Mrs. Dr. Seuss donates $2 million for UCSD University House renovation

A photo from the late 1980s of UC San Diego's University House, designed as a residence for the university's Chancellor.  Photo: UCSD
A photo from the late 1980s of UC San Diego's University House, designed as a residence for the university's Chancellor. Photo: UCSD

By City News Service

The widow of children's book author Ted Geisel — Dr. Seuss — donated $2 million to UC San Diego to pay for renovations on the University House, it was announced Thursday.

Audrey Geisel, a longtime university benefactor, made the donation to honor UCSD's 50th anniversary year.

"In 1960 there was no UC San Diego," Geisel said. "There was just a beautiful bluff — with nothing on it. And I recall that Roger Revelle and several others had their spades and they dug a little earth. And that was the very, very beginning — that was UCSD. I've watched the campus grow over the past 50 years, and I feel so much a part of this university. I just do."

The University House, which is supposed to be the home of the school's chancellor, was determined to be uninhabitable in 2004 because of problems with the structure's roof in case of an earthquake. It was later decided that the building should be renovated, not replaced.

The rehabilitation plans include honoring the cultural significance of the Kuneyaay tribe that once lived in the area.

A draft environmental impact report is due next month.

If the timeline holds, the University House could be ready for occupancy by the summer of 2012.

   
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