Blog

Stories add to our appreciation of the richness of Crown’s early days, the range of opportunities and experiences, and the connections between Crown’s past, present, and future.

Totman, Judith (Crown ’72)

Totman, Judith (Crown ’72)

cavu.flying@gmail.com I came to UCSC under the influence of my parents. I wanted to go to UCLA; they thought I'd be lost there. I'm so glad I came to UCSC. I'm still not sure how I got in because I was a B student in high school. Most of my classmates at Crown were A...

College Nights

College Nights

By Marc Alexander (Crown ‘72) I arrived at Crown College in 1968, having been shown, by a high school guidance counselor, a picture of  a new college with dormitories nestled in the woods. More than 50 years later, much of what I learned in my classes has been...

The Lotus Eaters

The Lotus Eaters

By Jim Lapsley (Crown ‘71) Picking up a car and moving it was the kind of college prank associated with places like Chico State, not UCSC, but, as they say, “pictures don’t lie” (at least they didn’t before Photo Shop). It was a spur of the moment idea, made somewhat...

The Scavenger Bird

The Scavenger Bird

By Susan Guerrant Nye (Crown '71) In reminiscing in advance of the 50th Anniversary of our graduation, saving a few words for the “Scavenger” stabile that sat over the entrance to Crown College seems fitting. It was for me the icon for the time we spent there. It...

The Alchemical Essay

The Alchemical Essay

By Glorianna Ferreira (Crown '71) A few beautiful souls with unique skills and gifts meet and meld. Sometimes Life brings together different people who resonate. Ideas flow. Creations get born. The Crown College Essay of 1968 was the product of a flurry of...

Max Levin, “Dean of Students”

Max Levin, “Dean of Students”

Max Levin was Crown College’s first “Senior Preceptor,” which meant he was in a sort of no man's land between being the college’s “dean of students” (a position that didn’t exist) and the adult father figure required before U.C. gave up the idea of “in loco parentis.”...

Alan Chadwick’s Garden

Alan Chadwick’s Garden

By Jim Lapsley (Crown '71) When we created this website, it was clear that Alan Chadwick’s Garden had to be included. Although I enjoyed and was influenced by it, being averse to hard physical work, I was never an apprentice. If anyone would like to pen a different...

The Brief and Wonderful Life of a College Band

The Brief and Wonderful Life of a College Band

by Robin Frederick (Crown '71) The Bernard Baruch Memorial Jug Band (1967 – 1968) A college band is an ephemeral thing. Very few of them stay together for long. Sure, there’s the occasional exception, like, um, the Kinks (the only one I can think of and we certainly...

The Great Water Balloon Fight of 1969

The Great Water Balloon Fight of 1969

By Marcella Laddon (Crown '72) Growing up near the beach in southern California, I brought years of experience with water balloon fights. Typically I would arm myself by loading up my 1955 Chevy with buckets full of water balloons and a couple of fire extinguishers to...

Founding of the Crown Chamber Players

Founding of the Crown Chamber Players

By Kenneth Thimann I figured we’ve got to have the very highest quality of professional musicians to set the standards and then everybody else can follow…Sylvia Jenkins was not here at the beginning. There was a rather amusing, very good pianist, a...

Friday Night Folk Dancing

Friday Night Folk Dancing

By Jim Lapsley (Crown '71) We became folkdancers through the process of elimination: At the City on the Hill in 1967-1968 there were no other reliable Friday night events or mass transit to the downtown. And we were pretty sure there would be women there. When Hava...

How Maxwell House Got Its Name

How Maxwell House Got Its Name

By Jim Crane (Crown '70) In 1967, Dr. Thimann came up with the idea of letting students name the dorms after figures in the history of science. The reason why we voted for Maxwell House (and I remember the campaigning) was because we thought that by using the name...

Guest Lecturer Robert Heinlein

Guest Lecturer Robert Heinlein

By Michael Broschat (Crown '69) Part of the requirements for graduation from Crown was the completion of a senior seminar. I don’t recall what choices we had, but mine was the seminar on utopias conducted by the founder of the campus, Dean McHenry. Dean McHenry had a...

Architecture of Crown College

Architecture of Crown College

By Kenneth Thimann In ‘65 and ‘66 we spent a lot of time arguing with the architects. They were in Palo Alto. They had some funny ideas. But one of them I thought was the silliest. The dining hall was to be L-shaped you see. Well, anybody who knows anything about...

Why Kenneth Thimann Came to UCSC

Why Kenneth Thimann Came to UCSC

By Kenneth Thimann I've always thought that it is very important for students and faculty to have close relations…Well, somehow, Dean [McHenry] or Page Smith heard of this and so they came to see me. They had been looking for scientists to help start their programs at...