University Names College After Environmentalist Rachel Carson

Rachel CarsonThe University of California, Santa Cruz is honoring Rachel Carson, the writer and conservationist who is widely considered as the founder of the modern environmental movement, by the renaming of College Eight to Rachel Carson College.

College Eight was established in 1972 with an emphasis on the environment and society. The new name was affixed to the college at the request of the Helen and Will Webster Foundation that recently donated $7 million to the university to establish an endowed chair in ecology and environmental justice and to establish a research fund that will fund student research on environmental topics.

The leaders of the foundation stated that “we could not think of anyone who would better embody the core values of UC Santa Cruz than this environmental pioneer. Rachel Carson challenged authority, risked everything, and changed the world for the better. In doing so, she provided a model that students need and deserve, and that we, as a society, require.”

Rachel Carson was a graduate of what is now Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She earned a master’s degree in zoology at Johns Hopkins University. Her 1962 book Silent Spring detailed the harmful effects of pesticides in the environment and eventually led to the ban on DDT. Carson died in 1964.

A video from the university discussing the name change can be seen below.

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