Saturday, August 18, 2012

Arizona State University by Stephanie R. DeLuse, PhD, & Denise E. Bates, PhD

As college students return back to classes, it's the perfect time to take a look at one of the books in The Campus History Series. Stephanie R. DeLuse and Denise E. Bates joined forces for Arizona State University. The photographic narrative is intended to make the history of ASU more accessible. It contains 229 photographs and captions. It's a fascinating glimpse into the building of an institution. The authors used the book to illustrate how the university's future has been shaped by its past.

The book tells of people whose names are still prominent in Arizona history. Charles Trumbull Hayden's ferry crossing business helped build the city that became Tempe. Two residents, John Samuel Armstrong and his wife, Sarah, saw the town as the perfect place for a teacher-training school. In 1886, the first students were admitted to the Arizona Territorial Normal School, the school that eventually became Arizona State University in 1958, following a vote as to whether or not the college would become a university.

(One of my favorite facts in the book is related to the normal school. At one time, students as young as sixteen were admitted to the school. They were called "subnormals".)

It's not only alumni of Arizona State University who will find this book interesting. The history includes the long-standing rivalry with the University of Arizona. And, anyone who lives in the Valley will appreciate the book. It encompasses not only the university story, but also includes important elements in Valley history. And, anyone will recognize names such as Frank Lloyd Wright, whose last public design was Gammage Auditorium. Sterling Ridge, Glendale's former mayor, along with his wife, Barbara, were major forces in the successful campaign to build ASU West in the West Valley.

Arizona State University's story is told up to 1980, although there are some comments about the current school. The pictures are fascinating, showing the progress through the years of the school and the various programs. Arizona State University has an outstanding reputation in the arts, the sciences, journalism, sports. This book covers so many programs and aspects of the school.

Arizona State University deserves a place in all public libraries in the state. It's a fascinating glimpse at the history of a vital institution, crucial to the development of Arizona. Alumni and supporters as well as Valley residents interested in local history will appreciate this addition to The Campus History Series.

Arizona State Univeristy by Stephanie R. DeLuse, PhD, and Denise E. Bates, PhD. $21.99. Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at or (888) 313-2665.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received a copy of the book from the publisher, who hoped I would review it.


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Jane R said...

I'm not familiar with this series. Since we've lived in several college towns and have always found the lore and history to be very unique and sometimes fascinating, I'm going to be on the lookout for a couple of these books. Thanks for the review!

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