• Australian for 'lots of trees'

    1964: The UCSC Arboretum gets started with a gift of 90 species of eucalyptus, the foundation for what will become the largest collection of Australian plants outside of Australia.

  • Cowell College founded

    1965: Cowell College opens as UCSC's founding college. It is named for Henry Cowell and the Cowell family, who donated the land UCSC is built on.

  • Beginning enrollment

    1965: Undergraduate enrollment starts with 652 students; the following fall, it nearly doubles, to 1,267.

  • Milestone: graduate students

    1966: UCSC enrolls its first graduate class—27 students.

  • Stevenson College founded

    1966: Stevenson College founded, named after Adlai Stevenson, an American politician and United Nations ambassador.

  • Outstanding in their fields

    1967: UCSC's organic horticulture apprenticeship program begins. The program has trained more than 1,300 organic farmers who are now growing and teaching worldwide.

  • Crown College founded

    1967: Crown College founded, with facilities built through a partnership of public funds and a gift from the Crown Zellerbach Foundation.

  • Understanding elephant seals

    1967: UCSC's renowned elephant seal research program is founded. The program has revealed the animals' phenomenal diving abilities (they can reach depths of nearly 5,000 feet and remained submerged for over an hour) and 3,000-mile migrations.

  • Huffman coding

    1967: Founding computer science department faculty member the late David Huffman arrives at UCSC. As an MIT graduate student in 1952, Huffman developed a data compression scheme called Huffman coding—which is now used in the MP3 files on your music player, the JPEG files on your digital camera, and on your high-definition television.

  • Merrill College founded

    1968: Merrill College founded, named after donor Charles E. Merrill Jr., headmaster of the Commonwealth School in Boston.

  • Porter College founded

    1969: College Five founded; formally dedicated as Porter College in 1981. The college is named as a memorial to the grandfather of three UC benefactors: Porter Sesnon, Barbara Sesnon Cartan, and William T. Sesnon.

  • Kresge College founded

    1971: Kresge College founded, endowed by the Kresge family trust. The trust's fortune came from Kmart, which had its roots in Sebastian Spering Kresge's opening of a modest five-and-dime store in downtown Detroit in 1899.

  • Where he's calling from

    1971: Celebrated American short story writer Raymond Carver teaches poetry and writing classes as a visiting lecturer. Carver taught at UCSC for three years.

  • Oakes College founded

    1972: Oakes College founded; major funding came from the generosity and philanthropic efforts of Margaret and Roscoe Oakes and the San Francisco Foundation.

  • College Eight, too

    1972: College Eight founded.

  • Social animal

    1973: Social psychologist Elliot Aronson wins the American Psychological Association's award for distinguished writing. Later he becomes the only psychologist to have won the association's highest awards in all three major academic categories when he follows with distinguished teaching (1980), and distinguished research (1999).

  • Milestone: 5,000

    1974: Undergraduate enrollment reaches 5,000.

  • Women's studies pioneer

    1974: The campus becomes one of the first schools in the country to offer a major in women's studies. UC Santa Cruz has developed one of the most highly regarded and longstanding programs in the nation— although it goes by a different name these days: feminist studies.

  • Hello, birdie

    1975: The Santa Cruz Predatory Research Group forms at UC Santa Cruz. Only two nesting pairs of peregrine falcons remained in California then. Thanks to the group's efforts, the falcon was removed from the endangered species list in 1999.

  • Learning from a master

    1978: Acclaimed performer and writer the late Spalding Gray teaches a summer session course at UCSC. The experience helps spark his interest in dramatic monologue.

  • Milestone: 500

    1981: Graduate student enrollment reaches 500.

  • Dickensian devotion

    1981: The Dickens Project is founded at UCSC, becoming the premier center for study of novelist Charles Dickens and one of the leading sites for research on 19th-century British culture.

  • Play's the thing

    1981: Shakespeare Santa Cruz founded. Almost 30 years later, SSC continues to be heralded as one of the nation's most innovative theater festivals.

  • Warhol in the house

    1983: Cowell Provost House receives a donation of an Andy Warhol rug. The rug, which features a repeating flower image, has decorated the Provost House in different years, according to the taste of the provost in office.

  • 1,500 degrees

    1985: UCSC awards more than 1,500 degrees.

  • Banana slug prevails

    1986: After a five-year stalemate between two conflicting mascots—the sea lion and the banana slug—students sway the chancellor with an overwhelming pro-slug straw vote.

  • Pulitzer haul

    1992: Alumnus and Los Angeles Times reporter Hector Tobar wins a Pulitzer for his work as part of a team covering the Los Angeles Riots. Other Pulitzer-winning Slugs are author Laurie Garrett, Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, photographer Annie Wells, and Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza.

  • World of finance

    1992: UCSC's doctoral program in international economics awards its first Ph.D. The campus's economics department is often listed among the top 10 worldwide in international finance.

  • Milestone: 1,000

    1994: Graduate student enrollment reaches 1,000.

  • Covering the outbreak

    1996: Alumna Laurie Garrett, who graduated with honors in biology (Merrill '75), pens a groundbreaking series of articles for Newsday, chronicling the Ebola virus outbreak in Zaire. The series wins 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism.

  • Milestone: 10,000

    1999: Undergraduate enrollment reaches 10,000.

  • Orbital motion

    1999: While doing research at the University Archives, Anthony Misch, a support astronomer at Lick Observatory, discovers a 400-year-old manuscript penned by Johannes Kepler, one of history's greatest astronomers.

  • Number nine

    2000: College Nine founded.

  • Computing the genome

    2000: The first draft of the human genome sequence was assembled at UCSC on off-the-shelf Pentium III processors running a software program written in four weeks by graduate student Jim Kent.

  • Perfect 10

    2002: College Ten founded.

  • 3,000 degrees

    2002: UCSC awards more than 3,000 degrees.

  • Astronaut Hall of Fame

    2004/2007: Two UCSC alumni inducted into NASA's Astronaut Hall of Fame: Kathryn Sullivan (Cowell '73, B.S. Earth sciences), the first American woman to walk in space; and Steven Hawley (Ph.D., astronomy and astrophysics '77), whose five space shuttle flights included the 1990 mission to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • Serious gaming

    2006: Faculty in UC Santa Cruz's Jack Baskin School of Engineering launch a popular computer game design undergraduate major—the first of its kind in the UC system.

  • Antarctic landmarks

    2006: Two geological features in Antarctica are named after UCSC biologists—Terrie Bluff and Costa Spur, named in honor of Terrie Williams and Daniel Costa, respectively, professors of ecology and evolutionary biology.

  • Relevant education

    2006: Former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Joseph Wilson—the husband of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame—among the featured speakers at "The War on Terror: A Credible Threat," an educational teach-in at the Quarry Amphitheater.

  • Starship Trooper goes online

    2007: The complete archive of renowned science fiction author Robert Heinlein made available online. Heinlein donated his archives to the Library's Special Collections in 1968.

  • Milestone: 15,000

    2008: Undergraduate enrollment reaches 15,000.

  • Grateful Slugs

    2008: The Grateful Dead donates its historic archives to McHenry Library's Special Collections.

  • Most distant galaxies

    2009: Astronomer Garth Illingworth leads a team that peers deep into the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope to reveal the most distant galaxies ever seen.

  • Author in the house

    2010: Celebrated writer Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections, wrote much of his new best-selling novel, Freedom, at Cowell College. Franzen, recently on the cover of Time magazine, and his partner live part time in Santa Cruz. Both are longtime friends of UCSC.