In 1929, the University of California (UC) opened a unique housing for students, a residential college. Named Bowles Hall (after its donor Mary McNear Bowles in memory of her husband, a former UC Regent), Bowles was the very first residential college to be established in the United States -- beating Harvard by one year. It has been in use 87 years, but started to lose its purpose and luster starting in 1970. By 2000, it was seen to be on its last legs and was a candidate for sale or demolition. The Bowles Hall Alumni Association was formed in 2005 and the Bowles Hall Foundation (a 501(c)3) was established in 2009 to seek to reverse the deterioration and to return the Hall to its original glory. Both organizations were purposed to raise awareness and funds to save the legacy of the residential college.
The plans to renovate the Hall were approved by the UC Regents in March 2014 and restoration began. At a cost of $45 million dollars, the Hall was reopened in time to welcome 183 coed students for the 2016 Fall semester. These students will live (eat, sleep, snack, study, and socialize) in a supportive environment - living the Bowles motto, Education Through Fellowship. In support of the students will be a Housemaster, a Dean (for academics), and Graduate Residents.
The crest for Bowles Hall is actually the Bowles' family crest. The Latin words, Ut Tibi Sic Alteri, translates to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. In the middle of the crest there are three goblets on a blue background each with a boar's head sticking up. I could not find the meaning of that!
I'm writing about this special event because as a student at UC Berkeley I resided at Bowles and am proud to have contributed to its resurrection. In 1989, Bowles Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. There is a personal satisfaction in participating in saving a historic site. I note that Secretary Norman Mineta was also a Bowlesman in a class 10 years ahead of me and encouraged me to support the renovation of Bowles. As a tribute to 9/11, I have added the order below by Mineta to ground all U.S. flights on 9/11 in anticipation of Flight 77 targeting the U.S. Capitol -- within blocks of where we lived.
Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, summoned by the White House to the bunker, was on an open line to the Federal Aviation Administration operations center, monitoring Flight 77 as it hurtled toward Washington, with radar tracks coming every seven seconds. Reports came that the plane was 50 miles out, 30 miles out, 10 miles out — until word reached the bunker that there had been an explosion at the Pentagon.
Mineta shouted into the phone to Monte Belger at the FAA: "Monte, bring all the planes down." It was an unprecedented order — there were 4,546 airplanes in the air at the time. Belger, the FAA's acting deputy administrator, amended Mineta's directive to take into account the authority vested in airline pilots. "We're bringing them down per pilot discretion," Belger told the secretary.
"[Expletive] pilot discretion," Mineta yelled back. "Get those goddamn planes down."
Sitting at the other end of the table, Cheney snapped his head up, looked squarely at Mineta and nodded in agreement.
© Dr. Baldwin H. Tom CMC, FIMC