The Crown 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.

David Graves Remembers Dr. Thimann

David Graves Remembers Dr. Thimann

By David Graves, class of 1974 I don’t remember the circumstances, but somehow after he retired as Crown Provost, Dr. Thimann became my academic advisor. I was a bio major headed for the ecology and evolution track. He team-taught the excellent lower division course...

The Reunion Playlist

The Reunion Playlist

By Jim Crane (Crown ’70) Creating the playlist for the Crown 50th Reunion was a labor of love. I like to think of myself as up-to-date in some areas, but when it comes to popular music, I am completely stuck in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and early ‘70s. I wanted to pull...

The Redlight District

The Redlight District

By Lisa Rose (Crown '72) ...with contributions from Henry Chu, Michael Broschat, Shira Tokuno, Larry Cohn, Paul Shaffer When I arrived at Crown College in October of 1968, my most precious possession was a 35mm camera. I’d been smitten by black and white photography...

Magic…The Gatherings

Magic…The Gatherings

By Pam Swift (Crown '71) ...with thanks to Jim Crane, Lisa Rose, and Su Nerton for setting the record straight. Our first Crown alumni gatherings were strictly homemade. In our twenties, with many of us living on ramen in graduate school, we hid from the UCSC...

The Art of Protest 1969-1971

The Art of Protest 1969-1971

Original silkscreen poster prints from social protest movements at UC Santa Cruz By G. Sharat Lin (Crown '71) Before the era of the personal computer and the Internet, social protest movements sought a creative low-cost medium for carrying their messages to the...

A Cross Between a Hippie Pad and a Brothel

A Cross Between a Hippie Pad and a Brothel

By Chris Peeples (Crown 1970) State School Superintendent Max Rafferty Visits Crown College Which He Described As A Cross Between A Hippie Pad And A Brothel A.  Who Was Max Rafferty? In case you have forgotten about Max Rafferty, here are a few snippets from his...

College Nights — Personal History

College Nights — Personal History

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...

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 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...