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Highlights from the 1960s


“Male students suddenly shaved daily, combed hair more frequently and no longer wore Levis that could stand by themselves. Male instructors cleaned up their notes by removing last year’s shady stories that had been used to illustrate a point or wake up a class. … In literary skills, the women students clearly outshone the men from the beginning.”

— Donald Pflueger in his book “A Legacy and a Mission, 1938-1989 ”

The state provides funds to purchase land south of Temple Avenue to replace land the campus lost in the westward extension of Temple.

Ron SimonsSeptember 1960
Student residence halls on the Pomona campus open. “Mr. Cal Poly Pomona” Ron Simons, is the first to move in.

The college offers 20 majors leading to bachelor of science degrees.

General Motors runs a two-page ad in Poly Views to introduce its new models, including the Corvair.

OStudents playing croquetctober 1960
An 18-hole putting green, as well as facilities for horseshoes and croquet, is available for use on the lawn in front of the Duplex. (The site is now Building 95, home of the Cultural Centers.)


November 1960
The Student Affairs Committee cancels Homecoming in memory of the 22 people — including 16 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo football players — who were killed in a plane crash in Toledo, Ohio, on October 29.

The Cal Poly Federal Credit Union begins operations.

students eating at the cafeteriaThe library will start assessing fines for late books: 5 cents per day.

Eighty-four students from 20 foreign countries enroll. More than a quarter of the group is from India.

The 16,000-square-foot cafeteria is due to open. It can seat 675 people.


September 1961
For the first time, top college administrators establish their permanent headquarters on campus. Vice President Robert Kennedy and Dean of Student Services Harold O. Wilson move from San Luis Obispo to Pomona.

September 16, 1961
Charles Voorhis, founder of the Voorhis School for Boys in San Dimas (precursor of Cal Poly Pomona) dies in Pasadena at the age of 91.

September 25, 1961
Women are admitted for the first time, with 322 joining 2,750 male students. Mary Etta Murray, dean of women at San Luis Obispo, is transferred to Pomona just in time to greet their arrival. President Julian McPhee and his wife, Alma, host a tea for the incoming women.

Pat Holohan, the freshman class vice president, is the first woman to hold student office.

October 8, 1961
Sudanese President Ferik Ibrahim Abboud attends a Sunday Arabian Horse Show.

October 20-21, 1961
The Homecoming Court is the first to consist of students from the Kellogg Campus. In the Homecoming Parade, the social science club float takes the Sweepstakes Award. Barbara Bessie rides the float with a sign declaring she is seeking her M.R.S. degree.

November 1961
“Henry,” an angus steer, is named grand champion of the Great Western Exposition and Livestock Show.

November 16-18, 1961
“My Sister Eileen” is performed on campus.

The CP letters are poured in concrete on a hill above campus.

Former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson speaks on “The Threat to Our Freedom” — communism.

The $1.9 million administration building (Building 1) opens.

February 1962
Women’s basketball debuts with a close win over La Verne.

May 1962
Students rent an elephant named Winky to participate in the first International Collegiate Elephant Race at Orange County State College (now Cal State Fullerton). Winky finishes second, but another elephant makes news when it runs into the crowd. No one is injured, but there is no second annual race.

June 1962
The last all-male class attends commencement.

According to the 1962 yearbook, Arts & Sciences is the largest division on the Kellogg Campus. “With the welcome addition of Coeds to the student body, this division showed the most dramatic change for 1962 both in enrollment and in the structure of the individual student.”

September 1962
Poly Views is renamed the Poly Post. Editor Art Slocum makes the change because the student newspaper consistently receives mail and phone calls intended for organizers of Poly Vue.

About 2,300 parking decals are sold for the approximately 1,000 spaces on campus .

Fall 1962
The football team has its best season ever, finishing 9-1 under Head Coach Don Warhurst. Wide receiver Warren Hazard and running back Lou Minniefield go on to play briefly in the National Football League.

The Poly Service Club wins an RCA Victor stereo for collecting the most empty Viceroy cigarette packs.

The “War of the Roses” erupts between the Pomona and San Luis Obispo campuses over how much the college from the north should contribute financially to the float. The dispute is settled amicably, but not before 8 feet is taken off the float to save $300.

Campus aerial shotThree new buildings open: Agriculture (Building 2), Music (Building 24) and Drama/Theatre (Building 25).

The student body governing organization is renamed Associated Students Incorporated, or ASI.

Engineering is now second in campus enrollment.


January 7, 1963
President Julian McPhee and Dr. Morris from the Kellogg Foundation place a time capsule in Building 1 .Dr. Emory Morris, president of the Kellogg Foundation, joins President Julian McPhee to place a copper time capsule behind the cornerstone of Building 1, which had opened the previous year. The time capsule contains the Kellogg Foundation deed and bill of sale for the ranch, a college catalog, the current edition of the Poly Post and four postage stamps featuring astronauts, among other items.

June 1963
Graduation photos of 11 women appear in the yearbook.

The class gift to the university, designed by students in the landscape architecture department, is a master plan for the open grassy area in the middle of campus known as the Mall. Eight olive trees – part of the original Kellogg Ranch – are transplanted there.

September 1963
Queen Homaira of Afghanistan visits campus.

October 24, 1963
Jazz trumpeter Teddy Buckner performs at the College Hour assembly. Other speakers at subsequent College Hour events include “The Jungle” author Upton Sinclair and TV newscaster George Putnam.

December 1963
Winter quarter parking decals cost $9.

Tenure is granted for the first time. Recognition goes to 27 faculty.

The Poly Post receives an All-American honor rating, the highest award given by the Associated Collegiate Press.

The library now houses 63,138 volumes.

The annual film festival includes “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” and “To Catch a Thief.”

February 6, 1964
Two-time Nobel Prize winner, chemist and peace activist Linus Pauling speaks at the College Hour Assembly.

February 21, 1964
The Poly Post publishes a letter from a lecturer about what he witnessed at a recent dance on campus: “Their eyes were glazed, their faces expressionless. Their arms were moving as though they were trying to elbow their way through the crowd, which couldn’t be true because they remained stationary. … I asked one student, at the top of my voice, what tune they were playing. He screamed the name of some vegetable.”

May 9, 1964
Arabian horses are exhibited before a crowd of 44,000 at the Hollywood Park race track.

May 16, 1964
Poly Vue concludes with the Coronation Ball.

September 17, 1964
New students are greeted with a barbecue and welcome rally at orientation in the Rose Garden.

October 1964
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton shoot scenes for “The Sandpiper” at the old Voorhis campus.

November 7, 1964
Homecoming events include a parade, a football game against San Fernando Valley State (now Cal State Northridge) and a dance.

Enrollment reaches 4,400.

The campus security department consists of eight officers, two patrol cars, one three-wheeled scooter and three fire engines.

Henry House becomes dean of students.

The Kellogg Campus pioneers the use of reclaimed water for irrigation.

January 1965
In an effort to highlight the college’s polytechnic focus, a program of enrollment control is announced, capping the number of Social Science majors at 580 and English majors at 233. Outraged liberal arts faculty and students protest, and the former chair of the social science department resigns. An alternative newspaper appears on campus, The Tatler , proclaiming a seven-point indictment against the administration. Several committees study the matter, and a compromise evolves. Quotas are established for all departments, but all are allowed to grow based on practical and budgetary considerations.

February 16, 1965
The Student Wives’ Club hosts its annual fashion show.

May 8, 1965
The Rodeo Club announces that it welcomes students with an “interest in promoting rodeos and horse events.” Dues are 75 cents per quarter or $2 per year.

August 1, 1965
The Bronco Handbook spells out dress regulations for women: “Bare feet are never permitted in the dining hall. Women may not wear curlers outside of their residence hall except to breakfast, and on weekends in the student lounge. Women may not wear Bermudas, capris, or extreme sun dresses to classes or in the Administration building. During Finals Week, Bermudas or capris are permitted on campus and in classrooms.”

The handbook also sets expectations for behavior: “Members of the college staff, over 21 years of age, are required as chaperons at all student activities, both on and off campus. This includes dances, house parties, receptions, beach parties, outings, etc. Although the specific circumstances will vary, the number of sponsors must meet the minimum requirements set forth in the Student Organizations Handbook.”

Students vote overwhelmingly to bring back the yearbook, Madre Tierra.

The Student Affairs Committee passes a motion asking President Julian McPhee to lift a ban on Communist speakers on campus.

The senior class gift is the chimes.

Professor Donald Force is awarded a $12,300 National Science Foundation grant to study midges (small flies).

Spring 1966
John Lamiman is named the college’s first professor emeritus. He retired after 20 years of teaching primarily entomology.

July 1, 1966
President Julian McPhee retires. He was appointed president of the California State Polytechnic School in 1933 and served as chief administrator of the San Luis Obispo and Kellogg-Voorhis campuses.

September 1966
Economics is offered as a major.

Dorm rates increase $8 per quarter to $152, and meal tickets increase $11 to $116 per quarter.

October 1966
Trustees of the California State Colleges formally establish California State Polytechnic College, Kellogg Campus as the 16th state college, separate from San Luis Obispo. Enrollment is 5,500. Instructional divisions are now called schools.

The Poly Post publishes this ad: “1,001 Ways to Beat the Draft.”

The Fifth Dimension, The Association, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, and Buffalo Springfield are all scheduled to perform on campus during the academic year.
The lost and found auction includes a false tooth, dirty socks, a dissection kit and draft cards.

Two women take lead roles at campus publications: Sharon Tefft is editor of “Opus,” the literary magazine; and Mary Trainor is editor of The Poly Post.

The $2.5 million gym is dedicated. The old facility becomes known as the women’s gym.

A senior project shows that 75 percent of freshmen who do not use the library will drop out before their sophomore year.

The School of Arts and Sciences is divided into two discrete schools.


The Mall later becomes as the QuadJanuary 1967
The Mall becomes the place to meet a date, study or just relax. It is shaded by young California sycamore, sugargum eucalyptus and pomegranate trees, and includes a four-tiered speaker’s platform and baroque-style lights. (The Mall later becomes known as the Quad.)


February 1967
Nearly 60 percent of the college’s 5,200 students turn out to decide whether to raise student fees $26 over three years to improve co-curricular activities and to raise fees an additional $16 per year to fund construction of a $1 million student center. The measure is soundly defeated. Three years later, students approve a similar plan.

March 1967
In the middle of the night, pranksters turn the administration clock into a Mickey Mouse watch.

June 1967
The college awards 873 degrees.

Fall 1967
The faculty grows to 320 with the hiring of 54 new members, including George Jenkins, the college’s first African American professor. James Bell soon follows, and he goes on to become the first African American dean and vice president.

Robert KramerOctober 24, 1967
Robert Kramer is formally inaugurated as college president in a gala ceremony. “The professional must have a foundation of general education and be able to use tools of thought and experience which are universal, rather than specialized,” he says in his speech, titled “Competence and Conscience.”


November 16, 1967
Theatre students perform “Richard III.”

November 29, 1967
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Max Rafferty appears at a special assembly.

President Robert Kramer creates the Graduate Studies Division. By the mid-1970s there are 13 graduate programs.

Among the more than 60 Arabians in the stables and pastures is the campus mascot, a gray colt named Bir-Doktor. “The frisky colt exemplifies the spirit and youth of Cal Poly,” the Bronco Handbook says.

The El Patio Bookstore now accepts BankAmericard and Master Charge.

Three student publications are available: “The Poly Post” (published on Tuesday and Friday), “Opus” (a semiannual student literary magazine) and “Madre Tierra” (the campus yearbook). In addition, the campus has a student-run radio station (KCPK 91.7 FM) and a closed-circuit television station (CPTV) that broadcasts news, music and commentary twice a week.

The 1968-69 ASI budget is a record-breaking $121,500, up about $10,000 from the previous year.

Campus groups include the Organization of Arab Students, the Press Club, the Sports Car Club, Students for Political Awareness, the Student Wives Club and the Yacht Club.

The concrete platform area in the Mall (now known as the Pancakes) is designated a Free Speech Area — but it is regulated nonetheless. A student cannot speak from the area unless he or she is sponsored by a club and a schedule of events form is on file in the activities office. If an individual wants to sound off, he or she can mount a soapbox or set up a table in the Free Speech Forum — the patio in front of the speech-drama building, but cannot shout or use a voice-amplification system.

January 1968
The university announces that the Board of Trustees has accepted a $3 million gift from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for the construction of a continuing education and conference center to be known as Kellogg West. It is scheduled to open in the summer of 1970 on what is known as Horse Hill.

April 1968
A resolution originating at UCLA arrives on campus calling for an international student strike against U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The Faculty Senate urges students to attend classes and express their view in other ways. The students concur.

June 1968
1,015 bachelor of science degrees are awarded.

Fall 1968
“Fall Quarter brings something new to Cal Poly—a pass-fail program. The aim is to allow a student who does not want to pick up credits or grades ‘an opportunity to flap his wings in fields outside his own,’ according to Hugh La Bounty, vice president for Academic Affairs.”

Fall Festival replaces Homecoming

October 1968
The Seattle Supersonics defeat the San Diego Rockets in an NBA exhibition game in the gym.

December 1968
The Blue Key service club helps move the library’s contents to the new facility. The $4.2 million four-story library now has 150,000 books.

June 1969
1,200 degrees are awarded.

Fall 1969
“No longer do students just go to school and pass quietly through the system as they did in the 1950s. Students today are interested in shaping the policies and curriculum that guide them and prepare them for later life. If you are interested in having a say in policies that govern you, I urge you to get involved. I urge you to speak out. And above all, I urge you to make your college life here a worthwhile experience.” – ASI President Stephen Izant

5,000 parking spaces are available on campus.

The ethnic studies program is inaugurated. It has a center for Chicano and American Indian studies, as well as a center for black studies.

Students from the united Mexican-American Student Association stage a sit-in in President Robert Kramer’s office. Five are later disciplined for refusing to leave when asked, but their actions do yield results: A Latino is appointed director of the Educational Opportunity Program a few months later, and Latino faculty are hired.

Female student studying inside her dormDorm keys are available for female students over 21 who are sophomores, juniors and seniors. This allows them to enter their halls after the midnight weekday and 2 a.m. weekend curfews.

The weeklong Fall Festival includes a tricycle race, hayrides, a bonfire, a parade and a frog-jumping contest, as well as the customary football game and coronation ball.

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