History

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