College Milestones

The following are historical milestones in the life of the California College of the Arts.


Following the destruction of his home and workshop in the San Francisco earthquake, German-born cabinetmaker and art teacher Frederick H. Meyer speaks at a meeting of the local Arts and Crafts Society about his idea for a new "practical art school."


Frederick Meyer establishes the School of the California Guild of Arts and Crafts in the Studio Building on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley with 43 students and three teachers: himself, Isabelle Percy West, and Perham W. Nahl. Xavier Martinez joins the faculty later that year. Meyer's wife, Laetitia, serves as secretary. Initial faculty salaries range from $40 to $60 per month.


The school is renamed California School of Arts and Crafts and graduates its first class of five students. Many of these graduates had been students of Meyer's at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco.

Having outgrown its location, the school moves to 2130 Center Street in Berkeley.


The school moves again to 2119 Allston Way, site of the old Berkeley High School.


With enrollment increasing following the influx of veterans of World War I, Meyer searches for a permanent home for the college. He purchases the four-acre James Treadwell estate in Oakland for $60,000. For the next four years, Meyer leads a crew of student, faculty, and alumni to transform the rundown estate into a campus.

The Meyer family moves into the top floor of the Treadwell mansion (now called Macky Hall).


The school completes its move to the new campus at 5212 Broadway, where it remains today. Faculty numbers 25.


The school changes its name to California College of Arts and Crafts.


MFA In Fine Arts program established.


Design program established.


Frederick Meyer retires and becomes president emeritus.

Noted artist and art teacher Spencer Macky selected as college's second president. He serves until 1954.


Daniel S. Defenbacher appointed president.


Joseph Danysh appointed president.


Harry X. Ford appointed acting president. In 1960 he was appointed president and served until 1984.


Frederick Meyer dies.


Completion of two major buildings on Oakland campus. Founders Hall, honoring Frederick and Laetitia Meyer, Isabelle Percy West, and Perham Nahl, houses the library, media center, and classrooms. Martinez Hall, honoring Xavier Martinez, houses the painting and printmaking programs.


Interior Design program established.


Guild Hall burns down.


The Noni Eccles Treadwell Ceramic Arts Center opens.


Macky Hall placed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Raleigh and Claire Shaklee Building, housing glass, metal arts, and sculpture programs, is completed.


Thomas (Toby) Schwartzburg serves as acting president.


Neil J. Hoffman appointed president.

First Apple computers arrive on campus.

The college purchases Cogswell College's architecture program for $1 and establishes the undergraduate Architecture Program.


CCA launches successful Macky Hall Renovation Campaign. Many prominent artists donate work to hang in renovated building.

Pre-College summer program for high school students begins.


Design and architecture programs move to leased space on 17th Street in San Francisco.


The Oliver Art Center, including the 3,500-square-foot Tecoah Bruce Galleries, opens on the Oakland campus.


Award-winning Simpson Sculpture Studio, designed by faculty member Jim Jennings, opens.


Lorne M. Buchman, CCAC provost and former chair of the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of California, Berkeley, appointed seventh president.


The college launches the comprehensive Campaign for CCAC to raise funds for the renovation of a new San Francisco campus and programmatic initiatives. College purchases building in lower Potrero Hill to create new permanent San Francisco campus.


First phase of the renovation of the new San Francisco campus completed. Design and architecture programs move to new building.


BFA in Fashion Design program begins.

College launches Young Artist Studio Program (YASP), a summer program for middle-school students.


The college establishes the Institute for Exhibitions and Public Programs, now called CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

Noted artist residency program Capp Street Project becomes part of the Institute for Exhibitions and Public Programs.


The college celebrates the completion of the San Francisco campus with an opening gala. The new 160,000-square-foot campus includes the Logan Galleries, the Tecoah Bruce Galleries, individual studio spaces for graduate students, Simpson Library, Timken Hall, instructional studios and classrooms, and academic and administrative office space.


Michael S. Roth, associate director of the Getty Research Institute, appointed eighth president.

The college launches new graduate programs in Design, Visual Criticism, and Writing.

Center for Art and Public Life established.


Institute for Exhibitions and Public Programs is renamed Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in honor of philanthropist Phyllis Wattis.


New student housing facility, Clifton Hall, opens on Oakland campus.
College welcomes largest entering class in its history.


Center for Art and Public Life receives $5 million endowment—largest gift in history of the college.

CCA launches new graduate program in Curatorial Practice and new undergraduate programs in Writing and Literature and Visual Studies.

Reflecting the breadth of its programs, the college changes name to California College of the Arts.

New Graduate Center opens on San Francisco campus.


College launches new Master of Architecture Program.


BFA in Community Arts Program begins.


College enrollment reaches 1,660. Faculty numbers 406.


Centennial celebration, with yearlong schedule of special public programs and exhibitions.

Animation Program established.


Stephen Beal appointed ninth president.

The college completes the $27.5 million Centennial Campaign to fund financial aid endowment, facilities improvements, and academic programs.

MBA in Design Strategy Program, the first of its kind in the United States, established.


Architecture Program’s entry wins third place in Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.

The college launches Master of Advanced Architectural Design Program (MAAD).


Enrollment exceeds 1,800; faculty numbers more than 500 persons.


The college purchased from Greyhound Lines, Inc. a two-and-a-half-acre (approximately 102,000 square feet) vacant lot in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco for future growth.


CCA launches two new graduate programs: MFA in Comics (a low-residency program) and MFA in Film.

Melanie Corn named Provost »

CCA has its largest graduating class ever at the 105th commencement service.


Received $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the innovative Exploring Science in the Studio project.

Reflection: 100, a yearlong celebration including events, lectures, and exhibitions, launched to commemorate a century of teaching metal arts at CCA.

Two newly acquired CCA exhibition spaces located at 350-360 Kansas Street (in the design district of San Francisco) open to the public). CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts moves into 360 Kansas Street.


Art and drafting supply retail store ARCH moves to CCA’s San Francisco campus.


CCA launches a new graduate program in Interaction Design (MDes).


The college announces plans to unify its campuses in San Francisco and selects Studio Gang to design new campus.