UC Riverside


Carillon bells waiting to be installed.

One of the carillon bells."If you don't know where you have been, you won't know where you are going."

University of California, Riverside Campus Timeline

The history of UC Riverside dates back over 100 years to the creation of the Riverside Citrus Experiment Station. Here are a few of the highlights:

The History of UC Riverside.
  • Citrus Experiment Station. EnlargeFebruary 14, 1907
    The Riverside Citrus Experiment Station, the forbearer of the university, opens for business.
  • April 21, 1948
    Governor Earl Warren signs legislation authorizing the University of California to open campuses in Riverside and Davis, earmarking $2 million for initial planning and design costs.
  • UCR ground-breaking ceremonies. EnlargeJuly 30, 1952
    UCR holds ground-breaking ceremonies. Construction begins immediately on Webber Hall, Geology, Physical Education, Watkins Hall and Life Sciences.
  • December 7, 1953
    The first library building is completed and opens on Dec. 24 stocked with 33,000 volumes.
  • Charles Young, first student body president. EnlargeFebruary 15, 1954
    One hundred and twenty-seven students and 65 faculty members arrive for their first day of classes. The next day, Charles Young is elected student body president. He later becomes chancellor of UCLA.
  • June 20, 1954
    The first 20 students graduate from UCR.
  • October 19, 1954
    UCR is officially dedicated (see YouTube video of the dedication).
  • Construction of the big "C". EnlargeAugust, 1955
    The big "C" on Box Springs Mountain is made with cement and equipment donated by the E.L. Yeager Construction Co. Surveying work is done by students. At 132 feet long, it is the largest concrete block letter on record.
  • 1955
    “Highlanders” is adopted as the campus mascot following a vote of the student body. The Scottish theme is embraced for several campus groups and buildings.
  • Faculty in 1959. EnlargeApril 18, 1959
    UC Regents vote to make UCR a "general" campus, complete with graduate instruction and professional schools.
  • 1960
    The College of Agriculture is founded, successfully combining the work done at the Agricultural Experiment Station with undergraduate and graduate teaching.
  • Carillon tower. EnlargeOctober 2, 1966
    The Boyd Bell Tower is dedicated.
  • February 2, 1967
    UCR offers a Bachelor of Science degree for the first time to students majoring in chemistry, geology or physics.
  • Rivera library. EnlargeMay 16, 1984
    Chancellor Tomás Rivera suffers a heart attack and dies. On Feb. 19, 1985, the library is officially named for him.
  • April, 1998
    Students approve a plan for UCR’s athletics teams to join NCAA Division I. In March 2000, UCR is accepted into the Big West Conference.
  • April 15, 2005
    The UCR Palm Desert Center opens.
  • November, 2006
    The university’s plans for a medical school are accepted.
  • September, 2012
    UCR’s School of Public Policy is announced, with first class of students expected in 2015.
  • August, 2013
    The first inaugural class of 50 students is welcomed into UC Riverside’s School of Medicine.

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