Right off the bat I'm going to cheat & say three bands were a big part of my college life...
Snopek was a local band that I saw at least a hundred times. Even though nobody else knows them or cares I had to put them in here.
Believe it or not, I used to own two SIgmund Snopek III albums in the 70s. I think the first one was my favorite of the two, but the title of it slips my mind.
I was heavily into anything Oregon-related in the late 70s-early 80s. I was fortunate to have seen them perform several times, including twice when Colin Walcott was still alive. I also have a vivid memory of seeing Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie perform together at UCLA as part of an ECM tour. I saw Codona (Colin Walcott/Don Cherry/Nana Vasconcelos) perform at McCabe's Guitar Shop in the late 70s. Those were very special times.
Probably the three bands that influenced me the most during that era were:
National Health (and related Canterbury bands)