San Diego: Historical Overview
The San Diego campus of the University
of California had its origins in the closing years of the nineteenth
century, when zoologists at Berkeley, setting out to establish
a marine station on the Pacific, selected a site at La Jolla.
The Scripps Institution
Land and a building were given the Scripps Institution of Marine
Biology by Mr. E. W. Scripps and Miss E. B. Scripps in 1909. In
1912, about a quarter section of land and improvements were deeded
to the Regents of the University. By 1925, the scope of the activity
had broadened and the name was changed to the Scripps Institute
From this beginning of a gift of
land and a single building, a faculty eminent for its achievements
emerged. The institution became a mecca for marine scientists
from all over the world and was known as the foremost center of
oceanographic research and instruction in the world.
The Campus Is Born
In 1955, the California State Legislature
requested the Board of Regents to investigate the desirability
of establishing a branch of the University at San Diego. At their
July 18, 1958 meeting, the Regents authorized the establishment
at La Jolla of an Institute of Technology and Engineering. The
action followed resolutions presented in August, 1956, for a graduate
teaching and research activity in science and technology and in
August, 1957, for a general campus of the University in the San
The Campus Expands
These actions were designed to help fill
the need for expansion of the University to meet current and
predicted population growth. The emphasis on graduate work in
science, technology, and engineering resulted from the special
needs expressed by San Diego civic, industry, and service groups
and the greatly increased demands for scientific education and
research because of their importance to national security.
Evidence of strong local support
for the University's expansion plans in San Diego was reflected
by the action of the city council (and overwhelmingly approved
by the voters in the 1956 and 1958 elections) in offering the
University, free of cost, more than 500 acres of choice city-owned
land which had a value of several millions of dollars. The University
administration was authorized to seek assurances from the federal
government that additional adjacent land would be given to the
At their meeting on August 15,
1958, the Regents selected Roger Revelle, director of the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography since 1951, to head the new facility.
On April 17, 1959, the Regents
voted to change the name of the Institute of Technology and Engineering
to the School of Science and Engineering. The new school was to
provide instruction and research in mathematics, physics, chemistry,
the earth and biological sciences, and engineering. It was established,
according to the Regents' resolution, with the understanding that
it "later may be converted into one or departments of instruction
and research. The faculty of the school should be appointed with
the expectation that they eventually will carry a full teaching
load and will engage in undergraduate instruction as well as in
graduate instruction as the need arises."
A month later, at its May 15 meeting,
the Board of Regents approved the development of the La Jolla
site as a general University campus to be known as the University
of California, La Jolla.
Academic Development of San Diego
The first faculty appointment for the School
of Science and Engineering was made in July, 1957, and was supported
by a large grant of funds from the General Dynamics Corporation.
By June 30, 1959, seven faculty appointments had been made and
a total of 36 appointments had been approved for the 1959-60 fiscal
year. The school enrolled its first graduate students in 1960
in the physical sciences.
From this beginning, the program
was rapidly developed in the humanities and social sciences. By
the mid-1960's, research ranged from the problems of cosmochemistry
to studies of seventeenth-century philosophy. The teaching program
reflected a broad spectrum of learning, with offerings in aerospace
and mechanical engineering sciences, applied electrophysics, biology,
chemistry, earth sciences, economics, history, languages, linguistics,
literature, philosophy, physics, and psychology.
The Regents on November 18, 1960,
selected the University of California, San Diego, as the name
for the general campus in the La Jolla-San Diego area. At the
same time they voted that the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
should continue to be known as the University of California's
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla.
The building space situation was critically
deficient until two new buildings on the Scripps campus were completed
during 1960. On February 17, 1961, Herbert F. York, a physicist
who had been appointed director of defense research and engineering
by President Eisenhower, was appointed the first chancellor of
the San Diego campus. York assumed the new office on July 1, 1961.
The School of Science and Engineering
was able to move from the Scripps Institution buildings and undergo
expansion during the summer of 1963, when the first construction
on the former city-owned land, a seven-story science and administration
building, was completed.
San Diego in the 1960's
When, according to its master plan, San
Diego reached its growth of 27,500 students by 1995, the campus
was planned to consist of 12 interrelated colleges, each of which
wwould enroll about 2,300 students. To reflect the changing nature
of the rapidly growing institution, the Board of Regents, at its
October 18, 1963 meeting, approved the changing of the name School
of Science and Engineering to the First College.
The campus had already branched
into fields other than science and engineering with the establishment
of Departments of Philosophy and Literature during 1963. In the
fall of 1964, the campus opened for undergraduates offering a
basic lower division curriculum preparing students for upper division
majors in the humanities, the social sciences, the biological
sciences, the physical sciences, and mathematics. A total of 181
freshmen enrolled in the pioneering undergraduate class.
In November, 1963, for reasons
of health, York asked to be relieved of his duties as chancellor.
A year later, in December, 1964, John S. Galbraith, vice-chancellor
and professor of history at San Diego, was named to succeed York.
Galbraith, formerly professor of history and chairman of the department
at Los Angeles, was formally inaugurated as chancellor of the
San Diego campus on November 5, 1965.
Colleges and Schools
On January 22, 1965, the Board of Regents voted to honor the educator
and scientist who had done much of the early planning and ground
work for the emerging campus. By order of the Regents, the First
College was renamed Revelle College. Revelle had served as director
of Scripps Institution of Oceanography for 13 years and had been
named University dean of research in 1962. He resigned both posts
in September, 1964, to become director of the Center for Population
Studies at Harvard University. By the mid-1960's, Revelle College
was a complex of six major classrooms and laboratory buildings
surrounding a central plaza.
The Second College began to organize
in 1964 and was scheduled to accept its first students in the
fall, of 1967. It was renamed John Muir College in April, 1966.
It was centered at the former Camp Matthews Marine Corps Rifle
Range, which was deeded to the San Diego campus by the federal
government in 1963.
The School of Medicine on the San
Diego campus, the third medical school in the University system,
began organization with the appointment of Dr. Joseph Stokes,
III, as dean in 1964. The school planned to accept its first group
of 32 students in the fall of 1968.
San Diego Land Holdings
The San Diego campus was situated on a
site of nearly 1,000 acres that spread from the sea front, where
the Scripps institution was located, across a large portion of
adjacent Torrey Pines Mesa high above the Pacific. Much of the
land was wooded with graceful eucalyptus; to the east and north
lay mountains, to the west the sea. Land holdings operated by
San Diego, including the former San Diego County Hospital, totalled