Who Was Storke and Why Do We Remember Him?

One of the pioneers of UC Santa Barbara is Thomas M. Storke who was instrumental in the induction of the school from a state school to a University of California school. We remember Storke by the obelisk-like structure that stands tall in the center of the school, the populated road, the newspaper located on campus, the radio station, the constant bells that ring, as well as the many plaques displayed around campus.

Thomas Storke was born and raised here in Santa Barbara in November 23, 1876. He was an editor as well as a publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press growing up. He attended Stanford a year after it was established and later was instrumental in the unification of architectural style, which was based around a Spanish theme. He then was appointed a Democratic United States Senator. He was a Senator from November 9, 1938 to January 3, 1939. He also helped to change the Santa Barbara State College into a University of California school, along with supervising the construction of the airport we have here. Storke was a Pulitzer Prize winner for his excellence in the field of publication and editorial writing.

The fact that he was instrumental in the creation of the Daily Nexus which now provides Santa Barbara with great news. We remember Thomas Storke by the roads, buildings, and plazas dedicated to him. We also remember him by the many plaques surrounding the school in which he changed. We remember him not only because of what he did for this school but in the larger picture, for our country. He left lasting memories and sites that instill the type of people that should follow Storke’s mindset.

Storke Tower