More than 500ees gathered Friday afternoon for a dedication attendance formalizing the renaming of the university’s College Ten as John R. Lewis College. Prompting the renaming, the college was awarded a $5 million anonymously donated endowment fund to support its mission into perpetuity, university officials announced in October.
The now-former College Ten, founded in 2002, is UCSC’s newest undergraduate residential learning community and was one of only two remaining undedicated. In the fall, the college enrolled 1,500 students, of which 60% grew up speaking another language either in addition to or instead of English and more than 30% were first-generation students, according to school officials. Undergraduates from any field of study may join the college but it has a formal connection with the university’s social sciences division.
Addressing those gathered at the campus’ Quarry Amphitheater, UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive set the event’s tone, noting the day’s event was both a celebration and also a “moment of reflection of how much further we have to go.”
“Having Rep. Lewis’ name connected to UC Santa Cruz is an honor we will continue to work hard to live up to,” Larive said. “It will forever remind and inspire our students and alumni to fight injustice where they see it and leave the place better than they found it.”
John Lewis College is UCSC’s first residential learning facility to be honorarily named after a person of color. UCSC’s last college dedication occurred in 2016, with the renaming of College Eight after environmentalist Rachel Carson. Among the uses the endowment funds will be put toward the creation of a new Good Trouble Academy, training students in the art of collective action, and paid social justice internships focused on John Lewis college students.