The UCLA Faculty Center: Mission & History

Mission Statement

Our Mission

The mission of the UCLA Faculty Center is to further the educational, intellectual, and research objectives of UCLA, by providing and operating facilities that makes it possible for members of the faculty, administrative staff, alumni and friends of the University, to meet regularly, both formally and informally, and thus provide for the interchange of ideas and information necessary to the achievement of the University's goals.

The mission of the UCLA Faculty Center, since its foundation in 1959, has been to foster a sense of  community among UCLA faculty, staff and administration. The Faculty Center strives to offer a congenial setting for members of the Faculty Center Association
  • To come together and enjoy each other's company, along with fine food and drink, throughout the day
  • To hold conferences, engage in the exchange of ideas and the enjoyment of the arts, and celebrate special occasions
  • To entertain guests visiting our campus.
It is the aim of the staff of the Faculty Center and its Board of Governors to be a welcoming and helpful presence on the UCLA campus, and to serve the diverse needs of the Association membership in a friendly and efficient fashion.

History

Origins & Functions of the Faculty Center

On December 1, 1954, a non-profit organization, the UCLA Faculty Center Association, was formed and the constitution and bylaws were drafted. The Faculty Center was created as a separate entity from the UCLA Faculty Men’s Club, UCLA Faculty Women’s Club, and Association of Academic Women. 

The UCLA Faculty Center opened on February 16, 1959, in a building specifically designed for the purpose of providing UCLA faculty and staff with a dining club, retreat, and community gathering center. With features like a pool table, library and coffee lounge, the Faculty Center has served as a unique "social club" for the faculty and has built its brand on a "home away from home" feeling, serving as well as a fully-appointed venue for a variety of events from the informal to the official. In May 1960, the UCLA Faculty Center Association, Inc. was incorporated as a nonprofit public benefit corporation 

The Faculty Center Association and its Board of Governors oversee operations at the Faculty Center. One of the Faculty Center's unique qualities is its continuous history of operation and governance that is a separate organization from UCLA, as well as its special relationship with the founding entities, the Faculty Women's Club and the Emeriti Association of retired UCLA faculty, which was invited to step in for the two original founding organizations after they had ceased to exist. Since its inception the Faculty Center has served as the principal venue for faculty gatherings, academic conferences, symposiums, and lunches, serving between 300 to 600 guests daily.  

For nearly 60 years, the Faculty Center has hosted noted guests and members like Coach John Wooden, many distinguished faculty members like Nobel laureates Paul Boyer, Louis Ignarro, Julian Schwinger, and Willard Libby, and visiting dignitaries. Between 1959 and 1976, the Faculty Center was also a meeting place for the Regents. Since then, the UCLA Faculty Center has continued to play a central role on campus, with notable events taking place throughout the following decades. As the central gathering place for UCLA faculty, administration, and staff the Faculty Center has been a witness to the history and culture of UCLA. It is our hope that the Faculty Center will continue to serve the UCLA community for generations to come.

Design

The Ranch style design of the UCLA Faculty Center was overseen by Welton Becket and Associates, the master planners of almost forty structures on campus, in partnership with executive architects Austin, Field & Fry, architect Edward H. Fickett, and landscape architect Ralph Cornell. The UCLA project architect for the Faculty Center building was Coulson Tough. By using the residential architectural style of Midcentury Modern in an institutional context, the UCLA Faculty Center was designed as a place where UCLA faculty and staff could retreat from the institutional setting of the campus to a home-like setting.

UCLA Faculty Center History in Pictures

A few snapshots charting the history of the Faculty Center

View Gallery

Image sources: State of California Department of Parks and Recreation
Vintage photos shown at 50th Anniversary Celebration: Save the Faculty Center
 

History of the Faculty Center

To find out more about the Faculty Center, please see John Sandbrook's history documents as listed below:

History of the Faculty Center 1

History of the Faculty Center 2