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.
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.
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 campus.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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Last updated 06/18/04.