The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is located in one of the ultimate cities in the world, the beautiful, always 70 degrees and sunny, Los Angeles. If you’re curious about the University, read along for some interesting information and fun facts about UCLA.
#1 – UCLA was founded in 1919 as the Southern Brand of UC Berkeley – it’s the ONLY leading research institution in the world founded in the 20th century.
#2 – Their legendary coach, John Wooden, led the UCLA basketball team to 7 straight NCAA titles, which is remarkable. No other coach has ever won more than 2 NCAA titles in a row.
#3 – Since UCLA is so near the heart of Hollywood and all the major film studios, you can spot UCLA’s campus in many popular TV shows and movies! Some examples includes: Legally Blonde, Californication, Old School, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
#4 – Royce Hall (show at the top) is totally asymmetric. It has many architectural inconsistencies, such as the number of windows on each side and the type of brick patterns used.
#5 – A live bear used to take the field at UCLA home football games until it was disallowed by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (I don’t think I’m too upset about this one – ha).
#6 – UCLA’s (along with all other UC schools) colors are the ‘True Blue’ and gold and were chosen to represent the state’s ocean and wildflowers.
#7 – Students at UCLA participate in the ‘Midnight Yell’ during finals week. Which is exactly what it sounds like. They yell at midnight as a break from studying!
#8 – UCLA’s football team was once known as the ‘Grizzlies’ – but since the University of Montana had prior rights to that name, UCLA changed it to the ‘Bruins’ in 1928.
#9 – The Internet started at UCLA in 1969! How crazy. The first-ever internet transmission was sent from UCLA to Stanford University. Right after it was sent, the computer broke down.
#10 – The UCLA campus was originally located in Hollywood but moved to Westwood Village in 1929.
#11 – UCLA (despite having a large student body) is one of the smallest UC campuses (2nd smallest to be precise). UCLA is only 419 acres and just 10% of the size of the largest campus, UC Davis at 5,300 acres.
#12 – UCLA’s award-winning newspaper, the Daily Bruin, is the third most circulated newspaper in ALL of Los Angeles.
#13 – UCLA was the first university to reach the 100-championship mark. As of July 2019, UCLA has won 129 national championships, including 118 team championships, more than any other university except for Stanford.
#14 – UCLA’s name has been changed three times! It started as the ‘Los Angeles Normal School’ in 1881 for aspiring teachers, then changed to ‘University of California Southern Branch’ in 1919, and then to ‘The University of California at Los Angeles’ in 1927. And then the final and slight tweak to its current name ‘University of California, Los Angeles’ in 1953! Someone had buyer’s remorse.
#15 – Nearly all freshmen at UCLA live on campus – an overwhelming 97% live in on-campus housing. It makes for a great way to make a ton of new friends off the bat!
#16 – The ‘Victory Bell’ that is awarded to the winner of the annual USC-UCLA football game has a tradition that started back in 1941 when USC students stole the 295-pound bell from UCLA. Yes, you read that right, 295 pounds! This sparked a series of pranks between students at both schools.
#17 – UCLA is the fourth oldest university in the 10-campus University of California system. UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and UC Davis were all founded before UCLA.
#18 – During the 2028 Summer Olympics, UCLA will host two sports – wrestling and judo. UCLA will also be the location of the Olympic Village and Paralympic Games.
#19 – Janss Steps consists of 87 steps – and is a must when visiting UCLA’s campus.
#20 – UCLA’s athletes have acquired 261 Olympic Medals – which ranks them higher than medal counts for most countries!
#21 – There are more than 68 Greek-letter organizations on campus. UCLA is the home to cultural, academic, and social fraternities and sororities – who donate hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to philanthropic organizations and also throw a ton of parties. They’re a fun time!
We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about the University of California, Los Angeles. Are there any fun facts you know that we can add? Please comment on them below!
If you’re interested in more UCLA content – check out our Tailgater Guide: UCLA!