Open House has its origins as "Farmers' Picnic" which was the first open house event on campus. On May 24, 1904 about 200 visitors came to tour new buildings, watch Ag shows, and eat BBQ. In 1913, Farmers' Picnic attracted 3,000 people and in 1933 the administration made plans to create "A Country Fair on a College Campus." They named it Poly Royal. 

On March 31, 1933 Cal Poly had its first ever Poly Royal event. There was a parade, livestock judging, agriculture shows, horticulture exhibits and, of course, the enjoyment of a BBQ in Poly Grove. The day ended with a Poly Royal Dance in Crandall Gym. Poly Royal grew to be one of the main events on the campus social calendar and truly embodied the learn-by-doing philosophy that Cal Poly represents. 

At the 2nd Annual Poly Royal event parents, alumni, prospective students, and community visitors were welcomed to join in the celebration. In 1944, Poly Royal was downsized to a one-day event. Poly Royal also had annual themes and a guest of honor each year. Soon, the selection of the Poly Royal Queen became a much-anticipated event. Large crowds formed to watch the parade and see the new queen. 

In 1990, an unruly crowd of 1,000 people vandalized several stores and residences. Arrests were made and damages repaired, but Poly Royal was in jeopardy. For the next four years Cal Poly had no Poly Royal event. 

In 1994 Open House was born with approval from President Warren Baker. Open House is a culmination of Farmers’ Picnic, Poly Royal, some new events, and the addition of Admitted Students' Preview Day to provide a showcase weekend for the University. Newly admitted students, their supporters, parents, current students, faculty, alumni, friends, and community members are invited to come experience all that Cal Poly offers.


 Past Open House Posters & Themes

2017   2016   2015  
24th Annual Open House   Celebrating the Mustang Legacy   This is the Mustang Nation  


Mary Johnson



Jillian Ray



Patricia Lee

2011 Poster   2013 Poster   2012 Poster  
2014   2013   2012  
All That Glitters
Green & Gold 
  Celebrating 20 Years    Green and Gold Rush    
Casey Lovano
Kate Johnson
Anna Castenholz
2011 Poster   2010 Poster   2009 Poster  
2011   2010   2009  
Polywood    To Cal Poly
and Beyond! 
  Design Your
Alex Carter
Jeannie Nguyen
Donna Clark
2008 Poster   2007 Poster   2006 Poster  
2008   2007   2006  
Cal Poly!
  Explore Cal Poly:
Begin Your Adventure
  Cal Poly:
Choice of Champions
Kim Claytor
David Wong
Brandon Collins
2005 Poster   2004 Poster   2003 Poster  
2005   2004   2003  
Oceans of
Cal Poly
  Treasuring Royal Traditions  
Jessica Greenwalt
Stephanie Chu
2002 Poster   2001 Poster   2000 Poster  
2002   2001   2000  
Passport to Poly   Open House Presents Poly Royal   The Power of Poly  
Reagan Reynolds
1999 Poster   1998 Poster   1997 Poster  
1999   1998   1997  
Breaking New Ground   Poly Classic   Beyond Your Wildest Dreams  
1996 Poster   1995  Poster   1994  Poster  
1996   1995   1994  
Imagination, Explortation, Celebration   Avenues of Innovation...Roads to Discovery   A Foundation for the Future  

Related Content



admissions widget image

Link to the Admissions Website for information on selection criteria, application deadlines, creating your VIP page and more!

Parent & Family Programs

widget image