As a writer and conservationist, Rachel Carson promoted a fundamental belief: “in nature nothing exists alone.” Humans are members of the natural world, not its masters. This simple, yet revolutionary view launched the modern environmental movement. By naming College Eight after Rachel Carson, donors to the Campaign for UC Santa Cruz recognized her courage and ability to activate the public—traits that are as important today as ever. A college that went unnamed for 30 years is now the first college on campus to bear a woman’s name. The Rachel Carson College endowment from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation will create research and environmental education opportunities for students in perpetuity. It is only fitting that UC Santa Cruz, a campus with a rich tradition of scholarship and activism, would continue Carson’s legacy. Two new faculty chairs endowed in conjunction with the renaming will support training science communicators and addressing issues of ecology and environmental justice.
Key support provided by the Helen and Will Webster Foundation, Mark Headley (Stevenson ’83, politics, economics), and Christina Pehl.