from the 1896 Blue and Gold - University of California
Joseph Le Conte
Joseph Le Conte, A.M., M.D., LL.D. Professor of Geology and
Natural History, Honorary Professor of Biology in the College of Dentistry,
and Lecturer (U.)
Joseph Le Conte!
That name has, for more than a quarter of
a century blended with all the pleasant recollections of this college life.
Indeed, we can not think of our beloved Alma Mater without instinctively thinking
of the great, good, gentle "Professor Joe," in whose name it is thrice blessed.
As an earnest scientist and man of letters he is well known to the world;
but it is as head of the department of Geology and Natural History in our university
that we know him best. He has made the courses under his supervision so interesting
and popular that his lecture hall is always crowded. It is only necessary to
hear him lecture once to understand this popularity. He is as genial and unassuming
as he is profoundly learned. His lectures, delicately humorous, thorough and
exact, are delivered with simple eloquence and in such a form as to be easily
comprehended by all his hearers. Through these lectures and his writings he
exerts a powerful influence over the student body, but without question that
which makes the deepest impress is the shining example of his fearless, upright
This life has been a long and busy one, 72 years of study that has made him
learned, and experience that has made him wise. Time has been kind to him,
for while it has whitened the soft, wavy hair about his temples, and dimmed
the sight of his clear, honest blue eyes, it has left his superb faculties
For his mental superiority, for his deserved renown we honor him, but it is
for his high sense of humor, for his generous, manly nature, because he is
good as well as great, that we love him. It is through these last qualities
that he has gained an impregnable position in the hearts of the faculty, alumni
and students, every one of whom has a word of affection, an expression of gratitude
for our "Professor Joe."
Note: The year Joseph Le Conte first visited Yosemite in 1870 with 10 of
his first class of students, there were 40 students enrolled in the entire
University of California.
There were only 12 members of the Class of 1873, Cal's first graduating class.
At the time of this 1896 edition of The Blue and Gold, there were 1,685 students.
In 2003, there were 33,076 students attending UC Berkeley.
Source of text and photo: The
Blue and Gold ,
1896, pp. 126 & 127.
Thank you to Carrie Carlton Helser for the loan of this copy of The
Blue and Gold to the LeConte Memorial Lodge.
Information and Donations
For more information, during the summer contact Sierra Club LeConte Memorial Lodge
Curator, P.O. Box 755, Yosemite, CA 95389, (209) 372-4542.
During the winter, contact LeConte Lodge Committee Chair, Harold Wood, P.O. Box 3543,
Visalia, CA 93278; phone: (559) 697-3525; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tax deductible donations to support the new exhibits and renovation efforts of the
LeConte Memorial can be made to "Sierra Club Foundation," marked for the LeConte
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