Long Beach State

September 24, 2015

Another highlight of my trip south was receiving from my Aunt Ellie a freshly published book about the history of Long Beach State.


I guess I’m surprised that a book of this sort didn’t already exist… but maybe nobody really thinks to document these things.  In any case, Barbara Kingley-Wilson now has, and it will be fantastic to read and get a thorough understanding of the stories that lead to what is now California State University Long Beach!

Including its founding in a tiny apartment building in 1949.


By my grandpa.


Here’s a photo taken in 1958 after the installation of a $1000 (!) “stone marker,” located at the new and official entrance to campus. Grandpa is the one on the right. He never liked having his picture taken, so there are few to be found…


The inscription in the book reads:

For Kari, Jim and Peter, 

Keeping a nice memory of Grandpa.

Love Aunt Ellie and Uncle Bud.

SO happy to have this book!

2 Responses to “Long Beach State”

  1. bud & ellie johnson Says:

    Hi Kari,

    YOur blog on the book is terrific. The way you photograph the pages – the pages you select to photograph, what you say about each make it all very interesting. Thanks for doing this. It’s something I am definitely going to save.

    Much love, Aunt Ellie

    • Kari Says:

      And I wrote the blog BEFORE I’d read the book. Read the first 50 pages on the plane flying home this afternoon and surely have much much much more to say about it. I am fascinated by my grandpa, the politics of education, the politics of institution building… all of it. I wish I’d understood all that was going on with him in those years. Of course, I was only three when he retired as president of the college… so I guess it’s understandable. 🙂

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for the book. I will treasure it.

      Love you.

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