California State University Dominguez Hills History


Today, I stumbled across CSUDH campus’s historical timeline.  I had no clue that this was out there for everyone to view. Below a portion of my school’s history. I hope that this is interesting to you, as it is for me.  Thank you!

April 29, 1960

Dominguez Family

California State University, Dominguez Hills was founded in 1960; however, the campus sits on land that has a long and rich history. The university’s 346 acres were once a section of the first private land grant in Southern California—the Rancho San Pedro. Juan José Dominguez (1736-1809), a Spanish soldier, received the original grant of 75,000 acres in 1784 from King Carlos III of Spain. While much of the acreage has been sold and developed, portions remain in the possession of Dominguez descendants. The site chosen for the university was known as the Dominguez Hills, named after the family.


January 1, 1964

Architect A. Quincy Jones Designs Campus

The innovative and modernist architect, A. Quincy Jones, created a campus physical master plan in 1964 and oversaw the design of buildings and development of the campus until his death in 1979.


January 1, 1965

First Classes Held

In 1965, the university held its first classes at a temporary location in the California Federal Savings Bank in Rolling Hills Estates. The college was renamed California State College at Palos Verdes, and approximately 40 students enrolled and were taught by 11 faculty members, as well as administrators.

August 11, 1965 — August 17, 1965

Watts Rebellion

In 1965, the Watts Rebellion devastated a community and awakened the nation, bringing longstanding grievances and inequalities into the spotlight. The Watts uprising is considered by many to have been one of the key turning points in the African American Civil Rights movement, and has served to shape scholarly and public understanding of race rebellions and the development of race relations in the United States.


September 1, 1965

Dominguez Hills Site Selected

Following the Watts Rebellion, Gov. Pat Brown visited the area and determined that the Dominguez Hills site in the soon-to-be City of Carson would provide the diverse, mostly minority population in nearby urban neighborhoods with the best accessibility to a college education.


October 1, 1973

Natural Sciences and Mathematics Building

Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) building opens with 34 labs, animal rooms, and full greenhouse.


October 24, 1977

Senator Joseph Biden Speaks on Campus

Sen. Joseph Biden visits campus and speaks to students in the University Theatre.


July 28, 1984 — August 12, 1984

CSUDH Hosts Cycling for L.A. Summer Olympics

The university was selected to host the cycling portion of the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 1984 and a large outdoor velodrome was constructed on campus with the support of the Southland Corporation. Approximately 8,500 spectators came out to watch Olympic cycling events in the velodrome; the U.S. cycling team won nine gold medals.


February 1, 1985

Astronaut Sally Ride Speaks on Campus

In the winter 1985 quarter, Sally Ride, the first female astronaut, speaks on campus.


February 24, 1988

Magic Johnson Speaks on Campus

Lakers basketball champion Magic Johnson speaks on campus.


September 1, 1992

Loker Student Union Opens

Funded by a student approved fee increase and a pledge of $500,000 from Katherine B. Loker, the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Student Union (LSU), named in honor of the university’s long-time supporters, was opened in 1992.


June 1, 2003

StubHub Center Opens

The privately financed $150-million Home Depot Center (now named the StubHub Center) opens, providing the community with a world-class athletics and entertainment venue for soccer, tennis, track and field, and cycle racing. The complex includes a 27,000-seat soccer stadium and 8,000-seat tennis stadium that are also used for concerts and CSUDH commencement ceremonies. The facility kicked off its inaugural season with a premiere track event highlighted by 100-meter gold medalist Maurice Greene. The sports complex soon follows with major events in soccer, tennis, and beach volleyball.


May 15, 2007

Mildred García Named President

CSU Board of Trustees appoints Dr. Mildred García as seventh president of Dominguez Hills; she serves as the first Latina president of a CSU campus.



April 29, 2010

CSUDH 50th Anniversary; New Library South Wing Opens

On April 29, 2010, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the university, the Library South wing opens—a new five-story 140,000-square-foot addition that features a state-of-the-art archives and research area, conference rooms, and art gallery.


May 6, 2014

CSUDH Earns Top Rankings in Media

CSU Dominguez Hills continues to broaden its ethnic and geographic base. The university ranked 33rd among 100 top colleges and universities in the country according to a 2014 Time Magazine ranking that assessed how well institutions serve students—placing the highest importance on graduation rates, tuition and percentage of students receiving Pell Grants.For the third year in a row, the Washington Monthly magazine ranked CSUDH among the top ten in the nation for “contribution to public good.” U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 annual “Best Colleges” ranks CSU Dominguez Hills 12th among the most ethnically diverse universities in the West offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees.


December 15, 2014

All-Steinway Distinction Bestowed on Campus

With the acquisition of 21 brand new Steinway-designed pianos, CSUDH became the first public four-year university in California to receive designation by Steinway & Sons as an “All-Steinway School.” The title added the university’s name to an exclusive roster of 170 conservatories, colleges and universities throughout the world.


March 27, 2015


CSUDH receives the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Presidential Award for General Service.

Timeline Link


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