About GGU: History & Mission

Historical Photo of Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University traces its origins to an evening lecture series started by the San Francisco YMCA during the California gold rush in the early 1850s. Even then, lectures focused on practical issues of the day such as gold assaying and English.

Historical Photo of Golden Gate University

HISTORY

The first degree-conferring program of the university started in 1901, with the formation of California's first evening law school. By offering classes at night, Golden Gate made legal studies available to the common person. Four students comprised the law school's first graduating class.

Today, Golden Gate University continues as a pioneer of adult education in business and management, accounting, taxation, and law. As always, GGU emphasizes hands-on learning taught by professionals practicing in the field. Campuses and teaching sites are located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Silicon Valley and online through GGU's nationally-acclaimed eLearning programs.


MISSION

Golden Gate University prepares individuals to lead and serve by providing high-quality, practice-based educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions - as a nonprofit institution - in an innovative and challenging learning environment that embraces professional ethics and diversity.

KEY MILESTONES

Early-1850s

Opens the first night school in San Francisco.

1860

Opens San Francisco's first free public library.

1881

Becomes "YMCA Night School"

1894

Becomes "YMCA Evening College"

1901

Starts the first evening law school in California. Only the third law school to open in Northern California.

1906

Rebuilds after the great San Francisco Earthquake leaves its facilities in rubble.

1908

Begins the west coast's first four-year accounting program.

1910

Incorporates as The YMCA Law School.

Occupies the Golden Gate Avenue building.

1914

Establishes The School of Foreign Trade and The School of Automobiles.

1918

Offers programs for returning WWI veterans.

1923

Becomes Golden Gate College

1927

Establishes The School of Insurance.

1930

Establishes The School of Traffic.

1932

Establishes The Graduate School of Accountancy.

1933

Opens San Francisco's first junior college.

1940

Establishes The School of Advertising.

1945

Establishes The School of Management.

1946

Starts day-time degree programs for the School of Accountancy.

1950

Initiates Northern California's first evening MBA Program.

1952

Pioneers the Case-study Method of Instruction and the Scholar/Practitioner Concept.

1953

Holds the first meeting of the Alumni Association.

Publishes the first Alumni Newsletter.

1956

Gains Law School approval from the American Bar Association.

1964

Begins full-time law programs for day students.

1965

Establishes The Graduate College.

1967

Establishes The School of Taxation.

Partners with the US Air Force to offer undergraduate on-base programs, ultimately serving thirty-four bases.

1968

Founds GGU Associates to build relationships with prominent community figures.

1969

Introduces the MBA in Taxation.

1970

Offers the first MS Taxation program on the west coast.

1972

Becomes "Golden Gate University".

Provides education at Norfolk Naval Base.

Alumni Council hosts "The Woman Executive" seminar.

1974

Becomes California's third largest private university.

Launches doctoral programs in Business Administration and Public Administration.

1975

Opens Los Angeles and Seattle campuses for Taxation.

Brings an MBA in Banking program to Los Angeles.

Acquires the World Trade Library.

1976

Launches the country's first graduate program in telecommunications management.

Develops the joint JD / MBA in Taxation degree and LLM in Taxation degree.

1980

Offers 56 MBA degree specializations including finance, taxation, real estate, economics, political science and international management.

1981

Establishes the Alumnus of the Year Award.

1982

Offers programs in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

1987

Establishes the College of Business Administration.

1991

Presents the first Amicus Award to Luther Avery.

1996

Starts one of the country's first Web-based learning programs.