ASU at 50

Celebrating a Crucial Turning Point in University History

On Dec. 5, 1958, Arizona Gov. Ernest McFarland signed a proclamation announcing the change of Arizona State College’s name to Arizona State University, following the passage of a ballot initiative, Proposition 200, which mandated the name change.

The proclamation came after years of academic preparation by Arizona State’s faculty and staff, struggles in the state Legislature, and a vigorous campaign waged by ASU supporters on behalf of the ballot initiative.

During 2008, Arizona State celebrated its golden anniversary as a university, with special observances at the Founders’ Day Awards Dinner, Homecoming, and other signature events. ASU Magazine published a special issue in March 2008 that provided details on the battle to recognize Arizona State as a university and the tremendous development that the institution has undergone in the half-century since that time.