Cal State East Bay has come a long way in the last 60 years — it’s had five presidents, gone by five different names and produced thousands of graduates who have entered the region’s workforce.
The university was originally named the State College for Alameda County when it was officially established by the California State Assembly in 1957. The first academic year began in 1959 at Sunset High School in Cherryland with 25 faculty and 293 students. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the current Hayward Campus were held in February 1961 and the college moved to its permanent location in Fall 1963.
A pioneering spirit pervaded campus in the idealistic months before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, born of identification with Kennedy’s New Frontier programs. Hence the student body chose to call themselves Pioneers, and the first Pioneer mascot was an astronaut from NASA's Pioneer Space Program.
The campus expansions of the 1960s came to fruition in the early 1970s with several new buildings opening, including the Library and Administration buildings, the University Theatre and Robinson Hall in 1971, and the Student Health Center in 1973. Pioneer Heights, the first university-owned student housing on campus, opened its doors in 1987. Accommodating 400 students, Pioneer Heights would challenge the reputation of our university as a "commuter school" and provide a new nucleus of student life on campus.
The university expanded its reach to Contra Costa County in 1992, opening a satellite campus in Concord.
The university changed its name to California State University, East Bay in 2005 to reflect its new regional positioning. The university’s three campuses — named the Hayward campus, the Concord campus and the Oakland Center — reinforced the regional influence of the university.
In the mid-2000’s, new construction blossomed on the Hayward campus for the first time since the late 1960s and early 1970s. Due to seismic vulnerability, Warren Hall, which had been the university’s signature building for decades, was demolished August 17, 2013.
As the university continues to grow, it is known in particular for its diversity. From 2015-2017, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Almanac designated the Cal State East Bay student body as the most diverse in the mainland United States.
* Information on the university’s history was provided from the library’s 60th Anniversary exhibit