Adams State University dedicates its resources to provide opportunity and access for all students. The College is an innovative leader that recognizes the inherent educational value of diversity. It is a catalyst for the educational, cultural, and economic interests of rural Colorado, the surrounding region, and the global community.
Founded 1921 - Adams State was founded in 1921 as a teacher's college but now offers a variety of programs including masters degrees in many fields. Billy Adams, a Colorado legislator who would later become a 3-term governor of Colorado, worked for three decades before obtaining the authorization to found Adams State Normal School in 1921.
His goal was to provide higher education opportunities for teachers from remote and rural areas of Colorado and see them work in those same areas such as the San Luis Valley. 1st Graduate - The University's first graduate, in 1926, was Harriet Dalzell Hester, who went on to become the school's first librarian and an Alamosa County school superintendent. With only a grade school education himself, Adams came to the SLV in 1879 at the age of 17 to begin ranching. Within three years, he was mayor of Alamosa. Alamosa was a rough-hewn town in those days.
D&RG - The Rio Grande typically flooded each spring, turning Main Street to mud. Once the university was built, a hedge of Russian olives had to be planted along the campus edge to keep out herds of horses. Then, as now, potatoes were the areas primary cash crop. But grain and vegetables were also raised, as well as cattle, sheep and pigs. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad shipped them east. Governor Adams - The perseverance demonstrated by Billy Adams in founding his teachers college also characterized those who took over the task of making Adams State more than a dream.
The communities of Alamosa and the San Luis Valley faithfully supported the efforts of individuals such as Dr. Ira Richardson, the Universitys first president. Billy Adams died in 1954, just shy of his 93rd birthday. He left the school $10,000. Name Change - On May 22, 2012, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill changing the name from Adams State College to Adams State University. The change became official on August 7, 2012.
William A. Porter, founder of E-trade Dr. Richard Duran, president of Oxnard College David E. Clemmer, Named on Popular Science's 2002 "10 Most Brilliant List" William "Bill" Moyers, former Cowboy Artists of America president Carlos Lucero, federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Don Cockroft, American football punter and placekicker for 12 years for the Cleveland Browns Myron Thompson, Member of Parliament (1993-2008) in the Canadian House of Commons Pat Porter, two-time Olympian runner Neal Nelson, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach.