Friends of the International Center: History

The organization was established early in the history of UC San Diego. In 1961, the Zonta Club of La Jolla founded and incorporated the International Center to provide services, including a Nursery School, for families of UC San Diego staff and faculty, international students and scholars, and the community.

The first Center buildings on campus were dedicated in October 1971 after major community fundraising efforts. In 1984–86, the Friends and Oceanids (another campus organization of volunteers) raised additional funds to build the Resale Shop and its storage areas, the Oceanids Pavilion and its Kitchen Exchange.

Every year more international visitors arrive at the UC San Diego campus, including faculty, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students. Many of these visitors are accompanied by their families. The Friends welcome them all as they arrive and assist them in their relocation. They help promote good will and understanding to these future world leaders who will become interpreters of the United States — their interpretations will reflect their experiences in this country.

Notable Dates from International Center History

  • 1961: Zonta Club of La Jolla rents a cottage on Eads Avenue in downtown La Jolla to serve as an International Center
  • 1963: A community group organizes for the purpose of providing a meeting place for students and scholars from all countries who are affiliated with the University of California at San Diego. They incorporate under the name: International Center of La Jolla, Inc.
  • 1964: Eads Avenue International Center closes
  • 1966: Fundraising campaign for a campus facility is launched
  • 1969: UC Regents and International Center of La Jolla, Inc. sign an Agreement for the establishment of an International Center on the University of California at San Diego campus
  • 1971: Opening of the International Center in the heart of the UCSD campus, on what was once a Marine Corps archery site
  • 1973: Founding of Friends of the International Center and Gallery 8
  • 1975: Inauguration of the Friends Scholarship Program
  • 1977: Dissolution of the International Center of La Jolla, Inc. Closing of Gallery 8
  • 1981: Opening of Friends Resale Shop
  • 1986: Major addition to the International Center, funded jointly by the Friends of the International Center, the Oceanids, and the University
  • 2009: International Cooperative Nursery School closes
  • 2010: Architectural design commences on a new, improved International Center on present site
  • 2011: 50th Anniversary Celebration of the International Center. Publication of Celebrating 50 Years of the International Center: 1961-2011

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