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Special 50th Anniversary
Tours Feature UC San Diego's
Award-Winning Modern Architecture

Guided anniversary edition tours of campus launch Sunday, Nov. 14

Oct. 5, 2010

By Kristin Luciani

Fifty years ago, University of California, San Diego founder Roger Revelle had one criterion for the campus: “It must be distinctive.” As UC San Diego commemorates its 50th Anniversary, the campus is celebrating 50 years of incredible achievements, innovative firsts and outstanding faculty, students and alumni – and five decades of distinctive, award-winning architectural design. 

Revelle’s vision is reflected as much in the physical landscape of the campus as in its exceptional academics, pioneering research and creative campus activities. Perched dramatically above the Pacific Ocean on 1,200 acres of coastal woodland, UC San Diego features some of the finest examples of modern California architecture. And now, visitors to the campus will have an opportunity to participate in special 50th Anniversary bus tours of the campus that will highlight its unique architecture and remarkable history.

The tours, scheduled on the second Sunday of the month from November 2010 through May 2011, are offered exclusively to those who have purchased “The Campus Guide: University of California, San Diego.” One of only about 20 such guides in the nation—and one of only three for California campuses—this special full color guidebook provides a history of UC San Diego’s campus planning and growth, as well as map-guided walking tours of campus landmarks and buildings such as the iconic Geisel Library and the new Conrad Prebys Music Center. 

“UC San Diego has a collection of buildings that is unique among the UC campuses and one of the prime collections of modern architecture in California,” said guide author Dirk Sutro. “UC San Diego is known as experimental and innovative, and its architecture is an outgrowth and parallel evolution of that ethos.” 

Knowledgeable and enthusiastic adult tour guides from the UC San Diego Visitors Tour Program will lead visitors through the scenic campus, stopping at select buildings featured in the guidebook. Visitors will encounter the striking architectural landscape of the campus, ranging from spare sixties concrete structures to light, open designs and buildings that incorporate the latest ideas in sustainability and community space. One of the featured stops is Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where, long before the university was established, the roots of UC San Diego’s innovative and progressive culture were taking hold. The Scripps Research Building, designed by Irving Gill, was built in 1910 and was one of the first modernist buildings in the world. On the forefront of new design, UC San Diego is home to buildings by world-renowned architects such as Antoine Predock, Michael Rotondi and Moshe Safdie.

“When you look closely at the details of the materials and design of the buildings, you develop an appreciation for the way the physical structures fit into the unique terrain and how the campus has evolved to preserve the terrain,” added Sutro. “Even our Gilman parking structure, for example, is thoughtful in design. It incorporates solar panels on the roof that serve three purposes: to generate energy, provide shading and add aesthetic appeal—they look cool!”

Admission to the 50th Anniversary tours is included in the price of purchase of “The Campus Guide: University of California, San Diego,” available at the UC San Diego Bookstore on campus and online. Receipt-holders may bring one guest. Prior to the tours, there will be a complimentary continental breakfast at the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club at 9 a.m. Tours depart from the faculty club parking lot at 10 a.m.

Proof of purchase and advanced registration is required to participate. “Walk-ups” cannot be accommodated as space is limited for this special tour. Arrangements can be made for persons with disabilities with a week’s advanced notice. To register for this special 50th Anniversary Tour, please visit www.50th.ucsd.edu/tour.

Free, general tours of UC San Diego are offered year-round. For more information about visitor tours, contact (858) 534-4414 or email visitorsprogram@ucsd.edu.

About UC San Diego
Fifty years ago, the founders of the University of California, San Diego had one criterion for the campus: It must be distinctive.  Since then, UC San Diego has achieved the extraordinary in education, research and innovation.  Sixteen Nobel laureates have taught on campus; our stellar faculty members have been awarded Fields Medals, Pulitzer Prizes, McArthur Fellowships and many other honors.  UC San Diego—recognized as one of the top ten public universities by U.S. News & World Report and named by the Washington Monthly as number one in the nation in rankings measuring “what colleges are doing for the country”—is widely acknowledged for its local impact, national influence and global reach.  Join us in celebrating 50 years of visionaries, innovators and overachievers.  Visit www.50th.ucsd.edu for more information.



Media Contact: Kristin Luciani, 858-822-3353

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