Arizona State University

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Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the largest universities in terms of enrollment in the United States with a main campus student body of over 51,000. Founded in 1885 as a territorial normal school, the institution went through several name and purpose changes before becoming a state university in 1958.

ASU's main campus, now called the Tempe campus, is located in Tempe, Arizona. Satellite campuses were created in 1984 in Phoenix (ASU West) and in 1996 in Mesa (ASU Polytechnic, formerly called ASU East). Combined, ASU West and ASU Polytechnic enroll around 10,000 students. An additonal satellite campus, ASU Downtown Phoenix, is under development in downtown Phoenix.

Each year, nearly 10,000 students graduate from the university's three campuses. In 2004, 162 National Merit Scholars chose to attend ASU. Many are part of the Barrett Honors College, which has produced 54 Fulbright scholars, 28 Goldwater scholars, and 13 Truman scholars. Under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education ASU is classified as a Doctoral/Research University–Extensive.

Current State of the University

File:Asu campus.jpg
The campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, viewed from the air in July 2004. Sun Devil Stadium can be viewed in the bottom-right, Wells Fargo Arena in the center, and Gammage Auditorium, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in the top-right corner. Photo courtesy of, and obtained from, Geoff Boeing

ASU is currently aspiring to climb from its current third tier status in the rankings published by U.S. News and World Report. Under the leadership of its 16th president, Michael Crow, several initiatives are being pursued toward this end, the most notable of which is the Arizona Biodesign Institute. Additionally, gifts of $50 million each were given to the College of Engineering, now the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, and the College of Business, now the W.P. Carey School of Business.

The university was selected to host the third United States Presidential debate on October 13, 2004 at Gammage Auditorium. Edward Prescott of the W.P. Carey School of Business was awarded the 2004 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (also known as The Nobel Prize in economics), a first for an ASU faculty member. At the end of the 2004, George Poste, was named Scientist of the Year by R&D Magazine.


Many of ASU's departments were ranked in the top 50 by US News and World Report in 2005. The following graduate departments in engineering were listed with their respective rankings: Electrical Engineering: 29th Aerospace/ Aeronautical Engineering: 25th Biomedical/Bioengineering: 20th Chemical Engineering: 50th Civil Engineering: 41st Computer Engineering: 34th Industrial Engineering: 15th Mechanical Engineering: 37th

The W.P. Carey School of Business MBA program was ranked 31st and the undergraduate business program ranked 25th. Graduate business programs listed are as follows: Supply Chain Management: 5th Computer Information systems: 18th Production/operations: 21st Accounting: 26th Management: 28th

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design is reputedly rigorous and highly ranked. An annual event for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism is a visit from Walter Cronkite himself to award the distinguished Cronkite Award.


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Arizona State University is adorned with towering Mexican Fan Palms along its main walkway, Palm Walk. (Photo taken from the Bateman Physical Sciences Center, looking toward the Student Health Center)

Arizona State University has an active extracurricular involvement program (Sun Devil Involvement Center) with over 450 registered clubs and organizations on campus. Located on the 3rd floor of the Memorial Union, the Sun Devil Involvement Center (SDIC) provides opportunities for student involvement through clubs, sororities, fraternities, community service, leadership, student government, and co-curricular programming.

In 2003 the Student Government adopted a new Constitution that split it into 3 branches; Undergraduate, Graduate, and the "Programming and Activities Board". All three branches are overseen by a Supreme Court. A Senate and Executive department are set aside for the Undergraduate branch, and an Assembly and Executive department are set aside for the Graduate branch. The Senate and Assembly have representatives from all colleges on campus, providing a critical forum for the discussion and resolution of issues that come before the student body.

ASU Cares is the largest community service project sponsored by the university. It is an annual event that allows students to give back some time by helping residents and communities clean up, rebuild, and/or serve eachother. Faculty, staff, alumni, members of the community and their families and guests are also invited to be part of this large ASU effort to help residents of the various communities surrounding the metropolitan area.

The Freshman Year Experience (FYE) and the Greek community (Greek Life) at Arizona State University have been important in binding students to the university, and providing social outlets. The Freshman Year Experience at Arizona State University was developed to improve the freshman experience at Arizona State University and increase student retention figures. FYE provides advising, computer labs, free walk-in tutoring, workshops, and classes for students. In 2003, U.S. News and World Report ranked FYE as the 23rd best first year program in the nation. It has also been recognized as one of the best in both public and private universities by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

In student media, The Blaze 1260 AM is the student run radio station at Arizona State University.


ASU is a member of the Pac-10 athletic conference. Athletes, students, and alumni of ASU are known as "Sun Devils," a nickname adopted in 1946; earlier nicknames were the Normals or the Owls and, later, the Bulldogs. The Sun Devil mascot, Sparky, was designed by Disney illustrator Bert Anthony. ASU's chief rival is the University of Arizona.

ASU's football venue is named Sun Devil Stadium. Notable athletic alumni include baseball players Barry Bonds, Paul Lo Duca, Fernando Viña and Reggie Jackson, football players Jake Plummer, Todd Heap, Danny White, Terrell Suggs, Darren Woodson, and Pat Tillman, basketball players Byron Scott and Eddie House, golfer Phil Mickelson, and announcer Al Michaels.

ASU is arguably one of the most successful baseball programs in the country. They have won five national championships, the third most by any school, and have the third most alumni to ever play in Major League Baseball.

ASU won national championships in men's archery 15 times, women's archery 21 times, mixed archery 20 times, men's badminton 13 times, women's badminton 17 times, mixed badminton 10 times, baseball 5 times, women's tennis 3 times, men's gymnastics once, men's track and field once, wrestling once, men's golf twice, women's golf 13 times, women's softball twice, and women's swimming and diving 7 times, for a total of 129 national championships. Additionally, the men's basketball team has participated in 12 NCAA tournaments and the football team won the Rose Bowl in 1986 as well as the Fiesta Bowl in 1982, 1975, 1973, 1972, and 1971.


The Sun Devils played in the Border Conference between 1931 and 1961, before joining the Western Athletic Conference the following year. Led by legendary head coach Frank Kush, the Sun Devils posted a remarkable 62-9 record between 1970 and 1975, culminating in a 17-14 upset of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 1975 Fiesta Bowl.

In 1978, both ASU and the University of Arizona joined the Pacific Ten Conference, and in that year ASU celebrated with an emotional 20-7 victory over number-one-ranked University of Southern California. The Sun Devils then began a slow decline, interrupted only briefly by victories in the 1983 Fiesta Bowl and 1987 Rose Bowl. After a 1987 Freedom Bowl victory over Air Force, the Sun Devils went a combined 43-44-1 between 1988 and 1995.

In 1996, the Sun Devils went a surprising 11-1, highlighted by a 19-0 shutout of the number-one-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in Tempe. ASU quarterback Jake Plummer led the Sun Devils, helping Arizona State into the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. In a game with National Championship potential, the Sun Devils held a slim 17-14 lead with just under 1:47 left in the fourth quarter. However, the Sun Devils fell to Ohio State 20-17 in one of the most exciting Rose Bowl games ever.

Between 1997 and 2000, the Sun Devils underachieved greatly, leading to the dismissal of popular head football coach Bruce Snyder. The hiring of head coach Dirk Koetter from Boise State University gave the Sun Devils a charismatic leader with a penchant for molding strong quarterbacks.

Arizona State began the Dirk Koetter era with a thud, falling to 4-7 in 2001. However, ASU improved to 8-6 in 2002, highlighted by the play of defensive end Terrell Suggs and wide receiver Shaun McDonald. Quarterback Andrew Walter emerged to pass for a staggering 3,877 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Sun Devils eventually lost a nailbiter to Kansas State University in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.

In 2004, the Sun Devils surprised nearly everyone, jumping out to a 5-0 record (including an impressive 44-7 victory over Iowa in Tempe). Andrew Walter led the suddenly resurgent Sun Devils, passing for 1,249 yards and 15 TDs through five games. This set up an attractive matchup between ASU and Southern California in Los Angeles on October 16, 2004, which they lost. After a dramatic come from behind victory over Stanford University and a win over Washington State in a game in which ASU retired Pat Tillman's number, they ended up losing to rival University of Arizona. ASU won the Vitalis Sun Bowl over Purdue, 27-23, on New Year's Eve.


One of the nation's founding programs, the Sun Devils are in their 39th season on the diamond in Tempe. ASU holds a 1,039-561-1 (.649) all-time record since the 1967 team posted a 5-1 record. ASU has recorded 23 season of at least 30 wins and six with 40 or more victories, including an all-time high of 46 in 2002. The Sun Devils have earned 16 postseason bids, fourth all-time in the Pac-10 Conference, and has made four trips to the College World Series. Prior to the current NCAA format, ASU went to seven WCWS, claiming back-to-back national tiles in 1972 and 1973.

Arizona State's storied tradition of softball excellence continues to flourish under the tutelage of 16th-year head coach Linda Wells, one of the most prominent and successful coaches in NCAA history. Wells, who is currently the 7th-most successful active coach in NCAA Division I history with 907 victories (9th all-time), has led the Sun Devils to 11 (seven consecutive 1997-03) NCAA Regional appearances in 15 seasons, including two trips in the past six years to the College World Series (1999/2002). While at ASU, Wells has compiled a record of 554-394 and has had seven players earn a total of 12 All-American awards. Her 554 wins are the most victories all-time in ASU's storied 39-year history, surpassing coaching legend Mary Littlewood's 536. Wells earned the victory with a 3-2 win over Sacramento State (2/13/05). Wells' vast coaching experience and tireless work ethic has not gone unnoticed by the country or by the world as she was named the head coach of the Greek Olympic National Team that competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Wells has coached 35 career .300 hitters at ASU in her 15 seasons, averaging a combined .335 -- not an easy accomplishment in the pitching-rich Pac-10 where games are traditionally low scoring, and with the addition of three more All-Pac-10 selections in 2004, Wells has now coached 75 all-conference players during her tenure at Arizona State, averaging five All-Pac-10 selections every season.

Famous Alumni and former students

see also [1]

Notable Faculty and Staff

External links

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