Arizona State University (ASU) is (as of 2001) the fifth-largest university in the United States with a student body of 52,759. With its main campus in Tempe, (Maricopa county), it was founded in 1885 as a territorial (Tempe Normal) school and became a state university in 1958.
Each year nearly 10,000 students graduate from its campuses: ASU Main, ASU West, and ASU East. ASU is a Research I university and houses the world-renowned Institute of Human Origins. It is also home to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication.
ASU is a member of the PAC-10 athletic conference. Athletes, students, and alumni of ASU are known as Sun Devils, a nickname adopted in 1946; earlier nicknames were the Normals or the Owls and, later, the Bulldogs. The Sun Devil mascot, Sparky, was designed by Disney illustrator Bert Anthony. ASU's main outdoor sports venue is named Sun Devil Stadium.