A Century in the Making. A Decade of Distinction.


  • Nancy Ann Donohoo Taylor (Taylor Ranch) stipulates in her will that one-third of her assets be used to found a university in Ventura County, which her children successfully contest.


Lagomarsino at Bell Tower

  • State Senator Robert J. Lagomarsino and Assemblyman Burt Hansen co-author Senate Bill 288, calling for establishment of a four-year college in Ventura County.
  • Governor Pat Brown authorizes a site study.
  Photo: Robert J. Lagomarsino Archives


J. Handel Evans

  • J. Handel Evans is appointed Planning President to assist in the development of a campus.
  • The University is named “California State University Channel Islands” by a panel of community leaders.


Bell Tower circa 1930s

  • CSU’s Board of Trustees votes unanimously to accept the former Camarillo State Hospital as the location for CSU Channel Islands.
Photo: CSH Archives


Dolphin mascot

  • The CSU Board of Trustees approves a resolution establishing CSU Channel Islands as the CSU system’s newest comprehensive university.
  • “Dolphins” are adopted as the mascot.
  • The first campus renovation project of the landmark Bell Tower is completed.
  • John Spoor Broome donates $5 million for a new Library.


Martin V. Smith

  • Martin V. “Bud” Smith establishes a $5 million endowment to CI for business-related studies.
  • Governor Gray Davis approves a $10 million state budget allocation, enabling the hiring of the initial planning faculty


Original Faculty

  • The CSU Board of Trustees appoints Richard R. Rush to succeed J. Handel Evans.
  • The first 13 faculty members arrive.


President Rush inauguration

  • Richard R. Rush is inaugurated in the spring as CI’s Founding President.
  • CI welcomes its first class of approximately 500 transfer students in the fall.
  • Robert & Norma Lagomarsino announce a $1 million pledge to the Library archives.


First 3 graduates

  • CI graduates its first class, with three transfer students honored as the first graduates.


Ribbon cutting at Anacapa Village

  • The first on-campus student housing, Anacapa Village, opens for 450 students.


Martin V. Smith Center

  • The Martin V. & Martha K. Smith Foundation donates $3 million, enabling the creation of the Martin V. Smith Center for Integrative Decision-Making and additional funding of academic programs within the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics.
Photo: Michael Urbanek/ArchitecturalShots.com


First Freshman Class

  • CI receives initial accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Ribbon cutting John Spoor Broome Library

  • The John Spoor Broome Library opens in the spring.


2010 Great College to Work For logo

  • CI is designated a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education for having a student enrollment that is more than 25 percent Hispanic. The designation enables the University to compete for federal Title V funding and additional financial support.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education names CI a “Great College to Work For.”
  • CI’s first nursing class graduates.
  • Launch of the Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo Institute for Workforce & Community Studies.


Sung Won Sohn

  • The Institute for Global Economic Research is launched, offering globally renowned economic forecasting and research opportunities for students with top U.S. economist Dr. Sung Won Sohn.


Nursing students

  • CI is named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for a third consecutive year.
  • CI and Cottage Health System open a nursing program in Goleta.
  • CI expands several degree programs to the Santa Barbara City College campus.
  • For a third consecutive year, CI is named a “Great College to Work For.”
  • A new four-lane University Drive paves the way for future growth.

For CI's detailed historical timeline, visit http://www.csuci.edu/about/timeline.htm