Borrego Sun - Since 1949

UC San Diego - Free Tour


Last updated 3/10/2016 at 9:43am

Every Sunday afternoon, the local community is invited to explore the University of California, San Diego’s unique architecture, public art collection and vibrant living and learning neighborhoods.

Free tours are hosted weekly by the UC San Diego Visitor’s Tour Program for the general public. The two-hour tours highlight the history of the university and its role in the biotech boom; the evolution of UC San Diego’s six colleges; its green building designs and strategies; and other notable points of interest across the 1,200-acre campus.

Three types of tours are available, and all take place from 2-4 p.m. on Sundays. Walking Tours take visitors into the heart of campus, where they can get an up-close look at Geisel Library and site-specific sculptures from the world-renowned Stuart Collection.

Bus Tours offer a comprehensive look at the university, circumnavigating the entire periphery, with stops including Scripps Institution of Oceanography and east campus medical facilities. The Green Building Tour is held quarterly—the next one happening March 13—and showcases how the campus’s LEED-certified buildings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) creatively employ sustainable design techniques and energy-efficient strategies.

Tours are led by a team of knowledgeable adult volunteer guides. One of the newest, Ella Goldweber, offers a glimpse of what visitors can expect on a tour.

“Even those who are familiar with UC San Diego oftentimes learn things they didn’t know about the university after taking the tour. Our guides are very enthusiastic and encourage interactivity and questions,” said Goldweber. “The bus tours are a nice ride around the entire periphery, while the walking tours are an enjoyable Sunday stroll through the heart of campus, with a chance to see pieces from the Stuart Collection.”

She notes that the campus tours are great for those who live in the community but may not have attended UC San Diego, or those who retired in San Diego and might not know much about the university.

It is also an opportunity for people visiting the area to explore the art and architecture, and a chance for parents to expose their young children to a college campus.

Her favorite story to share is about Maria Goeppert-Mayer. “A brilliant physicist, she and her husband, Joseph Mayer, were both university professors,” explained Goldweber. “Although she was highly regarded, she never was paid until she was hired at UC San Diego in 1960 as a founding faculty member in the department of physics. She went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics in 1963, one of only two women in history to have garnered the award.”

The next tours available include a Green Building Tour on March 13, a Bus tour on March 20 and a Walking tour on April 3.

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