Construction Management’s ‘Then and Now’ reflects on 150 years of transformation

1870 Then and Now Floats from 1925 and CM 2016
Fort Collins is designated as Colorado’s land-grant college site.

The Colorado Agricultural College is founded. Its mission: “to impart a thorough and practical knowledge of all those branches and sciences that pertain to agriculture and the mechanic arts…to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life.”

Mechanical engineering is first offered. The course content included stresses on roofs and bridges; construction of farm buildings; roads; pure mechanism; work and strength of machines; farm implements; and machinery.

Department of Mechanics and Drawing is established.

School catalog states: “The development of Colorado and the activities in the West in general have brought many young men trained in Mechanics Arts into prominence. The demand now is for men who can do things, and the object of the Division of Mechanic Arts is to train young men in this line that they may later do credit to the State, and to themselves in industrial lines.”

Precon room 122 Then and Now - Mech Eng lab 1925 and classroom 2019

Renamed as Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (Colorado A&M)

A General and Industrial Arts Engineering program is added to the Division of Engineering “to meet the demands of business for engineering graduates having training not too specialized along technical lines, but with certain manual skills, and augmented by the knowledge of business principles.” This course represent the first program of study that specifically sets as its objective the combination of business, engineering, and industrial arts included in today’s CM program.

The General and Industrial Arts program is dropped due to World War II.

Johns-Manville and other industry partners provide funds to Colorado A&M to establish the college’s first interdepartmental degree program: Light Construction and Marketing. Students rally to make the Rams, rather than the Aggies, the new school symbol. War ends August 15. Colorado A&M enters into an agreement with the Veterans Association to train disabled servicemen.

The first class of ten Light Construction and Marketing students graduates.

The first description of Light Construction and Marketing appears in the Colorado A&M course catalog: “The shortage of housing over the country emphasizes the need for the building of houses and farm buildings. The indications are that light construction in the future will draw heavily on various new plastic and wood products and will employ new techniques in the use of these products. This points out the need for men capable of entering into such a building program, both as builders and as salesmen for building products…. This course has been designed to give training in the necessary engineering and mathematical subjects accompanied by training in marketing and business practices. It leads to a Bachelor of Science degree.”

Colorado A&M College becomes Colorado State University. Light Construction and Marketing program moves from the School of Engineering to the College of Sciences and Arts. For the first time, the catalog targets the course descriptions to all students, not just men.

The program is renamed Industrial-Construction Management (ICM).

ICM courses in Architectural Drawing and Estimating, Mechanical Systems for Construction, and Construction Estimates and Costs are added to the curriculum.

The ICM program is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE).

To more accurately reflect the broad scope of the program’s students and course offerings, the ICM program is renamed Construction Management and celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Construction Management program becomes a part of the new College of Applied Human Sciences, which replaces the College of Professional Studies.

The CM program is ranked as one of the top 5 construction education programs in the country.

CM enrollment of 458 undergraduate students and 22 graduate students necessitates developing enrollment controls. Students are required to complete a Pre-Manufacturing Technology and Construction Management Program, in which they acquire a foundation in leadership computer skills, and design and materials and methods.

A Master of Science in CM is developed and offered in the Denver area for working professionals.

Then and Now in Precon classroom 201

The Phelps Internship Placement Program is established, placing students in required construction industry internships.

The department name is changed to the Department of Construction Management (CM).

With a total of 866 students, the CM program experiences at 19.5% enrollment increase, making it the third largest major on campus, second only to Psychology and Health and Exercise Science.

CM Cares is established, a service-learning program infusing traits of community service, leadership, team-building, and ethics through construction-related community service.

A collaborative Ph.D. program in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on Construction Engineering and Management is established.

For more Then and Now photos of the Department of Construction Management, please visit our
online photo album.

The Department of Construction Management is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.