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Saturday, September 23, 2023

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A new SDSU desk calendar for 2022 was published Oct. 5. A new SDSU desk calendar for 2022 was published Oct. 5.

Every Date at State: An Anniversary Calendar for 2022

Anthropology professor Seth Mallios and Montezuma Publishing are just out with a 2022 desk calendar chronicling milestones in SDSU history.
By Jeff Ristine

A visit from JFK, the introduction of four-year degree programs, a 21-game win streak in basketball.

For every day of the year, Seth Mallios, university history curator for San Diego State University, found a significant milestone, event, or personal accomplishment connected to SDSU, its predecessor institutions and their alumni going back to 1897.

Now the results of his digging can be seen in a first-ever desk calendar for 2022, “Today in San Diego State University History.” The day-by-day chronicle begins with the official naming of SDSU on Jan. 1, 1974, and ends (spoiler warning) with a note on the donation of a working drawing for Montezuma Hall’s Mural Triptico on Dec. 31, 2009.

The calendar was designed by Mallios and Montezuma Publishing to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the March 13, 1897 founding of the San Diego Normal School. Packed with archival photos, the calendar went on sale today exclusively through the SDSU Bookstore and

“What I’m hoping is each day they get excited about tearing off the next page,” said Mallios, an anthropology professor with an office on the fourth floor of the Arts and Letters building. “What I’m hoping is that it’s unpredictable and fun.”

A music buff, Mallios included more than two dozen memorable concerts at campus venues, including an appearance by a little-known band called The Go-Go’s (March 14, 1981) whose first album had yet to be released, and the joint tour stop of Elton John and Billy Joel (Jan. 19, 2001), a Cox Arena extravaganza with a 38-song setlist.

The military is also prominently featured. The calendar marks the birthdate of Professor Frank Jacob Irgang, an army medic who was one of 20 Aztecs on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, and the day alumnus Edmund F. Overend took command of Marine Fighting Squadron 321.

Mallios said he also tried to include a lot of female pioneers, benefactors, and athletes such as alumna Ellen Ochoa, the first Latinx woman to go into space (April 8, 1993), and soccer star Lynn Murray, who scored a single-game program record four goals in a 5-0 win at Cal Poly Pomona (Oct. 23, 1995).

Every school has its founding date and assorted football triumphs, but those three subjects, he said, “were distinctively San Diego State.”

As might be expected, the summer months of the year and winter break tended to be thinner on material while other dates forced Mallios to choose just one entry from multiple options. The honorary degrees awarded at commencement all fall within a narrow range of dates, for example; football also occurs entirely at one time of year.

It’s not all rah-rah. The calendar pays tribute to military veterans killed in action and includes references to campus tragedies and the budget controversies that brought down a president.

“Today in SDSU History” was conceived as a one-shot anniversary product, with an initial publishing run of 3,000 copies, but early reaction has been positive and Mallios said he’d be happy to assemble a 2023 edition. “If there is demand for it,” he said, “we’ll do it.”

Potential material for its content already is cropping up.

“One of my students just yesterday sent me a great story of when a sea lion showed up on campus in 1955,” he said. “And I thought, man, I wish that had gone in the calendar.”