Berkeley california university During World War II, following Glenn Seaborg’s then-secret discovery of plutonium, Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory began to contract with the U.S. Army to develop the atomic bomb.
Berkeley california university physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer was named scientific head of the Manhattan Project in 1942. Along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (formerly the Radiation Lab), Berkeley is now a partner in managing two other labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1943) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1952).
Originally, military training was compulsory for male undergraduates, and Berkeley housed an armory for that purpose. In 1917, Berkeley’s ROTC program was established, and its School of Military Aeronautics trained future pilots, including Jimmy Doolittle, who graduated with a B.A. in 1922. Both Robert McNamara and Frederick C. Weyand graduated from UC Berkeley’s ROTC program, earning B.A. degrees in 1937 and 1938, respectively. In 1926, future fleet admiral Chester W. Nimitz established the first Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at Berkeley.
During World War II, the military increased its presence on campus to recruit more officers, and by 1944, more than 1,000 Berkeley students were enrolled in the V-12 Navy College Training Program and naval training school for diesel engineering. The Board of Regents ended compulsory military training at Berkeley in 1962.
During the McCarthy era in 1949, the Board of Regents adopted an anti-communist loyalty oath. A number of faculty members objected and were dismissed; ten years passed before they were reinstated with back pay.
The original name University of California was frequently shortened to California or Cal. UC Berkeley’s athletic teams date to this time and so are referred to as the California Golden Bears, Cal Bears, or just Cal. Today, University of California refers to a statewide school system. Referring to the University of California, Berkeley as UCB or University of California at Berkeley is discouraged and the domain name is berkeley.edu. Moreover, the term “Cal Berkeley” is not a correct reference to the school, but is occasionally used. Berkeley is unaffiliated with the Berklee College of Music or Berkeley College.