Kresge College

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Image:Kresge College.jpg Kresge College is one of the residential colleges that make up the University of California, Santa Cruz. Founded in 1971, Kresge is located on the western edge of the UCSC campus. Kresge was one of the first colleges at UCSC, and originally one of the most experimental. Distinguished early faculty members included Gregory Bateson, former husband of Margaret Mead and author of Steps to an Ecology of Mind; John Grinder, co-founder of Neuro-linguistic programming and co-author of The Structure of Magic; and William Everson, one of the Beat poets.

In the early days, Kresge had a threefold focus: Humanistic psychology, Women's Studies and Environmental Studies. Today, the college hosts the literature, women's studies and writing departments.

Kresge's idiosyncratic architecture, designed by architect Charles Willard Moore, is based on a fantasy Italian village which winds up the hillside. Instead of dormitories, Kresge is a sequence of standalone freeform apartments which, in the early days, encouraged communual living experiments. Today most of the apartments serve the same purpose as dorm rooms, although they contain private kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms.

At the north end of the college is the Kresge Town Hall, which has seen many groundbreaking performances, including the first Talking Heads concert on the west coast, and the legendary Acid conferences which included appearances by the like of Allen Ginsberg and Owlsley. During the day Town Hall serves as a classroom, and it is still used for events such as concerts and films in the evenings and on weekends. Annual events include the Fall Film Festival and Halloween showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live cast.

Kresge was originally endowed by the Kresge family trust, whose fortune was derived from K-Mart; one of the early (and very ironic) nicknames of Kresge was 'K-Mart' college; considering the counter-cultural orientation of Kresge in the early days, it was about as far from the middle American K-Mart image as could be imagined.

One of the alumni of Kresge, Marti Noxon, went on to produce Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and managed to sneak in-joke references to Kresge as well as Santa Cruz into many of the scripts, most recently in the Angel spin-off where a supporting character (Eve) is described as a graduate of Kresge.

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The Colleges of UC Santa Cruz
Cowell | Stevenson | Crown | Merrill | Porter
Kresge | Oakes | Eight | Nine | Ten
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