Eleanor Roosevelt College

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Coordinates: 32°53′07″N 117°14′34″W / 32.885293°N 117.242737°W / 32.885293; -117.242737

Eleanor Roosevelt College
Motto Developing World Citizens Through Scholarship, Leadership, and Service
Established 1988 (Fifth)
Status undergraduate, liberal arts
Provost Alan Houston
Dean of Students
Patricia Scott
Asst. Dean of Students
Pedro Scotto
Dean of Academics
Sarah Spear-Barrett
Resident Dean
Rey Guerrero
Undergraduates 3,956[1][2] (15.9% of UCSD campus population)
Major events Festival: Rockin' Roosevelt
Core course Making of the Modern World (MMW)

Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC or, less frequently, Roosevelt) is one of the six colleges located on the campus at the University of California, San Diego. The college is named after former American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a humanitarian as well as a champion of international cooperation and a major member of the early United Nations.


Preparations to add a fifth college to UCSD began in 1985 when its Preliminary Planning Committee was formed. The Committee's report recommended a college focused on comparative culture studies and was approved by the Academic Senate in May 1986. In March 1987, James Lyon was appointed as Founding Provost of Fifth College (UCSD's colleges use a numeric name until a proper name is chosen). In 1988, Fifth College formally accepted its first class and opened using the "Camp Snoopy" residence halls in the Pepper Canyon area of campus. Many originally suggested that the college be named "International College" in light of its cross-cultural emphasis. Fifth College was officially named Eleanor Roosevelt College in a dedication ceremony on January 26, 1995, beating out over sixty other suggestions including Amelia Earhart, Cesar Chavez, and Marie Curie, making it the first UCSD college to be named after a woman and the only college in the United States to be named for Eleanor Roosevelt.[3]

As it was founded in the final declining years of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the college reflects the time and era in which it was built. Roosevelt was designed to move away from the strict "Us vs. Them" worldview that characterized much of 20th century political thought in hopes of creating a concept of global community and international cooperation. The college's motto is "Developing World Citizens Through Scholarship, Leadership, and Service," and it seeks to make that concept a reality by encouraging its students to think globally and interact on an international rather than local level. Its logo summarizes its emphasis as "International education and universal human rights."[3]

Ethos and academics[edit]

Eleanor Roosevelt College's philosophy stresses international learning and global interaction, and this is reflected in its set list of academic general education requirements, which include proficiency in a foreign language, non-western art, as well as its own core writing course called "The Making of the Modern World" (MMW). It also offers special encouragement for its students to study abroad. In 1992, over 40% of the college's students studied abroad, and the college continues to have the highest study-abroad rate of UCSD's six colleges. Moreover, MMW courses offered during summer quarter are typically taught abroad.[3]

The Making of the Modern World is a cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary series in world civilizations, organized chronologically, that seeks to combine various disciplines including history, religious studies, philosophy, sociology, and visual arts into course that offers a survey of the sum total of world history, not just from a eurocentric perspective, but from a more international view, including developments in China, India, Africa, and the Americas. Originally six quarters (two years) in length, it was the longest core writing course of all six colleges. In March 2011, citing budget cuts, the college shortened the series to five quarters by combining the first two courses in the series into a single course.[4]

Eleanor Roosevelt College is also the sponsor of the International Migration Studies and Human Rights minors.

Location and facilities[edit]

An oceanview patio at Eleanor Roosevelt College
The Social Sciences building
The Great Hall

Eleanor Roosevelt College's current, multi-million dollar location was designed by the architect Moshe Safdie. The residential facilities are named after various global regions and seek to integrate the philosophy of the college into their design as well. There are five residence halls for freshmen students:

In addition, there are six apartment complexes for sophomore returning students:

Finally, ERC also is home to UCSD's International House (I-House), which contains three building complexes, named after cultural sites around the globe:

Geneva, Mesa Verde, Asante, Cuzco and Kathmandu are all named after World Heritage Sites, one from each region labeled in the freshman residence halls: Africa (Asante), Asia (Kathmandu), Europe (Geneva), Latin America (Cuzco), and North America (Mesa Verde).

Other notable buildings include:

  • Middle Earth student lounge, located adjacent to the main quad
  • Cafe Ventanas (nicknamed "Cafe V"), ERC's dining hall, so named for its floor-to-ceiling windows ("ventanas" is Spanish for "windows"), located at the end of the main quad. This cafeteria is known for special times during the year where you can enjoy fine dining from different country cuisines using meal points (student dollars). This cafeteria is also popular on campus for their fresh sushi.
  • Great Hall, a large gathering hall located near I-House


As with all UCSD colleges, ERC is headed by a provost, who is the organizational leader of the institution. The college is then broken down into academic affairs and student affairs. Academic Advising programs are under the academic affairs wing, while the office of student affairs is responsible for student programming as well as the residence life program at ERC. Both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs departments are headed by a dean, with a hierarchical chain of staff beneath them.

Student groups[edit]

ERC hosts many different student organizations in order to foster and facilitate community, including:

  • SCERC (Student Council at ERC)[1]
  • PERC (Programming at ERC)
  • CORE (Community OutReach Effort)
  • WERC (Wellness at ERC)
  • BSERC (Bible Study at ERC)
  • SPERC (Spirit at ERC)
  • ERC-TV (home to several programs)
  • IAG (International Affairs Group)
  • IHOP (International House of Programming)
  • ICW (Intercultural Communications Workshop)
  • I-House Cares (International House's community service organization)
  • MUN (Model United Nations)

ERC was the Spirit Night champion (a yearly competition held over one week between the UCSD colleges) for the 2005-2006 academic year. ERC also won Spirit Night in 1988 as Fifth College, which was its first year as a college. Most recently, ERC took the Spirit Night trophy yet again in 2009 and 2013.

For more information about the ERC's student organizations, visit http://roosevelt.ucsd.edu/res-life/organizations.html


  1. ^ "Undergraduate Enrollment by College" (PDF). UC San Diego. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  2. ^ http://as.ucsd.edu/elections_2009/AS09SP_Elections.pdf
  3. ^ a b c Beauchamp, Margaret; Gibo, Michelle. "Eleanor Roosevelt College: A Brief History of the First 20 Years". Eleanor Roosevelt College: A Celebration of 20 Years (Booklet). La Jolla: Eleanor Roosevelt College. 
  4. ^ Kaslow, Jonathan (March 3, 2011). "Roosevelt College Cuts Course From MMW Sequence". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 

External links[edit]