Living Yearbook: Student media archivist looks at CSU history

Luke Bourland

As a history major, I have always thought there is a lot to learn by studying the past — not just in studying wars and the historical figures who fought them but in studying everyday people and events. 

When I first started at The Collegian, I became infatuated — some may say obsessed — with the collection of “Silver Spruce” yearbooks. These yearbooks offered a glimpse into life and campus 20, 40 and even 100 years ago. Through all the changes in student life, fashion and academia this past century, one thing has remained constant: growth.


Despite the Spanish flu of 1918 and the years following, Colorado State University persevered. In the years surrounding World War II, classes persisted, offering stability in an unstable world. In the height of paranoia during the Cold War, we were building dorms and classrooms on campus. 

I believe the greatest teacher and comforter is history: It shows us that we are not alone in feeling troubled and stressed about the future. All these feelings and thoughts going through my head led me to create this project highlighting the growth of CSU through the years. As you look through the images and note the changes to our campus, remember that in uncertain times, growth has persisted.

Featured below is a collection of photos from our past and my modern rendition of those photos. 

Ammons Hall in 1961 and present day. 

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The Collegian staff 1983 and present day. 

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The Lory Student Center in 1961 and present day.

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Andy Warhol sculptures 1987 and present day.

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Guggenheim Hall 1921 and present day.

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The Plaza in 1983 and present day.

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Luke Bourland can be reached at or on Twitter @magungo44.