Old Main Society

On March 8, 1888, the Utah Territorial Legislature passed a bill establishing a new college to be built in Cache County. A little over a year later, on July 27, 1889, a group of territorial officials gathered to lay the cornerstone for the first building on what would later become the campus of Utah State University, a promising new institution of higher education. It was a momentous occasion in Utah history.

Today, the university’s growth would have astounded the founders. The original building, now called Old Main, has been joined by more than 400 others, including a vast expansion of statewide campuses, exemplifying the land-grant mission. The initial nine-person faculty has grown to more than 900, and the first student body of 139 has swelled to more than 28,000.

Each year at Founders Day, Utah State celebrates the steadfast and visionary men and women who sacrificed to establish this great institution and honors those who today sacrifice to ensure a world of opportunity for future generations eager to achieve their hopes and dreams.

Old Main, affectionally remembered by succeeding generations of students and characterized by the bell tower, has been a distinctive icon of Utah State for all who have walked its halls as students, faculty, or guests. The Old Main Society was established in 1967 to recognize those who have risen to the challenge of the founders and assisted the university through their private gifts. We thank and honor those individuals who selflessly contribute their time and resources for the future of Utah State.