Old Main Society History

Utah State University Logo

Remember When

History of Old Main

The original building, now called Old Main, remains rooted to the foundation of the schools, an enduring symbol of the original commitment of the university to the pursuit of excellence. Old Main, affectionately remembered by succeeding generations of students and characterized by the tower bell, has been a distinctive aspect of Utah State University for all who have walked its halls as students, faculty, or guests.

The Old Main Society was established in 1967 to recognize those individuals who have been alert to the challenge of the founders and assisted the university through their gifts of private money which augment our public funds. Utah State University thanks and honors those individuals willing to contribute their resources for the future of Utah State University.

Old Main Hill circa 1924

The first aerial photo of the campus was taken in the spring of 1924 to use as advertising for the National Summer Schools. (Photo from "Pictures Past - Utah State University Centennial)"

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 to be erected on the campus of Utah State University and to dedicate a promising, if then remote, new institution of higher education. It was a dignified and momentous occasion in the history of Utah education.

Today, more than a century later, the university projects a panorama of progress that would have astounded the pioneer founders, with prospects of even greater advancements to come. The raw campus of 1889 is now clothed in green lawns and spreading trees. The original building has been joined by more than 100 others, including those found on the land grant university's expanding regional campuses. The initial nine-person faculty has grown to almost 800. And the first student body of 22 has swelled to over 22,000.


Membership in the Old Main Society is extended to donors whose lifetime giving to Utah State has reached a total of $25,000.


You'll enjoy the satisfaction of helping to provide an education of quality for students at Utah State University.

As an Old Main Society member, you'll also receive:

  • n invitation to the annual Old Main Society Weekend held every fall to welcome new members and honor existing members for ongoing support.
  • All 4 annual issues of Utah State magazine.
  • Use of the HPER and Nelson Fieldhouse recreational facilities.
  • Complimentary use of University Libraries.
  • Advance notification of special programs and events.
  • Family membership in the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art.

Giving Levels

  • Society of 1888 - $10 million and above
  • Ambassador - $1 million to $10 million
  • Benefactor - $500,000 to $999,999
  • President's Circle - $100,000 to $499,999
  • Tower - $50,000 to $99,000
  • University Quad - $25,000 to $49,999