Share Your Memories

Maybe it was the first time you felt like a bona fide college student. The last time you smelled the sulfur in the lab. Or maybe it was something your professor said that soaked in and stayed with you through the years. Tell us, and tell your fellow Warriors, what you remember most about your college years at CSU Stanislaus. We’re building a collective memory bowl from which to share nostalgia in dollops. Read about those memories here...

How "The Rock" became a campus fixture

     “In 1966, I was senior rep and Larry McGranahan was AMS President. We had been students together at Turkey Tech as the college came to be known in its infancy days at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. The move to the new campus felt real exposed after the smaller and more intimate fairgrounds venue. At the new campus there were only the two large buildings and they were made to accommodate everything a college needs to do. For example, the cafeteria was in what is still the Library Building. I remember a very restricted cafeteria menu. I had attended the early part of the year but had actually graduated in March and started a job search process. Because I hadn't been on campus for awhile, I was surprised when Larry called one day and asked if I could get a truck. My father, Cullen, had a 3/4 ton International pickup with heavy duty overload springs. He used the truck for moving farm equipment, most notably his spray-rig, so it was very heavy duty. I don't remember where we picked the rock up but it was a nursery or landscaping facility of some sort. The Rock had been donated. They loaded it with a forklift on a pallet and we headed for Turlock taking all the back roads. Because of the weight of the rock we could only drive 25-30 miles an hour. As the campus was wide open, we were able to drive right out to the Quad area and back up to the current location of the rock. We hefted the rock off the back of the truck with two short 2X4's. I believe it was pretty much left right where it fell and a small stage was built around it. Because I wasn't on campus and not attending student council meetings I don't know anything about how the rock came to be selected as a symbol of free speech. Free speech had been a huge campus issue in places like Berkeley where Mario Savio had led the free speech movement. Free speech became a very big deal. As a student at Fresno State the year before I transferred to Stanislaus I observed faculty confiscating copies of a small underground mimeographed newspapers and burning them. After the rock was placed and its venue as a free speech area became known, The Modesto Bee ran a story headlined "Stan State will Have the Rock."

Ed Bearden
Class of '66