Site Dedication

Governor Brown, President Johnson, and other dignitaries at site dedication, June 20, 1964.
Governor Brown, President Johnson, and other dignitaries at site dedication, June 20, 1964.

On June 20, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the UCI campus.  As documented in the NBC-TV film The Birth of a Campus, the foundations of buildings under construction and open fields as served as a backdrop.  The first buildings were still months from completion, and students would not arrive for another 15 months.  Nevertheless, a crowd of 15,000 showed up for the dedication ceremony, trekking a two-lane road that led to the future site of the campus.  The recent assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the open location of the campus prompted Marine Corps security and a helicopter landing for President Johnson.  But to the surprise of security personnel, President Johnson boldly made his way off of the platform to meet with the crowd.  Also present were Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, UC President Clark Kerr, Chancellor Daniel G. Aldrich, Congressman Richard Hanna, and the Chairman of the Board of Regents, Edward Carter.  Local and national media coverage of the event established UCI as a genuine university while it was still under construction.

Campus construction has continued throughout the 50+ years that have followed, leading to a second meaning for the UCI acronym: Under Construction Indefinitely.


​Birth of a Campus (1965)- University Relations Motion Pictures. AS-136. University Archives, University of California, Irvine.

​Samuel McCulloch, Instant University (Irvine: University of California, Irvine, 1996), 33-35

​University of California, Irvine, University Advancement records. AS-086. Box 4 (University Relations: Site Dedication, 1964) Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Accessed Oct. 27, 2017.

​University of California, Irvine, Central Records Unit records. AS-004. Box 57 (Folder 395.80) Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Accessed Oct. 27, 2017.

​Photograph: University of California, Irvine, early campus photograph albums. AS-056. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Accessed Nov. 13, 2017.