boulder in front of a crowd of 46,843.[94] The Buffaloes were heavily favored in the match up. Walk-on Edgar Castaneda was awarded a full scholarship following his game winning field goal.


In all sports, the university has a rivalry with the University of California, Davis due to close proximity. The rivalry football game is called the Causeway Classic and is played for the Causeway Cup, referring to the school's connection by the long Yolo Causeway bridge over the Yolo Bypass floodway. More recently, the rivalry was officially expanded to include all sports the teams compete in. UC Davis leads the series 40 to 18 with no ties. This game has drawn crowds up to 18,000 in the Hornet Stadium, and is widely popular in the local area. Other notable rivalries includes Portland State, Eastern Washington, Weber State, and conference powers Montana State University and the University of Montana.

Past Hornets drafted in the NFL

Many Hornets have been drafted directly into the NFL onto teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.[95]

Sacramento State Marching Band

The Sacramento State Marching Band performs at home football games each fall, as well as at numerous other university functions and also periodically at high school band festivals. The Hornet Revue Pep Band is a subgroup of the marching band, and performs at all home basketball (men's and women's) and volleyball games. Both bands are under the direction of Dr. Clay Redfield.

Song and chant traditions
Sac State Fight Song

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 the BEST in the WEST (shout)
Sa-cra-men-to State, (shout)

Fight Song[17]

Fight song

"Fight, Hornet, Fight!" is the official fight song of California State University, Sacramento. It is most widely known for being played by the Sacramento State Marching Band after scores at Sacramento State football games, and during the band's pre-game and halftime shows. It is played after a touchdown, field goal, extra point, or a safety.

Fight, Hornet, Fight! is also played as the band forms a tunnel for the football team as they enter Hornet Stadium before the beginning of each home game. After every Hornet win, the football team comes over to the sideline where the band's section is and sings along while the song is being played.

Fight, Hornet, Fight! was composed by Don McDonald, '52, in 1949. The current arrangement of the song was written by former Band Director Jeffrey Edom in 1997.

Auxiliary organizations

The California Education Code §89901 identifies auxiliary organizations of the California State University.[96] Sacramento State currently has several auxiliary organizations:[97]

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps

The school hosts Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Detachment 088, which trains US Air Force cadets from Sac State and University of California Davis. It is currently the largest Detachment in Northern California.[citation needed]

Army Reserve Officer Training Corps

An independent Army ROTC program existed until the 1996 when the program was phased out by California State University, Sacramento President Donald Gerth due to the Army's policy of "Don't ask, don't tell".[98] The program was allowed back onto campus in 1997, due to the possibility of the campus losing federal student aid and research funding.[99] In 2002, the program received the gold MacArthur ROTC Leadership Award.[99] The program currently exists as an extension of the Forged Gold Battalion based at University of California, Davis.[100][101]

Associated Students Inc.

Associated Students Inc. is a nonprofit corporation that provides programs, services, and student government for Sacramento State, ostensibly through California Education Code §89300. ASI is a California recognized 501(c)(3) corporation. 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. ASI has a budget of over $6 million, which is collected through semesterly student fees and revenues generated through its programs: Peak Adventures, Aquatic Center, Children's Center, and ASI student shop.

ASI Children's Center

Like most other CSUs, ASI offers a unique day care center for faculty, staff, or student's children ages newborn to five years. The ASI Children's Center is accredited by the NAEYC,[102] something that only about 7% of children's centers are endorsed by. Child Development and Teacher Education majors are given the opportunity to work with the Children's Center.

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 classical and jazz music. KXJZ offers local news and talk programming, including several popular shows like "This American Life," "A Prairie Home Companion," "Car Talk" and others. The listener-supported stations broadcast without commercials and with the support of underwriters. Both stations carry programming from National Public Radio.

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. Notable former DJ's include actor and international hip hop artist, Only Won who gave credit to KSSU at the 2010 Distinguished Service award for influencing his career in the music industry.[103]

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."[104] In 2012, the newspaper was placed in the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Finalists category.[105] The newspaper is formally administered by the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Arts and Letters.[106]

University Union

The CSUS student activity center is the University Union. The University Union is unique in that it is the original building that was first structured in 1972. It has gone under major renovations throughout the years, with the first phase in 1992 that added a large ballroom and space for food vendors and meeting rooms and other extensions. In 1998, the Union underwent another major renovation again, adding another 180,000 square feet for certain University Outlets such as KSSU and Peak Adventures (which have both since moved). In 2012, the Union yet again under went major renovations, including adding the University operated restaurant Good Eats, new flooring and stage demolition in the Redwood Room, a complete remodel of Round Table Pizza, an addition of the much requested "prayer room" or "quiet room" on the second floor, a complete remodel of the Terminal Lounge on the second floor, and tearing down the University Center Restaurant and building the new Epicure Restaurant.[107]

Much is offered, including a large fast food court, a game room, public computers with internet access, free WiFi, conference rooms, the university's main auditoria, a prayer room, and many offices for student organizations including the Pride Center, the State Hornet (student paper), and others.

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 as well as political and recreational. Clubs and organizations are overseen by Student Organizations & Leadership. In the Fall 2012, approximately 7% of undergraduate men (or 774 students) were part of fraternities while 5% of undergraduate women (or 725 students) were part of sororities for a total of about 1,500 Greeks (the largest class to date).[38]


University Transportation and Parking Services (UTAPS), an auxiliary of Sacramento State, operates its own buses known as the Hornet Express shuttle, providing several lines around the campus running approximately 7:30am until 5:00pm in conjunction with Sacramento Regional Transit District.[108] The Hornet Line serves the south end of the university, University/65th Light-Rail Station, and newly added Folsom Hall,[109] the Green Line serves the College Town/La Riviera District and the east end of Campus,[110] while the Gold Line runs all the way to the Fair Oaks district and the Arden Fair Mall.[111] UTAPS also runs night shuttle for students, providing point-to-point service from dusk to 11:00pm.[112]

The university has a bus terminal station at the north end of campus, which serves as a major stop for Sacramento Regional Transit. RT provides bus services to downtown (Route 30), Midtown/Sutter District (Route 34), American River College/Watt (Route 82), Marconi/Arcade Light-Rail Station (Route 87), seven days a week departing approximately every 10 minutes.[113] The university is located about 1/2 mile from the University/65th Light Rail Station, just south of the campus.

Sacramento State students can use these resources, including LRT, for free with their student One Card.[108]

The university also has multiple Zipcars housed on campus for students, faculty and staff to utilize 24-hours a day, part of the ZipCarU program.[114]

Plans have been in the works for the University to operate its own street car Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, looping around the perimeter of the campus and back to the University/65th Light Rail Station. However this has been set back due to budget constraints.[115] The Sacramento light rail system was originally proposed to run through the library quad, but then-president Donald Gerth vetoed the proposal over concerns for student safety.

The school is situated just north of US 50 and is accessible by two exits - 65th St. and Howe Avenue.

Notable alumni

The University has conferred over 200,000 degrees since its establishment.[116] CSUS alumni live over all 50 states of the U.S., with over 165,000 residing in California, nearly 3,000 in Washington, 2,500 in Oregon and over 2,000 Texas. There are also over nearly 1,000 alumni residing in approximately 62 countries, including 102 located in Japan, 90 in India, and nearly 60 in Canada and China.[117]

Notable faculty, students, or other academic affiliates

University presidents

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External links

Coordinates: 38°33′37″N 121°25′27″W / 38.5602222222°N 121.424111111°W / 38.5602222222; -121.424111111