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WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ... UC San Diego once being called UC La Jolla?

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This marker at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is historically significant for the archeological reasons stated but also because the site name, engraved at the bottom, begins with the letters ‘UCLJ.’
(COREY LEVITAN)

What’s the deal with UC San Diego once being called UC La Jolla?

In May 1959, the Board of Regents for the University of California approved the current site for what it intended to call the University of California, La Jolla. Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), which was to form the nucleus of the university, temporarily housed the UCLJ School of Science and Engineering while that school awaited completion of its own building in 1962.

But the name didn’t sit right with Clark Kerr, president of the University of California system from 1958 to 1967. In the second volume of his book series, “The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949–1967,” published shortly before his death in 2003, Kerr explained that he suggested the name change to UC San Diego “partly because of the association of La Jolla’s name with attitudes antagonistic to minority racial and religious groups, and, too, because the City of San Diego was the donor of the land for the campus.”

The Regents accepted this change with no resistance.

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Is there a trivia question, or any other question about La Jolla, that you’ve always wanted answered? Send your “What’s the Deal With …?” question to clevitan@lajollalight.com


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