Los Angeles: Departments
Geography courses were included in the curriculum
of the Los Angeles State Normal School when that institution opened
in the autumn of 1882. Formal establishment of a Department of Geography
followed in 1895, with James F. Chamberlain its first chairman.
Until Chamberlain's retirement in 1920, the department's curriculum
was oriented primariy toward the training of teachers. After the
normal school became a University campus, reorientation of the department
took place as the new chairman, George M. McBride, in 1922 began
the development of a four-year curriculum leading to the A.B. degree.
By the late 1920s, six full-time faculty members offered instruction
in some 20 courses, providing general programs in liberal education,
teacher training, and preparation for graduate work. Student enrollment
totaled about 600 students per semester and about a dozen students
per year completed A.B. degrees in the department.
Graduate offerings were initiated in 1934-35 with
the authorization of the M.A. degree and an enlargement of the faculty
and curriculum began. World War II interrupted both the regular
program and departmental expansion. McBride reached retirement age
while on a State Department mission in South America. With Clifford
M. Zierer as chairman from 1943 through 1949, the expansion program
was reinitiated and the Ph.D. degree program was authorized in 1948.
By 1952, the faculty had increased to 12 members, enrollment totalled
about 2,000 students per semester, some 45 courses were offered
at all levels, about 25 A.B. degrees were granted each year, several
M.A. degrees were awarded annually, and the first Ph.D. degree had
been granted. Gradually increasing emphasis upon graduate offerings
took place during the late 1950s, accompanied by further additions
to the faculty.
In April, 1964, the department moved into its
first specially designed permanent quarters in the Social Science
Building, with 17 full-time faculty, about 70 undergraduate majors,
and about 75 graduate students. The quarters contain a rounded complement
of teaching rooms, cartographic and special laboratories, and other
facilities designed to augment future teaching and research programs.
In June, 1965, Zierer retired after 40 years on the department's
faculty. Having come to the department in 1925, Zierer was a principal
architect in developing its broad program.
Through June, 1965, a total of 667 A.B. degrees
had been granted since the first awarded in 1926, 131 M.A. degrees
since the first one in 1936, and 37 Ph.D. degrees since the initial
award in 1952. source
Physical geography and physiography were
taught in the Los Angeles State Normal School before its incorporation
into the University in 1919. The instructors in this subject were
Melville Dozier (as early as 1884-85), James F. chamberlain (1891-92),
A three-unit course in geology was offered in
the first year of the southern branch by Clarence H. Robison (1919-20)
in the Department of Geography and Geology. The following year,
geology was set up as a department by itself, with Frederick P.
Vickery offering general geology, mineralogy, and crystallography.
He was joined in 1921-22 by Alfred R. Whitman. In 1923-24, William
J. Miller was brought in as chairman of the department and the first
two-year curriculum for the major was set up. By 1925, upper division
courses were authorized and the third and fourth years of the program
were offered. To supplement the staff, Colin H. Crickmay came in
1926-27. The following year, Vickery resigned. In the spring of
1927, the first geology major received his A.B. degree. In 1927-28,
Edgar K. Soper was appointed to the faculty, to be followed in 1928-29
by Joseph Murdoch.
In the spring of 1929, when the University was
transferred to the Westwood campus, the department was installed
in the top floor of the chemistry building. By the spring of 1930,
Crickmay had resigned and his place had been filled by Ulysses S.
Grant; the staff of five continued without change until 1937, when
Robert W. Webb was added to the department. A gradual increase in
the offerings of the department took place during this period, with
the establishment of graduate courses leading to the M.A. degree,
the granting of which was authorized for geology in 1933. Two years
later (1935), the first two master's degrees were awarded.
The year 1938-39 saw the addition of three new
members, James Gilluly, William C. Putnam, and Cordell Durrell.
With their advent, upper division courses were offered in optical
mineralogy and petrology (mineral gram analysis). Micro-paleontology
was listed but not offered until 1940-41.
In the spring of 1940, Whitman died and in the
following fall Milton N. Bramlette was added to the staff to strengthen
the department in stratigraphy and micro-paleontology. Granting
of the Ph.D. degree was authorized for geology in 1941-42 and the
curriculum was expanded to cover preparation for the degree. The
first Ph.D. in the department was granted in 1946.
In the year 1942-43, courses were introduced in
airplane photo and map interpretation and topographic sketch mapping.
The first summer field course in geology was also offered at this
In 1946, Soper resigned to devote his entire
time to petroleum geology. Miller retired in 1948, Murdoch in 1957,
although he was recalled to active service for two more years. Grant
became emeritus in 1959 and Putnam died in the spring of 1963. By
the mid-1960s, the staff numbered 23, including joint appointees
with geophysics and offered 35 undergraduate courses and 241 graduate
courses and seminars. source
The department came into being in 1922 with
the appointment of William Diamond as instructor in German. In that
initial year, Diamond offered lower division courses, including
one in scientific German and one in German literature, "primarily
intended for students working in English and the Romantic languages."
The department swiftly outgrew this subsidiary role. By 1925, with
four staff members and a nucleus of upper division courses in both
language and literature, it was able to offer a major in German.
During the first decade, increasing enrollment brought about the
addition of at least one new member of the staff each year as well
as the offering of more specialized courses in literature.
The next important step was the appointment in
1935 of Gustave O. Arlt as the first full professor. Under Arlt's
chairmanship, graduate instruction leading to the M.A. degree was
organized. Graduate work in older Germanic dialects was instituted
by Alfred K. Dolch; in Scandinavian language and literature by Erik
Wahlgren; in German folklore by Wayland D. Hand; and in German literature
by Arlt, Frank H. Reinsch and William J. Mulloy. In recognition
of the wider scope of its activity, the name of the department,
which hitherto had been Department of German, was changed in 1939
to Department of Germanic Languages.
A program leading to the Ph.D. degree was approved
in 1941. Conditions prevailing during World War II, however, delayed
the conferral of the first doctorate until 1946. Between then and
the mid-1960s, the University conferred the Ph.D. degree on 21 candidates
from the department.
Under the successive chairmanships of Reinsch,
Hand, Carl W. Hagge, Victor Oswald, Jr., R. R. Heitner and Eli Sobel,
the department enjoyed steady growth and increasing recognition.
What began as a single instructor in 1922 became, by the mid-1960s, a staff
of 23 active full-time members and 31 teaching assistants. Total
student enrollment passed the 2,300 mark by the mid-1960s. Instruction in
Dutch and Afrikaans under William F. Roertgen was begun in 1961.
The expansion of Scandinavian staff and enrollment led, in 1963,
to the establishment of a separate Scandinavian division within
In furtherance of research, the department maintained
over the years a strong interest in the resources of the University
Library in its field--an interest manifested especially by the acquisition
en bloc of a number of collections assembled by European scholars,
most notably the Friedrich Kluge collection in German lexicography
and dialectology, the Axel Kock collection in Scandinavian philology,
and the Konrad Burdach collection (shared with Berkeley) in Renaissance
and Reformation literature. In 1962 and again in 1963, a member
of the staff received the Distinguished Teaching Award of the UCLA
Alumni Association. source
There is no history currently available
for this department.