Interviewed and Edited by Irene Reti
[Francis] Frank M. Zwart III arrived at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a student at Cowell College in 1967, when the campus was a mere two years old and the students were “walking across planks where pipe trenches were still open.” Zwart graduated in mathematics from UCSC and boarded a train east to study architecture at Princeton University, where he matriculated in 1976. After graduation, Zwart worked with architectural firms in Princeton, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Aptos, California, Philadelphia, and Carmel before returning to UC Santa Cruz in 1985 as a staff architect and project manager. Thus he commenced a long and distinguished career at UCSC that spanned the tenures of seven UCSC chancellors. Zwart became Campus Architect in 1988 and directed UCSC’s Office of Physical Planning & Construction (PP&C) until his retirement in April 2010. From 1999 until 2010 he also held the title of Associate Vice Chancellor for Physical Planning & Construction. This 420-page oral history is the result of nine recorded interviews and documents Zwart’s experience during over four decades at UC Santa Cruz—from his years as an undergraduate during the late 1960s, when the campus gained national attention as a prestigious and visionary experiment in public higher education, to his career as Campus Architect during UCSC’s expansion into a major research university.