Born: April 15, 1898
Died: July 12, 1983
Known for: Guy West was the first president of what became California State University, Sacramento, when the school opened in 1947. He served until 1965.
Background: An Arkansas native, West taught and was an administrator at New Mexico Western College before moving to college in Chico in 1933. There, he was professor, director of research, registrar and dean. In 1947, West was appointed president of then-Sacramento State College. The college shared space with Sacramento Junior (now Community) College until 1953, when classes began on the present east Sacramento site. During his tenure, the campus's buildings and athletic fields took shape, and enrollment increased from 235 in 1947 to 6,282 in the 1964-65 academic year. Enrollment during the 2006-07 academic year reached 28,529.
A highlight: Besides CSUS, the president's legacy lives on with the Guy West Bridge, which opened in 1967 for pedestrians and is modeled after the Golden Gate Bridge. It connects the campus with what is now the Campus Commons neighborhood.
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.