Builders of Berkeley

The Gold Rush begins. The First Constitutional Convention of the State of California calls for establishing a state university.
Trustees from the private College of California in Oakland meet at Founders Rock and name their future campus site Berkeley after 18th-century philosopher George Berkeley.
The state legislature decides to establish a college to teach agriculture, mining, and mechanical arts using federal land grants.
The College of California merges with the state college, donating its 160-acre campus site in Berkeley to the state of California.
On March 23, the governor signs the act creating the University of California. This date becomes known as Charter Day.
The University of California opens its doors in Oakland.
John LeConte, a physicist, is the first professor appointed to the new university. His brother Joseph’s botany courses mark the beginning of the life sciences at the University.
The College of Letters, now the College of Letters and Science, is established.
Henry Durant, a Congregational minister and founder of the College of California, becomes the first president of the University of California.
Regent Edward Tompkins’ gift establishes the University’s first “chair of learning” in oriental languages and literature.
Daniel Coit Gilman becomes the second president of the University of California.
The University of California graduates its first class and moves into its new quarters — North and South Halls — in Berkeley. Enrollment stands at 199 students.
The University forms an alumni association with Charles A. Garter, College of California Class of 1866, as its first president.
A bequest from James Lick finances the University’s first scientific research facility, an observatory on Mt. Hamilton.

Oakland businessman A. K. P. Harmon provides the funds to build Harmon Gymnasium. In 1932 Edwards Fields and Stadium are named after his son-in-law, math professor George C. Edwards, Class of 1873.
Henry Douglas Bacon donates books, works of art, and funds that are matched by the state to build The Bacon Art and Library Building.
William Carey Jones teaches a course in Roman law, the seedbed for the Boalt Hall School of Law.
Cal and Stanford play the first Big Game in San Francisco. The final score is Stanford 14, Cal 10.
Regent Jacob Reinstein and drawing instructor Bernard Maybeck begin to discuss improving the campus. In 1896, Phoebe Apperson Hearst funds an international competition to develop a campus architectural plan.
Architect Julia Morgan is the first woman to receive a degree in mechanical engineering. She later works on three campus buildings: the Hearst Greek Theatre, Girton Hall, and Hearst Gymnasium.
Renowned English professor Charles Mills Gayley composes the song “The Golden Bear,” and the Golden Bear becomes the guardian of the University.
  Portrait of Levi Strauss
Levi Strauss matches funds for 28 scholarships created by the state legislature, launching a long-standing philanthropic relationship between his family and the University.
Cora Jane Flood provides funds to help establish the College of Commerce, now the Walter A. Haas School of Business.
  Photo of Stanford Ax
The Stanford Axe first appears at a Cal/Stanford baseball game in San Francisco.
Benjamin Ide Wheeler becomes the eighth president of the University of California.
  Photo of mural
The Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology (originally the Lowie Museum of Anthropology) is founded.
John Galen Howard begins to execute the campus architectural plan and establishes the Department of Architecture, now part of the College of Environmental Design.
Commencement is held for the first time in the new Hearst Greek Theatre, a gift of William Randolph Hearst. President Theodore Roosevelt presents the commencement address.
Photo of The Big C
Students from the Classes of 1907 and 1908 construct the “Big C” on Charter Hill.
Hubert Howe Bancroft’s library of Western manuscripts and books is added to the University’s collection.
Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt gives funds for a building to house the Department of Jurisprudence, later named the Boalt Hall School of Law.
Annie Montague Alexander provides support to establish the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Joseph P. Grinnell is appointed its first director.
Charles Franklin Doe’s bequest finances construction of Doe Memorial Library.
  Photo of Chemistry students
Gilbert N. Lewis comes to Berkeley to head the College of Chemistry.
Sather Gate is built, funded by the Jane K. Sather Trust. In 1914, Sather Tower — the Campanile — is completed. The Campanile chimes ring for the first time on November 2, 1917.
Joseph C. Rowell, Class of 1874, retires after 44 years as University Librarian. At Rowell’s memorial service in 1938, President Wheeler notes that he was the last living link to the University’s founders.
Photo of The Wonder Team
Andy Smith’s unbeaten football “Wonder Team” wins the first of four Pacific Coast Conference titles and goes on to win the Rose Bowl in 1921.
May T. Morrison donates her husband’s book collection and provides funds for the Morrison Library in Doe Memorial Library.
A statewide campaign brings in $1 million in contributions to build California Memorial Stadium, dedicated to students who lost their lives in World War I.
The School of Education, founded in 1892, finds a home in Haviland Hall, built with a gift from Hannah N. Haviland.
William Randolph Hearst gives funds for the Hearst Gymnasium for Women in memory of his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst.
  Photo of A. P. Giannini
Contributions from A. P. Giannini (above) and others support the first chair of Italian culture. Giannini also provides funds to erect Giannini Hall, today home of the College of Natural Resources.
Photo of Cal Crew
Cal Crew wins the Olympic gold medal for the United States. They repeat this feat in 1932 and 1948.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. donates $1.75 million for the purchase of land for and construction of International House, which opens in 1930.
The widow of alumnus and Regent Philip Bowles gives the funds to build the University’s first student residence hall for men.
Ernest V. Cowell Memorial Hospital opens, funded by a bequest from Cowell, Class of 1880. The 100-bed student facility is the only one in the country approved by the American College of Surgeons as a standard hospital.
Photo of Lillie Hitchcock Coit
Lillie Hitchcock Coit establishes the Charles M. and Martha Hitchcock Chair in memory of her parents. Her father’s 1885 gift endowed the University’s prestigious Hitchcock lecture series.
Robert Gordon Sproul ’13 becomes the eleventh president of the University of California.
Photo of the Wheeler Oak
The Wheeler Oak, a favorite meeting spot for students, is cut down because of its age.
Ernest O. Lawrence receives the Nobel Prize in Physics — the first of 18 Nobel Prizes to be awarded to Berkeley faculty— and the first ever given to a professor at a public university.
Photo of early Oski
Oski makes his first appearance at a freshman rally.
  Photo of an eye
The School of Optometry is established.
Photo of Rosalie Meyer Stern at the Sphinx
The first women’s dormitory, Stern Hall, opens. Funds were donated by Rosalie Meyer Stern (in white hat in photo), widow of Sigmund Stern, Class of 1879.
California Alumni Foundation is established to encourage private gifts, trusts, and bequests for the benefit of UC Berkeley. It is renamed UC Berkeley Foundation in 1975.
Photo of Mark Twain
Clara Clemens Samossoud donates The Mark Twain Papers to the University.
Clark Kerr becomes the first chancellor of the Berkeley campus.
Alumni House opens as an on campus home for alumni, funded by the California Alumni Association.
The student humor magazine, The Pelican, gets its own building with a gift from the first editor, Earle C. Anthony, Class of 1903. The Pelican Building is now the Graduate Student Assembly Building.
A bequest from Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Hertz finances the construction of the Hertz Memorial Hall of Music.
Strawberry Canyon Recreational Facilities open with funds donated by Walter A. Haas, his wife Elise, and her aunt, Lucie Stern.
The new Student Union Building is completed with the help of gifts from two Regents, Edwin W. Pauley and Edward H. Heller.
  Photo of Mario Savio
The Free Speech Movement brings Berkeley to the center of a national debate when students, including Mario Savio, demonstrate against rules prohibiting political activities on campus.
UC Berkeley ranks number one in the nation for the quality of its graduate programs and maintains this ranking in each decade through the 1990s.
  Painting by Hans Hofmann
German expressionist painter Hans Hofmann makes a gift of paintings and funds to help launch the University Art Museum, today the Berkeley Art Museum.
Lawrence Hall of Science, a hands-on museum and innovative teaching center, is founded in honor of Ernest O. Lawrence.
  Photo of dancers at Zellerbach Hall
The family of Isadore Zellerbach provides funds for Zellerbach Hall, the University’s first comprehensive performing arts center.
The School of Public Policy is established. In 1997 it is named for Richard ’41 and Rhoda ’46 Goldman in honor of their gift to the school.
The Bechtel Engineering Center, a gift of Laura and Stephen D. Bechtel Sr. and other friends of Cal, opens.
Poet Czeslaw Milosz, Berkeley’s first Nobelist outside of the sciences, receives the medal in literature.
  Photo of Spieker Aquatics Complex
Spieker Aquatics Complex opens with the lead gift made by Ned ’66 and Carol ’66 Spieker.
Cal beats Stanford with “The Play,” a five-lateral kickoff return for a touchdown as time runs out.
Gerard Debreu becomes the first Berkeley economist to win the Nobel Prize. John Harsanyi, Daniel McFadden, and George Akerlof also win the prize in 1994, 2000, and 2001 respectively.
Fifteen computer companies contribute to development of a computer-aided electrical engineering design center in Cory Hall.
Former Governor and Mrs. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown become the first major donors to UC Berkeley’s campaign to modernize campus biology facilities.
Photo of Ira Michael Heyman
Chancellor Ira Michael Heyman leads the University’s first campuswide comprehensive fundraising campaign, Keeping the Promise, which enters its public phase with $170 million in advance gifts. It ultimately raises $469 million.
For the first time, no ethnic group forms a majority among Cal undergraduates.
Chang-Lin Tien becomes chancellor and the first Asian American to head a major U.S. research university.
  Photo of William V. Power
William V. Power ’30 establishes a chair in biology in the College of Letters and Science. His ongoing generosity, including funds for faculty excellence and the neurosciences as well as his significant bequest in 2003, makes him one of the top donors in Cal history.
Photo of Jack Tang
A new University health center, the Tang Center, opens, thanks to a gift from the Tang Family Foundation in honor of Hong Kong businessman Jack Tang.
  Photo of Soda Hall
A new computer science center named for Y. Charles and Helen C. Soda opens. More than 2/3 of undergraduates now enroll in a computer science course.
The Valley Life Sciences Building is renovated as part of a major campaign to update facilities for the biological sciences with a naming gift from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation.
  Photo of The Walter A. Haas School of Business
The Walter A. Haas School of Business opens. The mini-campus, designed byCharles Moore and funded entirelyby private gifts, is called “one of the finest academic buildings of recent years” by the NewYork Times.
C.V. Starr Foundation makes a naming gift for the new East Asian Library.
Nobel laureate, professor, and former chancellor Glenn Seaborg (shown here in 1950) becomes the only living scientist to have an element, Seaborgium, named in his honor.
Robert M. Berdahl becomes chancellor and takes over leadership of the Campaign for the New Century. The campaign raises $1.44 billion in private support — the most ever raised by a public university at the campaign’s conclusion in December 2001.
Tan Kah Kee Hall, named by donors from Asia for the legendary industrialist/ philanthropist, provides muchneeded modern laboratory space for chemistry and chemical engineering research.
The Golden Bears have a new home in the Walter A. Haas, Jr. Pavilion. This “new Harmon Gym” is twice as large, but retains the spirit of the old building.
An anonymous gift of $50 million helps to launch the Berkeley Health Sciences Initiative and foster cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on campus.
Hearst Memorial Mining Building reopens after a four-year renovation and seismic improvement financed by public and private funds.
The University honors the late Chang-Lin Tien by naming the Center for East Asian Studies after him.
The Association of Research Libraries ranks The Library as the top public research university library in North America.
Groundbreaking takes place for the Stanley Biosciences and Bioengineering Facility, the hub for interdisciplinary teaching and research in the biological and physical sciences and engineering.
The University dedicates the Builders of Berkeley monument on the terrace of Doe Memorial Library in honor of the University’s leading benefactors.