Welcome to Chapter 6 of The Seeds of Something Different, a recent publication bringing together multiple voices from the oral history archives of UCSC, beginning with the history of the land and the early peoples through to the 2016 national election. Chapter 6 brings you the earliest conceptions of Crown College in the words of Dean McHenry, Kenneth Thimann, Ed Landesman, Jean Langenheim, Michael Nauenberg, Burney Le Boeuf, Gary Griggs, Robert Adams, Frank Andrews, and more.

For more information on The Seeds of Something Different, including how to order your own copy, see https://guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/seeds


Chapter 6
“Amazing People Would Appear” 
An Unexpected Flourishing of the Sciences

Kenneth Thimann and the Seeds of Science

Dean McHenry: Clark Kerr wanted a charter for each college, a basic statement of what it was going to do and where it was going to go. Kerr felt that they would, if you didn’t direct them, become peas in a pod. I felt that they all ought to emphasize liberal arts, that their style would come from the personality of the provost, the disposition of the faculty, and so on. I think we compromised somewhat, but the first three colleges did have this utilitarian feature of rounding out the faculty of humanities emphasis, social sciences emphasis, and science emphasis.

The biggest compromise was over science. Kerr took the position that these colleges ought to be as autonomous as possible, and that students in a college should not have to go for freshman
chemistry to a distant place. I argued that science was so expensive that it had to be centralized,…continue reading