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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

January 20, 2005

University to seek formal name change

California State University, Sacramento President Alexander Gonzalez announced today that he will ask the CSU Board of Trustees to approve changing the University’s name to Sacramento State University. He made the announcement during his spring address to the campus.

The name change proposal will go before the Board of Trustees during their March meeting. The name style has historic roots and precedent in the current naming of CSU campuses. The University was known as Sacramento State College when it was founded in 1947. And five other CSUs have similar formal names: Humboldt State University, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University and Sonoma State University.

The request follows a series of opportunities for public and campus input.

Last spring, in response to confusion expressed by the campus, the community and the media over which of the University’s widely used names was correct—CSUS, Sacramento State University, CSU Sacramento, Sac State or others—the President endorsed a process to determine “the” name.

Students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the campus had the opportunity to vote both online and through paper ballots available in the CSUS Bulletin and at the Olympic Trials. Stories appeared in The Sacramento Bee, other area media and the campus newsletter. The name question was also discussed with a series of focus groups representing various segments of the campus and the community. And a sample of students were polled during the fall semester’s online registration.

The final decision was made by Gonzalez, affirming the recommendation of the campus branding committee. The 18-member committee, chaired by communication studies professor Barbara O’Connor, is comprised of faculty members, administrators, a staff member, a student, and marketing and media experts from the community. The committee met throughout the fall semester and O’Connor discussed the committee’s name recommendation with the campus Faculty Senate in December.

If approved, the University will begin using the name as part of a rebranding effort that will take place over the next several months. That work will be tied to Sacramento State’s ambitious growth initiative—“Destination 2010”—which has the goal of making Sacramento State a destination campus for the West and a flagship of the California State University system. Plans include new, apartment-style residence halls, a state-of-the-art arena and wellness center, energized student programs and a boost in scholarships.

Media assistance is available by calling the University’s public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •