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In the fall of 1956, the San Fernando Valley Campus of the Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences was established on the present site of the University. Soon afterward the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill No. 971, which provided that the campus would separate from its parent college July 1, 1958—the founding date of the present University—to become San Fernando Valley State College.
At that time it had an enrollment of about 3,300 students with a faculty of 104. On June 1, 1972, the college was renamed California State University, Northridge, by action of the Legislature and the Board of Trustees of The California State University.
In the 50 years of its existence, the institution matured from an extension of the normal school at Los Angeles State College to the “intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley and beyond.” The university changed from a virtually all-white, majority male, traditionally-aged student body to one of the most diverse in the nation. In fall 2007, 35,446 students were being served by about 2,000 faculty members and nearly 2,000 staff. During the 2006-2007 academic year, 5,933 students graduated with bachelor’s degrees in 63 disciplines and 1,623 students graduated with master’s degrees in 45 disciplines.