Yellow umbrellas, Wi-Fi, turf enhance Greenlee Plaza
New plaque depicts area’s namesake and former CSULA president
Other pockets of history on campus:
Batz Rose Garden
In the 1850s, Basque rancher Juan Bautista Batz acquired the campus area through a Spanish land grant and named it Rancho Rosa Castilla for the wild rose growing near the ranch house. Dedicated on June 23, 1982, the garden of Rosa Bifera (Rose of Castilla) now grows in the northeast corner of Lot 4.
The statue of Confucius, a gift of the Republic of China on Taiwan, was dedicated in 1987. In summer 2005, the statue was moved to a new location on a grassy area south of the State Playhouse.
Golden Eagle Sculpture
In February 2006, the sculpture of Cal State L.A.’s Golden Eagle mascot was unveiled as part of the University’s Homecoming Week festivities. Perched at the center of campus and in front of the University Bookstore, the bronze sculpture created by artist Kenneth Bjorge effectively represents the University’s competitive spirit.
In July 1984, “Olympic Fantasy,” a mosaic tile work by muralist Guillermo “Bill” Granizo, was installed on west side of Physical Education building. Cal State L.A. was the site of XXXIII (33rd) Olympiad judo events.
Oldest Campus Buildings
Built in 1958, the Music and Theatre buildings were among the first ten buildings constructed on the current campus site. In 2002, the Music building was renovated with metal soundproofing baffles and digital studios; and the Theatre building was modernized with network upgrades, digital TV systems and new equipment. The oldest structures on campus are the Corporation Yard “temporary” bungalows, which will soon be replaced by a new facility.
Solar Eagle III
On June 28, 1997, Cal State L.A.’s Solar Eagle III took first place in the national Sunrayce 97 solar car competition. The award-winning, student-built vehicle is currently touring schools throughout the community. In 1998, Mattel, Inc. reproduced the champion Solar Eagle III into a Hot Wheels® vehicle.
“Time Line for Forgotten Ancestors”
Since 1982, this wooden A-frame sculpture has been displayed on the lawn west of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library’s Palmer Wing. It was donated to the CSULA Art Department by artist Michael Davis.
Recently revitalized with artificial turf and new tables adorned with yellow umbrellas, Greenlee Plaza brings a more student-friendly and welcoming atmosphere to the wide-open space traversed by many who enter campus from the southwest.
Centrally located amid Salazar Hall, Simpson Tower, and the Physical Sciences building, Greenlee Plaza also now features Wi-Fi capability and enhanced accessibility ramps.
As a final touch, a bronze plaque was installed in early June to honor the University’s fifth president, John A. Greenlee. Formally dedicated in 1980 as the John A. Greenlee Alumni Fountain and Plaza, the plaza was originally built in 1973.
Greenlee—who died November 23, 1992—was president of Cal State L.A. (formerly, California State College, Los Angeles) from 1966-1979. During his tenure, Cal State L.A. converted to a year-round quarter system and was granted university status. Greenlee also oversaw the implementation of a new system of academic advisement, the completion of the Simpson Tower and Library North, the renaming of North Hall in remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr., and more. Previously, he served as vice president for academic affairs and as a history professor at Cal State L.A. Upon his retirement in 1979, then-Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley proclaimed May 16 as “John Greenlee Day.”
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