History

Please Note: This site is out of date, please visit our webpages at the Biodiversity Knowledge Information Center here.

In 1885, Arizona State University was founded as the territorial normal school. It opened on February 8th, 1886. Classes in mechanical arts, animal husbandry and agricultural chemistry were included in the curriculum. For a wonderful, pictoral history of ASU, please visit the ASU Libraries: The New ASU Story Website

Biology Class, 1903
Biology Class, 1903 Note the pressed plant specimens on the wall in the background. Courtesy University Archives, Arizona State University Libraries

Each of the Natural History Collections at ASU have their own history. One of the longest and most interesting is that of the Vascular Plant Collection. Many of the earliest plant collections were made by Fredrick M. Irish around the turn of the century. Mr. Irish lead nature hikes to A Mountain and was the first ASU football coach (1896 to 1906).
A breakfast hike to A Mountain
Hiking Club - A breakfast hike to A Mountain with Mr. Fredrick M. Irish, overlooking Mill Avenue and Tempe, 1920s You can see Tempe Butte in the distance ('Broadway Curve' at I-10). Courtesy University Archives, Arizona State University Libraries