Robert Gordon Sproul

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Robert Gordon Sproul (May 22, 1891 – September 10, 1975) was eleventh President of the University of California serving from 1930 to 1958.


Sproul was born in California in 1891 to Robert and Sarah Elizabeth Sproul. He is the elder brother of central banker Allan Sproul, who served as chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. [1]

Sproul's outstanding contribution during his 28-year administration was the multiple-campus expansion of the University to meet the demands for higher education in widely separated parts of the state, while maintaining one institution governed by one Board of Regents and one President.

Sproul was a member of the Bohemian Club, and sponsored Ernest Lawrence's membership in 1932.[2]

California governor Earl Warren asked his former classmate and fellow 1911 member of the University of California Band, Sproul to place his name in nomination for the office of vice president of the United States at the 1948 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By the time he left office in 1958, the University of California, Berkeley, was a distinguished university recognized worldwide for the excellence of its programs. And the University of California had a total of eight campuses from Davis to Los Angeles.

Sproul Hall and Sproul Plaza on the University of California, Berkeley campus, site of numerous political rallies since the 1930s, are named for him. At the University of California, Los Angeles campus, there are three residence halls named in his recognition: Sproul Hall, Sproul Landing, and Sproul Cove. Sproul Hall on the University of California, Riverside campus, home to the Department of Economics and the Graduate School of Education, is named for him. In addition, a research vessel utilized by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, is named for him.

At nine stories, UC Davis's Sproul Hall is the tallest building in Yolo County.


  1. Ritter, Lawrence S. Selected Papers of Allan Sproul (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Brechin, Gray A. (1999). Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 312. ISBN 0-520-21568-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Academic offices
Preceded by
William Wallace Campbell
President of the University of California
Succeeded by
Clark Kerr