UCSC 50th Anniversary

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Utopian Dreaming: 50 years of Imagined Futures in California and at UCSC

Music Center Recital Hall Music Center, Santa Cruz, CA, United States

In 2015, UCSC is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia its 40th. Both are products of a fertile period of ferment across California, during the 1960s and 1970s. Why has California been such a fertile and fruitful site for “Utopian Dreaming,” in film, fiction, media, design, architecture, mobility, electronics, intentional communities,ecology and environment, […]


50th Anniversary: First Annual UCSC Downtown Fair

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the founding of the University of California, Santa Cruz, the City of Santa Cruz will host the first annual UCSC Downtown Fair on Sunday, October 25, 2015 following the 50th celebration parade being co-organized by the city and University Relations. The fair will be located at Cooper […]


An Uncommon Place: Shaping the UC Santa Cruz Campus

Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, Cowell College Cowell College‎ 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA, United States

As part of UCSC’s 50th Anniversary celebration
An Uncommon Place: Shaping the UC Santa Cruz Campus
Exhibition Dates: Friday, September 18, 2015 - Sunday, October 25, 2015
Public reception at the Smith Gallery at Cowell College:
Friday, September 18, 5:00pm-7:00pm

Curated by Emeriti Professors James Clifford, Michael Cowan, Virginia Jansen, and Emeritus Campus Architect Frank Zwart.

All events are FREE

The exhibition, originally presented last spring at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at Porter College, traces the decisive moments in the early creation of UC Santa Cruz's built environment.

Everyone agrees that the UC Santa Cruz campus is breathtaking. How was it created? An Uncommon Place traces decisive moments in the site's early development. Here an innovative educational project engaged with a beautiful and challenging environment. The university took shape among steep ravines and dramatic trees in a way that respected as it transformed the landscape. Using architectural plans, photographs, and oral histories, the exhibition illustrates paths taken and not taken-decisions, constraints, and hopes. It celebrates the achievement of UCSC's founding planners while analyzing the tensions and contradictions that were built into their project. Through its many subsequent transformations, the UC Santa Cruz campus remains an extraordinary work of environmental art.

Remembering these formative years can perhaps help us renew a powerful utopian experiment. At UC Santa Cruz, architecture and environment still conspire to create an uncommon place, a setting for teaching, research and imagination outside the bounds of the ordinary.

Sponsored by UCSC Alumni Association; Divisions of the Arts, Humanities, Physical and Biological Sciences, Social Sciences; Colleges: Cowell, Eight, Kresge, Oakes, Porter, and Stevenson; McHenry Library Special Collections & Archives; and University Relations.


Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery Hours:

Tuesday - Sunday, 11:00am to 4:00pm (Exhibition Dates: September 18 - October 25)

The gallery is wheelchair accessible and admission is free. Group tours are available by appointment (831) 459-3606. Please visit our website


Founders Celebration Dinner

East Field, UC Santa Cruz

A spectacular evening under the stars in celebration of trailblazers, radicals, and legends. September 26, 2015, 6 p.m., East Field, UC Santa Cruz Tickets: $175 per person Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime evening and be part of the crowning event of UC Santa Cruz’s 50th celebratory year. This year’s Founders Celebration dinner will be unlike anything […]

Teach In: Bettina Aptheker

Stevenson, Room 150

Be a student again for an afternoon! Attend a lecture entitled "Feminism & Social Justice" from faculty professor of feminist studies Bettina Aptheker. Join fellow alums for a lively look at current movements in social justice and the ways in which gender, race, class, and sexuality interconnect with each other. From birth matters to thinking […]


Celebrating 50 Years of Literature

Kresge College Room 327

In order to celebrate our tradition of working and teaching across national, linguistic, and disciplinary divides, the UCSC Literature Department is pleased host 50 Years of Literature at UCSC, an event commemorating the achievement of Literature alumni and faculty. This special anniversary event will feature discussions with emeritus and current faculty, and UCSC alumni. It […]

11th Annual Graduate Research Symposium

McHenry Library, UCSC

The Graduate Research Symposium highlights the innovative research being conducted by graduate students in our thirty-eight programs across five academic divisions. It celebrates the scholarly, creative, social and commercial impact they make within California and around the world! In addition to graduate students presenting their research to a general audience, graduate alumni selected by the […]