1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s & 1980s | 1990s & 2000s

Making Old Things New, 1990 - 2010


Armstrong approached the 21st century in a rush of changes. In 1996 the college became a university, and changed its name, holding on to the past with one hand and welcoming AASU Day with the other. The university began attracting attention from all over the Lowcountry and soon enrollment, academics, athletics and student life began to grow.
Each October, a bright new tee-shirt marked the anniversary, tents and tables went up around the quadrangle, and the campus treated itself to a day of festivities.

At the same time, in 1996, the long-standing core curriculum changed its shape, and the academic calendar shifted from quarters to semesters. The new schedule of staggered class days finally relieved the parking problem on campus.

Only the Pirate mascot held firm against the 1994 threat of a Stingray intrusion.

The biggest change came with computers. Fiber optic cable snaked across the campus; a mouse and a monitor appeared on every faculty desk; and eventually a world of information could move electronically into the library and the classroom and could even be carried in the palm of one's hand.

As the academic world became more and more electronic, the campus itself became a plant-filled arboretum, with shady walkways into quiet nooks among towering camellia bushes. An international garden matched the growth of international studies programs on every continent, even as International Day and Hispanic celebrations offered their own special moments for students who stayed home.

Around the edges, new buildings rose like mushrooms after the rain: University Hall, the Sports Center, the Science Center, and a major student housing complex known as Compass Point.

President Tom Jones came to Armstrong in the summer of 2000 and expanded the campus into a neighboring shopping center, where a former grocery store became a state-of-the-art conference center for academic and community activities. Jones' informal, open-collar style encouraged dress-down Fridays, even as electronic communication made it possible for everyone to work anywhere all the time.

In July 2009, President Linda M. Bleicken arrived to join a campus with women in positions of administrative leadership at every level.

Each decade of Armstrong alumni remembers its own version of "the good old days" of Armstrong's past. The "good new days" of coming decades and future alumni continue to unroll.

View 75 years of AASU through pictures with our interactive timeline!