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Spring 2017
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Campbell Hall

Those Strange Looking Buildings and the Names on Their Walls?
          Just Who Was Campbell Anyway and Did He Grow Mushrooms?

By George Thurlow '73. Photos: Olivia Hayden '16.

More so than most universities its size and age, UC Santa Barbara has evolved with many of its buildings named for its early pioneers. Only a handful of buildings on campus carry the names of major donors.

Few buildings on campus were named for women or minorities and most students who enter their hallowed walls have no idea who Buchanan, and Phelps or Campbell were.

Here’s an easy guide to all of our iconoclastic structures with a little history about their names.

Broida Hall

Broida Hall
Home of the nationally touted UCSB Department of Physics, Broida Hall is named for late physics professor Herbert P. Broida. In his 14 years at UCSB, Broida was influential in the growth and prestige of the Physics program. The Hall houses laboratories and centers.

Bren Hall
Donald Bren was a prominent Southern California developer whose company built most of what is now Irvine. Bren’s significant support helped build Bren Hall, home to the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

Buchanan Hall
This building is named for Russell Buchanan, a history professor who held administrative and academic positions from 1948-1962. Buchanan Hall houses four lecture halls surrounding a multimedia center.

Cheadle Hall

Campbell Hall
John and Ina Therese Campbell were donors of a large scholarship endowment for UC Santa Barbara. Campbell is the largest space on campus and in the UC system, seating 860.

Cheadle Hall
The scene of protests, takeovers and a phone bugging scandal (see Eileen Nagel), Cheadle Hall has been the nerve center of UCSB for many years. Named for second Chancellor Vernon I. Cheadle—whose portrait graces the lobby, the only such portrait on campus—Cheadle Hall is home to the Chancellor and his top administrators. Cheadle was a world reknowned botanist who grew the campus from 5,000 students in the early 1960s to more than 14,000 by 1975.

Corwin Pavilion
The Pavilion is one of UCSB’s busiest venues hosting speakers, workshops, banquets and receptions. Integral support for the Pavilion came from Bruce Corwin, chairman of Metropolitan Theaters. Bruce’s mother, Dorothy, was also a major UCSB donor.


Davidson Library
An early building with numerous additions and remodels, the library now boasts a spectacular new study area on its north side. Donald Davidson was the university librarian from 1947 to 1977.

Elings Hall

Elings Hall
Elings Hall houses the California Nanosystems Institute, a state-supported cutting edge research engine for molecule size engineering. The principal gift to build the Hall came from Virgil and Betty Elings, both major UCSB donors. Virgil Elings is a motorcycle driving former UCSB physics professor who co-founded Digital Instruments, a pioneer in atomic microscopes. Betty Wells is a real estate investor whose support provided for the renovation of the Faculty Club (now The Club). Elings Hall is home to the AlloSphere laboratory.

Gevirtz Hall

Ellison Hall
The twin of the eggcrate designed Phelps Hall, Ellison Hall is a warren of faculty offices and social science departments. William Henry Ellison, was a history professor on the faculty of the early Santa Barbara State College. Ellison Hall is a LEED Gold certified building, the second oldest building in the UC system to hold that environmental sustainability designation.


Gevirtz Hall
One of the campus’ most recent buildings, Gevirtz Hall, is named for philanthropists Marilyn and Don Gevirtz. The couple’s generous endowment funded the UCSB Graduate School of Education. Don was a venture capitalist who served as the U.S. ambassador to Fiji and raised large sums of campaign money for Democratic Party candidates. Marilyn was a philanthropist with a deep interest in education.

Girvetz Hall
Even among campus veterans there is confusion in pronunciation between Girvetz Hall, home to liberal arts departments, and Gevirtz Hall, home of the Graduate School of Education. Harry Girvetz was a philosophy professor who was deeply involved in area politics. Girvetz Hall was one of the first buildings at UCSB, built in 1955 for $66,000, and the first LEED certified green building in the UC system.

Harder Stadium

Harder Stadium
Home of UCSB’s football team from 1966 to 1970 and then from 1987 to 1991, the stadium is named for Theodore “Spud” Harder who joined UCSB as head football coach in 1934. Football was dropped twice by the university but today Harder Stadium hosts some of the largest crowds in collegiate soccer history.


Harold Frank Hall
Home to the College of Engineering, this hall honors Harold Frank who founded Applied Magnetics in a spare bedroom of his Santa Barbara home. The company became a worldwide producer of disk drive components and one of the largest employers on the South Coast. He was a donor and mentor at UCSB.

Harold Frank Hall

Kerr Hall
Kerr Hall houses instructional development and Extension. A quirky building that seems to jut in every direction, it is named for Clark Kerr, one of the most influential presidents in the UC system. Appointed by Regents in 1958, Kerr served until his dismissal in 1967 for refusing to expel protestors during the tumultuous campus protests of the 1960s. Thomas Storke insisted that Kerr then speak at the UCSB dedication of Storke Tower where he looked at the Regents who had fired him and told them he left UC the same way he entered, “fired with enthusiasm.”

Kohn Hall

Koegel Autism Center
For more than three decades, the Koegel Autism Center has provided critical support to children on the autism spectrum, and their families. The center, overseen by Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel, is nationally recognized for undergraduate and graduate programs, research and training, and workshops for school certification, teachers, classroom aides and school-based intervention.


Kohn Hall
The late Walter Kohn was a prominent UCSB physicist who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1998. Kohn Hall now houses the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Mosher Alumni House

Lotte Lehman Hall
German-born opera star Lotte Lehman performed throughout the world during the 1930s and 1940s and eventually moved to Santa Barbara where she taught music at the Music Academy of the West. Lotte Lehman Hall hosts music and art appreciation classes.


Mosher Alumni House
Samuel Mosher was the founder of Signal Oil, as well as airlines and shipping companies. His oil wells littered the beach in front of the Bacara Resort for years and his land included parts of Coal Oil point. His wife, Maggie, was a philanthropist who established the Mosher Foundation, which donated $3 million for the Mosher Alumni House construction.

Noble Hall
Elmer Ray Noble was a professor of zoology who was the fifth Ph.D. to be hired by Santa Barbara State College. As the new UCSB provost he was instrumental in establishing UCSB as a research institution during the 1950s. He wrote the campus’ first Academic Master Plan, an ambitious road map that put UCSB on the road to becoming a UC premier research institution. Noble Hall houses numerous faculty offices.

Phelps Hall
One of the more undistinguished buildings on campus that sprouted during the 1960s, Phelps is home to a hodgepodge of academic departments, student labs, advancement services and administrators. Clarence Phelps was a visionary who built UCSB into what it is today. He was appointed president of the Santa Barbara State Normal School in 1918 and over 28 years transformed it into a UC campus. He was provost when Santa Barbara was admitted into the UC system.


Pollock Theater
One of UCSB’s newest and finest buildings, the Pollock Theater hosts film and media studies courses and classes. Dr. Joseph Pollock was a Montecito medical doctor and investor who was instrumental in fundraising for the Theater.

Robertson Gym
Opened in 1959, Robertson Gym has been filled with sweat ever since. “Rob Gym” hosts men’s volleyball and numerous classes and club sports. Alfred W. Robertson was a Santa Barbara attorney who as a state legislator was instrumental in the conversion of UCSB from a state teachers college to a UC campus. He also sponsored legislation to ban offshore oil drilling.

Storke Tower

Storke Tower
Storke Tower has acquired a number of nicknames due to its shape and height. The landmark of the UCSB campus and the highest steel and concrete structure in Santa Barbara County, it rises 190 feet, its 61 carillon bells weighing from 13 to 4,793 pounds. On the hour it automatically plays Westminster Quarters and at 10 minutes before the hour plays the University motto, “Let There Be Light.” It is named for the Pulitzer Prize winning Santa Barbara editor and U.S. Senator Thomas Storke, who spearheaded the conversion of Santa Barbara State College to UCSB. He was instrumental in the negotiations that led the U.S. Marines to donate their air base to the new campus.

Webb Hall

Uyesaka Stadium
Home to men’s baseball, Uyesaka Stadium is named for Caesar Uyesaka, a UCSB athletic booster and leading figure in Santa Barbara’s Japanese-American community.


Webb Hall
An early building from the 1950s, Webb Hall is home to Earth Sciences and a collection of more than 60 rare crystals. Robert Wallace Webb was a geology professor who came to UCSB in 1948 and helped establish a geology major and the Department of Physical Science.

Woodhouse Lab
Woodhouse Laboratory is named for Charles Douglas Woodhouse, a professor of mineralogy emeritus, who began teaching at what was then Santa Barbara State College as a volunteer in 1938. He served the campus for 25 years. Woodhouse donated his extensive collection of gems and minerals to the university. Woodhouseite, a mineral, is named in his honor.