The arrival of Founders’ Rock in February 1926 marked the first step in converting the several hundred acres of untamed slopes into a university campus.
It took 10 days to haul the granite rock 85 miles from a hillside in Perris Valley to Westwood. One day, the crew moved the trailer carrying the 75-ton boulder a mere 10 feet because it was so heavily entrenched in mud. When the rock eventually arrived, it was placed to mark the spot where Dickson and Muma first stood to consider the property as the university’s future home. (For years, Founders’ Rock was a fixture in the middle of the roadway that led into campus—until it was cited as a traffic hazard and moved in 1942, its circular cutout remaining visible opposite the Administration Building’s north façade. In 1965, it was moved again just northeast of the building, later renamed Murphy Hall.)
On October 25, 1926, Governor Richardson, regents and other university leaders, along with a crowd of students, joyfully amassed on the sprawling field to christen their new campus.
“The rock was the only thing there,” recalled Sherman Grancell, who as a freshman piled classmates into his father’s Model T Ford to bear witness. “There was dirt and weeds and Founders’ Rock.”
(From UCLA: The First Century: ch. 3, p. 42)
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