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April 2021
Independently published


College or Unit:

A New Campus for a New Century: Arizona State University East

A Collection of Stories and Memories by the People Who Were There
Charles E. Backus and Terry C. Isaacson
Illustrated by: 
Cover and interior design: Nan Beams; back cover photography: Tim Trumble

In 1993, Williams Air Force Base closed, and Arizona State University started the development of a new campus in the East Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area. This book tells the story of the early years at the ASU East campus from the perspective of the people who were there at the time.

Forty-nine administrators, faculty, staff, students and community members have shared their stories and memories of creating a new university campus at an old Air Force base, a memorable experience for all of them.


Charles Backus came to ASU in 1968. In 1993, he became vice president and provost of ASU East, now the ASU Polytechnic campus, a nexus for studies in interdisciplinary sciences, engineering, management, technology and education. He held the position until his retirement in 2004.