Fort Collins revolves around this university, with its 25,000 students from every state and close to 100 foreign countries. Founded in 1870 as Colorado Agricultural College, it was renamed Colorado A&M in 1935 and became Colorado State University in 1957. The A constructed on the hillside behind Hughes Stadium by students and faculty in 1923 stands for "Aggies" and remains a cherished tradition, even though the school's athletic teams have been called the Rams for decades.
Those wanting to see the campus should stop first at the visitor center, at the southwest corner of College Avenue and Pitkin Street (tel. 970/491-4636), for information, maps, and parking passes. It's open Monday through Friday from 7:45am to 4:45pm when school is in session and 7:30pm to 4:30pm when it is not. Among suggested stops are the Administration Building, on the Oval where the school began, and the Lory Student Center, at University and Center avenues, which houses a food court, bookstore, art gallery, floral shop, activities center, ballroom, and other facilities. Allow about an hour for a stroll around campus. Guided tours are available daily.
Appointments can be made to visit the renowned Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the Equine Teaching Center. The Art Department has five different galleries with revolving exhibits, and the University Theatre in Johnson Hall, on East Drive (tel. 970/491-5562 or 970/491-4849 for tickets), presents student productions year-round. The university's Environmental Learning Center covers some 200 acres and has 2.5 miles of trails, with opportunities to see wildlife such as golden eagles, muskrats, and white-tail deer, and a variety of plants. Dogs, horses, and bikes are not permitted on the trails.
CSU has the full gamut of sports teams. For information on who's playing during your visit, check with the Athletic Department (tel. 800/491-7267 or 970/491-5300; www.csurams.com).