Sad news regarding founding administrator Harold A. (Hal) Hyde

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of UC Santa Cruz Vice Chancellor Emeritus Hal Hyde. Hal, who helped transform our campus from a working ranch to a globally known teaching and research institution, died peacefully of natural causes on Monday, Oct. 12, at his home in Corralitos. He was 97.

It is not an overstatement to say that Santa Cruz County is the cultural and intellectual hub it is today in large part because of Hal, shaped by his commitment to and vision for the place his family has called home for generations. He was a key player in the creation of not only UC Santa Cruz, but of Cabrillo College, too, as well as the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County and the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County. Certainly many others played a role in our county’s evolution from an agricultural region to a center of innovation and education, but Hal was the person people called when they wanted vision transformed into reality. He got things done, and we are a better campus and community because of it.

In the late 1950s Hal chaired a county committee set on passing a local bond issue for higher education. He was elected to Cabrillo College's first board of trustees, and he served on the local committee that successfully persuaded the University of California to select a Central Coast location for a new campus. Hal, who graduated from UC Berkeley and served in the U.S. Army during World War II before studying business at Harvard, would later join UCSC as vice chancellor of business and finance. Chief among his duties was building UCSC's infrastructure, literally from the ground up. He oversaw construction of the first colleges, residence halls, and administrative buildings. He helped decide the locations of campus roads and recreational fields.

As a relative newcomer to campus, I only met Hal last fall. We talked about how different student move-in was nowadays compared to the year campus opened. No idea was dismissed in those early days, including possibly housing all students on a ship. Campus leaders eventually settled on a series of trailers organized in star patterns that would promote community. He was rightfully proud of how nimble and creative campus leaders had to be at that time.

Hal’s commitment to our campus continued after he decided to leave higher education in 1975. He was a founding member of two UCSC support groups, serving as the first president of the Arboretum Associates and as a trustee of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. His interest in UC Santa Cruz never waned. Longtime staffers and faculty members who knew Hal say he would frequently reach out, offering congratulations on an award or work achievement or just to talk about a research project that interested him.

That our colleges and the overall look and feel of our campus have in many ways come to define us are a testament to Hal’s vision and determination. I hope you will join me in taking a moment to recognize Hal’s incredible contributions to our campus and community. I extend my condolences to his immediate family — wife Dottie, daughters Christine and Marilyn, and sons Tony and Douglas — and to the many people on and off campus who had the good fortune to call Hal a colleague or friend.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date to be announced. Contributions in memory of Hal can be made to the UC Santa Cruz Foundation (TIN: 23-739-4590) care of Gift Administration, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060.