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First commencement at Montezuma Mesa campus, 1931The University Archives Multimedia Collection consists of video tapes, vinyl records, and other media documenting a wide range of campus-related events and programs. Below are a few of the video highlights from this collection:

Image credit: First commencement on the Montezuma Mesa campus, 1931. Still image from SDSU #5 Video, Special Collections & University Archives.



Note: this video has no sound.

This compilation video includes the following campus events:

  • Early homecoming, marching band, and cheerleading/pep squad footage (likely early 1930s)
  • Football games, including vs. Occidental, La Verne, San Jose, Marines, Whittier, and Redlands (likely early 1930s)
  • First Montezuma Mesa commencement (1931)
  • Laying of the cornerstone for the new campus (1931)
  • Aerial footage of early campus and parking lot (likely early 1930s)
  • 1937 All Conference Track Meet
  • Founders Day and Dedication Ceremony (1937): includes the unveiling of Montezuma/"Monty" statue (officially named "Aztec") by sculptor Donal Hord
  • Assorted color footage of dancers, students walking and lounging on campus, welders, potters, swimmers, and man walking on railroad tracks (unknown date)

Total running time: 31:50.

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SDSU Associated Men Students Prepare to Meet the Axis Powers, 1942-1943
Note: this video has no sound.

Includes footage of Associated Men Students preparing for military service in WWII through exercises, drills, and races on campus. Names mentioned on the video include: Lt. Comdr. Calland, Lt. Craney, Tony Ghio, Bob Menke, and AMS Officers 1942-1943: President Jim Ahler, Vice President Jim Dall, Secretary Bud East, and Treasurer Herb Blossom.

Total running time: 10:20.

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President Kennedy Visits San Diego

KFMB-TV 8 news coverage of President John F. Kennedy's visit to San Diego in 1963, including his commencement speech given at San Diego State University, and visit to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Highlights include:

  • President Kennedy's plane arriving from El Paso, TX, and an interview with Governor Pat Brown about how he and SDSU President Malcolm Love got JFK to visit San Diego to receive the first honorary doctorate degree from the California State Universities. Also seen are State Senator Clair Engle, Congressman Lionel Van Deerlin, and White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger.
  • The Presidential motorcade proceeding down El Cajon Boulevard, as seen from 54th Street. About a dozen autos are included, and a marching band and Marines can be heard and seen in the background.
  • The President's arrival at SDSU, where he is greeted by SDSU President Malcolm Love, California State University Chancellor Glenn Dumke, and Louis Heilbron, first chairman of the board of trustees of the California State Colleges. The President also has his gown put on, and signs autographs for the Aztec Angels (students who assisted him).
  • The President's processional to the commencement stage.
  • Selected portions of JFK's commencement speech.
  • Arrival of JFK's helicopter to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), where he is greeted by two Marine generals and a 21-gun salute on the way towards the Honors Area.
  • Various ceremonies and maneuvers at MCRD, including inspecting the C-School Honor Guard and watching bayonet jousting drills.
  • Speech given to the MCRD on the history of the United States's martial tradition.

Total running time: 30:08.

Weir was San Diego State College class president in 1963. Interview pertains to Weir's memories coordinating the visit to SDC of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. 

Download the PDF transcript of the complete interview.

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The Aztec Story

Produced by Associated Students of San Diego State, circa 1964. This video discusses student growth and academics in such divisions as Aerospace Studies, the School of Business Administration, the Art Department, the School of Education, engineering, languages and biological sciences, social sciences, physics, and the doctoral degree in chemistry (the first doctorate given by the California State University). Several professors can be seen in the video, including Oscar Kaplan, Arnie Wick, Clifford Smith, and George Sorenson.

Some brief footage of homecoming football games and JFK's 1963 commencement speech is included. Also depicted are extracurricular activities such as working at the Daily Aztec and the campus television station, strumming banjos, and getting involved with student government, drama, and sports.

A 60-second portion of this film was shown during the intermission of the 1964 GE College Bowl. San Diego State competed against Queens College in this event held on November 15, 1964.

Total running time: 11:44.

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The Sight and Sound of San Diego State

Features a brief history of San Diego State, and a detailed tour of the Broadcasting Department on campus, circa mid-1960s. Includes footage of Hepner Hall back when there was parking in front of it, the Hardy Tower, and the adjoining courtyard with the original Monty statue. Produced by the AO chapter of AEP for the Radio/Television department at San Diego State. Directed and photographed by Robert D. Gardner.

Total running time: 9:52.

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SDSU Marching Aztecs, 1973
Note: this video has no sound.

Footage of the San Diego State University Marching Aztecs band forming assorted patterns and words en masse on the football field.

Total running time: 35:26.

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The Building of Love Library, (1968-71)

The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Love Library on the San Diego State campus. The impulse that spurred the construction of this new library in 1970 has much to do with the expansion of San Diego State under Malcolm A. Love, the 4th President of San Diego State who served from 1952 to 1971. During his nineteen years as President, he was able to transform San Diego State College into a university. When he retired in 1971, student enrollment had reached more than 30,000, and full-time faculty rose to 1,128. In addition, San Diego State received more than $6 million in research money and was able to establish graduate degrees in 52 programs. With the extraordinary growth of students, faculty and facilities, plans emerged for a great new library to house over one million volumes to be named in honor of President Malcolm A. Love. Construction of the new library began in 1968. It was completed in 1970 and dedicated to President Love in May, 1971. This exhibit is a selection from hundreds of photographs in the University Archives Photograph Collection documenting the 3-year construction of the Malcolm A. Love Library, from renderings, to blueprints, to groundbreaking, to completion in 1970. Also included are photos from opening day and the dedication of the Library in 1971.


Love Library Addition (1996)

This public relations video includes an overview and history of the Library Addition (Infodome) to the Malcolm A. Love Library on the San Diego State University campus. A production of Instructional Technology Services, 1996.

Total running time: 5:30.

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Full Focus - SDSU Growth and Campus Expansion

"Full Focus" was a public affairs and news TV program on KPBS which was on the air from 2000 to 2007. In this episode (#5190), host Gloria Penner discusses the growth and expansion of the San Diego State campus. Included are interviews with SDSU President Stephen Weber, Athletic Director Mike Bohn, and neighborhood activist Michelle Nash-Hoff, President of Del Cerro Community Action Council, who expressed her concern about campus expansion into the Del Cerro and Adobe Falls areas.

The first segment of this program is an engaging history of SDSU which features many historical photographs and videos, covering the school from its humble beginnings as a normal school in downtown San Diego, all the way up to the university of the present day. Included are interviews with SDSU History Professor Emeritus Raymond Starr (author of San Diego State University: A History in Word and Image), and Dr. Earl Nation, a member of the San Diego State class of 1931.

Aired on March 28, 2005. Total running time: 25:48.

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Contact Us

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Location: SDSU Library & Information Access, Love Library Room 150
Phone: 619.594.6791

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