California State University, Fresno has evolved from modest
beginnings as a teachers college early in the 20th century into an
acclaimed, culturally diverse, 21st century university offering
opportunities through eight schools and colleges. Our students
have applied what they’ve learned at Fresno State throughout California,
around the world and into space, benefitting literally millions of
Throughout this evolution, the university has established
itself as an integral part of the region. Fresno State has prepared
thousands of individuals for careers, leadership and community service
forged community bonds that have helped conquer a broad spectrum
of challenges, led innovative change and encourage positive thinking as
the foundation for accomplishment.
Mission Statement:We will become New California’s premier engaged university,
nationally recognized for our teaching, learning, transformational
scholarship, and dynamic leadership which engages faculty, students,
staff, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration
benefiting the region and society as a whole.top
“Being Fresno State’s president as our university celebrates its
Centennial is a great privilege. The celebration is a reminder of how
successfully we’ve worked together to overcome challenges and help
thousands of individuals thrive to the benefit of others.
We have stayed true to the four Latin words on our university seal:
"Lucem accipe ut reddas" ("Receive the light that you may give it forth”).
As Bulldogs, we’re determined to continue taking those few powerful
words to heart in our next 100 years, building on the accomplishments of
Fresno State’s first century of excellence.”
– President John D. Welty
- We are a campus of opportunity, especially for
first-generation students. Our student body closely mirrors the ethnic
diversity of the Valley. We not only attract minority students, but help
them graduate. We created a project – The First Generation Stories (see
it at http://firstgeneration.csufresno.edu/) – to encourage students.
- The largest single cash gift ever received by Fresno State
or in the California State University system was given to Fresno State's
College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The Jordan family,
from the East Bay, believed in the importance of education as a way to
preserve California agriculture. Their $29.4 million gift to Fresno
State resulted in the renaming of the college to the Jordan College of
Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
- The Craig School of Business, its graduate program and the
Entrepreneurship program consistently garner national attention and
- The Smittcamp Family Honors College is a competitive, highly
sought-after program that accepts 50 high-school seniors from
throughout the state each year from the 500-600 who apply.
- Nursing program/Health Policy Institute – We produce the
majority of the medical and health care professionals in the region and
are working to expand the nursing program. Faculty and students are
conducting pioneering research to understand and address the special
health problems of Central California through several
university-sponsored health-related institutes.
- We offer two doctoral degrees, an independent educational
leadership degree and a joint physical therapy degree with UC San
- Fresno State is one of 72 universities among the over 3,000
in the country awarded the University Community Engagement certification
by the Carnegie Foundation.
- The International Center for Water Technology and the Claude
Laval Water Energy Technology (WET) Incubator at Fresno State are in
the forefront of efforts to meet the needs of a thirsty world.
- Community service, coordinated by the Jan and Bud Richter
Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, is a hallmark at
Fresno State. In the 2009-10 academic year, faculty, staff and students
provided over 1 million hours of service for the good of the region. The
economic impact of their efforts is an estimated $28 million, measured
by national philanthropic standards.
- Fresno State is designated as an Hispanic-serving
Institution for reaching out to students who are traditionally
underrepresented and for providing an environment where students thrive
and persist. More than 30% of Fresno State students are Hispanic and
over 50% are the first in their families to attend college.
- We’ve had four names: Fresno State Normal School (1911),
Fresno State Teachers' College (1922), Fresno State College (1935), and
California State University, Fresno (1972).
- The Fresno State Winery is the nation’s first commercially bonded
vintner on a university campus, where student-produced vintages have won
hundreds of medals in competition with the world’s best wines.
- Our 388-acre main campus was officially designated arboretum in 1979 because of the hundreds of species of trees and plants.
- The main campus and adjacent 1,011-acre University Farm are
located at the northeast edge of Fresno, at the foot of the majestic
Sierra Nevada mountain range. Three national parks – Yosemite, Sequoia
and Kings Canyon, are within a two-hour drive from the campus.
- The university is within a three- or four-hour drive of both Los Angeles and
- The surrounding San Joaquin Valley is one of the richest
agricultural areas in the world. The green “V” that is represented on
athletic uniforms symbolizes the agricultural community of the San
Valley, from which we draw the majority of our students and
- Our mascot, the bulldog, dates back to 1921 when student body
president Warren Moody and friends were continually greeted outside the
main campus building by a white bulldog. The dog adopted the group
and they decided to make him the mascot.
- Ghassan F. AbulGhanam, Director of M.I.S. for His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Royal Hasemite Court in Amman, Jordan
- Theresa Alvillar-Speake, former Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, U.S. Department of Energy
- Leslie Bassett, Composer, Recipient of the 1966 Pulitzer Prize in Music
- Marvin Baxter, California Supreme Court Justice
- Robert Beltran, actor, played the role of Chakotay, first officer on Star Trek: Voyager
- Laura Berg, Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist in softball
- Lee P. Brown, Former Mayor of Houston and Former Atlanta Police Commissioner
- Cruz Bustamante, Former California Lieutenant Governor
- David Carr, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
- Malinda Chouinard, Co-owner of Patagonia, one of the world's most successful designers of outdoor clothing and gear
- Roy Christopher, Emmy Award-winning set designer
- Jim Costa, Member, U.S. Congress
- Joy Covey, Former Chief Strategy Officer, Amazon.com
- Sid Craig, Co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Jenny Craig, Inc.
- Trent Dilfer, 2001 Super Bowl winning quarterback
- Paul Dolan, partner, Mendocino Wine Company
- Kenny Guinn, Former Governor of Nevada
- Robert Hanashiro, Photographer, USA Today
- Colonel Rick Husband, Mission Commander, Space Shuttle Columbia STS107, 2003
- Sam Iacobellis Retired CEO, Rockwell International who led the development of the B1 Bomber
- Emily Kuroda, Award-winning actress
- Brad Lewis, Academy Award-winning producer of “Ratatouille”
- Manny Mashouf, Chairman and CEO, Bebe Fashions
- Colonel Steven Nagel, NASA astronaut
- Paul H. O'Neill, Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, CEO of Alcoa Corporation
- Sam Peckinpah, Academy Award nominee and Director of The Wild Bunch
- Phillip V. Sanchez, Former U.S. Ambassador to Colombia and Honduras
- Daniel Silva, Best-selling author of thrillers
- Ashley Swearengin, Mayor, city of Fresno
- Gary Soto, Acclaimed poet, essayist and fiction writer
- Jeff Tedford, Head football coach, University of California at Berkeley
- Sherley Anne Williams, Author, National Book Award nominee and Emmy Award winner
- Jan Yanehiro, broadcast journalist and author
“I wouldn't change those years at Fresno State for anything. Had
a wonderful experience going there not to mention created long lasting
“I grew up seeing the way the whole community unites and rallies
around Fresno State sports and have always viewed the university as an
asset and bragging point for Fresno and the Valley. Getting my
acceptance letter was a lifelong dream, and I hope I can join thousands
of young alumni in giving back to Fresno State in the future.”
“Fresno State has an excellent ag program it’s close to my
family and a family tradition. I am glad that I chose Fresno State!”
“I knew I wanted to end up in law enforcement when I took a
Criminology class with Dr. Eric Hickey. I was Journalism major at Fresno
State at the time and thought studying crime would help me be a better
reporter. Turns out it made me want to become a Police Officer. Eight
years after I got my Journalism degree (and after marriage and two
kids), I became a police officer for large city in the SF Bay Area. Best