History of the J‑School

  The walls are one layer deep, which is fine in the summer but less pleasant in the winter. I can brag that my office has a dozen windows, but they face west and are a special inconvenience during early autumn afternoons, when the sun beats into the office... North Gate is not a neutral environment. It is a building that engages and challenges its inhabitants.  

Tom Goldstein,
Dean, 1988-1996

  • Continuing modernization

    North Gate Hall continues to transform to meet the changing needs of the Journalism School. In summer 2014, the newsrooms undergo extensive renovation. New projectors and speakers are installed; big flatscreens are mounted on the walls, and the rooms are outfitted with new flooring and furniture. All of these changes are intended to promote collaboration among students, and to adapt more fully to the School's participatory model of teaching.

  • Edward Wasserman becomes the sixth dean of the J‑School

    In January 2013, Edward Wasserman arrives to become the J‑School’s sixth Dean. A journalist and authority on ethics, evolution and ownership of news media, Wasserman was for the previous decade the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. Read his full bio here.

  • The hyperlocals are born

    As the centerpiece of its J200 curriculum, Dean Neil Henry (2007-2011) launches three hyperlocal news sites: Richmond Confidential, Oakland North, and Mission Local (which is now independent of the J‑School). The sites provide a platform for first-year students to develop daily news reporting skills, and they provide a valuable service to communities underserved by traditional media.

  • A wave of renovation

    Dean Tom Goldstein (1988-1996) encourages a wave of renovation through a gift from Nan Tucker McEvoy and others. The new television and radio labs house some of the most advanced broadcast equipment available and allow live broadcasts from North Gate.

  • Journalism at North Gate Hall

    In July 1981 the Graduate School of Journalism moves into North Gate Hall, several months after a national accreditation team had called the young department "the best journalism school in the country," blighted only by inadequate housing.

    The building is in poor condition when the Journalism School moves in. "It cost $75,000 just to make it livable," Edwin Bayley, the school's first dean, recalled. "The roof leaked all over. The patio didn’t drain properly. The newsrooms were filled with mildew and smelled horrible. There was no proper lighting."

    Street people who were using the building have to be evicted. But the School actually has its own home. "As soon as we moved in, we felt cohesion," recalls Evans. "It was quaint and intimate. And the newsroom, with all the wood and open space, felt like a good old-fashioned newsroom, not a sterile classroom."

  • North Gate becomes a historical landmark

    North Gate Hall is approved for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and as California State Landmarks.

  • Undergraduate major in journalism discontinued and professional school established

    The undergraduate major in journalism is discontinued as of 1968. However, both undergraduate and graduate journalism courses continue to be offered. An emphasis is placed on the development of the graduate professional program, using a newly revised Master's degree curriculum as a base

  • Master's program in journalism launched

    In addition to the lower and upper division courses preparing for the major, 10 graduate courses are offered in the 1951-52 academic year. Seventy-eight individuals receive the Master of Journalism degree in the next seven years.

  • UC Berkeley introduces journalism as an undergraduate major

    Formal journalism instruction begins at Berkeley through the English Department, and an undergraduate major is established in 1941. In the years leading up to 1965, the department graduates 1,061 men and women, many of whom later hold distinguished positions in journalism.

  • Building the Ark

    Known to generations of architecture students as the "Ark," North Gate Hall is built in 1906 to house the recently established Department of Architecture. The first department head and supervising campus architect, John Galen Howard, designs the new building, which becomes the department’s home for the next five decades. It is a two-story wooden structure clad in redwood shingles and located by the northern entrance to the campus. The original building covers 1,800 square feet and costs $4,393.59.