Reflections of a City on a Hill
In 1967, the student newspaper of the new campus adopts the name City on a Hill Press, a name that reflects UC Santa Cruz’s “noble experiment.”
University leaders and campus visionaries reflect on the educational experiment and natural beauty that defined UC Santa Cruz.
"Perhaps it would be wise to recall that the great teachers of the Hellenic age conducted their classes as a free association of inquiring minds in the shade of trees, and perhaps with vistas before them. I know we cannot put thousands of students in arboreal classrooms (or could we?), but we can at least give these students a unique perspective into the world from which they came. We can also produce a special condition of beauty and—if you will—of spiritual therapy."
- from Ansel Adams “Thoughts on the U. of C. Santa Cruz Campus” (1962)
"The students at Santa Cruz come mostly from urban and suburban areas to the relatively open space of Santa Cruz where, oblivious to the developments that made possible their presence there, they are easily persuaded that not another tree should be cut nor a field built o.... The inherent contradiction between their beliefs in universal education (especially for minorities), their admiration for the Santa Cruz college system, and their resistance to expansion of the campus to provide facilities for more students like themselves is lost on them."
- from Chancellor Emeritus Robert Sinsheimer from The Strands of a Life (1994)
"We shouldn’t be embarrassed that we have beautiful redwoods, we have beautiful vistas of the ocean. I had friends at the University of Chicago. And they said, “God this is not the real world!” And at first I was a little touchy about that, defensive. And then I thought, wait a minute. Maybe the real world should be like this, where the colleges are small communities, trying to develop a sense of community. Why can’t it be beautiful? Why does everything have to be tragedy and garbaged up? And so maybe this is an ideal, maybe it is a city on a hill."
- from Leo Laporte, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, oral history
"I mean you're up on the hill, and there's one movie theater playing in town, and there's just not that much to do. At all. I mean there's no San Francisco or Los Angeles at the base of the hill, and I suppose I never realized what a city person I was till I came here. I'd always criticized Los Angeles...The smog, the traffic, isn't it terrible, you know. I want a rustic retreat type of place. But Santa Cruz has shown me that it's hard, and I think this is one of the main criticisms the kids have.... isolation."
- from Anonymous student oral history, 1967