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The HERITAGE of Our Mare Island Campus
Mare Island, nestled on the northerly extension of San Francisco Bay, embraces a history that spans more than 150 years. In 1854, this historical site was the first permanent U.S. Navy installation on the West Coast, established on the island under the leadership of Commander David G. Farragut. The Mare Island Base Hospital, a National Historic Landmark, was constructed in 1899 on the foundation of an even older navy hospital; this Beaux Arts-style building still stands today on campus. Since the mid-19th century, naval workers built more than 500 ships on the island, including the first U.S. warship built on the West Coast, and the only U.S. battleship ever built on the West Coast, the California.
The federal government closed the Naval Station in 1993. Six years later, Touro College moved the newly founded College of Osteopathic Medicine from San Francisco to a site on the southern portion of the base. The 44-acre property with its 23 buildings provided ample space for the university’s continued growth. Historic buildings on campus honor the naval history: Farragut Inn, the former Officer’s Club, now houses the university admissions department; Wilderman Hall, built in the Mission Revival style and named after Commander Alvin Wilderman, was once Bachelor’s Officers Quarters and is now administrative offices.
The story of Mare Island is truly one of turning swords into plowshares, from building warships to teaching leaders in education and healing. As home to Touro University California, Mare Island is yet again making history.
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