History of Stevenson College

Welcome to Stevenson College. Founded in 1966, Stevenson is the second college established at UCSC. Adlai E. Stevenson College opened in September 1966, fourteen months after the death of the former governor of Illinois, democratic presidential candidate, and Ambassador to the United Nations.  Stevenson’s legacy of public service and his dedication to the principles of democracy live on at the college that bears his name.  More than anything else, Stevenson College is a community of individuals who have come together for the common purpose of bettering themselves and the society in which they live.

We are located on a hill overlooking the beautiful Monterey Bay, close to the University restaurants and shops, library, pool, track, and gym. Our theme, "Self and Society," emphasizes the goals of both self-understanding and active participation in one‘s community. Stevenson students major in a wide array of fields - humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, the arts, and engineering. Our students' wide range of backgrounds, perspectives and interests, our 2-quarter core course - "Self and Society" and our wide array of lectures and community events contribute to making Stevenson an especially stimulating environment.

What draws students, faculty and staff to Stevenson is the college’s long-standing reputation for academic excellence, students’ traditional involvement in campus government, and its deep commitment to forming its individual members into a cohesive social and academic community.

Stevenson students find an environment that welcomes and supports their differences, not just the differences in their cultural, social, or economic backgrounds, but also the differences that make each student a unique and valuable member of the community.  They find faculty, staff members, and other students who go out of their way to answer questions and help new students become acclimated both to the college and to the university beyond it.  Students find numerous opportunities to strengthen our community by participating in the Stevenson Student Council, the Stevenson Community Garden or the Outreach Welcome Leader Program.

Stevenson students are brought together in the rigorous, two-quarter-long Core course, a challenging and meaningful educational experience that they will share not only with their classmates, but also with several thousand Stevenson alumni.  Perhaps most exciting are those times, frequent at Stevenson, when the line between the social and the academic dissolves.  When Jesse Jackson or Amiri Baraka speaks in the Stevenson Event Center, when August Wilson’s Pulitzer-prize winning “Fences” is performed as a part of a Stevenson College Night, when students and faculty meet to discuss classes or life in the Stevenson Coffee House, when students in residence halls or on the Stevenson knoll begin debating issues they discussed in Core sections, then the distinction between the social and the academic is transcended, and we truly achieve our ideal of a unified, vibrant intellectual community.