Gift of Camp Matthews Land Remembered 50 Years Later

On this day 50 years ago, San Diego witnessed the end of Camp Matthews and the beginning of UC San Diego

UC San Diego and the U.S. Marine Corps celebrated the 50th anniversary of a land transfer that helped shape the campus into the world-renowned university it is today.

Beginning in 1917, more than a million Marines and other military personnel completed their rifle marksmanship training at the site in La Jolla.

On Oct. 6, 1964, the USMC officially transferred the land known as Camp Matthews to the university.

Several veterans including guest of honor and Iwo Jima First Wave survivor Jerry Kranz marked the anniversary Monday near the monument in Town Square, located in the center of the UC San Diego campus.

There are about 250 students enrolled at UC San Diego who are veterans or active duty military, school officials said.

John Cerda, chair of the UC San Diego Veteran’s Association, praised the Marine Corps for its forethought in promoting higher education.

“The Marine Corps was probably knowledgeable that you can't have all your leaders in just the military. They wanted to have great civilian leaders as well,” Cerda said.

Leaders from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and the Marine Corps Band and Color Guard were also in attendance.

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