In October, 1944, Clarence Addison Dykstra, President of the University of Wisconsin, was chosen as Provost and Vice President at UCLA. “Dyke” was no stranger to UCLA, having taught political science for eight years (1922-30) on both the Vermont campus and at Westwood.
Clarence Dykstra graduated from the University of Iowa in 1903 and received his Doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1908. He taught history and political science at the University of Kansas for nine years, then decided to go outside the university “to see for myself these things I am teaching about.”
Becoming executive secretary of the Los Angeles City Club, he accepted Dr. Ernest Carroll Moore’s invitation to lecture at the Southern Branch at the same time. Named as a Water and Power commissioner, he also served as personnel director for the Water and Power Board.
In 1930 he was named Cincinnati’s city manager and in 1937 became President of the University of Wisconsin. He served as America’s first Director of Selective Service and was also Chairman of the National Defense Mediation Board.
Dr. Dykstra’s influence on the development of the Westwood campus was immense. His crusade for student housing reversed a Regental policy and brought about the first two west campus dormitories. Although he did not live to see their completion (he died in 1950), the first was most appropriately named Dykstra Hall.