Colorado State University
|Colorado Agricultural College (1870–1935)
Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (1935–1957)
|Endowment||US $284.4 million|
|Students||33,198 (Fall 2016)|
|Undergraduates||25,622 (Fall 2015)|
|Postgraduates||7,458 (Fall 2015)|
|Location||Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.
|Colors||Green and Gold
|Mascot||CAM the Ram|
|NCAA Division I – Mountain West|
Colorado State University (also referred to as Colorado State and CSU) is a public research university located in Fort Collins, in the U.S. state of Colorado. The university is the state's land grant university, and the flagship university of the Colorado State University System.
The current[update] enrollment is approximately 32,236 students, including resident and non-resident instruction students and the University is planning on having 35,000 students by 2020. The university has approximately 1,540 faculty in eight colleges and 55 academic departments. Bachelor's degrees are offered in 65 fields of study, with master's degrees in 55 fields. Colorado State confers doctoral degrees in 40 fields of study, in addition to a professional degree in veterinary medicine.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early years
- 1.2 Turn of the 20th century
- 1.3 President Charles Lory
- 1.4 From World War II into the modern era
- 2 Campus
- 3 Organization
- 4 Academic programs
- 4.1 Facts and figures
- 4.2 Academic colleges
- 4.2.1 College of Agricultural Sciences
- 4.2.2 College of Health and Human Sciences
- 4.2.3 College of Business
- 4.2.4 College of Engineering
- 4.2.5 College of Liberal Arts
- 4.2.6 Warner College of Natural Resources
- 4.2.7 College of Natural Sciences
- 4.2.8 College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
- 4.3 Institutes and Centers
- 4.4 Rankings
- 4.5 Notable areas of research
- 4.6 International programs
- 4.7 Honors Program
- 5 Athletics
- 6 Student life
- 7 Notable alumni
- 8 Notable faculty
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
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Colorado State University is a land-grant institution classified as a Carnegie Doctoral/RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity). CSU was founded as Colorado Agricultural College in 1870, six years before the Colorado Territory gained statehood. It was one of 68 land-grant colleges established under the Morrill Act of 1862. Doors opened to a freshman class of 1 student in 1879.
Arising from the Morrill Act, the act to create the university was signed by the Colorado Territory governor Edward M. McCook in 1870. However, during its first years the university existed only on paper. While a board of 12 trustees was formed to "purchase and manage property, erect buildings, establish basic rules for governing the institutions and employ buildings," the near complete lack of funding by the territorial legislature for this mission severely hampered progress.
The first 30-acre (120,000 m2) parcel of land for the campus was deeded in 1871 by Robert Dazell. In 1872, the Larimer County Land Improvement Company contributed a second 80-acre (320,000 m²) parcel. The first $1000 to erect buildings was finally allocated by the territorial legislature in 1874. The funds were not, however, and trustees were required to find a matching amount, which they eventually obtained from local citizens and businesses.
Among the institutions which donated matching funds was the local Grange, which was heavily involved in the early establishment of the university. As part of this effort, in the spring of 1874 Grange No. 6 held a picnic and planting event at the corner of College Avenue and West Laurel Street, and later plowed and seeded 20 acres (80,000 m²) of wheat on a nearby field. Within several months, the university's first building, a 16-foot (4.9 m)-by-24-foot red brick building nicknamed the "Claim Shanty" was finished, providing the first tangible presence of the institution in Fort Collins.
After Colorado achieved statehood in 1876, the territorial law establishing the college was required to be reauthorized. In 1877, the state legislature created the eight-member State Board of Agriculture to govern the school. Early in the 21st century, the governing board was renamed the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System. The legislature also authorized a railroad right-of-way across the campus and a mill levy to raise money for construction of the campus' first main building, Old Main, which was completed in December 1878. Despite wall cracks and other structural problems suffered during its first year, the building was opened in time for the welcoming of the first five students on September 1, 1879 by university president Elijah Evan Edwards. Enrollment grew to 25 by 1880.
During Colorado Agricultural College's first term in fall 1879, the school functioned more as a college-prep school than a college because of the lack of trained students. Consequently, the first course offerings were arithmetic, English, U.S. history, natural philosophy, horticulture and farm economy. Students also labored on the college farm and attended daily chapel services. The spring term provided the first true college-level instruction. Despite his accomplishments, Edwards resigned in spring 1882 because of conflicts with the State Board of Agriculture, a young faculty member, and with students. The board's next appointee as president was Charles Ingersoll, a graduate and former faculty member at Michigan Agricultural College, who began his nine years of service at CAC with just two full-time faculty members and 67 students, 24 of whom were women.
President Charles Ingersoll
Agricultural research would grow rapidly under Ingersoll. The Hatch Act of 1887 provided federal funds to establish and maintain experiment stations at land-grant colleges. Ainsworth Blount, CAC's first professor of practical agriculture and manager of the College Farm, had become known as a "one man experiment station", and the Hatch Act expanded his original station to five Colorado locations. The curriculum expanded as well, introducing coursework in engineering, animal science, and liberal arts. New faculty members brought expertise in botany, horticulture, entomology, and irrigation engineering. CAC made its first attempts at animal science during 1883–84, when it hired veterinary surgeon George Faville. Faville conducted free weekly clinics for student instruction and treatment of local citizen's diseased or injured animals. Veterinary science at the college languished for many years following Faville's departure in 1886.
President Ingersoll believed the school neglected special programs for women. Despite the reluctance of the institution's governing board, CAC began opening the door to liberal arts in 1885, and by Ingersoll's last year at CAC the college had instituted a "Ladies Course" that offered junior and senior women classes in drawing, stenography and typewriting, foreign languages, landscape gardening and psychology. Ingersoll's belief in liberal yet practical education conflicted with the narrower focus of the State Board of Agriculture, and a final clash in April 1891 led to his resignation. In 1884, CAC would celebrate the commencement of its first three graduates.
Professor Louis G. Carpenter
One of the early notable professors was Louis George Carpenter (March 28, 1861 – September 12, 1935) who was happy to be called "Professor Carp." He was a college Professor and later the Dean of Engineering & Physics at Colorado State University formerly known as the Colorado Agricultural College. He was also an Engineer, Mathematician and an Irrigation and Consulting Engineer.
Carpenter was recruited by President Charles Ingersoll and accepted the chair of the Engineering & Physics Department of the then Colorado Agricultural College. It was there where he began the first organized and systematic college program for irrigation engineering. Those completing such instruction were awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Irrigation Engineering. In addition, Carpenter was a strong advocate to expand education opportunities to minorities and women. He helped promote and organize newly accredited degree programs despite opposition from those unwilling to change.
Carpenter declined the Presidency of that college (later university) in 1891 and several times during his tenure. Despite difficultly to enact change, he was significant in being able to help transform the farm focused college into a university of higher learning.
Carpenter was one of the foremost leading experts on irrigation systems. During his life he investigated irrigation systems not only in North America but also in Canada and Europe. This led to his engineering consulting and water law. He became Colorado's State Engineer which he held for several years while still teaching.
In 1911, Carpenter left academics and established an engineering consulting firm in Denver, Colorado. This covered not only included Irrigation Engineering but consulting on hydraulic construction projects and the problems associated with such projects. He did this traveling around Canada, the United States and Western Europe with his brother running the office until his retirement in 1922. He left many papers to the University and was given an honorary doctorate before his death in 1935.
Turn of the 20th century
Alston Ellis encountered limited funding and decided rapidly in 1895 to reduce the number of Experiment Stations. Female students grew in number from 44 in 1892 to 112 in 1896, and by fall 1895, the college's new domestic-economy program was in place. Football had a one-year stint at CAC in 1893, but Ellis was not a supporter of extracurricular activities and was especially hostile towards football.
Barton Aylesworth became the school's fourth president in 1899, and the combination of his non-confrontational style with the presence of the vocal Colorado Cattle and Horse Growers Association on the governing board allowed ranching and farming interests to take the college's agricultural programs to new heights, greatly influencing the development of the entire school. Initially, the influence of ranching interests brought tremendous progress to CAC's agricultural programs. Enrollment quadrupled, studies in veterinary medicine were re-established, and CAC's Experiment Station benefited from lobbying that finally secured state appropriations. Eventually, conflicts with agricultural interests may have prompted Aylesworth to begin promoting a more balanced curriculum at CAC, which he then fought hard to defend. The conflict also led him to tire and negotiate his resignation.
Aylesworth was a big supporter of extracurricular activities. Football returned to the college in fall 1899, but baseball was the school's most popular sport. In 1903, the women's basketball team won CAC's first unofficial athletic championship, culminating with a victory over the University of Colorado. New clubs, fraternities, and sororities also emerged. By 1905, the school had a fledgling music department, which two years later became the Conservatory of Music.
President Charles Lory
Taking office in 1909, CAC President Charles Lory oversaw the school's maturation and reconciled longstanding conflicts between supporters of a broad or specialized curriculum. He embarked on a demanding schedule of personal appearances to make Colorado Agricultural College known as an institution that served the state's needs. Another of Lory's notable achievements was putting the school on solid fiscal ground, meeting rising construction costs and freeing the institution of debt.
The onset of World War I influenced all aspects of CAC, but nowhere was the impact more apparent than in the institution's programs for farmers. World War I created demands for American agricultural products, and CAC established new food production committees, information services and cultivation projects to help improve food production and conservation in Colorado. World War I also drew men from campus to Europe's battlefields. In June 1916, the National Defense Act created the Reserve Officers Training Corps. A few months later CAC applied to establish an ROTC unit in Fort Collins and resurrected a defunct National Guard unit on campus.
During the early 1930s, CAC's community-wide activities were greatly influenced by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. The Extension Service organized relief programs for inhabitants of Eastern Colorado, of whom a survey found 20,000 to be urgently in need of food, and helped sustain cropland threatened by pests and drought. President Lory sought to help Colorado farmers by pushing for major tax reforms to relieve them of high tax burdens, and played a significant role in a 1930s project that supplied irrigation water for agricultural development in Eastern Colorado.
Lory and the State Board had challenges of their own back on campus. In response to claims that the university was falling behind national standards, the board retired or demoted several senior professors and administrators deemed past the peak of their proficiency, and hired new doctorate-holding personnel while consolidating sections of lecture courses. A student petition led to the governing-board to change the college's name to more accurately reflect the diversity of its academic programs, and in 1935 the school became the Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, or Colorado A&M for short. After 31 years of leadership, President Lory announced his retirement in 1938.
From World War II into the modern era
Soon after Pearl Harbor, Colorado A&M began to look like a military post, with the college serving as many as 1,500 servicemen. New President Roy Green tried to prepare for the sudden departure of students and arrival of servicemen by improving ROTC facilities, and introducing military-training programs. Although servicemen filed onto campus, student enrollment at Colorado A&M, 1,637 in fall 1942, dropped to 701 by fall 1943, and female students outnumbered their male counterparts for the first time. When the war ceased in 1945, soldiers returning from Europe and the Pacific filled U.S. higher-education institutions. Nearly 1,040 students attended the college in fall 1946, and about 1,600 students enrolled by spring 1946. Close to 80 former "Aggies" died in World War II including football talent Lewis "Dude" Dent.
Colorado A&M becomes a university under Bill Morgan
Colorado A&M shed its image as a narrow technical college and became a university in appearance and title during the 1950s under president Bill Morgan. Providing adequate student housing for an increasing number of youth approaching college age and improving cramped instructional facilities were among the first tests of Morgan's leadership. He responded, and five new residence halls were completed between 1953–1957.
Academic offerings grew to include advanced degrees. The State Board of Agriculture approved a doctoral degree in civil engineering in 1951, and three years later allowed other qualified departments to offer doctorates. Morgan believed students earning this advanced degree should hold it from a university, and so began a campaign to change the name of Colorado A&M. In 1957, the Colorado General Assembly approved the new name of Colorado State University.
The 1960s: Student activism
Colorado State became a scene of intense student activism during the 1960s and early 1970s. The reduction of strict campus regulations for women was among the early targets of student activists, coming to the forefront in 1964 when a 21-year-old female student moved into unapproved off-campus housing to accommodate her late hours as editor of the student newspaper.
The civil-rights movement on campus also picked up momentum and visibility. In spring 1969, shortly before Morgan's retirement, Mexican-American and African-American student organizations presented a list of demands to university officials primarily urging increased recruitment of minority students and employees. The demonstrators' occupation of the Administration Building continued to the front lawn of Morgan's home. Students and university representatives took their concerns to state officials, but Colorado legislators rejected a subsequent university request for funds to support minority recruitment.
Anti-military protest took place in dramatic form at Colorado State from 1968–70. On March 5, 1968, several hundred students and faculty with anti-war sentiments marched to Fort Collins' downtown War Memorial and wiped blood on a placard tied to the memorial. Hecklers and blockaders created such a disturbance that police had to disperse the non-marchers. In May, 1970, as campus peace activists held the second day of a student strike in the gymnasium in response to the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the student deaths at Kent State University, one or more arsonists set Old Main ablaze, destroying the 92-year-old cornerstone of Colorado State.
The 2000s: CSU under President Penley
In his welcoming address for the fall 2007 semester, former CSU President Larry Edward Penley called for CSU to set the standard for the 21st century public land-grant research university. He has identified as the heart of this ideal the contribution to the prosperity and quality of life of the local and international community, in part through fostering relationships and collaborations with federal research partners, the business community and key industries. A part of this approach is Colorado State's new Supercluster research model, designed to utilize interdisciplinary, issue-based research on pressing global issues in which the university has particular expertise and connect research results to the marketplace. Initial Superclusters in infectious disease and in cancer research have been launched, and an upcoming clean energy Supercluster dovetails with an overall emphasis on campus sustainability. A wind farm is being built to power the main campus, and new residence halls have been constructed according to national green building standards. A sustainability advisory committee has been charged to coordinate green activities at Colorado State.
While maintaining historic ties to local agriculture, administration officials have also emphasized the desire to better connect with the local community. Currently, CSU is party to UniverCity, a multi-organization initiative that links the school with city government, community and business associations to expand and synchronize working relationships. Another goal set by the university is to improve undergraduate education. Essential tasks, according to Penley, are access and graduation rates, particularly for qualified low-income and minority students, and an education international in scope suited to a global economy.
Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, a mid-size city of approximately 142,000 residents at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The university's 583-acre (2.4 km2) main campus is located in central Fort Collins, and includes a 101-acre (0.41 km2) veterinary teaching hospital. CSU is also home to a 1,438-acre (5.8 km2) Foothills Campus, a 1,575-acre (6.4 km2) agricultural campus, and the 1,177-acre (4.8 km2) Pingree Park mountain campus. CSU utilizes 4,043 acres (16.4 km2) for research centers and Colorado State Forest Service stations outside of Larimer County.
At the heart of the CSU campus lies the Oval, an expansive green area 2,065 feet (629 m) around, lined with 65 American Elm trees. Designed in 1909, the Oval remains a center of activity and a major landmark at CSU. The Administration Building, constructed in 1924, faces the Oval from the south end, while several academic and administrative buildings occupy its perimeter. The Music Building, once the university library, currently houses the Institute for Learning and Teaching, which provides academic and career counseling as well as other student-focused programs. The music department moved to the University Center for the Arts upon its opening in 2008.
At the northwest corner of the Oval is Ammons Hall, formerly the women's recreational center and now home to the University Welcome Center. Just to the east of Ammons stands Guggenheim Hall, which currently houses the Department of Manufacturing Technology and Construction Management. The building was constructed in 1910 as a gift from U.S. Senator Simon F. Guggenheim to promote the study of home economics, and was recently renovated according to green building standards. Rounding out the Oval are the Weber Building, the Statistics Building, the Occupational Therapy Building, and Laurel Hall.
Another campus focal point is the main plaza, around which can be found Lory Student Center and Morgan Library, as well as several academic buildings. The Lory Student Center, named for former CSU president Charles Lory, houses Student Media, numerous organization offices, Student Government, and spaces to eat, drink and study. The Morgan Library was originally constructed in 1965 and named for former CSU president William E. Morgan. Following the flood of '97, this facility went through an extensive improvement project that included an addition to the main building and a renovation of the existing structure, with works completed in 1998. Current holdings include more than 2 million books, bound journals, and government documents. Morgan Library just finished a 13,000 square-foot addition called the Study Cube that will seat 80 additional patrons and is designed for 24-hour access. With a university issued ID card, students and staff will be able to access the Cube after hours. To accommodate, the Loan and Reserve desk will check out laptops and other accessories over night if checked out less than six hours prior to closing.
Colorado State University's oldest existing building is Spruce Hall, constructed in 1881. Originally a dormitory that played a vital role in the early growth of the school's student enrollment, Spruce now houses the Division of Continuing Education and the Office of Admissions. The newest academic building on campus is the Behavioral Science building, which was completed in summer 2010. Other recent projects include the 2006 Transit Center addition to the north end of Lory Student Center (certified LEED Gold), an expansion of the Student Recreation Center, and the new Computer Science Building, completed in 2008.
In 2008 CSU also opened its University Center for the Arts, located in the old Fort Collins High School. CSU purchased this historic building in 1995 and has since converted it into a new home for its programs in music, dance, theatre and the visual arts. The three-phase building project included a 318-seat University Theatre, a 100-seat Studio Theatre, and the 24,000 square-foot Runyon Music Hall, an adaptable rehearsal and performance space created out of the old high school gymnasium. The Center also houses the University Art Museum, the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, a 285-seat organ recital hall, and the 200-seat University Dance Theatre.
The James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital complex was constructed in 1979 and consists of four main buildings, the Main Hospital, the Horse and Food Animal Hospital, the Large Animal Isolation Facility, and the Raptor Facility. Located south of the main campus in Fort Collins, the Main Hospital is a full service hospital divided into small and large animal clinics that annually serve 19,000 small animals and 2,700 large animals from around the world.
The 1,705-acre (6.9 km2) Foothills Campus, located on northwest edge of Fort Collins, is home to the department of atmospheric sciences, as well as several research and outreach centers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Engineering Research Center, B.W. Pickett Equine Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the Animal Reproduction Biotechnology Lab can all be found at the Foothills Campus.
Colorado State University is a public land-grant institution and Carnegie Doctoral/Research University Extensive. The Board of Governors presides over the Colorado State University System, including the flagship campus in Fort Collins together with Colorado State University–Pueblo and the CSU–Global Campus. The Board consists of nine voting members appointed by the Governor of Colorado and confirmed by the Colorado State Senate, and four elected non-voting members. Voting members are community leaders from many fields, including agriculture, business, and public service. A student and faculty representative from each university act as non-voting Board members.
The current, and 14th president of Colorado State University is Anthony A. Frank. A 13-member Board of Governors oversees the Colorado State University System. Joe Zimlich, President and CEO of Bohemian Companies, serves as the current Chairman of the Board of Governors.
At its December 2008 public meeting, the Board of Governors of the CSU System decided it was in the best interest of all CSU System campuses to separate what had previously been a conjoined position of CSU System chancellor and CSU Fort Collins president. On May 5, 2009 Joe Blake was named the finalist for the chancellor position.
Colorado State offers 150 programs of study across 8 colleges and 55 departments. In addition to its notable programs in biomedical sciences, engineering, environmental science, agriculture, and human health and nutrition, CSU offers professional programs in disciplines including business, journalism, and construction management as well as in the liberal and performing arts, humanities, and social sciences. CSU also offers bachelor's degrees, graduate degrees, certificates, and badges online through Colorado State University Online, formally named the Division of Continuing Education.
Facts and figures
|Avg SAT Composite*||1140||1143||1142||1134||1131||1120|
|*(out of 1600)|
Colorado State employs a total of 1,540 faculty members, with 1,000 on tenure-track appointments. The student:faculty ratio is 17:1. CSU awarded 6,090 degrees in 2009–2010, including 4,336 bachelor's degrees, 1,420 master's degrees, 203 doctoral degrees, and 131 Doctor in Veterinary Medicine degrees. CSU's current president is Tony Frank.
College of Agricultural Sciences
Preparing students in land stewardship and natural resources, the College of Agricultural Sciences offers majors in traditional disciplines such as agronomy, animal science, and horticulture and Landscape Architecture, in addition to Organic Agriculture and Agribusiness degrees suited to contemporary developments. College facilities include greenhouses, farms, ranches, and an equine center. In conjunction with the School of Education, the College of Agricultural Sciences provides an interdisciplinary program that leads to a Bachelor of Science and a teaching license in Agricultural Education. The College offers master's degrees in Agricultural Education, Agricultural Extension Education, Integrated Resource Management, and the Peace Corps Masters International Program. The college-sponsored Specialty Crops Program aims to help local growers master production systems, and explore marketing opportunities for their specialty crops.
College of Health and Human Sciences
With programs in education, individual and family development, health, housing, or apparel/interior design and merchandising, studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences are human-centered, focused on social problems and quality of life issues. CHHS is one of the largest on campus with more than 4,000 undergraduate students and over 850 graduate students. Extension specialists, such as in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, provide valuable health, nutrition, and food safety information to the public. The Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory in the Department of Health and Exercise Science provides heart attack prevention evaluations to underserved populations, and the Center for Community Partnerships works with citizens with disabilities. The college also has a role in the new Colorado School of Public Health, to be jointly operated with UC Denver Health Sciences Center and the University of Northern Colorado.
College of Business
Colorado State University's College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with six concentrations: Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Finance, Marketing, Organization and Innovation Management, and Real Estate. Colorado State's on-campus Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offers several distinctive degrees. The Computer Information Systems (CIS) concentration within the Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) is one of the oldest CIS degrees in the country. The new Global and Sustainable Enterprise MSBA takes on environmental conservation, microfinance, public health, alternative energy and agriculture from a business perspective. Each student completes a summer of fieldwork, typically in a developing country. The Denver-based Executive MBA Program instructs professionals, emerging business leaders and mid-to-senior level managers. For over 40 years, CSU has also provided a well-regarded Distance MBA Program. The college was reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in Fall 2011.
History of the College of Business
Business courses (accounting, shorthand, and typewriting) were first offered at Colorado A&M in 1944. The first formal business program (a two-year secretarial certificate) was offered in 1950. The bachelor's degree in business was first offered in 1956, and within two years the School of Business was formed and located in Johnson Hall. In 1966, the College of Business was established and located in the Clark building. The undergraduate programs at the College of Business gained AACSB accreditation in 1970, with the graduate programs earning accreditation in 1976. In 1995, the College of Business moved to its current home in Rockwell Hall and a couple years later a new Classroom and Technology Wing was added. Technology upgrades continued in 2002 when Rockwell Hall was fully networked for wireless computing. The College's growth continued in 2005 with the approval of plans to expand Rockwell Hall and the addition of a Business minor to the College's offerings. Construction of Rockwell Hall West was completed in 2009, and the following year the College hosted General Colin L. Powell as keynote speaker to celebrate the grand opening of the addition. The College of Business was ranked in Top 10 for "Best Administered MBA Program" in 2012 and 2013 by the Princeton Review. In 2014, the College again expanded its programs by adding two new concentrations to the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree: Business Supply Chain Management and Human Resources Management.
Deans of the College of Business
- 1966–1986: Donald Dobler
- 1986–1996: Richard Pegnetter
- 1996–2002: Daniel Costello
- 2002–present: Ajay Menon
College of Engineering
The College of Engineering, originally the first engineering program in the state of Colorado, contains the departments of Atmospheric Science, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. A new degree concentration in International Engineering is available as a dual degree in the Liberal Arts and Engineering Science. College of Engineering students are engaged in international service projects through groups such as Engineers Without Borders.
In 2005, college faculty generated $50 million in research expenditures, exceeding an average of $500K per faculty member. In FY12, those funds grew to approximately $65.4 million and about 620,000 dollars for each of the 105 faculty members dedicated for research expenditures . The College is home to four recognized Colorado State University Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence: the Department of Atmospheric Science, the Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology, the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory, and the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program.
The university's department of Mechanical Engineering is the authority for the Motorsport Engineering Research Center. The research and development facility is located near the foothills campus of the school. The center houses the university's Formula SAE team, and is home to past and present formula SAE competition open wheeled race cars, and the current EcoCAR2 team, developing a hydrogen propulsion Chevrolet Mablibu sedan. The Department of Mechanical Engineering also offers a motorsports engineering concentration at the masters and doctorate level.
Along with the Motorsport Engineering Research Center of the Foothills Campus, the Department of Mechanical Engineering also facilitates the Engines and Energy conversion lab, now going through an expansion to become the Powerhouse Energy Institute. At this lab, massive internal combustion generators are investigated and made more efficient. The lab is also home to a CSU company developing Biofuel derived of algae. Laser Ignition Spark Plugs and Clean burning cookstoves are examples to technologies developed from this lab.
The University's College of Engineering also houses the NSF EUV ERC, or the Engineering Research Center. This facility has connections to UC Berkley and CU Boulder, and researches Extreme Ultraviolets. The building is also home to the world's largest wave hydraulic simulator, and an earthquake shake table for half scale buildings. Nearby one can find the CIRA, or Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, in connections with NOAA. Other advanced labs include the CHILL radar facility and a research lab in equine sciences. The center is also home to the Ion Propulsion and plasma Space engineering lab, which develops ion propulsion rocket thrusters to advance planetary spacecraft.
In August 2013, Colorado State University opened a new state of the art 122,000 biomedical engineering building for academic and research purposes. Examples of research in the new facility include nanoscale single molecule biophysics, biofuel production and environmental pollutants, biomaterials and medical devices, nanoscale biosensors and drug therapy.
Additionally, the college has completed construction on the Advanced Beam Laboratory, housing both a short-pulse, high-peak-power laser system and a linear particle accelerator for researching and advancing particle acceleration technologies, as well as advanced laser technology.
The college of engineering is highly selective, more so than the university as a whole. The freshman class entering the College of Engineering in fall 2013 has an average high school GPA of 3.79 and an average ACT of 27.2.
College of Liberal Arts
The college was established in 1951 and underwent multiple name changes over time. In 1934 it was called The Division of Science and Arts. In 1968, the arts and sciences colleges split, and became the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In 1977 the college was renamed to the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Finally, in 1992, it was named the College of Liberal Arts.
Liberal Arts is the largest college at Colorado State, with 12 departments and one center, more than 4500 undergraduate students and 600 graduate students. The departments include: Anthropology, Art and Art History, Communication Studies, Economics, English, Ethnic Studies, History, Journalism & Media Communication, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. 
Warner College of Natural Resources
The origins of the Warner College of Natural Resources can be traced to CSU's first forestry course in 1904. Over the following 100 years the College has grown to become a comprehensive natural resources college, with academic programs and research in forest sciences, fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, geosciences, rangeland ecology, recreation and tourism, watershed management and environmental sciences.
The College has traditionally been very involved in supporting the local farming community. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) tracks Colorado's rare and imperiled species and habitats, and Colorado Water Knowledge provides water information of all kinds. The Environmental Learning Center, located three miles (5 km) east of campus on the Poudre River, hosts many CSU research projects and educational programs. The Western Center for Integrated Resource Management works on sustainability and profitability with graduate students and local farmers. On an international scale, the college provides technical assistance, training, and research opportunities for protected area managers and students in over 28 sites in Latin America, Asia, and the United States.
College of Natural Sciences
The College of Natural Sciences had the third highest enrollment of all colleges on CSU's campus with 3,684 students and the third largest undergraduate major, psychology. One quarter of participants in the CSU Honors Program are in Natural Sciences, and the college provides students the opportunity to participate in a Living Learning Community in Ingersoll Residential College. Graduate and undergraduate students complete their coursework the departments of Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Statistics, Zoology, and the Center for Science Math and Technology Education. Interdisciplinary degree programs cover Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering.
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is home to the No. 3 ranked veterinary medicine program in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The program is an integral part of the four departments that, along with the James L. Voss Veterinary Medical Center and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, comprise the college. Two faculty members are members of the National Academy of Sciences, five faculty members are University Distinguished Professors, and one faculty member is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar. Undergraduate programs are offered in Biomedical Sciences, Environmental Health and Microbiology. The college houses a variety of graduate programs at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels, many of which also require the doctor of veterinary medicine degree. Interdisciplinary programs explore biotechnology, neuroscience, resource and livestock management.
The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University has the largest research program of any college of veterinary medicine in the world. Research facilities and programs include the Robert H. and Mary G. Flint Animal Cancer Center, and the Equine Orthopedic Research Center. The Environmental Health Advanced Systems Laboratory researches the use of computer-based technology in environmental health studies. Over the last 10 years, The EHASL has worked with the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Cancer Institute, and Centers for Disease Control. In 1977, the college's dean, William Tietz, was appointed President of Montana State University. In July 2012 the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences obtained a new dean, Dr. Mark Stetter, who took over for Dr. Lance Perryman who retired after 11 years.
Institutes and Centers
Public Lands History Center - In 2007 a group of CSU History and Anthropology faculty and research associates created the Center for Public History and Archaeology with the dual goal of providing practical and meaningful work experiences for graduate students and helpful collaborative projects for public agencies such as the National Park Service. In 2010 the name was changed to Public Lands History Center to better describe its focus and collaborative mission. The Center's mission is to "foster the production of historical knowledge through collaborative engagement with institutions responsible for the sustainable stewardship of protected areas, water, and other critical resources." The Center's Director is one of its founders, CSU Professor of History and noted environmental historian Mark Fiege.
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U.S. News & World Report: The Professional Veterinary Medicine program is currently ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and first in the country in federal research dollars. In the 2015 edition, U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" ranked CSU as #121 among public and private national universities and 58th among public universities.
U.S. News & World Report America's Best Graduate Schools Rankings:
Top Graduate Programs (ranked in 2010):
- Biological Sciences – 82nd
- Chemistry – 45th
- Earth Science – 69th
- Mathematics – 76th
- Physics – 70th
Top Engineering Schools – 63rd (ranked in 2010)
- Civil Engineering – 39th
- Electrical Engineering – 66th
- Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering – 42nd
- Mechanical Engineering – 67th
Top Graduate Programs (ranked in 2009):
- Psychology – 91st
- Social Work – 60th
Top Graduate Programs (ranked in 2008):
- Occupational Therapy Master's – 8th
Princeton Review: Considers CSU one of the "Best 373 Colleges," and named the university a "Best Western College", which refers to schools that stand out in their region. The Princeton Review also included CSU's College of Business as one of the 301 "Best Business Schools" in the country. The Review named CSU's MBA program as one of the 10 best administered programs nationwide in 2007, and 2012-2015.
Business Week: Includes CSU's undergraduate business program among the best in the country in 2011, ranked at #89 In 2014 the College of Business moved up in the ranks to be ranked 73rd (an increase of 16 places from the previous year) in Bloomberg Business Week's Undergraduate rankings.
Consumers Digest: One of the top 50 best values for public universities
National Science Foundation: CSU is among the nation's top 5% universities in terms of federal research dollars received for engineering and the sciences.
The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, based on faculty publications, federal grant dollars awarded, and honors and awards. Announced by Academic analytics in 2007, high ranking departments at Colorado State:
- Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics: 1
- Department of Biology: 2
- Department of Atmospheric Sciences: 3
- Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology: 5
- Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition: 8
- Department of Soil and Crop Sciences/soil science: 9
- Department of Soil and Crop Sciences/agronomy: 10
- Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: 10
Notable areas of research
In 2009, total research expenditures were $312 million, of which $217 million came from federal research funds. The figures represent a 3% increase over 2008, and a 38% increase over the past five years. Historically, CSU faculty were at the forefront of radiation treatment for cancer, environmental and animal ethics, and weather forecasting. A 1961 feasibility study at CSU was crucial for the establishment of the Peace Corps.
CSU faculty members are noted for their research on great global challenges including the reemergence of tuberculosis, the brown cloud of air pollution in Asian cities, severe weather forecasting, nutrition and wellness, and bio-terrorism. CSU researchers in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences process and manage incoming data from a new satellite called CloudSat, which enables scientists to see cloud properties and vertical structure. Since its launch, CloudSat has made 5,307 orbits around the Earth. Abound Solar (formerly known as AVA Solar), a start-up formed by a CSU engineering professor, is commercializing a method for manufacturing low-cost, high-efficiency solar panels. Another research project has taken CSU faculty to Mexico to study dengue fever. Research in the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory has created a technological solution to limit pollutants from single-stroke engines, and is now in widespread use in the Philippines.
The Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis is dedicated to reducing the harm and losses caused by natural, technological, and human-caused disasters. Projects have looked at Muslim-Americans after September 11, Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 BP Oil Spill, and childcare disaster planning.
Outlying campuses cater to a range of research activities including crops research, animal reproduction, public health and watershed management. The Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) was established in 1888 in accordance with provisions of the Hatch Act of 1887, calling for experiment stations at land-grant universities. State and federal funds support CAES research programs. In 2007, research activities included pest management, food safety and nutrition, environmental quality, plant and animal production systems, and community and rural development. The NSF Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultra Violet Science and Technology, funded by the National Science Foundation, partners industry with Colorado State University, CU-Boulder, and the University of California-Berkeley. The center has three research thrusts in Engineered EUV Sources, Imaging, Patterning, and Metrology, and Novel Linear and Non-Linear Spectroscopies The Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2) is the first research center created under the umbrella of the new Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, involving CSU, CU, Colorado School of Mines, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The center develops biofuels and bio-refining technologies.
Colorado State's new research Supercluster model brings together researchers across disciplines to work on topics of global concern in which CSU has a demonstrated expertise. Research results are connected to the marketplace through transfer, patenting and licensing activities carried out by experts with a focus on each research area. CSU has established Superclusters in Infectious Disease and Cancer Research and Treatment. A third, in clean energy, is being developed.
CSU has a well established research program in infectious disease. The new Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is home to scientists developing vaccines and drugs for some world's most devastating diseases. The Biocontainment Laboratory also houses one of 10 US Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, funded by a $40 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Much of the Cancer Supercluster, which involves the collaboration of five colleges, is based around the work of the university's Animal Cancer Center, the largest center of its kind in the world.
Approximately 950 students per year participate in educational programs abroad, and nearly 1,300 foreign students and scholars from more than 85 countries are engaged in academic work and research on campus. The initial pilot studies for the Peace Corps were conducted by Colorado State faculty, and the university is consistently one of the top-ranking institutions in the nation for the recruitment of Peace Corps volunteers. Since 1988, CSU and the Peace Corps have participated in four cooperative master's degree programs in English, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. The program involves at least 2 semesters of course work at CSU combined with time abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer. Colorado State offers various programs on campus for students interested in international issues. Regional specializations with core courses and electives are available in Asian Studies, Middle East/North Africa Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, or Russian, Eastern and Central Europe Studies. The Global Village Living Learning Community is a housing option for students with international interests.
CSU's Education Abroad office is a resource for students who want to participate in an education program abroad. The office strives to meet the diverse interests and needs of their stakeholders by offering a wide variety of Education Abroad programs. The office offers resources and services for how to begin planning an educational abroad trip, resources to use while you are abroad, and resources for returning from a trip abroad. The office also offers a wide variety of scholarship opportunities and financial information. Through their website educationabroad.colostate.edu, students can directly apply to an education abroad program, learn about non-credit international opportunities, and contact the office for more information. 
Global Ambassadors Program
The Global Ambassadors Program is an international speakers' bureau through which CSU international students and scholars share their culture, heritage, language, geography and history of their countries with local school classrooms and with other community groups. At the same time, they have the opportunity to learn more about American culture and practice their English and presentation skills. Recently, the Global Ambassadors Program became a student organization, but they are still affiliated with the Fort Collins International Center (FCIC).
The program offers an opportunity for students to develop an appreciation for different cultures and promotes greater understanding. They can learn a lot by asking questions directly to international students from various countries. Some local schools may request specific topics for volunteers to present about their country, especially if the students are learning it in class. If not, a simple PowerPoint with basic background information including geography, language, food, music, dance, sports, holidays, weather, and celebrations is sufficient. The content and depth of presentations depends on whether volunteers will be presenting to elementary, middle school or high school students or adults. Usually presentations will also include an activity for children to get involved such as learning a dance, song, game or several words and phrases in the language.
The Honors Program provides challenging and enriching programs for high achieving students in all majors through two academic tracks. One track is designed for students aiming to complete their general education requirements within the Honors Program, and a second is composed of upper division courses, usually appropriate for currently enrolled or transfer students. The Academic Village, which opened in fall 2007, offers 180 Honor students the opportunity to live in the Honors Living Learning Community. 1,126 students participated in the Honors Program in fall 2007.
Colorado State University competes in 17 sponsored intercollegiate sports, including 11 for women (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, volleyball, basketball, golf, tennis, swimming, softball, soccer and water polo) and six for men (football, cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, basketball, and golf). Colorado State's athletic teams compete along with 8 other institutions in the Mountain West Conference (MW), which is a NCAA Division I conference and sponsors Division I FBS football. The Conference was formed in 1999, splitting from the former 16-member Western Athletic Conference. CSU has won 9 MW tournament championships and won or shared 11 regular season titles. Rams football teams won or shared the Mountain West title in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
On December 13, 2011 Jim McElwain was introduced as the head football coach at Colorado State. McElwain had worked as the Alabama offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2011. On December 4, 2014, Jim McElwain accepted the head coach position at the University of Florida. This was the first time a Colorado State Rams head coach left the team for another program.
On December 5, 2014, the Colorado State University System Board of Governors gave approval to build Colorado State Stadium, a multi-use stadium on campus to replace Hughes Stadium, built several miles from campus in the 1960s.
Over the years Colorado State University has had a few different mascots. In the early 1900s there was a black bear that served as the mascot until he was replaced by Peanuts the Bulldog in 1912. After Peanuts' death, Glenn Morris, an alum of Colorado State University donated a different Bulldog named Gallant Defender to the University. The first ram to be mascot of Colorado State University was Buck, introduced in 1946. It was during a basketball game half time contest that CAM the Ram became the name of the beloved mascot.
Fort Collins is located 65 miles (105 km) north of Denver, approximately 2 hours from major ski resorts and 45 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. There are opportunities for students to be active, with bike trails and hiking nearby. In 2006, Money ranked Fort Collins as the "Best Place to Live" in the United States.
Clubs and activities
There are 325 student organizations and 34 honor societies at CSU. 60% of undergraduates participate in intramural sports while 10% join one of 19 fraternities and 14 sororities. There are 30 sport clubs, including cycling, baseball, water polo, triathlon, wrestling, and rugby. 300 music, theatre and dance performances, exhibitions, and other arts events take place on campus each year. The student government is the Associated Students of Colorado State University. CSU's daily newspaper is the Rocky Mountain Collegian. CSU also has a student-run campus television station and a student radio station, KCSU FM.
Sport Clubs at Colorado State University were established in 1978. They are run and funded by student fees and team fundraisers and compete with other colleges and universities but not at the NCAA level. There are currently 30 Sport Club teams. Every year the clubs take a combined 150 trips. There are over 1,000 students associated with the program. Last year 23 of these teams competed at regional and national championships. The programs have enjoyed a significant amount of recent success with National Championships in: Men's Ice Hockey (1995) Women's Lacrosse (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013); Baseball (2004–2010); Men's Lacrosse (1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2012).
The sport clubs at Colorado State University include: Alpine Ski Team, Baseball, Bowling (Coed), Crew, Cycling, Field Hockey, Horse Polo (Men's and Women's), Ice Hockey (Men's and Women's), In-Line Hockey, Lacrosse (Men's and Women's), Logging Sports, Rodeo (Men's and Women's), Rugby (Men's and Women's), Shotgun Sports (Men's and Women's), Snowboard, Soccer (Men's and Women's), Swimming, Synchronized Ice Skating, Triathlon (Coed), Ultimate Frisbee Summer League, Ultimate Frisbee (Men's and Women's), Volleyball, Water Polo (Men's and Women's), and Wrestling (Men's and Women's)
The Rocky Mountain Collegian is CSU's student-run daily newspaper, where students have complete control over editorial decisions. The paper was founded in 1891, and was a weekly publication by the 1930s. During the 1940s and 1950s, the paper earned disrepute in the local community for its unpopular support of women's rights and anti-racism stance. By the 1970s, the Collegian was consistently publishing daily. Editorial quality and financial support have varied over the years, at times rising among elite college newspapers and at others struggling to publish. During the 1990s, the paper was twice selected as one of the top 12 daily student papers in the country. In late 2007, the Collegian published a staff article that incited national debate about free speech. The article read, in its entirety, "Taser This...Fuck Bush." This event, as well as president Penley's considerations of "partnering" out the Collegian by Gannett in January 2008, lead to proposals in making CSU's student media, including the Rocky Mountain Collegian, a not-for-profit organization independent from the university. This resulted in the entirety of CSU Student Media to separate from the university to operate under an independent company, the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation. The Rocky Mountain Collegian has developed a fully functioning website and a mobile application.
KCSU is Colorado State's student run station, with a format focusing on alternative and college rock music, including indie rock, punk, hip-hop and electronic music. News, sports and weather updates along with talk programs and specialty shows round out the programming schedule. Broadcasting at 10,000 watts, KCSU is among the larger college stations in the country, reaching approximately 250,000 listeners. KCSU first began broadcasting in 1964 as a station owned, operated and financed by students. Following a long period as a professional station, KCSU again became student run in 1995, at which time the current format was adopted. As with the Collegian and CTV, KCSU was hit hard by the 1997 flood, and for a time was forced to broadcast from remote locations. Now back in its original Lory Student Center location, KCSU has benefited from revamped production facilities and updated equipment.
CTV is CSU's student-run television station, that allows students to hone their media skills- reporting, writing, producing, shooting, editing- in an educational environment. The station is a winner of fourteen Rocky Mountain Collegiate Media Association awards and a Student Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Heartland Chapter. Content includes news shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, a sports show on Mondays, and an entertainment show Thursdays. CTV was founded in 1989, and currently broadcasts weeknights on the university cable station (Comcast channel 11) at 8pm, with reruns at 9am and 12 noon the next day.
Student-run magazine College Avenue was founded in 2005 with the goal, as put forth by its founding editors, of giving students a new forum to address controversial issues affecting the campus community from their own vantage point. Since its first issue in fall 2005, the magazine is released quarterly.
Greek life at Colorado State began in the fall of 1915. Currently 10% of undergraduates join one of CSUs 19 fraternities and 14 sororities. The CSU Inter-Fraternity Council acts as the governing body for the 19 fraternities, each with a delegate representative. Similarly, the CSU Panhellenic Council governs the sororities. CSU Greek organizations are involved in a number of philanthropic activities around campus, among them CSUnity, Cans around the Oval, Habitat for Humanity and RamRide. The governing bodies recently raised $25,000 towards the sponsorship of a Habitat for Humanity home.
From 1932 until 1949, Colorado State University was home to the Eta chapter of Phrateres, a philanthropic-social organization for female college students. Eta was the 7th chapter installed and Phrateres eventually had over 20 chapters in Canada and the United States. (The chapter name "Eta" was reused for the chapter installed at Arizona State University in 1958.)
13 residence halls provide on-campus living for over 5,000 students. First-year students are required to live in one of the halls on campus, and upperclassman and graduate living is offered in the university-owned Aggie Village, which has space for 973 individuals. The halls also have a number of Living-Learning communities that directly link the on-campus living environment with a specific academic focus in Honors, engineering, natural sciences, health and wellness, equine sciences, leadership development, or pre-veterinary medicine. The Key Academic and Key Service Communities creates an academically focused residential community for freshmen who share a desire for academic achievement, active involvement in classes, community service, campus activities, and appreciation of diversity. Residents share classes and take advantage of yearlong service opportunities with a close knit group of 19 other students.
CSU Honors Program participants have the opportunity to live in the Honors Living Community. Academic Village, which opened in fall 2007, houses Living Learning Communities for 180 Honors and 240 Engineering students. Students in the College of Natural Sciences can choose to live in Laurel Village, which opened in fall 2014. 
Students, faculty, and staff may choose to live in the university apartments. Colorado State University Apartment Life oversees University Village, International House, Lory Apartments, and Aggie Village. Known as a “global community” Apartment Life's mission to diversity shows in the fact that approximately 60 percent of residents and staff are from 80 different nations. Residents and CSU and Fort Collins community members enjoy a diverse amount of enrichment programs offered through the Apartment Life staff.
In fall 2007, CSU opened its doors to 24,983 students, among them 20,765 undergraduates, 2,332 master's students, 1,347 doctoral students, and 539 professional students in the College of Biomedical and Veterinary Medicine. 80% of undergraduates are Colorado residents, and within the student population 50 states and 79 countries are represented. 52% of undergraduates are women, 13.2% of undergraduates are ethnic minorities (excluding international students), and 3% of undergraduates are 30 and over. Of minority students, 48% are Hispanic, 24% Asian American, 16% African American, and 12% Native American. Over the past ten years, minority enrollment has increased 35%, from 2,361 to 3,178, an increase from 10.9% to 13.2% of the student population. Though progress has been made, increasing minority enrollment at CSU has been a challenge for school administrators, one made yet more difficult by high dropout rates in many Colorado high schools with concentrated minority populations.
CSU has 169,935 living alumni with 50 active alumni chapters (14 in Colorado and 37 out of state) and 9 national interest groups. CSU graduates include Pulitzer Prize winners, astronauts, CEOs, and two former governors of Colorado.
- Wayne Allard, United States Senator from Colorado (1997–2009)
- Dr. Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, Finance Minister – Saudi Arabia
- John Amos, actor
- David Anderson, professional football player
- Anwar al-Awlaki
- Al "Bubba" Baker, professional football player
- Benny Begin, PhD in Geology, Israeli politician, Knesset member and minister.
- Alfred W. Bethea (Class of 1935, Master of Science), member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1961 to 1966; the 1970 American Independent Party nominee for governor of South Carolina, farmer from Dillon, South Carolina
- Randy Beverly, professional football player
- Baxter Black, cowboy poet
- Sam Brunelli, professional football player
- Greg Brophy, Republican member of the Colorado Senate
- Susan Butcher, dogsled racer
- Keith Carradine, Academy Award-winning actor
- Jack Christiansen, Detroit Lions (1951–1958), member Pro football Hall of Fame
- Mary L. Cleave, astronaut
- Jim David, Detroit Lions (1952–1959)
- Dominique Dunne, actress
- Les Eaves (Business Management), Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for White County
- John Ensign, former United States Senator from Nevada
- Steve Fairchild, former NFL offensive coordinator, former Colorado State University football head coach.
- Martin J. Fettman, astronaut
- Sherwood Fries, professional football player
- Donovan Gans, professional football player
- Cory Gardner, Republican U.S. Senator from Colorado
- John Gill, mathematician and father of modern bouldering.
- Salvatore Augustine Giunta, a former staff sergeant in the United States Army and recipient of the Medal of Honor
- Clark Haggans, professional football player, member of 2006 Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers
- Becky Hammon, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach; first woman to become a full-time coach in one of North America's major professional sports leagues
- Caleb Hanie, professional football player
- Edward Harwood (American Inventor)
- Jim Hawkes, (Ph.D. in psychology, 1970), Canadian politician
- Paula Hicks-Hudson, lawyer, Toledo, Ohio City Council President and acting Mayor
- John Howell, professional football player
- Doug Hutchinson, mayor of the city of Fort Collins, Colorado
- Colton Iverson (born 1989), basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League
- Michael Johnson, country and folk singer-songwriter
- Leslie Jones, actress and comedian
- Brady Keys, professional football player and businessman
- Mark Knudson, former Major League Baseball Pitcher
- Yusef Komunyakaa, MA, 1981, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
- Conway LeBleu, attended late 1940s, did not graduate, native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, represented Calcasieu and Cameron parishes in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1964 to 1988
- Keith Lee, NFL player
- Susan Lowdermilk, artist, printmaker
- Kim Lyons, an athlete and personal trainer on The Biggest Loser
- George Marsaglia, computer scientist
- Mark Mattson, neuroscientist
- Jason Momoa, actor in Game of Thrones
- Stan Matsunaka, politician
- Kevin McDougal, NFL player
- Thurman "Fum" McGraw, Hall of Fame Football Player
- Keli McGregor, President of the Colorado Rockies and professional football player
- Kevin McLain, professional football player
- Scooter Molander, American football player
- Glenn Morris, 1935, Gold medal winner in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin
- Mike Montgomery, professional basketball coach
- Sean Moran, professional football player
- Marilyn Musgrave, former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives
- Jürgen Mulert, economist, Fulbright scholar, founder of the German Fulbright Alumni Association
- Clint Oldenburg, professional football player
- Angie Paccione, politician
- Milt Palacio, professional basketball player
- Erik Pears, professional football player
- Christine Perich, CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company
- Joey Porter, professional football player, member of 2006 Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers
- Bill Quayle, athletics director for Emporia State University from 1979 to 1999.
- J. Wayne Reitz, fifth president of the University of Florida (1955–1967)
- Bill Ritter, governor of Colorado, former Denver District Attorney
- Barbara Robbins, the first female CIA employee to die in action in the agency's history
- Roy R. Romer, former Colorado governor
- Kent Rominger, 1978, Former NASA astronaut and shuttle commander
- Jon Rubinstein, American computer scientist, helped create the iPod
- George R. Salisbury, Jr., rancher from Carbon County, Wyoming, and member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1975–1986
- Bailey J. Santistevan, Sr., legendary coach featured in the July 5, 1999 edition of Sports Illustrated.
- Brian Schweitzer, 23rd Governor of Montana
- Walter Scott, Jr., Former CEO Peter Kiewit Sons' Incorporated, Level 3 Communications & Berkshire Hathaway Chairman
- Isaac Slade, professional musician and lead singer of The Fray
- Brady Smith, professional football player
- Jason Smith, professional basketball player
- George E. Staples, veterinary researcher and animal nutrition pioneer
- Andre Strode, American player of gridiron football
- Derek Theler, actor in Baby Daddy
- Harlan Thomas prominent Seattle architect
- Pete Thomas, professional football player
- Amy Van Dyken, Olympic swimmer and gold medalist
- James Van Hoften, astronaut
- Bradlee Van Pelt, professional football player
- Carol Voisin, ethics professor and former candidate for Congress
- Lew Walt, decorated U.S. Marine
- Van Wolverton, author of Running MS-DOS and other technical books
- Dwight A. York, politician
- Garrett Grayson, professional football player
- Ty Sambrailo, professional football player
- Crockett Gillmore, professional football player
- Kapri Bibbs, professional football player
- Shaquil Barrett, professional football player
- Maurice Albertson, civil engineer, Peace Corps co-founder
- Raj Chandra Bose, statistician
- Louis George Carpenter, First Dean of Engineering & Physics, renown Irrigation Engineer
- Henry P. Caulfield, Jr., political science
- Robert E. Glover, groundwater engineer
- William M. Gray, atmospheric sciences
- Temple Grandin, animal sciences
- Thomas Sutherland, former hostage in Lebanon
- Holmes Rolston III, father of environmental ethics
- Bernard Rollin, animal ethics advocate
- Jamuna Sharan Singh, ecologist, faculty (1971–74), 1981–82) and 1993–94), Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize recipient
- Justin Smith, adjunct criminal justice instructor and sheriff of Larimer County, Colorado
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