June 9, 2016

Contact: Jessica Holada

Former Cal Poly President Robert Kennedy’s Memoir Digitized

SAN LUIS OBISPO — With permission from the Robert E. Kennedy Family Trust, Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library Special Collections and Archives has digitized “Learn by Doing: Memoirs of a University President” by Cal Poly’s seventh university president, Robert E. Kennedy (1915-2010). The e-book is available through the library’s online archive.

“Learn by Doing is our ethos,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “Among Robert Kennedy’s many contributions to Cal Poly are his detailed recollections as an educator and leader. His legacy endures with this new easy access to the online book of his memoirs.”

Kennedy chronicles Cal Poly’s evolution from a struggling vocational school to a competitive four-year university. He traces his impressive 39-year career, including his arrival in 1940 as a journalism professor, through his presidency from 1967-1979.

The book was first published in 2001 for Cal Poly’s centennial and continues to serve as a rich trove of information on Cal Poly’s signature Learn by Doing educational philosophy. Its digitization will allow students interested in Cal Poly’s history to easily access and search through the out-of-print book, which is heavily used each quarter.

To learn more about Kennedy and Cal Poly history, read the full story, explore the University Archives web page, or contact Special Collections and Archives at 805-756-2305 or

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