UCLA -4/11/09

The arrival The campus The Dorm Mon Ami Gabi, Las Vegas

The campus

The University of California, Los Angeles, generally known as UCLA is a public research university located in Westwood, Los Angeles.   It was founded in 1919, making it the second-oldest campus in the University of California system. Berkeley is the oldest campus and was founded in 1868.  UCLA has more applicants than any other university in the United States, out of 55,401 undergraduate applicants for Fall 2008, only 12,755 = 22.7% were admitted.  Students come to UCLA from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, though according to statistics from 2001-05, an average 92.6% of the entire student body originated from California.  As for 2009, 55,636 applications have been received and it looks like the number of applicants is steadily rising every year.  Being accepted to UCLA is not easy, students need to have excellent grades and really stand out in the sea of applications.

When UCLA opened in 1929, it had four buildings (Powel library hall, Royce hall, Haines Hall now Hershey's hall, and Kinsey Hall).  Today the campus included 163 buildings on 419 acres of land!

Kaufman Hall, Department of World Arts and Cultures was named after Glorya Kaufman who donated an $18 million gift to UCLA to enhance and renovate the university's historic Dance Building. It is the first of the campus's original core academic facilities to be named for a woman.

Here in front of us are Janss's steps and in the back ground the building with a dome is Powell Library

Closer view of the Library building and Janss steps.

  Make sure to skip the 6th step (explanation below).

Janss steps is one of many myths and legends in UCLA.  Legend goes that two Janss brothers who designed the staircase supposedly requested in their will to be buried underneath the steps and the story goes that if a student steps on the 6th step, he or she will have bad luck and be doomed to spend an extra year in college! 

There are many legends in UCLA and they are basically told to make the tour entertaining so people do remember these stories. Though no one seems to know where some of these legends began, or to what lengths they tell the truth, I am sure some actually do contain bits of facts and some are far fetch like this one:

Legend of Bunche Hall who was originally used to face east-west, parallel to the 405 freeway. But due to its height and reflections off of its glass windows, the hall blinded motorists on the freeway and caused accidents. To solve this problem, UCLA allegedly rented army helicopters to lift and turn the building to face north-south, where it is presently located.  (I just don't believe this one!)

But the next legend could be true!  It is about a locker, located in the Math Sciences building, that is believed to have been used by Jim Morrison (from the Doors) during his days as a Bruin.
Keep in mind that just because a story is a legend, it doesn't mean that it isn't true.

Janss Steps is the original 87-step entrance to the university. They were named for the Janss brothers who sold all the land that UCLA is built on for about one-third of the going market rate.


Royce hall, named for Josiah Royce, a leading philosopher of the time, is an architectural landmark of UCLA and one of the original four buildings of the Westwood campus constructed in 1929. The building was modeled after a Milan basilica. This building was one of the 4 original buildings in UCLA.

Royce Hall is a great concert halls, famous for its impeccable beauty and refined acoustics. Royce Hall is the main performance venue for UCLA Live. Today, Royce Hall is not only regarded as the symbol of UCLA, but also as ground zero for the most exciting, innovative and far-reaching programming on the West Coast. The auditorium seats 1,833 and has been host to a wide variety of world renowned performing artists.

The UCLA Powell library is among the top 10 academic research libraries in North America and has in its collection over eight million books!  This building is also one of the 4 original buildings.

The main entrance to the Library

Steps going up to the library.  The inside of the library looks like byzantine architecture, characterized by masonry construction, round arches, a large dome in the middle of the library, lots of mosaics and  fine stone to cover the whole interiors.  The inside of the library is actually very interesting to look at.

The dome in the center room of the library

Mosaic wall decoration as you go up the stairs.

Franz Hall, home of the Department of Psychology

Arthur Ashe health and Medical Center

The inverted fountain.

 Legend has it that the designer who was allegedly a former UCLA student and was kicked out for poor grades then he went on and eventually graduated from USC with a degree in architecture. Once he heard that UCLA held an open contest for the fountain's design, he applied and won.  Rumors has that he was still bitter from being kicked out of UCLA, he designed the fountain to look like a giant toilet bowl with the water funneling inward and set against the backdrop of Franz Hall.  True or false?  I don't know but it is a good story to tell...

Vu also told us that if students are caught touching the water in this fountain they will be held back for an extra year so on graduation day, when the diplomas are hand out.... What do they do next?  A lot of students jumped in the fountain to celebrate knowingly that they already graduated and the school can no longer hold them back for another year.   Might as well leave dangerously when there are no more punishment!

This picture is taken while we are getting out of the parking lot in UCLA, in front is Bel Air area..  UCLA residential area are bordered by Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Brentwood, which are affluent neighborhoods.


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