University of the Pacific on Friday will dedicate its new San Francisco campus, expanding its presence in one of the world’s great cities and marking one of the most important milestones in the university’s 163-year history.
The $151 million campus at 155 Fifth St. will educate dentists, audiologists and music therapists, and offer such other academic programs as food studies and data analytics. State-of-the-art clinics located at the campus will deliver the highest-quality care to some 10,000 dental and audiology patients each year, and provide outreach to the Bay Area’s most medically underserved communities. About 1,000 faculty, staff and students will work and study in the building, providing an infusion of energy and an economic boost to the South of Market neighborhood. The first students and patients will enter in July.
“The dedication ceremony will celebrate one of the most significant moments in the University’s history since 1924, when we moved from San Jose to Stockton,” said University President Pamela A. Eibeck. “With the opening of this stunning new facility, we establish ourselves as a true three-city university and make even more of Pacific’s outstanding academic programs available to many more students from throughout the region, state and world.”
More than 1,000 people are expected to tour the new facility before the evening ceremony, including Pacific alumni, friends from throughout the Bay Area, and faculty, staff and students from the University’s Stockton and Sacramento campuses. Special guests are expected to include U.S. Congressman Jerry McNerney.
“University of the Pacific is recognized as an innovator and leader in higher education,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “In addition to enriching San Francisco’s education landscape by training future innovators who will improve the lives of many of our residents, the new state-of-the-art campus in SoMa will support San Francisco’s growth and economic vitality.”
Pacific firsts include becoming the first chartered institution of higher education in California in 1851, becoming the first coeducational campus in 1870 and establishing the first conservatory of music on the West Coast in 1878.
Pacific’s Bay Area roots date to its earliest years. The university was first launched in Santa Clara, moved to San Jose in 1871 and became the Central Valley’s first private four-year college when it moved to Stockton five decades later. Pacific offered its first classes in San Francisco in 1962 when it acquired the former College of Physicians and Surgeons, a dental school located in Pacific Heights. In 2004, that school was renamed the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in honor of its dean of 28 years, a San Francisco native who led the school to its current standing as one of the top dental schools in the nation.
Pacific extended its footprint to Sacramento in 1966 when it acquired the McGeorge School of Law.
The new seven-story, 395,000-square-foot San Francisco campus was acquired for $47 million in 2011, and underwent two years of extensive renovations to make it a state-of-the-art teaching and patient-care facility. The university sold the last of its Pacific Heights dental school buildings in June.
“This new campus and its superb facilities are a fitting home for the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry,” said Patrick J. Ferrillo Jr., the school’s dean. “The modern clinics, classrooms and labs will allow us to continue to offer our innovative curriculum and prepare our graduates for the way dentistry is practiced in the 21st century.”
The new building contains flexible classrooms, research labs and support space for the dental school, as well as clinics and technology to support patient care. The location offers close proximity to public transportation, including a nearby BART station, for students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors.
In the years ahead, the new campus will introduce a range of new academic programs to serve needs in San Francisco and the Bay Area, said Pacific Provost Maria Pallavicini. The first, a certificate program in music therapy, will begin this fall.
“Pacific is proud to be offering new graduate and certificate programs in San Francisco, alongside our acclaimed dental school,” Pallavicini said. “More students will be able to benefit from the superior, teaching-focused education that Pacific is known for, and take advantage of our comprehensive graduate, professional and liberal arts programs.”
Pacific’s notable alumni reflect the university’s comprehensiveness. They include the late George Moscone, former mayor of San Francisco; James Jewell, who designed the lighting for the Golden Gate Bridge; sports agent Scott Boras, whose career inspired the movie “Jerry Maguire”; NFL coach Pete Carroll; pop artist Chris Isaak; jazz musician Dave Brubeck; former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson; former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez; and actress Janet Leigh.
Several individuals were key to making the project a reality: TMG Partners CEO Michael Covarrubias and Richard Lundquist, owner of Continental Development Corp., who in a joint venture sold the Fifth Street building to Pacific (Lundquist also owns the adjacent InterContinental hotel); Pacific alumnus and Regent Jim Mair, the president, CEO and founder of South Bay Development Co., who brokered the agreement; and Pacific Regent Ron Redmond, a San Clemente, Calif., orthodontist, who gave a $5 million leadership gift that launched a fundraising campaign for the new campus.Patrick Cavanaugh, Pacific’s vice president for business and finance, oversaw the project from inception to finish.
“The San Francisco campus is the largest real estate investment the University has made since it moved its main campus to Stockton in 1924,” said Cavanaugh. “We like the energy and prominence of this location in SoMa and believe that our students, faculty and staff will add vitality to the neighborhood.”
Staff from the dental school began moving into the new campus in February. Faculty will move in this summer. The first dental students and patients will be welcomed into the facility when classes start on July 14.
The audiology clinic will begin seeing patients in August, and will also provide residents throughout the Bay Area with audiology and hearing aid services through patient visits and community outreach events.
The following academic programs are planned at the San Francisco campus:
- Music Therapy Program. The San Francisco Music Therapy program is expected to enroll students beginning this fall. It is designed for individuals with undergraduate degrees in music who want to complete music therapy core courses in preparation for the Certification Board for Music Therapists examination. Music Therapy is a thriving healing arts profession that appeals to musicians wanting to use their talents to improve others’ lives, often in healthcare and educational settings.
- Doctor of Audiology Program. The first students will be enrolled next fall, pending accreditation by the American Academy of Audiology. It will be the first audiology program in Northern and Central California and one of just four accelerated programs in the country (offering a doctoral degree in three years).
- M.A. Food Studies. The Pacific Food Studies program beginning next fall expects to offer a master’s degree as well as certificate programs in food studies. Professors of history, anthropology and sociology will offer courses in subjects as diverse as food writing and the politics of nutrition. The program will help prepare students for careers in or around the food industry, advocacy and policymaking, marketing, management, and food service.
- A data sciences program is under development that would offer a master’s of science degree in data analytics, as well as certificates in specific areas of data science that require fewer units to complete than a master’s degree.
A portion of the new building has been leased as premium office space to Eventbrite, a self-service online ticketing platform. That lease was finalized late last year.
About University of the Pacific
University of the Pacific is a comprehensive university with campuses in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. The main campus in Stockton, widely recognized as one of the most beautiful in the West, offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education, engineering and computer science, and pharmacy and health sciences. The Sacramento campus is home to the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. The San Francisco campus encompasses the acclaimed Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and will soon offer academic programs in audiology and music therapy, among others. For more information, visit www.pacific.edu.