San Diego State diploma and cords. Photo courtesy of SDSU

What’s now San Diego State University was created 120 years ago Monday when then-Gov. James Budd signed a bill authorizing the State Normal School of San Diego.

Budd’s action on March 13, 1897, resulted in a school with a mission of training teachers and first located in rented rooms above a drug store at Sixth Avenue and F Street in downtown.

According to SDSU, the school consisted of seven faculty members, 91 students and classes in English, history and math.

The school later moved to Normal Heights and eventually to the current location at College Avenue and Interstate 8. Degree programs other than for teacher education were offered beginning in 1935, and the school changed its name to San Diego State College.

It became San Diego State University in the early 1970s.

SDSU currently educates 35,000 students, employs 1,700 full and part- time faculty and boasts more than 291,000 living degree-holding alumni.

A campus-wide open house scheduled for Saturday will include workshops for prospective students and their parents, campus tours, a showcase by the Colleges of Sciences and Engineering, information about student organizations and the annual spring football scrimmage.

—City News Service

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