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Remembering Chancellor Peltason March 26, 2015

Posted by ucisca in Collections, Faculty.
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It was with great sadness that the staff of Special Collections & Archives heard the news of Jack Peltason’s passing. Although most staff members never met him in person, they came to know him through his collections housed in the Special Collections and Archives Department. Jack Peltason joined the faculty of UCI as Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences in 1963 while the campus was still in the planning stages. He was named second vice chancellor of academic affairs in 1964. He was a pivotal part of events and decisions such as recruiting faculty until he left UCI in 1967  to return to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Peltason returned to UCI in 1984 to become the university’s second chancellor. He held this post from 1984-1992.

The Special Collections and Archives is honored to preserve and provide access to the materials that document his extraordinary contributions to UCI and the community.

Our collections include:

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UCI Yearbooks Go Digital March 11, 2015

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With the UCI 50th Anniversary Historical Documentation project well underway, more and more materials are being digitized and made available online. An exciting collection that is in progress is the collection of UCI Yearbooks. UCI has yearbooks dating from the 1967 and 1968 academic years, and from 1976 to the present. Interestingly, the reason there is a gap in yearbooks from 1969—1975 is because of a general “counter culture” sentiment on campus that deemed yearbooks “uncool.” Fortunately, students in 1976 decided to revive the tradition of publishing yearbooks commemorating that year at UCI.

1976 Yearbook

In the 1976 yearbook, the yearbook staff composed a poem highlighting many of the major cultural, social, and political issues that students were facing and coping with that year. While many references were specific to the times, others are more transcendent. If one hadn’t known that the verse was written in 1976, one could believe that concerns over getting a “practical” education, finding a job, and the earth’s diminishing resources were written by UCI students in 2015, as evidenced in the following selection:

 “In four years our focus changed,

shifting from international vistas and

fights for peace to basics.

Like energy, food,

a job.

Our academic pursuits grew practical,

no time now for demonstrations.

The earth’s resources are dwindling,

we have an education to finish.”

  

A more light-hearted parallel: students in 1976 were just as relieved to be free from all-nighters and library fines as they are today!

“So, you’re leaving UCI.

Just think,

no more requirements,

fines for late add-drop cards, allnighters,

or

nodding over organic chemistry in the library.

No more huge library fines

for unopened books that have sat

in the back seat of your car for two months.

In fact,

it means the end of all those degree-related hassles

that you’ve survived.”

Feelings of both excitement and nervousness for the future were just as common 40 years ago as they are today. To view this and other yearbooks from UCI’s past, visit http://ucispace.lib.uci.edu/handle/10575/11968. Stay tuned for more exciting digital collections celebrating UCI’s history!

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