History

Major Events Timeline

The history of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences began with the founding of the University of Arizona in 1885. If you'd like to learn more, the text of Richard A. Haney, Jr.'s College of Agriculture: A Century of Discovery  (1985) is now available online. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: A History from 1980 to 2010  (2011), by Roger L. Caldwell, covers the last few decades. The full book and an abbreviated version are available for download. Manuscripts, photos and other original historical records can be researched at UA Libraries, Special Collections.

1862

Morrill Act offers funding to states or territories with a land-grant university

1885

University of Arizona founded

1885

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is established as UA's first academic unit

1887

Hatch Act requires each land-grant university to share their research findings with the public through an Experiment Station

Hatch Act
1890

University of Arizona hires first employee, Frank Gulley, as director of the Experiment Station

1891

The university and college open their doors. UA's first student is a 15-year-old girl named Clara Fish

1895

First class graduates from UA

1898

Domestic Science course of study is opened to students

UA Photograph Collection, Domestic Science Cottage, Folder 1, N-2389, courtesy of UA Libraries, Special Collections

1903

Santa Rita Experimental Range established in Green Valley, Ariz.

1912

Arizona achieves statehood

1914

Smith-Lever Act: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension created

UA Photograph Collection, Old Main -- Interior, 1896-1910, Folder 1, courtesy of UA Libraries, Special Collections

1915

Construction of Agriculture Building is completed

UA Photograph Collection, Agriculture Building -- Construction, Folder 1, N-6542, courtesy of UA Libraries, Special Collections

1915

First departments established: Animal Husbandry, Agricultural Chemistry, Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Home Economics

1916

First international student enrolled in CALS

1925

College nominates first honorary doctorate degree recipient

1928

Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the first arboretum established in Arizona

1930

Margaret L. Cammack Smith's research on the role of fluoride in dental health brings national recognition

1932

W.T. McGeorge discovers unusually high amounts of potassium in Arizona soils, reducing the need to heavily fertilize and saving money for both farmers and consumers for years.

1933

Researchers Alton H. Finch and Allen F. Kinnison save Arizona’s pecan industry when they discover a way to control Pecan rosette with zinc additives

1936

First full-time agricultural communications worker, Mernice Murphy, begins work as Extension editor

1940

CALS joins the defense effort, focusing on increased farm production

1942

Pressley Index becomes industry standard for measuring cotton fiber strength

UA Photograph Collection, Agriculture Building -- Interiors, Folder 2, N-6170, courtesy of UA Libraries, Special Collections

1952

College collaborates with US Department of State and USDA in the development of an agricultural college in Iraq

1952

Pima S-1 cotton developed by Walker E. Bryan at Tucson Experimental Farm. This cultivar will revolutionize the long-staple cotton industry

1957

Institute of Water Utilization is formed. The institute changed its name to Water Resources Research Center in 1964

1960s

CALS researcher establishes one of the first plant molecular biology laboratories in the world

1964

Office of Arid Land Studies established

1980

College hosts first annual Ag Alumni Breakfast at Homecoming

1981

Project CENTRL, a leadership development program for rural Arizonans, begins

1983

Maricopa Agricultural Center is added to the Experiment Station

1985

First CALS faculty is awarded an endowed chair

1986

First strategic planning effort takes place

1993

College becomes first at UA to have a website. It could only be accessed via lynx

1996

Bt cotton is introduced to Arizona via Arizona IPM

1999

Controlled Environment Agriculture Center established

2000

College of Agriculture renamed - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

2008

McClelland Park is the first UA building funded 100% by donations. Building is home to John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

2012

First fully online degree offered by Department of Nutritional Sciences