Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

10 fun facts you might not know about ASU

The university is known for more than just being No. 1 in innovation


Class portrait in front of Old Main in the original Normal School Building, taken in 1901.

Do you think you know everything there is to know about ASU? Impress your friends with these interesting trivia facts about the University:

1. ASU was established 26 years before Arizona became a state. The school was founded on Feb. 8, 1886, and was originally called the Territorial Normal School with only had 33 students. Arizona became the 48th state in the U.S. on Feb. 14, 1912.

2. The recently departed Kate Spade graduated from ASU with a degree in journalism in 1985 before going to New York and working for "Mademoiselle" magazine. Spade met her future husband Andy Spade during her time at ASU. 

3. The ASU library has a Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection containing more than 34,000 rare items. The collection spans over 40 centuries and includes books, pop-up books and a performing arts collection. Some of the books are so small they can even fit in the palm of your hand.

4. Grady Gammage, the ASU president from 1933 to 1959, earned his Bachelor’s degree and Master's degree from UA and was formerly the president of the Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff, which later became NAU.

5. “A” Mountain contains 500 petroglyphs. These rock art images were made by the prehistoric inhabitants, the Hohokam. 

6. The first graduate degree offered at ASU was for education through the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College in 1937.

7. The final presidential debate for the 2004 election between John Kerry and George W. Bush was hosted in the Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium on the Tempe campus.

8. ASU has three platinum, 32 gold, 16 Silver and 1 Certified LEED Building Certifications. This means the University is ensuring electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments in these buildings. ASU aims for every building constructed after 2005 to earn LEED certification. 

9. Despite ASU's mascot being the Sun Devil, ASU's track stadium is named Sun Angel Stadium, which is the home of the Joe Selleh Track.

10. ASU has over 13,000 international scholars. According to 2017 statistics, ASU hosts the most international students for a public university in the U.S. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @alexa_buechler on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.