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John Muir College

University of California, San Diego

John Muir College, University of California, San Diego, 50th Anniversary Logo

John Muir College , University of California, San Diego. John Muir College was founded in 1967, and named for the famed environmentalist, nature writer, and founder of the Sierra Club.

Today, the College hosts numerous events related to John Muir and environmental conservation. In honor of the College's 50th anniversary, the life and legacy of the college's namesake is honored throughout 2017-2018 academic year.

According to the John Muir College website, "The remarkable life of the college's namesake, the 19th century environmentalist, nature writer and founder of the Sierra Club, continues to inspire and inform the vision and core values of the college." John Moore, former Muir Provost, said: "John Muir was also an inventor and businessman; he was a remarkable person who forged his own path and took risks. The college's motto, 'Celebrating the Independent Spirit,' expresses our wish for all our students to lead varied, successful, committed and self-directed lives. This theme as well as our commitment to the environment will be weaved into many of our anniversary events."

The College has a page about John Muir and the Environment on its website, noting "Our namesake excelled in many fields and was, among other things, an inventor, writer, explorer, biologist, and botanist. Founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir helped establish our national parks, popularize conservation, and create awareness of the value of unspoiled wilderness. In his spirit, Muir College supports local, national, and global efforts to preserve the natural environment and to promote environmental sustainability in energy and water use, waste disposal, food production, and other practices."

John Muir College UCSC BannersAccording to the student newspaper, The Triton (1-23-18),

"As students stroll through Muir College, they likely see evidence of the college's many attempts to honor its namesake: John Muir's face carved into various structures, the placard by one of the entrances with a short biography, the little cafe under Tamarack Apartments named for him, and another portrait of him just inside the door, to name a few." In honor of John Muir, the names of many buildings and gathering places at Muir College evoke the landscape of Yosemite National Park, which Muir urged the federal government to establish. These include -- in addition to Tioga and Tenaya Halls – the Tuolumne and Tamarack Apartments for second-year students, Half-Dome Lounge, Redwood Lounge, Clouds Rest student organization offices, and The Pines Dining Commons. The Muir Woods coffee house is named for the Muir Woods National Monument, a protected forest of coastal redwoods located in California's Marin County. Furthermore, in the spirit of namesake John Muir, Muir College supports local, national, and global efforts to preserve the natural environment and to promote environmental sustainability in energy and water use, waste disposal, food production, and other practices. The University of California, San Diego was listed third in Sierra Magazine’s 2011 “Coolest Schools” report as part of the environmental magazine’s annual sustainability ranking of U.S. colleges and universities. In 2012, as schools fluctuate in rankings year by year, UCSD ranked as number 17. "

The College has many student led organizations. Among them is the Muir Environmental Corps (MEC), which participates in environmental activities at the college and in the surrounding community. Outings include clean-up projects at the cliffs, and along streams and beach bluffs, supporting recycling efforts around the campus, and coordinating Muir's Annual Whale Watching Trip. MEC publishes The Tramp (John Muir's nickname), Muir's environmental newsletter. They are also involved with Muir's new community garden "Half Dome Meadows."

Other Programs and Events:

Muir Environmental Fellows - Each year since 2011, the college names as Muir Environmental Fellows a selected group of faculty, staff, or alumni affiliated with UC San Diego whose work has contributed significantly to the cause of sustainability and environmental preservation. On or close to John Muir's birthday, April 21, each is presented with a plaque and honored with a certificate summarizing his or her achievements.

"Muirstock" - An annual concert festival that honors the college founder, John Muir. It is an event that promotes community, sustainability, the environment, music and outdoor excitement. Activities include tie-dye, photo booth station, face painting, free giveaways and BBQ. Students from all residential areas come together at Muir College and enjoy the fun-filled night of music and activities.

Muirstock 2018 Swag

In April of 2018, Muir College celebrated John Muir Week with a variety of fun and special events for students.

Celebrating John Muir Week April 2018

Food, games, live music, planting in the community garden were among the activities. A special screening of the movie, "The Lorax" was held, noting that "Love of trees and notable facial hair are just two things John Muir and The Lorax have in common." Another afternoon, they continued the celebration with national parks trivia, sustainable crafts, a photo booth, and a petting zoo.

In October, of 2017, a time capsule that the inaugural class of Muir College buried was opened by Rachel York, a member of the class. It contained a list of the first class of students. On April 20, 2018, a new time capsule was installed, which include, among other items, a bit of cannabis in honor of the legalization of marijuana in California this year. Other items included letters from the committee and former Provosts, a projector with an SD card that contains footage of Muir College, gifts from student organizations, and other items. In recognition of John Muir's Scottish ancestry, the 2018 time capsule burial ceremony started off with a processional by the Cameron Highlanders, the bagpipe group that played at the burial of the first time capsule 50 years ago.


John Muir Carving at Muir College UCSD


Other University Programs Honoring John Muir

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