By George Baer
Those were Glory Days. We learned to be pioneers, to create a College, to value our creation, to sustain a fledgling University, to share a mission, and a success. I hope those experiences stood us well in after-years. They did me. Good luck on Reunion planning. Old friends; other times.
(1) Glory Days. Youth, of course, beginning something new, common cause, in a setting of incredible beauty. The woods, the walks, the views, the banana slugs. New friends. Who could want anything more?
(2) Pioneers. Crown was unfinished. Planks to walk across the mud. ‘Houses’ yet unnamed. For me, coming from a traditional faculty role at Dartmouth in New Hampshire, to Leonardo House as a Resident Preceptor, with an infant daughter, returning to a very different California (it was, sigh, ‘the sixties’), with much of what we all did establishing precedent: pioneers.
(3) Creating a College. Kenneth Thimann engaged us all. Students voted on House names: “Maxwell House” you remember. Propinquity meant we knew one-another immediately, and well. The idea was collegiate; the College physically expressed that idea. And how beautiful the College was!
(4) And we were proud of our creation.
(5) Sustaining the fledgling University. Basic to this was a high academic standard. To which the faculty, some of great distinction and renown, was fully committed. The Core Course, the Crown Core Course, with its emphasis on the nature and social value of science, its complementarity to the courses in other colleges, the idea of a College faculty around a College course, independent yet supportive of the rest of UCSC and its general mission, watching that entity emerge during our time, our loyalty to Crown even as professionalized and traditional Departments drew faculty to another loyalty, yet, as Galileo said: “and yet it moves.”
(6) It was your success. Your class proved the possibility and the value of Crown College.
(7) And not to be forgotten, as your Jubilee proves. Happy Anniversary and Fond Memories of a unique moment in time and place.
Best wishes, George Baer