Cal State LA is located on the site of one of California's 36 original adobes, built in 1779 by Franciscan missionaries and destroyed by fire in 1908. These lands were once known as Rancho Rosa Castilla, given to Juan Batista Batz, a Basque rancher from Northern Spain who settled here in the 1850s.
Los Angeles State College, founded by an Act of the California legislature, opened in 1947 and shared the Los Angeles City College campus for a decade while the current campus was being built. In 1964, Los Angeles State College was officially renamed California State College at Los Angeles and became part of the California State College system. The college then received University status and was officially renamed California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) in 1972. Notable achievements include the establishment of the nation's first Chicano Studies program in 1968 as well as the development of Cal State LA's Charter College of Education, the first such college of higher education in the nation in 1993. The original Cal State LA mascot was the "Diablo" but in 1980, new university President James Rosser adopted a new mascot, "Eddie," the golden eagle, designed to reflect the diversity of the campus community.