The first of the ten residential colleges of the University of California, Santa Cruz, established in 1965, Cowell College sits on the edge of a redwood forest with a remarkable view of Monterey Bay. The college is named for Henry Cowell and the Cowell family, who donated the land that UCSC is built upon, previously known as the Cowell Ranch.
Cowell College features seven dormitory buildings which are named after American historians, and architecturally reminiscent of English schools. Each building houses between 45 and 95 students in two clusters known as Upper Quad and Lower Quad. The buildings are named as follows: Adams, Prescott, Parkman (upper quad); Beard, Parrington, Turner (lower quad); and Morison (though Morison’s front entrance opens onto the lower quad, whether the dorm is upper or lower quad is a source of debate.) Three buildings of apartments opened in 2004. Each apartment houses six or seven students in several bedrooms that share a living room, kitchen, and bathrooms.