CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association


The Origins of Colorado State University-Pueblo

CSU-Pueblo CampusColorado State University-Pueblo has a long history of serving the community and responding to the growing needs of higher education in our region. Our roots were first established in 1933 when we began as a three-room junior college with 63 students and two instructors. We spent many years thereafter serving the community in that capacity and officially became a four-year university in 1965. Colorado State University-Pueblo became our name in 2003.

We have evolved from that three-room junior college to a regional, comprehensive university offering 26 baccalaureate and six master degree programs, serving nearly  5,000 students from all 50 states and 23 countries. Over the past 75 years under four different names, the institution has graduated more than 30,000 students from around the world. Today, nearly 20,000 graduates  live in Colorado.

The Evolution of a Regional, Comprehensive University

Early CSU-Pueblo Graduate1933    Southern Colorado Junior College provided two years of college instruction in the arts, literature, and science, adult education and vocational opportunities, and coursework to complete a high school program.

1937    Taking advantage of the Junior College Act of the General Assembly, the Pueblo County Junior College District was formed, making the college part of the public school system supported by county-wide taxes. The name change to Pueblo Junior College brought with it a change in mission. The institution offered the first two years of general study at the college level, providing the educational foundation for students seeking to transfer to complete their higher education degrees at four-year colleges and universities, and continued to offer a range of practical courses for those not seeking a higher education degree.

1960s CSU-Pueblo Campus1963    The 30th anniversary year saw the State enact legislation making the institution a four-year degree granting college and a member of the state system of higher education. The first juniors were enrolled in 1963, followed in 1964 by the first seniors and the first bachelor's degrees awarded in 1965. The name change to Southern Colorado State College reflected recognition of the need for more advanced degrees and an increase in the number of students pursuing a four-year degree in the southeastern region of Colorado.

1970s CSU-Pueblo Students1975    As the demand for higher education programs increased, the number of academic degrees offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels increased. The first graduate program to be offered was the Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in industrial education beginning in 1972. In recognition of an expanded role and scope, the institution was granted university status and was renamed the University of Southern Colorado.


2000s CSU-Pueblo Campus2002    CSU-Pueblo designated an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the Department of Education for surpassing 25% of its student population with Hispanic students.  This resulted in CSU-Pueblo being eligible for additional federal grant aid.




CO Gov. Bill Owens2003    In May of 2002, Governor Bill Owens signed legislation changing the mission and name to Colorado State University - Pueblo effective July 1, 2003. Today, the university is a regional, comprehensive institution with a focus on professional studies such as business, nursing, social work, and teacher education.


CSU-Pueblo Rec Center2008 CSU-Pueblo named the top HSI by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).