This collection contains audio tapes and transcripts documenting the experiences of key administrators and faculty from San
José State University. The oral histories described reflect the changes in campus governance, curriculum, and student life
from 1952 to the present.
San José State University (SJSU) has the distinction of being the oldest public institution of higher education on the West
Coast. The early history of SJSU began in 1857 in San Francisco with the formation of the Minns’ Evening Normal School. The
Minns’ Evening Normal School provided the foundation for the formation of the first California State Normal School in 1862
and firmly established the college and university system in the state. In 1870 the campus moved from San Francisco to San
San José State University’s name has evolved along with the institution. In 1921 San José State Normal School became San José
State Teachers College, later renamed San José State College in 1935, later renamed California State University, San José
in 1972 when it achieved university status, and finally, San José State University in 1974. From its beginnings as a normal
school to train teachers for the developing frontier, SJSU has matured into a metropolitan university offering more than 134
bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations. The California State University system is the direct descendant of
the San José Normal School.
The SJSU Special Collections & Archives received a generous donation from Hobert W. Burns, former Academic Vice President,
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, to sponsor the San José State University (SJSU) Oral History Project. This donation provided
the funding needed to interview key administrators, faculty and staff. These interviews document the history of the university
from 1952 to the present, and provide a rich array of personal accounts of student and campus life, faculty and university
governance and policymaking.
Copyright has been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission
to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication
is given on behalf of the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items
and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.