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History of UC San Diego
from Angst-Ridden 60’S to Current
Stature is Feature of Jan. 20 Lecture

January 6, 2009

By Pat JaCoby

The University of California, San Diego’s journey from its beginning as the Marine Biological Association to its current stature—a trip met with both hostility and acclaim—will be traced during a Jan. 20 lecture sponsored by the La Jolla Historical Society.

The 7 p.m. lecture at  St. James Hall, 776 Eads Ave., La Jolla is entitled “The Beginnings of UC La Jolla—Soon to Become UC San Diego” and will feature speakers Richard Atkinson, former UC San Diego Chancellor and UC President Emeritus, and Jonathan Singer, early faculty member and emeritus professor of biology.

Two other lectures in the three-part series sponsored by the Society will cover Salk Institute Feb. 17 and The Scripps Research Institute March 16.

Constance Branscomb, lecture series organizer, said the talks will explore the vision and persuasion of Roger Revelle, including his interaction with the UC Regents, the City of San Diego and John Jay Hopkins of General Atomic. Professor Singer will provide insights into early faculty recruitment, department development and the design of undergraduate curriculum.

According to author Nancy Scott Anderson in her An Improbable Venture history of UC San Diego, those early years were rife with contention, from Revelle’s battles with Regent Ed Pauley to the La Jolla Real Estate Brokers Association enforced-restriction in property deeds that denied residency in La Jolla Village “to all but white Christians” and deemed “no part of (La Jolla Shores) shall, at any time, be lived upon by any person whose blood is not entirely that of the Caucasian race.”

“Today,” writes Anderson, “the University of California, San Diego is recognized as the best institution of higher education established in the U.S. since the Second World War. Measured against other universities engaged in high-level research, it ranks among the top few anywhere, outstripping ivy-covered legends and earning the respect of educators who once dismissed it as an upstart.” As one of the nation’s most accomplished research universities, it is widely acknowledged for its local impact, national influence and global reach.

A half-hour question and comment period will follow the presentation. The program is sponsored by the Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation and will be videotaped, transcribed and become part of the oral history collection of the La Jolla Historical Society.

Subsequent lectures in the series, “The Emergency of Pioneering Scientific Institutions in La Jolla,” will be presented by Suzanne Bourgeois and Walter Eckhart of the Salk Institute on Feb. 17, and Dr. Charles Cochrane and Michael Oldstone of TRSI on March 17.

The lectures are open to the public and are free to members of the La Jolla Historical Society. Cost for non-members if $15/lecture or $40/the series. For additional information, please call Branscomb at 858 454-6871, or for reservations email kgibbons@lajollahistory.org.


Media Contact: Pat JaCoby, 858 534-7404

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