History

From the beginning, the story of our University has been one of growth, change and innovation. Through it all, our students have remained the central focus of a diverse and balanced academic experience that prepares them not merely to learn, but to lead.

Today, over 100 years after founder Jasper Newton Field proclaimed, “I am in favor of having a college that will be a credit to ourselves and to the state, or none at all,” Redlands continues to live up to his optimistic vision.

1907
The University is officially incorporated, choosing for its location a varietal grape vineyard in the young San Bernardino County town of Redlands.

1909
The cornerstone is laid for the grand Administration Building at Inspiration Hill. Redlands’ first classes begin in the fall, with nine faculty members, 10 courses and 59 students.

1913
A group of students clear over 100,000 square feet of land from a mountainside overlooking the university to establish the iconic Redlands “R,” which becomes an ongoing source of student, faculty and civic pride.

1920s
In a period of optimism and expansion, Redlands establishes many of its most enduring landmarks, including the Quad and new residence halls: California Hall, Fairmont Hall, Grossmont Hall and Melrose Hall. These and other additions are financed largely in thanks to the generosity of donors.

1921
The “Och Tamale” chant is born, bringing together generations of Redlands students and alumni.

1928
The Memorial Chapel is dedicated at the north end of the Quad, becoming a new focal point for the University.

1948
The Redlands football team is invited to play the University of Hawaii in the 1948 New Year’s Day Pineapple Bowl.

1950s
A second building boom begins to accommodate the increasing student body, resulting in new residence halls and academic buildings.

1959
Redlands launches the Salzburg Semester, a culturally enriching program that gives students the opportunity to study abroad in Austria.

1969
The Johnston Center for Integrative Studies is founded, creating an alternative learning environment for students to pilot their own educational growth.

1976
The Alfred North Whitehead College of Liberal and Career Studies is created to meet the needs of older, non-traditional students, with classes held at Redlands as well as off-campus locations.

1996
The Thompson Aquatic Center establishes a world-class home for Redlands’ swimming, diving and water polo teams.

2006
The Stauffer Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Studies opens.

2010
The 42,000 square-foot Center for the Arts is dedicated, providing a cutting-edge space for art, art history and theatre programs.