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Arizona State


Arizona State

Arizona State University
Seal of Arizona State University
Established February 26, 1885
Type Public research university
Endowment $500.6 million (2012)[1]
President Michael M. Crow
Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi
Academic staff 3,095[2]
Students 59,794 (Tempe), 72,254 (All campuses)[3]
Undergraduates 58,404
Postgraduates 13,850
Location Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona, U.S.[4]
Campus Urban
Tempe: 631.6 acres (2.556 km2)[5]
Polytechnic: 612.99 acres (2.4807 km2)[6]
West: 277.92 acres (1.1247 km2)[6]
Downtown Phoenix: 27.57 acres (111,600 m2)[6]
Former names Tempe Normal School,
Arizona State College
Newspaper The State Press
Colors ASU Maroon & Gold[7]          
Athletics Pac-12, NCAA Division I
Nickname Sun Devils
Mascot Sparky
Affiliations URA
Arizona State University signature

Arizona State University (commonly referred to as ASU or Arizona State) is a national space-grant institution and public metropolitan research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the U.S. state of Arizona.[8][9] It is the largest public university in the United States by enrollment.[10]b[›] Founded in 1885 as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory, the school came under control of the Arizona Board of Regents in 1945 and was renamed Arizona State College.[11] A 1958 statewide ballot measure gave the university its present name. In 1994 ASU was classified as a Research I institute; thus, making Arizona State one of the newest major research universities (public or private) in the nation.[12][13][14] Arizona State's mission is to create a model of the “New American University” whose efficacy is measured “by those it includes and how they succeed, not by those it excludes”.[15][16]

ASU awards bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, and is broadly organized into 16 colleges and schools spread across four campuses: the original Tempe campus, the West campus in northwest Phoenix, the Polytechnic campus in eastern Mesa, and the Downtown Phoenix campus.[17] All four campuses are accredited as a single institution by the Higher Learning Commission.[18] The University is categorized as a Research University with very high research activity (RU/VH) as reported by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, with a research expenditure of $385 million in 2012.[19] Arizona State is one of the appointed members of the Universities Research Association, a consortium of 86 leading research-oriented universities.[20]

ASU's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Arizona State Sun Devils. They are members of the Pacific-12 Conference and have won 23 national championships. Along with multiple athletic clubs and recreational facilities, ASU is also home to over 1,000 registered student organizations across its campuses, reflecting the diversity of the student body.[21] With the continued growth of the student population, ASU has recently undergone numerous renovations across each of its campuses, including expansion of athletic facilities, student recreational centers and dormitories.[22] The demand for improved facilities and more student housing on campus is being addressed with public/private investment.[23] Currently, ASU's campus housing accommodates one of the largest residential populations in the nation with over 13,000 residents:[24] a figure that will increase each year as the university continues to build more on-campus housing.[25]



Originally named the Tempe Normal School, the institution was founded on March 12, 1885, after John Samuel Armstrong first introduced House Bill 164, "An Act to Establish a Normal school in the Territory of Arizona to the 13th Legislative Assembly of the Arizona Territory. Instruction was instituted on February 8, 1886 under the supervision of Principal Hiram Bradford Farmer. Land for the school was donated by Tempe residents George and Martha Wilson, allowing 33 students to meet in a single room.[26]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the school's name was changed from Tempe Normal School to the Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe. Before becoming a college, the Normal School enrolled high school students with no other secondary education facilities. Under the 30-year tenure of president Arthur John Matthews the school was given all-college student status. The first dormitories built in the state were constructed under his supervision. Of the 18 buildings constructed while Matthews was president, six are still currently in use. Matthews envisioned an "evergreen campus," with many shrubbery brought to the campus. He also implemented the planting of Palm Walk, now one of the feature landmarks of the Tempe campus. His legacy is being continued to this day with the main campus having the honor of being declared a nationally recognized arboretum.[27]

During the Great Depression, Ralph W. Swetman was hired as president for a three-year term.[28] Although enrollment increased by almost 100% during his tenure due to the depression, many faculty were terminated and faculty salaries were cut.[29]


In 1933, Grady Gammage, then president of Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff, became president of Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe, a tenure that would last for nearly 28 years. Like his predecessor, Gammage oversaw the construction of a number of buildings on the Tempe campus. Dr. Gammage oversaw the development of the university, graduate programs, and the renaming of the Arizona State College to Arizona State University in 1958.

By the 1960s, with the presidency of Dr. G. Homer Durham, Arizona State University began to expand its academic curriculum by establishing several new colleges and beginning to award Doctor of Philosophy and other doctoral degrees.[30]

The next three presidents—Harry K. Newburn, 1969–71, John W. Schwada, 1971–81, and J. Russell Nelson, 1981–89—and Interim President Richard Peck, 1989, led the university to increased academic stature, creation of the West Campus, and rising enrollment.


Under the leadership of Dr. Lattie F. Coor, from 1990 to June 2002, ASU grew through the creation of the Polytechnic campus and extended education sites. His commitment to diversity, quality in undergraduate education, research, and economic development underscored the university's significant gains in each of these areas over his 12-year tenure. Part of Dr. Coor's legacy to the university was a successful fund-raising campaign: Through private donations, more than $500 million was invested in targeted areas that would significantly impact the future of ASU. Among the campaign's achievements were the naming and endowing of Barrett, The Honors College, and the Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts; the creation of many new endowed faculty positions; and hundreds of new scholarships and fellowships.[31]

On July 1, 2002,

The economic downturn that began in 2008 took a particularly hard toll on Arizona, resulting in large cuts to ASU's budget.[34] In response to these cuts, ASU underwent several rounds of reorganizations,[35] combining academic departments, consolidating colleges and schools, and reducing university staff and administrators; however, with an economic recovery underway in 2011, ASU continued its campaign to expand the West and Polytechnic Campuses,[36] and establishing a set of low-cost, teaching-focused extension campuses in Lake Havasu City and Payson, Arizona.[37] The university has announced that a new building for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law will be built on the Downtown Phoenix Campus, relocating faculty and students from the Tempe Campus. The university plans to establish the Arizona Center for Law and Society in 2016.[38]

Organization and Administration

ASU College/school founding
Year founded
Barrett, The Honors College
College of Health Solutions
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
College of Public Programs
College of Technology and Innovation
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Graduate College[40]
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
School of Sustainability
University College[41]
W. P. Carey School of Business
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The Arizona Board of Regents governs Arizona State University as well as the other state's public universities; University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.[42] The Board of Regents is composed of twelve members including eleven voting, and one non-voting member. Members of the board include the Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction acting as ex-officio members, eight volunteer Regent members with eight years term that are appointed by the Governor, and two Student Regents with two years term, serving a one-year term as non-voting apprentices. ABOR provides policy guidance to the state universities of Arizona. ASU has multiple campus locations, covering the Phoenix metropolitan areas including the Main Tempe campus in Tempe, the West campus and Downtown Phoenix campus both in Phoenix, and the Polytechnic campus in Mesa. It also offers courses and degrees through ASU online to advance the mission of the university.

The Arizona Board of Regents appoints and elects the president of the university, who is considered the chief executive officer and the chief budget officer of the institution.[43] The president is responsible for the execution of measures enacted by the Board of Regents, controls the property of the university, and acts as the official representative of the university to the Board of Regents.[44] The chief executive officer is assisted through the administration of the institution by the provost, vice presidents, deans, faculty, directors, department chairs, and other officers.[45] The president also selects and appoints administrative officers and general counsels. The 16th and current ASU president is Michael M. Crow, and has served since July 1, 2002.[46]

Campuses and locations

ASU's academic programs are spread across campuses in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area; however, unlike most multi-campus institutions, ASU describes itself as "one university in many places," explaining that it is "not a system with separate campuses, and not one main campus with branch campuses."[47] The university considers each campus "distinctive" and academically focused on certain aspects of the overall university mission. The Tempe Campus is the university's research and graduate school center. Undergraduate studies on the Tempe campus are research-based programs designed to prepare students for graduate school, professional school, or employment.[48] The Polytechnic campus is designed with an emphasis on professional and technological programs for direct workforce preparation. The Polytechnic campus is the location of many of the university's simulators and laboratories dedicated for project-based learning.[49] The West campus is focused on interdisciplinary degrees and the liberal arts, while maintaining professional programs with a direct impact on the community and society.[50] The Downtown Campus focuses on direct urban and public programs such as nursing, public policy, mass communication, and journalism.[51] ASU recently relocated some nursing and health related programs to its new ASU-Mayo Medical School Campus. Inter-campus shuttles and light rail allow students and faculty to easily travel between the campuses. In addition to the physical campuses, ASU's "virtual campus", housed at the university's SkySong Innovation Center, provides online and extended education.

Tempe campus

ASU's Tempe campus is located in downtown Tempe, Arizona, about eight miles (13 km) east of downtown Phoenix. The campus is considered urban, and is approximately 642 acres (2.6 km2) in size. The campus is arranged around broad pedestrian malls and is completely encompassed by an arboretum.[52][53] The Tempe campus is also the largest of ASU's campuses, with 59,794a[›] students enrolled in at least one class on campus.[54]

The Tempe campus is ASU's original campus, and Old Main, the first building constructed, still stands today. There are many notable landmarks on campus, including Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Palm Walk, which is lined by 111 palm trees,[55] Charles Trumbull Hayden Library, the University Club Building, and University Bridge. In addition, the campus has an extensive public art collection, considered one of the ten best among university public art collections in America according to Public Art Review.[56] Against the northwest edge of campus is the Mill Avenue district (part of downtown Tempe) which has a college atmosphere that attracts many students to its restaurants and bars. The Tempe campus is also home to all of the university's athletic facilities.

West campus

The West campus was established in 1984 by the Arizona Legislature and sits on 250 acres (1.0 km2) in a suburban area of northwest Phoenix. The West campus lies about 12 miles (19 km) northwest of downtown Phoenix, and about 18 miles (29 km) northwest of the Tempe campus. The West campus is designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride,[57] and is nearly completely powered by a 4.6MW solar array.[58] This campus is home to the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and selected programs of the W.P. Carey School of Business. The campus, patterned after the University of Oxford’s architecture, has recently opened a new residence hall, dining facility and recreation center.[59]

Polytechnic campus

Founded in 1996 as "ASU East," the ASU Polytechnic campus serves 10,521 students and is home to more than 40 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in professional and technical programs through the College of Technology and Innovation, and selected programs of the W.P. Carey School of Business/Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the School of Letters and Sciences, and focuses on professional and technological programs including simulators and lab space in various fields of study.[49] The 600-acre (2.4 km2) campus is located in southeast Mesa, Arizona, approximately 25 miles (40 km) southeast of the Tempe campus, and 33 miles (53 km) southeast of downtown Phoenix. The Polytechnic campus sits on the former Williams Air Force Base.

Downtown Phoenix campus

The newest of ASU's four campuses, the Downtown Phoenix campus was established in 2006 on the north side of

Colleges @ ASU

Main article: Colleges@ASU

In response to demands for lower-cost public higher education in Arizona, ASU is developing a number of small, undergraduate-only college locations throughout Arizona. Colleges @ ASU locations will be teaching-focused, and will provide a selection of popular undergraduate majors. The first is being planned for Lake Havasu City with programs available as early as fall 2012.[62]

Online degree programs

ASU offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through an entirely online platform, known as ASU Online. The degree programs delivered online hold the same accreditation as the university's traditional face-to-face programs, and students earn many of the same degrees as those who attended courses in person. Online students are taught by the same faculty and receive the same diploma as on-campus students. As of spring 2012, more than 5,000 students were enrolled at ASU Online. ASU Online is headquartered at ASU's SkySong campus in Scottsdale, Arizona. ASU Online was ranked #1 in online Student Services and Technology by U.S. News and World Report.

ASU-Mayo Medical School Campus

In late 2011, ASU launched a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to create a medical school.[63] As part of the collaboration with Mayo, ASU moved some academic departments onto the Mayo Clinic campus in Scottsdale, Arizona.[64] Mayo Medical and ASU have instituted an undergraduate "Barrett-Mayo Pre-medical Scholars Program" to further the ASU Clinical partnering program mission.[65] A partnership with organizations and hospitals throughout the region has been created. The partnership will help establish a network for knowledge sharing and testing of innovation. Real-world training for students researching medical issues affecting the community will be a priority of the school.[66] ASU-Mayo Medical School plans to begin enrolling the first students in 2014. In preparation for the medical school opening, ASU began offering health and nursing degree programs on the Mayo Clinic Campus.[67] The program at the ASU-Mayo Clinic Campus began in the Fall of 2012 and provides a hands-on education in world-class medical facilities to its students.[68] After the construction of the school, unique MD degrees, believed to be the first in the nation, will be granted under the governance and oversight of Mayo Medical School and Arizona State University with a specialized master’s degree in the Science of Health Care Management.[69]



Fall Freshman Statistics[70][71][72][73][74]

  2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Applicants 30,696 29,722 29,785 28,304 27,089
Admits 26,986 26,452 25,795 25,616 24,473
 % Admitted 87.9 88.9 86.6 90.5 90.3
Enrolled 9,265 9,254 9,544 9,344 9,707
Avg GPA 3.42 3.41 3.39 3.38 3.41

Admission to any of the public universities in Arizona is ensured to residents in the top 25% of their high-school class with a GPA of 3.0 in core competencies.[75] In 2012-2013, ASU admitted 87% of all applicants and is considered a "selective" university by U.S. News & World Report.[76][77] Average GPA of high school graduates enrolling full-time is 3.42.[3] All freshman are required to live on campus.[78]

Barrett, The Honors College is ranked 1st in the nation among peer institutions (1300-1400 minimum SAT), 4th in Honors Factors, and 5th in Overall Excellence among all universities.[79] Like most of ASU's colleges and schools (e.g. Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, W.P. Carey School of Business, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, etc.),[75] Barrett College maintains much more strict admissions standards. Furthermore, Barrett College provides a more rigorous curriculum with smaller classes and increased faculty interaction.[80] Although there are no set minimum admissions criteria for Barrett College, the average GPA of incoming freshmen was 3.84, with average SAT scores of 1314/1600 and ACT scores of 29.[81] The Honors college enrolls 3523 undergraduate students, 613 of whom are National Merit Scholars.[82]

ASU currently enrolls 5,137 international students, 6.1% of the total student population.[83] The international student body represents 118 nations and more than 60 student clubs and organizations exist at ASU to serve the growing number of students from abroad. The growth in the number of international students in 2012 at ASU is a 16% increase over the 2011 figure.[84]

Academic programs

ASU offers over 250 majors to undergraduate students, and more than 100 graduate programs leading to numerous masters and doctoral degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, design and arts, engineering, journalism, education, business, law, nursing, public policy, technology, and sustainability. These programs are divided into 16 colleges and schools which are spread across ASU's four campuses. ASU uses a plus-minus grading system with highest cumulative GPA awarded of 4.0 (at time of graduation).


Template:Infobox US university ranking/NationalTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/GlobalTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/LiberalArtsTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/BaccalaureateTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/RegionalTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/Masters
University rankings

The 2014 US News & World Report ranking of US colleges and universities ranked ASU's undergraduate program 73rd among public universities and 142nd of 280 "national universities." ASU also ranked 2nd in the "Up and Coming" category of universities for making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty and student life.[85] In addition, ASU is ranked 73rd in the world and 46th in the US by the Center for World University Rankings.[86] Forbes magazine named ASU one of "America's Best College Buys".[87]

In 2012, "ASU students ranked fifth among all public universities in National Science Foundation grants for graduate study and 11th among all universities, including the schools of the Ivy League. Among other things, the high achievement in this area of excellence points to consistently strong advising and support, a logical outcome of Barrett (Arizona State University's honor college) investing more in honors staff than any other honors program that" Public University Honors reviewed.

Arizona State is ranked 5th in the nation by The Wall Street Journal for best qualified graduates.[88] For its efforts to be a national leader in campus sustainability, ASU was named one of the top 20 "cool schools" by the Sierra Club in 2009,[89] was named to the "Green Honor Roll" by the Princeton Review,[90] and earned an "A-" grade on the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card.[91]

Several of ASU's colleges and schools also appear among the top of the US News & World Report rankings, including the 30th-ranked also earned high rankings.

ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has been ranked in the top 10 for journalism Schools by various publications and organizations over the last decade. The most recent rankings (2012) include: NewsPro (6th), Quality Education and Jobs (6th), and International Student (1st).[103][104][105] In 2011, ASU was included in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) list as the 21st best school in the world for biological sciences.

Research and Institutes

ASU consistently ranks among the top 20 universities—without a traditional medical school—for research expenditures. It shares this designation with schools such as: Caltech, Georgia Tech, MIT, Purdue, Rockefeller, UC-Berkeley, and University of Texas at Austin.[106] ASU is classified as a “RU/VH: Research University (very high research activity)” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university has tripled research expenditures since 2002 and now receives more than $385 million annually. Like its research budget, the university's endowment continues to grow and now exceeds $500 million (2013).[107] ASU is a NASA designated national space-grant institute and a member of the Universities Research Association.

ASU is one of the nation's most successful universities in terms of creating start-up companies through research. The university attracted over $200 million in financing during 2012, aiding in the creation of more than 55 companies.[108] ASU ranks #2 in the nation for proprietary start-ups “created for every $10 million in research expenditures.” In 2013, ASU researchers were issued 47 patents, a significant increase over 2012 when 26 patents were granted.[109] ASU ranks 1st for Arizona Technology Transfers/Start-ups (AzTE) in fiscal year 2013: 14 AzTE Start-ups were created by all three state universities ( which include Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona) and ASU accounted for 11 of those technology firms.[110] According to the Switzerland based University Business Incubator (UBI) Index for 2013, ASU is one of the top universities in the world for business incubation, ranking 17th out of the top 25. ASU is one of only 14 universities and institutes to make the list from the United States and the only university representing Arizona.[111] UBI reviewed 550 universities and associated business incubators from around the world using an assessment framework that takes more than 50 performance indicators into consideration.[112] As an example, one of ASU's spin-offs (Heliae Development, LLC) raised more than $28 million in venture capital in 2013 alone.[113]

The university's push to create various institutes has led to greater funding and an increase in the number of researchers in multiple fields. Among the most notable and famed institutes at ASU are: The Biodesign Institute, Institute of Human Origins, L. William Seidman Research Institute (W.P. Carey School of Business), Global Institute of Sustainability, Learning Sciences Institute, Herberger Research Institute, Hispanic Research Center, and the International Institute for Species Exploration. Much of the research conducted at ASU is considered cutting edge with its focus on interdisciplinarity.[114] The Biodesign Institute for instance, conducts research on issues such as biomedical and healthcare outcomes as part of a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to diagnose and treat rare diseases, including cancer.[115] Biodesign Institute researchers have also developed various techniques for reading and detecting biosignatures which expanded in 2006 with an $18 million grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health.[116] The institute also is heavily involved in sustainability research, primarily through reuse of CO2 via biological feedback and various biomasses (e.g. algae) to synthesize clean biofuels. Heliae is a Biodesign Institute spin-off and much of its business centers on Algal-derived, high value products.[117] Furthermore, the institute is heavily involved in security research including technology that can detect biological and chemical changes in the air and water. The university has received more than $30.7 million in funding from the Department of Defense for adapting this technology for use in detecting the presence of biological and chemical weapons.[118]

World renowned scholars have been integral to the successes of the various institutes associated with the university. ASU students and researchers have been selected as Marshall, Truman, Rhodes, and Fulbright Scholars with the university ranking 4th for total recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in the 2012-2013 academic year.[119] ASU faculty includes Nobel Laureates, Royal Society members, National Academy members, and members of the National Institutes of Health, to name a few.[120] ASU Professor Donald Johanson, who discovered the 3.18 million year old fossil hominid Lucy (Australopithecus) in Ethiopia, established the Institute of Human Origins (IHO) in 1981. The institute was first established in Berkeley, California and later moved to ASU in 1997.[121] As one of the leading research organization in the United States devoted to the science of human origins, IHO pursues a transdisciplinary strategy for field and analytical paleoanthropological research.[122] The Herberger Institute Research Center supports the scholarly inquiry, applied research and creative activity of more than 400 faculty and 4,373 students.[123] The renowned ASU Art Museum, Herberger Institute Community Programs, urban design, and other outreach and initiatives in the arts community round out the research and creative activities of the Herberger Institute. Among well known professors within the Herberger Institute is Johnny Saldaña of the School of Theatre and Film. Saldaña received the 1996 Distinguished Book Award and the prestigious Judith Kase Cooper Honorary Research Award, both from the American Alliance for Theatre Education (AATE).[124] The Global Institute of Sustainability is the center of ASU's initiatives focusing on practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. The institute has partnered with various cities, universities, and organizations from around the world to address issues affecting the global community.[125]

ASU is also involved with NASA in the field of space exploration. In order to meet the needs of NASA programs, ASU built the LEED Gold Certified, 298,000-square-foot Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4) at a cost of $110 million in 2012.[126] The building includes space for the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) and includes labs and other facilities for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.[127] One of the main projects at ISTB 4 includes the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES).[128] Although ASU built the spectrometers aboard the Martian rovers Spirit and Opportunity, OTES will be the first major scientific instrument completely designed and built at ASU for a NASA space mission.[129] Phil Christensen, the principal investigator for the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), is a Regents' Professor at ASU.[130] He also serves as the principal investigator for the Mars Odyssey THEMIS instruments, as well as co-investigator for the Mars Exploration Rovers. ASU scientists are responsible for the Mini-TES instruments aboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. The Center for Meteorite Studies, which is home to rare Martian meteorites and exotic fragments from space, and the Mars Space Flight Facility are both located on ASU's Tempe campus.[131][132]

The Army Research Laboratory extended funding for the Arizona State University Flexible Display Center (FDC) in 2009 with a $50 million grant.[133] The university has partnered with the Pentagon on such endeavors since 2004 with an initial $43.7 million grant. The university’s FDC built the world’s largest flexible screen color organic light emitting display (OLED) prototype using advanced mixed oxide thin-film transistors (TFTs).[134] The technology delivers high-performance while remaining cost-effective during the manufacturing process. Vibrant colors, high switching speeds for video and reduced power consumption are some of the features the center has been able to successfully integrate into the technology. In 2012 ASU successfully eliminated the need for specialized equipment and processing, thereby reducing costs compared to competitive approaches.[135]


ASU's faculty and students are served by two dedicated general-topic libraries: Hayden Library,[136] which is the largest of the ASU libraries and is located on the Tempe campus, and Fletcher Library, located on the West campus. In addition, the Ross-Blakley Law Library and the Noble Science Library are housed in dedicated facilities on the Tempe campus. Music and Architecture collections are housed in facilities within the schools of Music and Architecture, respectively. Smaller library facilities are also located on the Polytechnic and Downtown campuses.[137]

As of 2009, ASU's libraries held 4.4 million volumes.[138] In total, there are 7 libraries that service the university community. The Arizona State University library system is ranked the 34th largest research library in the United States and Canada, according to criteria established by the Association of Research Libraries that measures various aspects of quality and size of the collection.[139] The University continues to grow its rare special collections, such as the recent addition of a privately held collection of manuscripts by poet Rubén Darío.[140]

Hayden Library is located on Cady Mall in the center of the Tempe campus.[141] It opened in 1966 and serves as the library system's reference, periodical, and administrative center and houses the most extensive special collections in ASU’s library system.[136] An expansion in 1989 created the subterranean entrance underneath Hayden Lawn and is attached to the above ground portion of the original library. There are two floors underneath Hayden Lawn with a landmark known as the "Beacon of Knowledge" rising form the center. The beacon is lit at night by the underground library’s lights.

The 2013 Capital Improvement Plan, approved by the Arizona Board of Regents, incorporates a $35 million repurposing and renovation project for Hayden Library.[142] The moat area that is currently open air and serves as an outdoor study space will be enclosed in order to increase indoor space for the library. Along with increasing space and renovating the facility, the front entrance of Hayden Library will be rebuilt.


As of April 2013, ASU is the only institution of higher education in the United States to generate over 20 megawatts (MW) of electricity from solar arrays; an increase over the June 2012 total of 15.3 MW.[143][144] ASU has 72 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations across all four campuses. The largest concentration of solar PV installations are on the Tempe campus, producing over 12.8 MW.[145]

Additionally, there are six wind turbines installed on the roof of the Global Institute of Sustainability building on the Tempe campus that have been in operation since October 2008. Under normal conditions, the six turbines produce enough electricity to power approximately 36 computers.[146]

ASU's School of Sustainability is the first school in the United States dedicated to exploring the principles of sustainability. The School was established in spring 2007 and began enrolling undergraduates in fall 2008. ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability is part of the School of Sustainability.[147] ASU is also home to the Sustainability Consortium which was founded by Jay Golden in 2009.[148]

The School of Sustainability has been essential in establishing the university as "a leader in the academics of sustainable business." The university is widely considered to be one of the most ambitious and principled organizations when it comes to embedding sustainable practices into its operating model.[149] The university has embraced several challenging sustainability benchmarks.[150] Among the numerous benchmarks outlined in the university's prospectus, is the creation of a large recycling and composting operation that by 2015, will eliminate 90% of the solid waste generated by all on-campus activities.[151] This endeavor will be aided by educating students about the benefits of avoiding overconsumption that contributes to excessive waste. Sustainability courses have been expanded to attain this goal and many of the university's individual colleges and schools have integrated such material into their lectures and courses.[152][153] Second, ASU is on track to reduce its rate of water consumption by 50%. The university's most aggressive benchmark is to be the first, large research university to achieve carbon neutrality as it pertains to its Scope 1, 2 and non-transportation Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.[149]


Maroon and Gold

Gold is the oldest color associated with Arizona State University and dates back to 1896 when the school was named the Tempe Normal School.[154] Maroon and white were later added to the color scheme in 1898. Gold signifies the “golden promise” of ASU. The promise includes every student receiving a valuable educational experience. Gold also signifies the sunshine Arizona is famous for; including the power of the sun and its influence on the climate and the economy. The first uniforms worn by athletes associated with the university were black and white when the “Normals” were the name of the athletic teams. The student section, known as The Inferno, wears gold on game days.[155]

Mascot and Spirit Squad

Main article: Sparky the Sun Devil

Sparky the Sun Devil is the mascot of Arizona State University and was named by vote of the student body on November 8, 1946.[156] Sparky often travels with the team across the country and has been at every football bowl game in which the university has participated in. The university's mascot is not to be confused with the university’s new emblem and logo, The Trident, colloquially referred to as the fork or the pitchfork which is a hand gesture used by those associated with the university. The new logo and emblem are used on various university property, sport facilities, uniforms and documents.[157] Arizona State Teacher’s College had a different mascot and the sports teams were known as the Owls and later, the Bulldogs. When the school was first established, the Tempe Normal School’s teams were simply known as the Normals.[158] Sparky is visible on the sidelines of every home game played in Sun Devil Stadium or other ASU athletic facilities. His routine at football games includes pushups after every touchdown scored by the Sun Devils. He is aided by Sparky's Crew, male yell leaders that must meet physical requirements in order to participate as members. The female members are known as the Spirit Squad and are categorized into a dance line and spirit line. They are the official squad that represents ASU. The spirit squad competes every year at the ESPN Universal Dance Association (UDA) College Nationals in the Jazz and Hip-Hop categories. They were chosen by the UDA to represent the USA at the World Dance Championship 2013 in the Jazz category.[159] Currently, ASU's varsity intercollegiate cheerleading team is not allowed to participate at athletic events (e.g. football and basketball games) due to dismissal regarding prior misconduct.[160] ASU Cheerleading has since become a club sport, through the Student Recreation Center, competing locally and nationally as a Collegiate Co-Ed Division IA-Level VI team. They have reestablished their commitment to excellence, winning various championships.[161] The team has a strict code of conduct and is seeking reinstatement from the university to participate at athletic events.[162]

“A” Mountain

Main article: Tempe Butte

A letter has existed on the slope of the mountain since 1918. A "T" followed by an "N" were the first letters to grace the landmark. Tempe Butte, home to "A" Mountain, has had the "A" installed on the slope of its south face since 1938 and is visible from campus just to the south. The original "A" was destroyed by vandals in 1952 with pipe bombs and a new "A", constructed of reinforced concrete, was built in 1955.[163] The vandals were never identified but many speculate that the conspirators were students from the rival in-state university (University of Arizona). Many ancient Hohokam petroglyphs were destroyed by the bomb; nevertheless, many of these archeological sites around the mountain remain. There are many traditions surrounding "A" Mountain, including a revived "guarding of the 'A'" in which students camp on the mountainside before games with rival schools.[164] "Whitewashing" of the "A" is a tradition in which incoming freshmen paint the letter white during orientation week.[165] After the painting of the "A", new students learn the history of ASU and its other traditions.

Lantern Walk and Homecoming

The Lantern Walk is one of the oldest traditions at ASU and dates back to 1917.[166] It is considered one of ASU’s “most cherished” traditions and is an occasion used to mark the work of those associated with ASU throughout history. Anyone associated with ASU is free to participate in the event, including students, alumni, faculty, employees, and friends. This differs slightly from the original tradition in which the seniors would carry lanterns up "A" Mountain followed by the freshman. The senior class president would describe ASU's traditions and the freshman would repeat an oath of allegiance to the university. It was described as a tradition of "good will between the classes" and a way of ensuring new students would continue the university's traditions with honor. In modern times, the participants walk through campus and follow a path up to “A” Mountain in order to “light up” Tempe. Keynote speakers, performances, and other events are used to mark the occasion. The night is culminated with a fireworks display. The Lantern Walk was held after the Spring Semester (June) but is now held the week before Homecoming, a tradition that dates back to 1924 at ASU. It is held in the fall and in conjunction with a football game.[167]

Victory Bell

Arizona State University reintroduced the tradition of ringing a bell after each win for the football team in 2012.[168] The ROTC cadets associated with the university are responsible for the transportation of the bell to various events and for ringing the bell after games are won by the Sun Devils. The first Victory Bell, in various forms, was used in the 1930s but the tradition faded in the 1970s when the bell in use was removed from Memorial Union for renovations.[169] The bell cracked and was no longer capable of ringing. That bell is located on the southeast corner of Sun Devil Stadium near the entrance to the student section. That bell, gifted to the university in the late 1960s, is painted gold and is a campus landmark today.

Sun Devil Marching Band, Devil Walk and Songs of the University

The Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band, created in 1915 and known as the Pride of the Southwest, was the first of only two marching bands in the Pac-12 to be awarded the prestigious Sudler Trophy.[170] The John Philip Sousa Foundation awarded the band the trophy in 1991. The Sun Devil Marching Band remains one of only 28 bands in the nation to have earned the designation. The band performs at every football game played in Sun Devil Stadium. Smaller ensembles of band members perform at other sport venues including basketball games at Wells Fargo Arena and baseball games at Packard Stadium. The Devil Walk is held in Wells Fargo Arena by the football team and involves a more formal introduction of the players to the community; a new approach to the tradition added in 2012 with the arrival of head coach Todd Graham.[171] It begins 2 hours and 15 minutes prior to the game and allows the players to establish rapport with the fans. The walk ends as the team passes the band and fans lined along the path to Sun Devil Stadium. The most recognizable songs played by the band are Alma Mater and ASU’s fight songs titled Maroon and Gold and the Al Davis Fight Song. Alma Mater was composed by former Music Professor and Director of Sun Devil Marching Band (then known as Bulldog Marching Band), Miles A. Dresskell, in 1937.[172] Maroon and Gold was authored by former Director of Sun Devil Marching Band, Felix E. McKernan, in 1948. The Al Davis Fight Song (also known as Go, Go Sun Devils and Arizona State University Fight Song) was composed by ASU alumnus Albert Oliver Davis in the 1940s without any lyrics. Recently lyrics were added to the song.[173]

Student life

Extracurricular programs

Arizona State University has an active extracurricular involvement program (Sun Devil Involvement Center).[174] Located on the 3rd floor of the Memorial Union,[175] the Sun Devil Involvement Center (SDIC) provides opportunities for student involvement through clubs, sororities, fraternities, community service, leadership, student government, and co-curricular programming.[176]

Changemaker Central is student-run centralized resource hub for student involvement in social entrepreneurship, civic engagement, service learning and community service that catalyzes student-driven social change. Changemaker Central locations have opened on all campuses in Fall 2011, providing flexible, creative workspaces for everyone in the ASU community. The project is entirely student run and advances ASU’s institutional commitments to social embeddedness and entrepreneurship. The space allows students to meet, work and join new networks and collaborative enterprises while taking advantage of ASU’s many resources and opportunities for engagement.[177] Changemaker Central has signature programs, including Innovation Challenge and 10,000 Solutions, that support students in their journey to become changemakers by creating communities of support around new solutions/ideas and increasing access to early stage seed funding.[178] The Innovation Challenge seeks undergraduate and graduate students from across the university who are dedicated to making a difference in our local and global communities through innovation. Students can win up to $10,000 to make their innovative project, prototype, venture or community partnership ideas happen.[179] The 10,000 Solutions Project leverages the power of collaborative imagination and innovation to create a solutions bank. As an experimental problem solving platform, the project showcases and collects ideas at scale with local and global impact. The 10,000 Solutions Project aims to see what can be accomplished when passionate people join a collaborative community that builds upon each other’s innovative ideas.[180]

In addition to Changemaker Central, the Freshman Year Residential Experience (FYRE) and the Greek community (Greek Life) at Arizona State University have been important in binding students to the university, and providing social outlets. The Freshman Year Residential Experience at Arizona State University was developed to improve the freshman experience at Arizona State University and increase student retention figures. FYRE provides advising, computer labs, free walk-in tutoring, workshops, and classes for students. In 2003, U.S. News and World Report ranked FYRE as the 23rd best first year program in the nation. ASU is also home to one of the nation's first and fastest growing gay fraternities, Sigma Phi Beta, founded in 2003;[181] considered a sign of the growing university's commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion.

The second Eta chapter of Phrateres, a non-exclusive, non-profit social-service club, was installed here in 1958. Between 1924 and 1967, 23 chapters of Phrateres were installed in universities across North America.

Student media

The State Press is a daily paper published on Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters, and weekly during the summer sessions. The State Press covers news and events on all four ASU campuses. Student editors and managers are solely responsible for the content of the State Press newspaper and its associated website. These publications are overseen by an independent board and guided by a professional adviser employed by the University.

The Downtown Devil is another student-run newspaper with an associated website for the Downtown Phoenix Campus, produced by students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.[182]

ASU has two radio stations. KASC The Blaze 1330 AM, is a broadcast station that is owned and funded by the Cronkite School of Journalism, and is completely student-run save for a faculty and professional adviser. The Blaze broadcasts local, alternative and independent music 24 hours a day, and also features news and sports updates at the top and bottom of every hour.[183] W7ASU is an amateur radio station that was first organized in 1935. W7ASU has about 30 members that enjoy amateur radio, and is primarily a contesting club.[184]

Student government

Associated Students of Arizona State University (ASASU) is the student government at Arizona State University.[185] It is composed of the Undergraduate Student Government and the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA). Members and officers of ASASU are elected annually by the student body.

The Residence Hall Association (RHA) of Arizona State University is the student government for every ASU student living on-campus. Each ASU campus has an RHA that operates independently of each other. The purpose of RHA is to enhance the quality of residence hall life and provide a cohesive voice for the residents by addressing the concerns of the on-campus populations to university administrators and other campus organizations; providing cultural, diversity, educational, and social programming; establishing and working with individual hall councils.


Arizona State University's Division I athletic teams are called the Sun Devils, which is also the nickname used to refer to students and alumni of the university. They compete in the Pac-12 Conference in 20 varsity sports. Historically, the university has highly performed in men's, women's, and mixed archery; men's, women's, and mixed badminton; women's golf; women's swimming and diving; baseball; and football. Arizona State University's NCAA Division I-A program competes in 9 varsity sports for men and 11 for women. ASU's current athletic director is Steve Patterson, who was appointed to the position in 2012 after Lisa Love, the former Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Southern California, was relieved of her duties.[186] Love was responsible for the hiring of coaches Herb Sendek, the men's basketball coach, and Dennis Erickson, the men's football coach.[187] Erickson was fired in 2011 and replaced by Todd Graham.[188]

ASU has won 23 national collegiate team championships in the following sports: baseball (5), men's golf (2), women's golf (7), men's gymnastics (1), softball (2), men's indoor track (1), women's indoor track (2), men's outdoor track (1), women's outdoor track (1), and wrestling (1).[189]

In September 2009 criticism over the seven-figure salaries earned by various coaches at Arizona's public universities (including ASU) prompted the Arizona Board of Regents to re-evaluate the salary and benefit policy for athletic staff.[190] With the 2011 expansion of the Pacific-12 Conference, a new $3 billion contract for revenue sharing among all the schools in the conference was established.[191] With the infusion of funds, the salary issue and various athletic department budgeting issues at ASU were addressed. The Pac-12's new media contract with ESPN allowed ASU to hire a new coach in 2012. A new salary and bonus package (maximum bonus of $2.05 million) was instituted and is one of the most lucrative in the conference.[192] ASU also plans to expand its athletic facilities with a public-private investment strategy to create an amateur sports district that can accommodate the Pan American Games and operate as an Olympic Training Center.[193] The athletic district will include a $300 million renovation of Sun Devil Stadium that will include new football facilities.[194] The press box and football offices in Sun Devil Stadium were remodeled in 2012.[195]

Arizona State Sun Devils football was founded in 1897 under coach Fred Irish.[196] Currently, the team has played in the 2012 Fight Hunger Bowl, the 2011 Las Vegas bowl, and the 2007 Holiday Bowl. The Sun Devils played in the 1997 Rose Bowl and won the Rose Bowl in 1987. The team has appeared in the Fiesta Bowl in 1983, 1977, 1975, 1973, 1972, and 1971 winning 5 of 6. In 1970 and 1975 they were champions of the NCAA Division I FBS National Football Championship. The Sun Devils were Pac-12 Champions in 1986, 1996, and 2007. Altogether, the football team has 17 Conference Championships and has participated in a total of 26 bowl games as of 2012.

The university also participates in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and is billed as the top program within that league.[197] Beginning in 2013, ASU will be a founding member of the new Western Collegiate Hockey League (WCHL). ASU Sun Devils Hockey will compete with NCAA Division 1 schools for the first time in 2012, largely due to the success of the program.[198]



Arizona State University has produced over 300,000 alumni worldwide.[199] The university has produced many notable figures over its 125-year history, including: U.S. Senator Carl Hayden (who was instrumental in the growth of Central Arizona including the metropolitan regions of Phoenix and Tucson), Barry Goldwater, Jr., and Silver Star recipient, Pat Tillman. Other notable alumni include current U.S. Congressional Representatives Ed Pastor, Harry Mitchell, Kyrsten Sinema (the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress), among others; Eric Crown, CEO and co-founder of Insight Enterprises, Inc.; Ira A. Fulton, philanthropist and founder of Fulton Homes; Craig Weatherup, former Chairman of PepsiCo; Kate Spade, namesake and co-Founder of Kate Spade New York; Larry Carter, CFO of Cisco Systems; and Scott Smith, former businessman and current mayor of the City of Mesa. ASU's contributions to sport include numerous Hall of Famers, among them: Phil Mickelson (golf), Danny White (football), and Reggie Jackson (baseball).

Famous celebrities include: actor David Spade; actress and singer Lynda Carter; actor Tyler Hoechlin from MTV's Teen Wolf; and national TV host Steve Allen. Influential writers and novelists include: Allison Dubois, whose novels and work with various law enforcement agencies inspired the TV miniseries Medium; novelist Amanda Brown; author, speaker and spiritual teacher Howard Falco; filmmaker and screenwriter John Hughes, who is responsible for various Hollywood blockbusters (e.g. National Lampoon's Vacation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Beethoven, Uncle Buck, Career Opportunities, 101 Dalmatians, and the Home Alone series); and best-selling author and Doctor of Animal Science Temple Grandin, whose work inspired the film, Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes. Journalists and commentators include: Al Michaels, NBC Sports' play-by-play commentator including the National Football League's broadcast of Monday Night Football and Jerry Dumas, writer, essayist, cartoonist, and a columnist for the Greenwich Time and best known for his Sam and Silo comic strip. Among American research universities, Arizona State is ranked 4th for total recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in the 2012-2013 academic year.[119] ASU has made this list for more than 9 consecutive years. ASU alumni and students are also noted for their service to the community and have officially been recognized as a top university for contributing to the public good.[200] The Arizona State University Alumni Association is located on the Tempe campus in Old Main. The Alumni Association is responsible for continuing many of the traditions of the university.


ASU faculty have included former CNN host Aaron Brown, meta-analysis developer Gene V. Glass, feminist and author Gloria Feldt, physicist Paul Davies, and Pulitzer Prize winner and The Ants author Bert Hölldobler. Donald Johanson, who discovered the 3.18 million year old fossil hominid Lucy (Australopithecus) in Ethiopia, is also a professor at ASU, as well as George Poste, Chief Scientist for the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative.[201] Current Nobel laureate faculty include Leland Hartwell,[202] and Edward C. Prescott.[203] On June 12, 2012 Elinor Ostrom, ASU's third Nobel laureate, died at the age of 78.

ASU faculty's achievements as of 2012 include:[120]


^ a: Campus enrollment figures at ASU are defined by the number of students taking at least one course offered by a department housed on a particular campus. Students who are enrolled in classes on more than one campus (estimated to be 27,484) are counted within each campus's total.

^ b: ASU is the largest research university in the US under a single administration (one President, Provost, VPs, etc.). In addition ASU's Tempe campus is one of the largest single university campus in the US.


External links

  • Official athletics website
  • ASU Chronology

Coordinates: 33°25′02″N 111°56′11″W / 33.417195°N 111.936511°W / 33.417195; -111.936511

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