On September 27, UCLA announced its plans to establish a satellite campus with academic buildings in Rancho Palos Verdes and a residential area in San Pedro. The land was purchased for $80 million dollars from the now-defunct Marymount California University, a Catholic, liberal arts college that shuttered its doors in August 2022. The campus boasts 24.5 scenic acres of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean and an 11-acre residential site that houses up to 400 students.
The acquisition comes in the midst of calls for UCLA to admit a greater number of California residents, which has, in turn, created pressure for the university to expand beyond its 419-acre campus in Westwood. In 2019, UCLA announced its intention to award 200,000 more degrees by 2030, while also noting that, though the university has expanded by 59% in the last two decades, it would need to find new ways to support its immense growth trajectory. According to the university’s announcement, the purchase will enable the university to accommodate 1,000 additional students—an important step toward its 2030 goal.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block highlighted the importance of the purchase for UCLA’s future, stating: “We realize there’s been frustration by the number of young people that want to attend our research universities, and this is, in a significant way, our response to that need.”
While UCLA was not the sole contender for the campus’ desirable land, Marymount California University President Brian Marcotte emphasized that MCU’s board and leadership intended for the campus to continue its educational purpose. In UCLA’s announcement of the acquisition, Marcotte states: “We chose UCLA because it has a long track record of educational excellence, and is perfectly suited to build upon the mission of teaching and community service we established here.”