The 1960s turned out to be a momentous decade in
San Bernardino. A lot of important things happened. In 1961 Ray Kroc
bought out the McDonald brothers and proceeded to turn their San
Bernardino burger stand into the world’s largest restaurant chain. In
1962 Bill and Vonette Bright established the world headquarters of their
growing Campus Crusade for Christ organization at San Bernardino’s old
Arrowhead Springs Hotel. In 1964 the Rolling Stones performed their
first American concert at the Swing Auditorium, on the grounds of the
National Orange Show, further establishing San Bernardino as a major pop
And in 1965 Cal State San Bernardino opened in time for the fall
semester that year. Total enrollment at the new college was 293
Today we look back, and the original McDonald’s is long gone,
and Campus Crusade moved to Florida almost 20 years ago, and Swing
Auditorium was demolished almost 30 years ago. But Cal State San
Bernardino is going strong. For most of its almost half a century of existence, it has been the
fastest growing campus in the Cal State system. Enrollment has reached
17,000. The institution has produced more than 65,000 graduates.
The whole proud history of Cal State San Bernardino is
outlined in remarkable detail in a definitive new book, “The Coyote
Chronicles,” by my friend Michael Burgess, retired longtime librarian at
the university. He spent five years on the
project, producing a text of more than 600 pages.
“The Coyote Chronicles,” which draws its name from the university
mascot, belongs on the shelves of anyone and everyone who has an
interest in local history and education.
The cover photograph, a spectacular aerial shot of the entire
campus backed by the snow-capped San Bernardino Mountains, is itself
worth the cost of the book.
Burgess, who lives in San Bernardino, is exactly the right
person to have compiled this epic, and not just because of his 40-year
connection with the school. He also is a prodigious creator of wonderful
books. Writing under his own name or his pen name, Robert Reginald, he
has authored more than 100 titles, both nonfiction and fiction.
Here’s his mission statement for the latest: “I wanted to
compile a chronological record of what has happened here at Cal State SB
– of the great and small things and all the people who together have
made this institution something worth remembering and worth
Burgess starts the clock on Cal State’s history in the year
1960 – on April 29, to be exact – when California Gov. Edmund G. “Pat”
Brown signed the state senate bill that authorized the establishment of
the campus on a 450-acre site in the northwest foothills of San
Among the literally thousands of other key dates chronicled in the book:
Feb. 7, 1962 – John M. Pfau is named first president. During
construction of the campus he maintains an office in downtown San
Oct. 5, 1965 – Classes begin.
June 16, 1973 – The campus awards its first master’s degree.
Nov. 1, 1982 – Anthony H. Evans takes office as Cal State San Bernardino’s second president.
July 23, 1984 – The institution, originally named California
State College, San Bernardino, is promoted and renamed California State
University, San Bernardino.
Sept. 22, 1984 – The campus participates in its first NCAA intercollegiate athletic contest.
Aug. 16, 1997 – Albert K. Karnig becomes the third president, an office he still holds.
June 17, 2002 – The institution establishes an auxililary campus in Palm Desert.
Sept. 1, 2007 – Cal State San Bernardino begins offering its first doctoral degrees.
“The Coyote Chronicles: A Chronological History of California
State University, San Bernardino, 1960-2010″ by Michael Burgess (Borgo
Press, 2010, $24.99 paperback, $49.99 hardcover) is available from
online booksellers and at the excellent Coyote Bookstore on campus.