The ROTC program at the University of San Francisco celebrates its 78th anniversary this year. Founded in 1936, the program has produced some of the finest officers and leaders in our nation. Army ROTC is older than most organizations on campus, and older than many of the colleges that make-up the university. The program was established only 10 years after the College of Arts and Sciences, 6 years after the university officially changed its name to the University of San Francisco, and 4 years after the mascot was changed from the “Gray Fog” to “The Dons”

After ROTC was established, Gleeson Library opened, the School of Nursing was established, Phelan Hall became the first residence hall, and Harney Science Center and Memorial Gym opened on a patch of ground where 8 Army barracks stood since 1943. Some remained until 1966. During WWII, enrollment at USF plunged from 1,300 to 300. This decline, along with the cost of rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake and fire, nearly drowned the university in debt. The dramatic enrollment decline and the budget shortfall motivated Father Dunne, the USF president at the time, to travel to Washington D.C. to seek retention of the ROTC program and other military training programs. His efforts were successful. The U.S. government strengthened the program at USF in 1943 which brought 300 students from all over the country, doubling its enrollment; and ultimately adding to the university’s diversity and bringing much needed funding. To meet the demands of World War II in 1945, the ROTC program briefly gave way to the Army Specialized Training Program. Following the war in 1946, The ROTC program was again established at the university with an artillery unit composed mostly of World War II veterans. Throughout our 76 year history, Army ROTC and the University of San Francisco have forged a very solid partnership rich in tradition. It’s a tradition dedicated to providing the finest leaders to our Army.

To start making history, contact the Admissions Officer, Mr. Joel Correa (415) 422-5628.