You are here

1950 - 1959

The 50s

Our Story Begins

Our story begins in 1949, with the passage of Assembly Bill Number 8, signed by Gov. Earl Warren. The bill calls for the "urgent" need for the "establishment of a state college" to serve the rapidly expanding post-World War II population of Los Angeles and Orange counties. 

A selection commitee is established to find a location for the new college. The committee independently ranks their choices from one to 15, and all agree on their first choice: a 320-acre site set on a hill on the outskirts of Long Beach. 

First President

Dr. P. Victor Peterson is named president of the new college in 1949, and is tasked with leading the new organizaiton through its emerging phase. 

Dr. P Peterson
Dr. P. Victor Peterson

"This has been a grand year and my sincere thanks go out to the many citizens and organizations of this great community; to the members of the State, county and local boards and departments of education; to the members of the State and local governments; to the local citizens of this great commonwealth; and to the students and faculty of this college for their support, guidance, and inspiration. It is our sincere hope that this spectacular beginning may bring forth one of the truly great educational institutions of the country."
- President Peterson

First Day of Class

Los Angeles-Orange County State College opens its doors on Sept. 27, 1949 with 169 enrolled students and 13 full-time faculty in a converted apartment building at 5401 E. Anaheim Street.

Converted apartment building

Classes are only offered to junior and senior students consisting mostly of women and veterans. The college offers 29 classes with an emphasis on Teacher Education, Business Education, and the Liberal Arts.

meeting of the student body

A Permanent Home and a First Renaming

In June 1950, the City of Long Beach, by vote of the people, authorizes the City Council to purchase a 320-acre tract of land. A plan is approved to use $1 million in oil money to purchase the site just east of the first temporary apartment site.  The land is deeded to the State to be the future home of the new college.

Having settled on a location upon donation of the new site by the people of Long Beach, the college is renamed to Long Beach State College (LBSC).

Dr. Peterson looks to the new campus layout
Dr. Peterson and the new campus site

Inaugural Master's Degrees

Eleven candidates are the first to receive their Master of Arts degree from LBSC on June 15, 1951.

Introduction of Lower-Division Classes

LBSC begins offering lower-division classes and admits the first class of freshman and sophomore students in Fall 1953. The freshman class consists of 114 students.

First Permanent Classrooms

Jan. 1, 1955 marks the end of LBSC's emerging stages as the first permanent buildings are occupied after two years of construction.

First permanent buildings occupied.

LBSC voted into the California Collegiate Athletic Association 

In the Fall of 1955tennis, basketball, track and golf enter the athletic conference.

First Freshman Class Graduates 

By June 1957, 34 members of the initial 114 freshman class graduate from LBSC. 

The 34 out of the 114 first freshman class that had enrolled four years before graduated from LBSC.

Inaugural Frosh Day

The first Frosh Day takes place in the Fall of 1957 and is coordinated by the Associated Students as an orientation program for new incoming students. More than 225 freshmen attend the day-long event. New students get a chance to familiarize themselves with academic standards, campus activities, and student government. 

Over 225 freshmen attended the very first 'Frosh Day' event.

First Dormitories Open

The first dormitories are finished by September 1958 to be used the following year by students, shifting the campus from being strictly a "commuter campus" to a resident college.

President "Pete" Retires

When President Peterson begins his tenure in 1949, the inaugural 169 students are taking classes in converted apartment buildings. By the time he leaves in 1959, nearly 10,000 students are attending classes on the expanding Long Beach State College campus. 

A Second President

Carl W. McIntosh becomes LBSC's second president in Fall 1959

president Carl McIntosh
President McIntosh