Our Collective History
In 1894, Home Economics was started at Colorado Agricultural College (the original name of Colorado State University), which created the program in Domestic Economy to meet the needs of incoming female students.
To commemorate our roots in the field of Home Economics, in 2009 the College created this video to celebrate the 115th anniversary of Home Economics at CSU. In 2019, we marked 125 years of Home Economics.
What is now known as the College of Health and Human Sciences was formed in 1986 when the College of Professional Studies and the College of Human Resource Sciences, formerly known as Home Economics, joined to create the College of Applied Human Sciences.
This merger brought together the Departments of Education, Communication Disorders, Industrial Sciences, Physical Education, Social Work, and Vocational Education from the College of Professional Studies, and the Departments of Consumer Sciences and Housing, Food Sciences and Nutrition, Human Development and Family Studies, Occupational Therapy, Textiles and Clothing, and Home Economics Education from the College of Human Resource Sciences. The interior design program was transferred from the Department of Art and combined with the Departments of Textiles and Clothing, and Consumer Sciences to form the Department of Design, Merchandising, and Consumer Sciences. The Departments of Education and Vocational Education joined to become what is now the School of Education.
In 2011, we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the College of Applied Human Sciences.
The name change to College of Health and Human Sciences was approved in 2013. The new name more clearly defines the disciplines and mission of the College, which have evolved through the years. Adding health allows us to better promote our programs to align with student needs, national priorities, community professionals, alumni activities, and supporters of our College.
Human health and improving the quality of life has been a part of our College since its origins in the fields of Home Economics and Professional Studies. The disciplines in our College are focused on research and outreach, helping people achieve physical, mental, and social well-being. For example, we are:
- Advancing health and independence across the lifespan through multi-disciplinary inquiry
- Preventing disease by supporting exercise and good nutrition
- Advocating for sustainable communities
- Promoting quality education for people of all ages
- Optimizing design and construction for a healthy living
Found out more about CSU’s Sesquicentennial at the CSU 150 website.
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125 Years of History College of Health and Human Sciences Timeline
CSU was founded as Colorado Agricultural College in 1870.
Home Economics at Colorado State University was started by the Colorado Agricultural College, which created the program in Domestic Economy to meet the needs of incoming female students.
Theodosia G. Ammons was called to oversee the new program in Domestic Economy.
The name of the department of Domestic Economy was changed to Domestic Science.
In June 1905, the degree of Bachelor of Science in Home Economics was first conferred upon candidates.
The Simon Guggenheim Hall of Household Arts was built with funds donated from a United States Senator, whose only stipulation was that the building have a columned portico with his name engraved upon it. College officials protested due to unstable ground, but Mr. Guggenheim insisted and the front of the building almost broke off. Cracks in its walls remain to this day. Today the building houses the Department of Construction Management.
Inga Allison became dean. She had a talent for research and conducted experiments to determine the impact of altitude on recipes developed at lower elevations.
The South College Gymnasium facility was completed to serve as headquarters for the Athletics and Physical Training Program. Today, the building still hosts outreach programs in the Department of Health and Exercise Science.
Students in the Department of Home Economics were involved in “war work” developing food conservation circulars for statewide distribution and running the food kitchens which served two campus emergency hospitals during the flu epidemic.
CSU was one of the first schools of Home Economics in the nation to have a Home Management House, or “practice cottage,” which was on Howes Street. Every Home Economics student lived in the practice house for several weeks on a rotating basis taking turns being a cook, manager, waitress, and baby manager.
The High Altitude Laboratory, the first of its kind in the nation, was built to help homemakers across the world with the problems of cooking and baking at high altitudes. The laboratory was made possible by several years of experimental studies done by Dean Inga Allison.
CSU’s preschool program, what is now the Early Childhood Center, originally started at the site where the Rainbow Restaurant now sits, at 212 W. Laurel St. At that time it was a summer-only program.
In 1936, the Preschool Laboratory was established on a year-round basis, housed just west of Ammons Hall in the former Veterinary Hospital Annex.
In 1935, Colorado Agricultural College became the Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, or Colorado A&M for short.
Physical Education, the precursor to Health and Exercise Science, was established as an undergraduate major with a B.S. degree.
The major in Occupational Therapy was started.
Colorado A&M’s first interdepartmental degree program, Light Construction and Marketing, the predecessor to the modern Department of Construction Management, was established.
Graduate Education was initiated in the field of Physical Education with the M.Ed. being offered for the first time.
The Department of Home Economics changed its name to the School of Home Economics. Elizabeth Dyer Gifford becomes the Dean.
The College of Home Economics was established when Colorado Agricultural College became Colorado State University, changing from a school to a college with five departments offering 21 areas of specialized study within eight majors. Dean Gifford leads the College until 1975.
In 1957, the Colorado General Assembly also approved the name change from Colorado A&M to Colorado State University.
The Department of General Home Economics became the Department of Consumer Sciences and Housing.
The newly formed College of Professional Studies confers its first degrees, and the Industrial-Construction Management major becomes part of that college. Bill Johnson serves as Dean of the College.
Helen McHugh takes over as Dean of the College of Home Economics.
In January, three of the five departments in the College moved into the new Elizabeth Dyar Gifford Building named in honor of the long-serving Dean.
The College of Home Economics undergoes a name change to the College of Human Resource Sciences.
The College of Human Resource Sciences merged with the College of Professional Studies and became the College of Applied Human Sciences.
The School of Occupational and Educational Studies (called the School of Education since 1996) was created by merging the two departments of Education and Vocational Education. SOES was led by Duane Jansen and housed in the College of Professional Studies.
Consolidation of interior design program in Art with the interior design program in Design and Merchandising for a single interior design program at CSU.
The Corporate Fitness/Wellness major evolved into the Wellness Management Concentration, later changed to Health Promotion.
Jeff McCubbin, Ph.D., becomes Dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences.
The College of Applied Human Sciences changes its name to the College of Health and Human Sciences effective July 1, 2013. The College consists of six departments (Construction Management, Design and Merchandising, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Health and Exercise Science, Human Development and Family Studies, Occupational Therapy) and two schools (School of Education, and School of Social Work).