1958 Arizona State Becomes a University: Looking Back with Alumnus Don Dotts

The Library Channel helps celebrate the 50th anniversary of Arizona State University with a new series of podcasts this fall. The historic “name change” drive, a singular moment in the university’s and state’s history, transformed Arizona State College into Arizona State University through an unprecedented statewide referendum that was approved by Arizona citizens in the general election of November 4th, 1958.

In this first episode, we are joined by former editor of the State Press and former director of the Alumni Association Don Dotts and University Archivist Rob Spindler to set the scene and illustrate Arizona State College and student life in 1958. Don will also talk about the students’ support of the initiative process, their march on the capitol, the roll of the State Press, opposition to the process and much, much more.

Download Episode(MP3 Audio)

To honor this heritage, and the vast progress that has been made in the last half century, ASU will be celebrating throughout the year at a variety of events. The university as a whole will also look back and reflect on that special moment in 1958 and what it means for the university in 2008.

President Grady Gammage announces Arizona State becoming a university ASU 50th Anniversary Logo
Dr. Grady Gammage atop the Memorial Union announces the 1958 election returns changing Arizona State College to Arizona State University

For more information please visit: The official ASU 50th anniversary site and blog ASU Generations (Streaming Video).


Fred McIlvain

Guests: Rob Spindler, Don Dotts

Episode 79

Don Dotts and Rob Spindler