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On Feb. 8, 1886 — almost 30 years before Arizona was granted statehood — the Territorial Normal School, Arizona’s first higher education institution, opened its doors to 33 students in a four-classroom building in Tempe.
From humble beginnings, and through a series of name changes that led to a 1958 vote of the people and a 2-to-1 margin of victory for the advancement of Arizona State College to Arizona State University, ASU’s century-plus trajectory has led to its being recognized as the “most innovative” university in the country by U.S. News & World Report — five years in a row.
The history of Arizona State University is rich, bold and vibrant. The timeline below reflects an honored tradition of excellence and inclusion while also celebrating the growth and development forged to meet – and make – the future.