In September of 2011, we posted a story about the very interesting history of the canoe that is on display in the stairwell of the Social Science Tower -- https://ucisca.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/samoan-canoe-in-social-science-tower/ We were all very sad to learn of the recent passing, on Monday, January 25th, of Taloolema'agao Uliulileava Olano, the Samoan chief and canoe builder, from relatives in Western Samoa. Affectionately known as Uliuli, he was 84 years old.
The UC Irvine basketball team won their first game against UC Riverside on December 1, 1965 after two "ex-officio" players - Chancellor Dan Aldrich and UC Riverside's Chancellor Ivan Hinderaker - competed for the ball during the opening tip off. The first UCI Athletic Director Wayne Crawford addresses the crowd before the game, Head Coach Dan Rogers prepares the team, the cheerleaders are cheering, and there isn't an empty seat in the gym!
On Friday, October 29, 1965, California Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown, the father of current Governor Jerry Brown, visited the UCI campus. He was provided with a tour of the new campus by Sam McCulloch, Jack Peltason, the first University Librarian John Smith and others.
The first day of classes was Monday, October 4, 1965. Enrollment for the fall quarter 1965 was 1,589 students and there were 118 faculty members. Landscaping didn’t exist yet, but planting was about to start. Faculty looked to be only a few years older than most students. Hallways, even then, were overcrowded with students trying to locate their classrooms.
National Coffee Day was celebrated earlier this week, on Tuesday, September 29th. We believe that one of the first places one could get a cup of coffee on campus was at the coffee shop on the bottom floor of the Gateway Commons (now the Gateway Study Center). That coffee shop is now the space occupied by the Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive Center (OC&SEAA). Photographs below show the coffee shop in the fall of 1965. Coffee and the ubiquitous cigarettes... at least in 1965 they were everywhere!
Fifty years ago, on Sunday, September 26, 1965, Mesa Court opened and 500 students moved into the residence halls on that day. Mesa Court was the first residence hall community at UCI. It is now the largest student community on campus, housing 1,834 undergraduates in 29 residence halls. Each hall accommodates between 54 and 71 residents in suite-style layout. Mesa Court now houses mainly first year students. The first Convocation also took place on that same day in Campus Hall (now Crawford Hall).
In the first photograph below, University of California President Clark Kerr is at the rostrum speaking at UCI's first convocation, on September 26, 1965, in Campus Hall (now Crawford Hall). Faculty and distinguished guests are also on stage. Parents and friends filled the hall to a capacity of over 2,000. Speakers at the Convocation were Cecil E. Hoffman, D.D., executive secretary of the University Interfaith Council; President Kerr, U.C. Regent Philip L.