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Welcome to English@80, celebrating 80 years of English as an independent department at Colorado State University

Louann Reid

Professor and Department Chair


I am thrilled you showed up and glad to welcome you into this digital space.

The English@80 webpage is the online home of our 2019-2020 celebration commemorating 80 years as an independent department at Colorado State University. As we look back at the evolution of English as subject, discipline, and department, we are celebrating the people who have played some role in our history. This celebration is for you.

English@80 provides opportunities for you to connect or reconnect with the people and a place important to you. I invite you to special gatherings associated with our year of celebration. Check out the Events Calendar. I urge you to use these occasions to engage with our students, faculty and staff, and to share your stories and experiences with us.

You can fill out the simple form on this page if you want a quick and easy way to share your story. Also feel free to contact us directly with a longer email message or by sending us a letter.

Mailing Address
Department of English
359 Willard O. Eddy Hall
1773 Campus Delivery
Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1773

As you browse this page, see how people, places and spaces have contributed to our vibrant and impactful department history. Learn a little about our direction today and find out how you can engage with us now.

For a deeper dive into moments that shaped the Department of English, scroll to English@80: A Historical Column by instructor Laura Thomas. It features photos from the past and narrative portraits of impactful periods over the last 80 years. Check back for more. We are adding several columns a month.

As you can see, we are proud of this department’s legacy and historical successes, and we recognize that we would not be where we are without our people. Above all, English@80 is a celebration of us, and that means you.

Welcome again and warm regards,

Louann Reid Signature

Louann Reid

Professor and Chair | Department of English

Look for the English@80 symbol

Keep an eye out for the English@80 mark throughout 2020. Anytime this symbol appears is an opportunity for you to engage with us. Attend free events, meet people connected to the English department, and take advantage of the many opportunities we offer to all students of Colorado State University.

English at 80 logo

Engage with English@80: A calendar of events

The English Department offers a robust schedule of live events throughout each semester at Colorado State University. Join us in person throughout the 2019-2020 English@80 celebration!

Most of the entries on this calendar are free of charge and open to all. They aim to cultivate diverse communities around common interests while fostering exchange of ideas.

These gatherings provide unique opportunities for direct engagement with department faculty and students. They invite major literary voices, offer informal spaces for fellowship, and celebrate scholarship and creativity.

We hope to see you there!

English@80 Stories: A video playlist

In observing the 80th anniversary of English as an independent department at Colorado State University, past and present English faculty and staff describe significant moments in the department's history. Scroll for video entries, and explore the rest of the page for ways to engage with English@80 throughout 2020 at CSU. Find the playlist and other CSU English videos on YouTube by clicking here.

English@80: A historical column

As we celebrate 80 years of English as a standalone department at Colorado State University, this column by department instructor Laura Thomas captures moments in our history for readers’ edification and delight. Scroll for column entries and explore the rest of the page for ways to engage with English @80 throughout 2019-2020 at CSU.

Laura Thomas

Instructor, Senior Teaching Appointment

1970: Old Main burns

Dec 19, 2019

At 11:58 p.m. on May 8, 1970, a University police officer called in a fire burning at Old Main. The blaze, which started in the basement, soon consumed the 92-year-old structure. Stymied by an inadequate water supply, firefighters were unable […]

Women in the English Department

Dec 12, 2019

From the earliest days of the institution that is now Colorado State University, English was taught, and women taught English. Although the first person to teach an English course was its first president, Dr. E. E. Edwards, the first to […]

1969: Woodstock, moon landing, Nixon, more

Dec 6, 2019

Readers aware of the many 50th anniversaries marked this year or who themselves recall the year, know that “noteworthy,” “momentous,” and “pivotal” can be applied to the events of 1969 without hyperbole. Woodstock, the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Stonewall […]

CSU English and the war in Vietnam

Nov 22, 2019

When we think of the Vietnam War era on college campuses, doubtless antiwar protests come to mind. Although the antiwar movement’s presence was certainly felt at CSU in the 1960s, Fort Collins was not Berkeley or Madison. In fact, James […]

Legacy of the University Honors Program

Nov 15, 2019

Due to thinking stimulated by the Honors Colloqium, I personally have revised my conception of art, religion, and the goals of life to which one should strive….In short, I had my eyes opened to many things….This privilege, which should be one […]

Student life in the 1960s

Nov 11, 2019

November 2, 1964. You are seven weeks into your first quarter as an English major at CSU. You’re one of 10, 175 students enrolled at the university. The English department is at home on the third floor of the year-old […]

Entering the tumultuous ’60s

Nov 11, 2019

Referring to the 1960s as a tumultuous decade has becoming a cliché, but like all such expressions, it earned its overuse by ringing true. Calling a decade marked by war in southeast Asia, political assassinations at home, and violent responses […]

Lasting legacies: Following the ’50s

Oct 24, 2019

English hit the 20-year mark as a standalone department in 1959. It was the year that Gigi won nine Academy Awards, besting Gone With the Wind’s record eight; that Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway, […]

Homes of the English department

Oct 24, 2019

As Homecoming 2019 arrived on campus in October, the university officially kicked off its 150th birthday celebration. And as English at CSU observes its 80th year as a standalone department, we visit our homes on campus throughout the years. Our […]

Support for the humanities

Oct 24, 2019

In spite of CSU President William Morgan’s strong belief in the value of humanistic education and of the renaming of the institution as a university, expanding the school’s emphasis beyond vocational training did not happen immediately. The research function of […]

Share Your Story | English@80

Fill in and submit this form for a quick and easy way to share your English Department story and experience with us.