Dr. Robert E. Kennedy

The library building is named in honor of president emeritus (1967-1979) Robert E. Kennedy, 1915 – 2010. Born in Portland, Oregon, Kennedy lived most of his life in California.

More about Dr. Kennedy In Memory: Robert E. Kennedy Cal Poly Directors and Presidents Article in 2009-10 Annual Publication, President Robert E. Kennedy's Library Legacy

More about Dr. Kennedy

– In Memory: Robert E. Kennedy
– Cal Poly Directors and Presidents
– Article in 2009-10 Annual Publication, “President Robert E. Kennedy’s Library Legacy”


  • Herbert Hoover High School, San Diego, California 1933.
  • San Diego State College, BA, 1938. Major in English with minors in History and Economics.
  • Stanford University, MA, 1950. Master’s thesis directed to establishing an agriculture journalism curriculum at Cal Poly.
  • Claremont Graduate School, PhD, 1966. Dissertation dealt with the California State Colleges.

Cal Poly Career

  • Chair of Journalism Department
  • Director of Public Relations
  • Assistant to the President
  • Dean of Arts and Sciences
  • Vice President
  • President 1967-1979

Cal Poly Highlights during Kennedy’s Tenure

  • 1967 – The curriculum is reorganized into four units: School of Agriculture, School of Engineering, School of Applied Arts, and School of Applied Sciences. Cal Poly is authorized to grant Master of Science Degree.
  • 1968 – The School of Architecture is created. Fall quarter enrollment rises to 9,711 students (2,796 women and 6,915 men).
  • 1971 – The curriculum is reorganized into seven units: School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, School of Architecture and Environmental Design, School of Business and Social Sciences, School of Communicative Arts and Humanities, School of Engineering and Technology, School of Human Development and Education, and School of Science and Mathematics.
  • 1971 – Cal Poly’s official name is changed to California Polytechnic State University by the state legislature.
  • 1971 – The Julian A. McPhee University Union is dedicated on March 6.
  • 1977 – the new Architecture Building opens for classes on January 13. Enrollment reaches 15,502 students (5,952 women and 9,550 men).
  • 1978 – the Clyde P. Fisher Science Building is dedicated on July 28.
  • 1979 – On Feburary 1 President Kennedy retires.
  • 1981 – the Robert E. Kennedy Library opens on January 5.

All of the information about Dr. Kennedy was provided by the University Archives.