|Alma Mater: Cum alas suas, Ad sidera. English TL: With Wings, to the Stars.
Also known as Alas, I came. Try to guess why.
The University of California, Havenbrook or Havenbrook University (HBU for short) is a public land-grant university located in downtown Havenbrook in the North East side. Being absorbed in 1984 into the California state university system makes HBU the eleventh and youngest to join.
It’s academic roots can be attributed to Mr. Henry McBride who created the school in 1876 following California’s absorption into the United States of America. Officially started as a teacher’s college, HBU began it’s stride during and following the great depression and subsequent world war.
Now, Havenbrook University enjoys one of the largest campuses in Southern California, with over 157 undergraduate and graduate programs. With so much talent to choose from, the admission ratings have made a steep drop from 35 percent in 1972 to now 1.5 in 2020. This, coupled with an unsavory division of ethnicity makeup (55.2% white, 30.8% Asian, 6.5% Black, 6.5% Hispanic or other) have created controversy for modern day students.
Still, the politics of modern hierarchy calcification through academia aside, HBU is poised to become a public Ivy if it’s trend of Nobel Laurette’s, actors, politicians, engineers and artist achievement continues on.
|The original McBride house. Burned down by Jason McBride III in 1959 when he doused himself and the interior with gasoline. Ashes and a few wooden effigies were found around his corpse and around the house, presumably to assist with the conflagration. Fire fighter James Cejudo remarked, “The fire would never go. We jus’ kept throwing water but it wouldn’t even ease. The bitch ate it up.”|
It must have started off as a quite literal dream for that man, to ride off into the west. Past the natives that roamed and the savages who scalped, to set himself off in the hopes of his own little gold on that new dirt. Havenbrook University began from western-expansionist Henry McBride, son of a shoemaker turned cowboy, as the legend goes.
In actuality, his father was an owner of a fleet of ships all along New York City. An east coast trader, McBride CO, who’s tagline ‘We’ll get it fast, we’ll get it safe’ might have quite literally turned it into the economic juggernaut it was at the time. Trading everything, having traded everything; leather, faux leather, spices, tea, steel, coal, cotton, slaves. Slavery. The bulk of the origin of wealth for the McBride family, a tradition preceding Henry by a few decades. And a tradition Henry did not follow up from, having at a young age as was quoted in his memoir, ‘a dream about the sun on the western front. Is it darker? Is it brighter?’. A decision that would end up being the better one, as his father’s company would later end and liquidate following the defeat of the south and the end of slavery.
In 1866 with California’s entry into the Union and slavery’s end coming in the 1860’s, McBride decided to venture west. With his father’s capitol in his bank account he trekked the land. An adventure that would find itself more brutal than expected. Of the twenty-two guards he employed, all but three would die.
Inching towards the west ward coast and traveling the frontier upwards and past Los Angeles proved it’s own hazard, killing the last three surviving guards. He would not make it to the coast until 5 years after. He did of course. And landed on the little city of Havenbrook, seeing Los Angeles as too cutthroat of an area to live in. Havenbrook, having only been established a few decades prior, seemed a more sensible and ripe opportunity. An agriculture city known for it’s vistas and Mediterranean climate. Havenbrook became fertile land for bovine animals and farming. Months into settling Havenbrook University would be established in 1871. The McBride house being the first and a necessary building for the learning and the certification of local professors. Two years later McBride would kill himself through hanging in that very house.†1 After McBride’s death Henry McBride Jr. Continued to school, adding two more college buildings to the quickly expanding school. A trajectory that would continue well into the new century.
Post War (1940-1960)
Of all things that survived the Great Depression, it seems strange that entertainment would be one of them. Not the workers, or the farmers, but the actors. But it was so. Maybe people want to be entertained more than ever when the world around them is burning. Distracts from the smoke. As it was, Hollywood had left Los Angeles wealthy come the tail-end of the Great Depression. And with close proximity, Havenbrook too managed to shoulder away most economic turmoil. Seeing the success of cinema and the power of the camera, the city in conjunction with with the school and by famous Hollywood Actor Aldolfini Marriote decided to open the first Actor’s Academy in Havenbrook U.
A failure of a decision the school, the city, and Aldolfini would learn promptly.
With Hollywood’s name already established and with no actor who wanted to make the move, Havenbrook suffered many years of rough competition. A failure that would transition the school from focusing on acting in cinema, to acting in plays.†2 Feeling a gap in the market for thespians in the west coast, Havenbrook University would focus on the theater instead. Something that would bring immediate revenue into the city after the first theater was built in 1953. Dozens would spawn on the North-East of Havenbrook and would trail down the mountain range, with nickel theater’s spawning amongst the working class, offering the same traveling actors on poorly tarped hillsides. Though cheap, the ‘nickel and penny theaters’ would prove to be the best producers of revenue. It turns out there are more poor people than rich people.
Back to the school…however…
Acting was not the only avenue to which Havenbrook University made it’s name (money, really). The school of engineering would also prove it’s merit in recoil absorbing hydraulic mountewd onto 120 mm and 127mm†3 naval guns. Helping in the machining and industrialization of cartridges, Havenbrook university would receive millions in grant money for it’s contributions to the Pacific campaigns. Rumor was that the McBride the third was so satisfied with the work done in naval weaponry that he put the number of Japanese killed at the front of the engineering school on a placard.†4 No one knows if this is true, for the sign must have been taken away immediately following backlash. Whatever the school’s stance on war, what is quote in the paper to the question a decade; “ Now that time has passed, how do you feel about the school’s roll in the death’s of the Japanese and German’s?”
“What’s there to feel? That’s war, baby.” [End Quote] – Henry McBride III
“The Great Masterworks” and expansion into the University System of California (1960-1990)
Five years after McBride the fourth killed himself, Havenbrook University would begin it’s great movement towards the first of two “Masterworks”. First, by dissolving into a public institution – as stated in the final McBridge’s will – and second, in the reformation, rebuilding and rebranding under the leadership of Jacob Lance. Lance,who decided on the doubling of land and the sudden upward and downward expansion of the school. The first Masterwork, as blue printed, was a 50 million dollar expansion of each main school building, with the central liberal art’s school receiving two wings.
Not only that, but to create Havenbrook University as a cultural center and to cater a mass who largely viewed it as an exclusive and often elitist college. Between 1980 and 1990, Havenbrook University sought to complete it’s second expansion, which added an Observatory on the nearby mountain range, an underground lab for the medical school, a central garden open to the public and the amphitheater or…Colosseum…or theater. (It’s hard to tell, no one can really decide on it’s use, for it’s shape is round and it’s insides are parceled and it’s columns tall.)
It was at the end of Lance’s tenure that he decided to recreate the original McBride building. Some say with frightening authenticity. †5
The houses were made of bricks. Before the earthquakes took them. They used to fear the valley, before they conquered it. They were humbled, up until they weren’t. The architecture of Havenbrook is one of a varied history, where each president (each McBride, I should say) left his mark on the architecture. Leading to a hodgepodge of conflicting styles. The first for example, wanted something simple and so the first building offered was a kind of brick barn-house, almost poor-man’s victorian. A peasant’s Victorian. The second McBride opted for more grandeur, adding a bestiary around the campus: animal statues on every corner of every building, to which most of the actual layout of the school can be attributed to. The school built around these statues and fountains, large victorian board-room style buildings. And so offered a kind of hub of education with a spread out layout. The biggest contribution here were the roads. Red and black bricked.
The third McBride destroyed most of this. Ripping and tearing most houses, the third preferred the roman aesthetic after a trip to Italy prior to the great second war. And so laid out the foundation for the first Masterworks, though never able to execute with the coming war and the necessity of the school to assist in grant research. Instead, he renovated the buildings already there. Namely, layering each building with cement and columns up-the-wazoo. The fig wreaths loomed on every door, the marble statues stretched far and wide. Most colors were changed to red and white, banister’s were rolled down and fit on the sides of buildings. Smooth stucco, smooth cement. If there was wood framing, if there were bricks, they were all covered in the veneer of Roman white. A lot could have been done with the third. The ambition was there, some of the money too. Unfortunately, under strange circumstances, he had burned himself alive inside the original McBride home.
At least it opened up a plot for a new construction.
It was not until 1960 to which most of the school was actually laid out. Plots of land established for future buildings, the giant center liberal arts school being marked and started upon. The aesthetic all the same, but the ambition obviously different. Land was purchased further down the school, far past the sides and foot of the San Joaquin mountains. Steel mills, emptied train stations, all manners of small business swept up and bought out by the school. These plans did not go through the fourth. It wasn’t until Lance. The first non-McBride president, that everything was set to place.
The style – decided. Red pleated tiles upon the walls. Mediterranean sprawling villas replaced the small groups of classroom. Giant pantheons and columned homes made up the bulk of the central buildings, over floor upon floors. The sides of the mountains were built upon, the technology finally allowing (there were only two deadly mud slides, can you believe it?), and gardens and wild life were spread far. A terrain pointed towards the sun to take advantage of the glow, allowing for the brick to soak and char and deepen in red upon the roofs. Giant door frames, windows, to allow the breeze to flow in. The school now almost resembles a nice ocean-side bronze age village than anything. And you’d be hard pressed not to be confused, up until you stared at the Observatory up the mountain. Or the giant Colosseum. Or the grand central school. It largely remains the same too. With the new president, Mr. DeFreeze, carrying out a steady expansion towards the hills.
Hills unruly. And hills that don’t take kindly to the school growing at all.
Breeker Street Shootout
Kevin Choi Massacre
|↑1||[As quoted by Susan McBride] “We didn’t know where he was that morning. Didn’t know much of nothing but that my bed was empty. Which wasn’t strange, Henry was always one to sleep late and wake early. I don’t know what kind of luck it was that made me decide to clean the house good. It was a Sunday, lord’s day. Maybe that’s why I was punished. No one was there but me. Maybe Henry knew that. I don’t came up to that house, expecting nothing much of the day and I found him underneath the knocked over chair. Swinging. Legs dangling. He must have been there for a while. No note. No message. No meaning.”|
|↑2||Who fucking watches plays? No one. No one but east coast freaks, that’s who.|
|↑3||We can kill a 127 JTogos a second at half the price, McBride III to FDR.|
|↑4||A satisfaction that surely had something to do with his views on the Japanese. For a decade prior to World War II, the president was known to “hate those fuckin’ n** fucks. And their chicken-scratch-house letters” [quoted from Henry the third’s journal]|
|↑5||It’s hard to tell, since everything is just a rumor and so little is known of Lance. Particular, what his relationship with the last McBride really was. Whatever it was, and whatever bond he shared with the family, he seemed to honor it at his final years at the school. With a perfect replica of the original McBride house. Basement and all. Basement. Something in the basement.|