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New book highlights ASU history in photographs

August 15, 2012

Stephanie deLusé, a native Arizonan, remembers well the times when, as a child, she roller skated around the Arizona State University campus in Tempe.

Now a recipient of three degrees from the university, an Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, and an award-winning teacher, deLusé is the co-author of a new book that uses more than 200 vintage photographs to tell the history of ASU. Denise Bates, a historian, author and also an award-winning faculty member in the School of Letters and Sciences at ASU, is the book’s co-author. 

The book, titled "Arizona State University," begins shortly before the founding of the institution to help set the stage for the need for teachers and an educated citizenry that Tempe resident and 13th Territorial Assembly member John S. Armstrong sought to fill. Through his legislative savvy, and with the help of Tempe citizens, the Arizona Territorial Normal School was founded in 1885 – 27 years before statehood – and was housed in a modest building on donated pastureland outside Phoenix.

“ASU is an outstanding and unique institution, from the way that is was originally established to address the need for teachers in the Arizona territory to the way it has grown to be the largest university of its kind in the nation. Needless to say, it has a long and rich history,” said deLusé, who has served on the university faculty since 1999. She continued, “There is so much interesting work that goes on at the university, and so many important connections to the wider community, including at the local, state, national and international levels.“

DeLusé said by writing the book, she and Bates hope to preserve and share some of the university’s history and honor the efforts of those who helped establish it, build it, and make it what it is today – an internationally recognized research university offering hundreds of areas of study to more than 70,000 students. 

The book offers a photographic narrative of the university, including images of faculty, staff, students, alumni and citizens. Images for the book were contributed by people from local communities and collected from the University Archives, Arizona State University Libraries, and the Tempe History Museum.  

Sections of the book highlight the university’s growth and name changes, as well as show glimpses of academic programs, significant moments in athletics, snapshots of student life, and activities behind the scenes.

Former ASU President Lattie Coor calls the co-authors' work on "Arizona State University," "a valuable contribution to ASU's history."

"Arizona State University" is available at or at where a preview video can be viewed. A sale and book signing is scheduled for 4 p.m., Sept. 29, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive, in Tempe.