Portrait of Babcock, Sherman G.

Babcock, Sherman G.

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June 30, 1998

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Sherman Babcock, prominent civic leader, was instrumental in the founding of the campus and has maintained a fifty-year association with the campus through continuous involvement with the Citizens University Committee (CUC).
Excerpt from Transcript
Babcock: Charter Day took the place of President Sproul's visits. Some of his professors came to the Charter Day, but by the time we had a definite UCR organization, it was to be this campus and not Berkeley. I am a little hazy about how that switch occurred. I was very active in the early Charter Day committee, however.

The picture that's in John Gabbert's history-his little article on history-I am on that because I was the UC Berkeley Alumni representative there. In fact, I had been doing all this anyway.

I was the one that got stuck for getting tickets printed and making arrangements for the dinner at the Inn and so on. That was my contribution then, so it was kind of a segue. That's how I got involved in CUC in any event.

I think I mentioned, too, that when Harold first invited me to come with him, I thought, "Gee, this is great." And then I got there and here's all the town's leaders. The youngest of them was at least ten years older than I. Their activities were well underway; they were contacting congressmen and testifying before Sacramento politicians and all the rest of it. My thought was, "My goodness, what am I doing here?" But they found things for me to do.

Erickson: What were some of those things? Do you remember?

Babcock: The kind of things that I was doing for the alumni association, making contacts. It all boiled up to being PR. I went to service clubs and talked to them to try to stir up interest. I also had the sort of organization already in place for when they wanted to have a banquet or a dinner or something like that. I did it.

Erickson: Was there immediate support when you went to a service group?

Babcock: Yes. People were very interested. The Chamber of Commerce had done a very good job of selling the community on the idea that this would be a most desirable business to have. The Station (Citrus Experiment Station) and its people being "leaven" in the town so to speak, there just wasn't it wasn't a hard sell at all. People in town were talking about their friends. I talked mostly with my friends among the professional staff. But they had to have people that worked in the fields, too, you know that did more or less manual labor. And they had a corresponding influence on that level, that strata of society. It was a natural all the way; it just wasn't difficult. The station had made a favorable impression and the idea of having a school here, I think, was pretty well accepted.

Questions Regarding this Oral History Project should be directed to Jan Erickson at jan.erickson@ucr.edu.