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Williams, Dr. Robert J. | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Williams, Dr. Robert J.

Historical Note:

California State University, Northridge was established in 1956 as a satellite of Los Angeles State College, later becoming an independent campus known as San Fernando Valley State College. Dr. Williams came to the Northridge Campus as its first Dean of Admissions, bringing the Normal School Collection with him. From 1957 until his retirement in 1986, Dr. Williams served as Dean of Admissions, Head of High School and Jr. College Relations. Williams also served as a counselor in the Student Counseling Center.

Normal schools in California date back to 1857, with the establishment of San Francisco's City Normal School. Sessions were held weekly on Monday evenings until the first State Normal School opened its doors in July 1862, at San Jose. This was the fourteenth full-time State Normal School established in the United States. In July 1862, only eight out of the thirty-four states had normal schools. An Act of the California State Legislature on May 2, 1862 appropriated $3,000 for the establishment of State normal schools and support for five months. The primary purpose of normal schools was to educate primary and secondary teachers for public school systems.

The normal school system in California went through a series of name changes. They were known as State Teachers Colleges from 1921 to 1935, when their name was shortened to State Colleges. Several of the original normal school campuses joined the California State University system in the early 1970s.

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