Laney College

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Laney College
Laney College next to Lake Merritt BART station
MottoDream. Flourish. Succeed
TypeCommunity college
ChancellorDr. Fran White
PresidentTammeil Gilkerson
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
CampusUrban: 60 acres (0.24 km²)
ColorsForest Green and Silver
AffiliationsPeralta Community College District and California Community Colleges
MascotEddie the Eagle

Laney College is a public community college in Oakland, California. Laney is the largest of the four colleges of the Peralta Community College District, which serves northern Alameda County. Laney College is named after Joseph Clarence Laney;[2] the college offers both certificates and credits for Associate of Arts degree, as well as prerequisites to transfer to four year universities. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Laney College traces its history to the Central Trade School by the Oakland Board of the Education in 1927 and the Merritt School of Business (now Merritt College) founded in 1929; the trade school was later renamed Joseph C. Laney Trade and Technical Institute. Oakland Junior College was founded in 1953 with Laney serving as the vocational training center and Merritt hosting the liberal arts and business programs. In 1958 the college was renamed Oakland City College. With the establishment of the Peralta Junior College District in 1964, Laney Institute, located on the current campus, and Merritt College in Alameda became separate autonomous colleges in their present-day forms; the current campus was opened prior to 1970-71 academic year.[3]


Laney is divided into five divisions and sixty-one departments.

Instruction divisions[edit]

  • Division of Mathematics and Sciences
  • Division of Career and Technical Education
  • Division of Liberal Arts
  • Division of Humanities, Social Sciences and Applied Technology


Most of the college's academic and administrative buildings are clustered together in a complex in the northern corner of the campus; the buildings are arranged on a rigid grid, with two levels of concrete pathways providing circulation. The square in the center of the complex has been reserved for the quad. Surrounding the quad are the student center, theater, library, and gymnasium. On one corner is the triangular "Laney Tower", the main administration building; on the opposite is another triangular building housing a lecture hall and dance studio. Academic buildings form the outer ring of the complex; each has a similar design, with outdoor courtyards in the centers of each square on a higher level, ringed by classrooms and offices; and more classrooms and vocational facilities on the lower level, all accessed from the perimeter of the building. However, none of the higher levels are on the same level with each other; they are connected by voluminous stairs and ramps. Most of the outer buildings occupy two or three squares on the grid; the entire complex shares a red brick and concrete theme, with sharp corners, square and triangular shapes, and little vegetation.

The newest academic building is the art center, which is adjacent to the main complex but has its own architectural style; the building opened in the 2006-2007 school year. It was designed by Beverly Prior Architects to be built from prefabricated materials, because of the short time frame between the start of construction and planned opening.

The channel that connects Lake Merritt to the Oakland Estuary runs through the center of the campus; the southeastern half of the campus on the other side of the channel is mainly used for athletic and Peralta Community College District facilities. This section was also the former site of the World War II "Auditorium Housing Project" which housed war industry workers from around the United States, many of whom worked in the Kaiser Shipyards; the housing was demolished sometime after the war, and in the early 1960s, a temporary football stadium called Frank Youell Field was constructed on the site for use by the Oakland Raiders.

Notable people[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Laney College Facts" (PDF). Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Joseph Clarence Laney" (PDF). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Laney College History: Archives". Retrieved 14 November 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°47′47″N 122°15′46″W / 37.79637°N 122.26280°W / 37.79637; -122.26280