Students sit by the fountain at Old Main built in 1933 by WPA artist Emry Kopta.
Renamed Tempe State Teachers College in 1925 and Arizona State Teachers College in 1928, more private support for the school arrived in the 1930’s when the Tempe-based Bulldog Boosters provided financial assistance for the athletic programs. In 1946, just before the changing of the school’s mascot from the Bulldogs to the Sun Devils, the fundraising Sun Angels came into being.
In 1947, two years after the Teachers College became Arizona State College, college President Grady Gammage made a significant move, acting on a request by the college’s agriculture department faculty. Gammage assembled an influential group of Arizona farmers and businessmen to assist in the development of agricultural facilities at the college. Known as the Agricultural Advisory Council, it was an effective support group for the institution: members of the original council purchased almost 400 acres during the post-World War II years, about half of today’s main campus. The AAC was the forerunner of what would become today’s ASU Foundation for A New American University.
Gammage again advanced the fundraising success of the state college in 1950 when he launched a campaign to create a student union building on the Tempe campus where students and faculty could takes their meals, conduct meetings, relax in the lounge and even enjoy some bowling. While the state legislature voted a $400,000 appropriation for the project, the amount was $350,000 shy of what was necessary to make the idea of such a gathering place reality. The philanthropic energy and thrust came from some of Phoenix’s most powerful citizens as well as select members of the AAC — names like Carl Hayden, Charles Stauffer, John C. Mills, Walter Bimson, Joe Lanser, Martin Wist, W.W. Knorpp and Hugh Gruwell, M.O. Best, John Jacobs, Sid Moeur, Kathryn (Kay) K. Gammage and ASC student body leaders Edward M. Carson and Bob Stump became forever linked with the college for their efforts to complete the student union. With such community clout and campus spirit behind it, the Memorial Student Union campaign roared to a successful conclusion, raising $439,000 in less than three years.